As we are heading into the final sprints I’m sure we all have noticed the need for polish and just the feelings that we don’t have enough time to finish everything we want to do. Well my team definitely noticed this, and after trimming and cutting some content we were left with a list of things that needed to be done until release. Then we took that list and looked at what could be done with the help of old assets.
We choose to reuse art assets that had already been made for a couple of reasons. For one, because of cut content we had some pieces of art that hadn’t been used yet, so we choose to repurpose them. Two, is because it’s more efficient to take something old or unused and repurpose it. Especially if it already fits the game, and we were running out of time. Three, I can’t remember where I heard it, but you should strive to make sure that everything you create can be used more than once.
The biggest thing we had left to finish for the game was the boss. Which we had very little for the start of the week. The things we had was basically a sketch and some ideas for attacks. Now, 2 days later the boss was basically finished in both visual and gameplay design, this largely because I had unused art assets that easily could be repurposed.
The first thing I had was the sketch for the original boss idea. Where the head was the only thing that had really been developed.
I really liked the very aggressive look of the head, and it was already set up in individual pieces to help with animating it. So I decided to keep that. However I needed to make it smaller since it made more sense for the attacks our designer and programmer had made – after a bit of back and forth between ideas, the form landed on a shark.
This, which is the version we’ll use in the game has the base of a white shark, with a slightly larger fin on the back. I’m decently satisfied with the design. It has the feel of an aggressive, slightly otherworldly shark, with a head of a dragon. The colours I choose for the body are mainly based around what the other creatures in the game has, and the armor is made with another shade of the same colour to make it look more like bone. The additional details on the body are mainly to bring a bit more cohesiveness to between the head and the body and also to create some purely visual tells for the boss’ attacks.
For one of the bosses attacks, we decided to repurpose one unused sprite, cut because it was originally part of our narrative, to be used for the projectile. So it went from what was supposed to be an egg
To this, which is a projectile that will be shot sideways.
One of our enemies needed to a proper projectile sprite. The projectile also had exploding properties, and we were unsure on the best way to go about it. Would we use the same sprite but smaller or create a new one? Our solution came like a flash of lightning and we decided to use the projectile from the first enemy to create a recognisable threat and to have it be more streamlined visually – aka. less things new things to register in the players mind.
My project manager who helps me with the art has also repurposed a lot of the art in the GUI to help further our visual identity and to create a good base for it.
Here she took the front of our ship and used it for the health/aether bar.
A lot more has also been used in our various menus.
Reusing old assets sometimes feels a little cheap since you’re not creating it from scratch so it doesn’t feel as though you’re working as hard. It is however more efficient as I’ve said and it really reduces a lot of stress when you don’t have to create something new for everything that you’re doing. And I mean, hey, even Disney are doing it.