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Game and Animatic! - My eventful year of personal projects

Game and Animatic! - My eventful year of personal projects

Sitong Shen
by siishu on 30 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

Discussing the (current) creation of my game 'The Lights I Promised You' as well as an animatic I created for a fictional game

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Hello and once again welcome to Lief's yearly project corner tm! This time instead about comics, its games. Everything, games. Yay

Self intorduction, I'm Sitong or better known around as Lief or sii_shu. I'm a third/fourth year creative arts student at Flinders Uni. I love potatoes and my favourite tea is jasmine, taro milk tea and all sorts of matcha

At the beginning of the year one of my uni classes allows you to basically work on any project you want, I had a small game idea at that time about a guy on a ship. Through talking with others and me developing the idea more, I got really excited about it and decided to make it a proper game worked on by me and a small team.

And that's what happens, a small group of 5 people now is developing the ’The Lights I promised You’, a 2D, story-driven drama with light resource management and visual novel-styled branching dialog.

As I am both the director and the artist, I will just be focusing on my contributions with the art. Otherwise we're gonna be here for over an hour...

For that, let me give some context on 'The Lights I Promised You' or TLIPY for shot. It's a 2D sidescrolling game set entierly on a boat, about Manann, a man with nothing to live for but a promise as he makes the journey south towards Antarctica to see the Aurora.

The core gameplay revolves around resource management-styled tasks, branching dialog, platforming, day-night cycles, repeating days

Here are some early concept art done for the pitch of the game

First, the first infamous boat itself

And a coloured version

I also have a version annotated with all the things on the boat itself (interactables and ones related to the mechanic)

As you may have suspected with 'first version', there is infact a newer version made as the story developed and the needs of the boat changed (a bit)

And with everything that's interactable labelled

Now for the characters. There are two, the main character Manann and his dead fiance Finn (the one who he made a promise to)

From here I started working on Manann's in game sprite, at this point I have roped in a programmer and we're working full steam ahead for this game

From here I started working on Manann's in game sprite, at this point I have roped in a programmer and we're working full steam ahead for this game

From there I tried out these two designs. One more slumped and a little more detailed than the other, after discussing with the programmer, we decided to go with option 1. Felt like it suited more than the other

And here's is the character sheet I made for animation

With that settled I got started on the walk cycle. I referenced an existing example then modified some parts so that it felt a bit more tired and less energetic. With a bit more tweeking, i will get started on actually animating Manann (in rough). However since the rookies website dosen't alow gifs I cannot show it ;a;

Instead I'll show some of the stuff I made for the ui, such as initial ideations

I have also made 2 fonts for the game, number one is a replica of what Manann’s handwriting would be like, thus dubbed ‘Manann handwriting’.

And the second font I made specifically for the ui since the first font is too thin to be very clear. Thus this second one is made especially chunky.

After this I started experimenting with UI to show in game text, specifically what the character says

Something else that I have been experimenting on the side is a possible additional first person pov shots of the enviroment when you click on them to see them in more detail.

In ideation of that I created a few first pov shots

Top top it off, here's a progress vid done by the programmer! Where the assets are all incoporated along with basic gameplay!

And that's all I have so far for TLIPY, as expected its a work in progress and we plan to have a proper demo ready later this year :D

Something else I can show is an animatic I made for a storyboarding class.

the idea is a storyboard an animated trailer for a fictional game, it'll be made with the goal of intriguing the viewers, giving an idea of the world and serve as promotion for the game.

here are character designs, a lot is taken from stuff I've done of them before so it's a bit of mess

and enviroment design of the few locations that appear

Finally, here's the final animatic itself!

That's all I have for now! See you next year where I can hopefully show you progress on the whole game hehe

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