Side-Scrolling Nightmare!

So I decided to start work on assets for a somewhat realistic looking side-scroller. I’ve been chipping away at it for close to 5 days now. Here’s a peak:

This preview is only a small part zoomed out to 6.25% of the original size. The real image is about 20480 x 3072, or about 20×3 standard screens at 1024×768 resolution (iPad). I wanted there to be plenty of room to jump (or fall).

I’m not even halfway through one level. The problem isn’t the artwork – good art takes time, and what I have so far looks promising. The problem is spending almost a week building a level, by hand, without a design document or anything beyond a vague idea of where I want to go.

One suggestion many game designers have made was to make a game I’d enjoy playing. One game I recall playing with a friend on a snowy day, maybe 14 or 15 years ago was Gemfire. This was an old NES title, and a hell of a turn-based strategy game split between managing your lands and fighting on the battlefield. My friend and I would take turns as he was good at managing at the lands and I was his war chief. I came up with an unbeatable strategy that would allow us to take on enemies with superior firepower using hit and run tactics and taking advantage of the flank and rear attack mechanics (which did more damage).

Another great one, if only because it was so unique was Castilian (or Tower Toppler or Nebulus depending on which one you played). What made it so amazing was that it was the first game I’d ever played which gave you the illusion that you were move around a 3-dimensional object (the tower) as it the view rotated as you climbed. This was pretty amazing to see on the NES (the first system I recall playing it on, though I may have seen it in an arcade prior to that).

So back the drawing board. I’m going to need to work on putting some ideas down on paper and use that as a starting point.

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IT Manager by trade, game developer by heart.

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