Concept, Sprites, and Basic Systems


This project started unintentionally. After playing around with my first character animation, I did not expect that I would want to integrate her in a game to see her come to life. So, with 0 knowledge in programming and an average level of confidence in my ability to make art… I purchased GameMaker Studio 2 while on a steam sale to begin. 

What Green Means is a short 2D side-scrolling visual novel game with a creepy environment. The story involves how Green, the main character, lives her daily life as the only human survivor in a planet filled with monsters. The player joins Green’s  daily routine and finds out the struggles she has to face , the mystery behind the planet, the monsters, and Green’s new romance.

Character Animation

To animate Green, I used Photoshop to draw then Spriter Pro to animate. When drawing Green, I had to keep in mind that joints or parts of her body that I want to bend and animate, need to be drawn separately. For example, her arms, lower legs, upper legs, and head, all have to be separate.

Green assembled
Green with all her parts

Spiriter Pro was quite easy to use once I had to learn the basics such as how to import my sprites, place bones, and work with keyframes.

Basic Systems

Most of the artwork in the game can wait. I thought of implementing all of the basic systems I first need before I place all of my sprites in the game. Here is a list of what I have done so far:

  • Player Movement (A for left, D for right, no jumping)
  • Camera Movement (A simple camera following the player with a smooth movement)
  • Transition effect for when teleporting the character (Black boxes from top and bottom meet in the middle of screen to close)
  • The actual teleportation
  • F key is for interacting with objects
  • Depth system (A way of making the character always appearing in front of objects and behind certain objects).
  • Dialogue System (A textbox and being able to read multiple pages of dialogues. Sadly, no branching yet)
  • Static light system for environment (e.g. lamps)
  • Static shadows for objects in the environment (player has no shadow yet, she’s totally a vampire).

Object Sprites

After adding most of my systems, I felt ready to actually draw the objects I need and then test out how lighting and shadows would look with them. So far, I have only made art for these objects which can be found in Green’s tiny apartment.

Static Light & Shadows

As of today, this is my latest update. I wanted to add a lighting system and turns out there were many ways to do this. I don’t have the knowledge and skills to work with shaders, therefore, I went with the easy way of having static light and static shadows: place a gray layer to the entire room and set a certain radius to subtract and blend with a color of my choice. Voila! Let there be ‘light’.

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