Developing Treachery in Beatdown City – 1st developer diary of sorts

First I wanted to show off this amazing art that my wife created for the female lead, Lisa. After initially designing her my wife went in and painstakingly created a beautiful color pencil & ink drawing of Lisa akin to the one of Brad, one of the two male leads, back in June.

I then went in and reduced her work to simplified pixel art for use in game for wherever it might go (thinking Character Select screen for now). That process was fairly tricky and required a lot of interpretation of the original art and ultimately picking what looked best in the harshness of 5 color pixels.

At this moment a lot of the game’s art is done, but there is a ton more to do. There are a lot of locales and characters in TiBC and we really don’t want the game to feel too “samey” so we’re trying to avoid simple palette swaps and the like.

Development of the game has been going well, especially in the last month or two. We had a prototype build running in Game Maker in October that gave us a lot of great feedback on what we needed to change, add, etc. from playtesting it a bunch. Thankfully the game was fun!

Shortly after my trip to Indiecade we began to port our game from Game Maker to a C# environment and that meant pretty much redoing the game from scratch. As of right now the game is up and running better than ever. Issues that we were having in Game Maker aren’t as prevalent and it’s been interesting learning what tools exist in our current development suite that we are using and when we get stuck heading to the internets for help either in the form of forums, tutorial posts or asking friends.

The game is also looking better than before after a full pass on the background art which previously was a mixture of a 2×2 pixel ratio and a 1X1 pixel ratio art. While the art looked nice and the mixing of resolutions wasn’t easily noticeable, the use of 1X1 resolution in conjunction with 2X2 art made scaling, up or down, a big problem at odd numbers as the art would stretch and some pixels would double while others stayed the same or in the case of scaling down, the 1X1 pixels would turn to mush.

I’ve never really done a developer diary for Treachery in Beatdown City before mostly because we were, for a while, working on it as a hobby and didn’t really know where it was going as a project. Now that we are close to showing the game and development is going smoothly, I wanted to give a real update that wasn’t ONLY art but is also a little more in depth about the game.

In the future I will also dive deeper into some of our development struggles including difficulties with Game Maker and working with a relatively new suite as well as learning a new programming language and file handling system and trying to get everything to work as a whole to actually make a playable game!

Finally, you may already know but IndieCade is making its debut in New York on the 15th, and the team behind Treachery in Beatdown City will be on a panel on the 17th to discuss our development as well, so come by and check it out!