Towards Better – A 2D platformer !

My mountain holidays have come to an end. I had a really great time, truly refreshing days that have boosted my inspiration and motivation to jump right in and continue creating. On top of that, I was able, as I said I wanted to in the previous post, make a hole game from A to Z !

This is BlackthornProd’s ninth little game, a 2D platformer with 19 levels called Towards Better. In this game you control a squishy green character in a world of hard, gray squares. The goal is written in the game’s title, complete levels to reach better, to move towards better.

In the small intro of the game we discover that the character is mocked for being different, depressed by bis surroundings, unable to be himself, it is up to the player to naviguate through the vertical levels, towards being happy, accepted and fulfilled. The message here is that no matter who and where we are, we can be happy and successful, we just need to believe and act towards that goal.

Each level is hard, challenging and will not be beaten without failing (my brother failed about 100 times level 6 before winning, I’ve made that level easier 🙂 ), when the character falls of a platform or is skewered by a spike he simply, like in super meat boy, returns to the start of the level ! This repetition and failure also illustrates the story, that reaching greatness, reaching and being better than we currently are is hard and will not be acheived without setbacks and countless failures !

I did create a pause menu (one of my first games to actually have a pause function, except for Color Shooter, and that was coded by my bro Liam). In this pause menu the player has the possibility to skip the level and advance to the next one, but by doing so will see his score fall down to 0. When the player completes all 19 levels, an end screen will be loaded and a sentence will describe the character’s journey depending on his score.

All art for the game was created in Photoshop, I did not bring my WACOM tablet to the mountains, as a result I used the mouse. With my mouse I decided to go for a simple geometric, pixel art style. Anyone could of made the art for this game (if he had thought of it first), it is (as you can see in the images down below) very simple but in my opinion quite stylized. The art had to be simple not only because I didn’t have the WACOM tablet but also because of the limited time I had at my disposal. Of course don’t judge the game’s looks by the images down below, I really urge you to go and play the game (the link is right HERE), it looks and feels a lot better in action.

So yes, all in all a very interestting project to have worked on. Making the various levels was great fun, I loved the feeling of making one simple asset, for example the spikes, and being able to use that asset in different levels and many different creative ways, with the goal to give the player a hard, challenging time !

I could of made more than the 19 levels, and of course polished the game further (especially with the audio, UI and menus ) but I want to move on to other things in this second part of the holidays. Indeed I have two major, exciting projects I would like to work on, the first I believe I mentioned in the previous post, was a story driven game about fear, the second is bringing my Youtube channel back to life, but putting a lot more effort into it, with the goal to build my self an audience that could potentially spread the BlackthornProd name and buy my future creations !

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