4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Back to AMAZE - 3 - Lookin' Good!
Hugues Ross


Back to AMAZE - 3 - Lookin' Good!

In just under a week, I've managed to produce a mockup for the remake. To keep things simple, I decided to redraw the screenshot on AMAZE's game page. I think the results speak for themselves:

Honestly, I'm really happy about how this one turned out. The environment feels like it came straight out of my nostalgia. But that's enough gushing, let's examine some of the changes.

What's New?

If you compare this mockup to the original, the first thing that you might notice is the difference in size. The new one is actually much smaller than the old one. This might seem odd, considering the difference in detail, but in reality the mockup just uses space more efficiently. The original was 640×480, but for the new one I decided on 480×270. This was for two reasons:
  1. It scales perfectly to 1080p (×4)
  2. It gives a similar aspect ratio to the original's viewing area, but with 24px tiles instead of 32px
32 was a really common number to see back when I started making games with GameMaker 6.1. However, I've since come to appreciate 24×24 as a tile resolution because it strikes the perfect balance of time investment and detail. 16 tends to be difficult to work with, and I often feel limited by it. On the other hand, 32 often feels like overkill, and the extra effort feels like a waste of time. 24 gives just enough space to add good detail without creating much more work.

Next up is the UI. The original game has this big tacky bar at the top of the screen with information on it. Most of the information on the bar is fluff, and I'm not convinced that your average player would even recognize what some of the bars meant.

By contrast, the new UI is simpler. The Nintendo-esque counters on the top-left are pretty clear, and the only other element is the active tool. You'll notice that I opted for numbers as opposed to the bar in the original. That bar's ticks didn't always line up with the actual number of uses, which is kind of an insane design decision in retrospect. This time, I wanted it to be perfectly clear.

The last big changes are, of course, the collectible and enemy sprites.
I mostly swapped those out to better fit the rest of the game. It seemed odd for a robot to be dodging fireballs in a cave for gold and jewels, and by changing the sprites I felt that I could get everything to fit a common theme.

The Next Stage

I think I'm happy enough with this mockup to move on. As I explained last time, my next goal is to get the old data working in a new codebase. That means putting this mockup away for the time being, but with any luck it'll be back soon!

Next Time: Good Old-Fashioned Programming Updates

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