In this tutorial I will tell you the secret of how I stumble through the current design process (incomplete) of Perlinoid’s backgrounds — weird ellipse following.

Step 1, Confession: I feel like up until a few weeks ago I a have had a lot of trouble drawing the backgrounds for the game. Or rather, I was biting more of than I could chew. It is not that I have problems with a full page illustration. But combining a (admittedly weird) grid based game layout with image composition techniques is unexpectedly difficult. It is my horror vacui or am I just using that as an excuse? Possibly. I still made some nice drawings here and there.

Step 2, Realisation: One day I was staring at our current set of levels for the thousandth time when it dawned on me that there are certain patterns to the platforms. I realized I could use these patterns to guide me along the way. Make it easier for me to design the various environments of the game. Oddly enough, I did not think of platformer videogames (Hello, Daniel! You are making one! ^__^) but rather of the modular approach that conceptartist Thomas Scholes uses for many of his images who, like many of his kin, incidentally works on games. Digressing, my specialty.

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Step 3, Process: I draw these platform modules. We implement them into the game and then I take a screenshot. And voila! My crutch gives me a suggestion how to complete the picture!

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Step 4, Result: Remains to be seen because I am currently drawing a lot of different platforms based on my analogue sketches.

Afternote: David developed an algorithm that analyses the platform patterns in our levels and displays them. We can also dump that analysis into a spreadsheet. Now I  have a handy guide which platforms I actually need to draw and which I can ignore… Also, levels that have a big cluster of one type probably need a bit more work and variation.

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