We figured it would be fun to post the evolution of Tap-Fu photos. It’s interesting to look back and see how the project evolved and the thought processes we went through.
The very first idea for this game came from us playing around at Virtual Apple – specifically we were reminiscing about Karateka
We were thinking that it would be great if we made a clone of it. Back in the day it was one of the most impressive games around so we had a soft spot for it. So we made a quick animated gif of the character walking so we could get an idea of how much animation would be required:
Once we were sold on the idea, we contracted out an artist to do some character animations. Based on our input, this is among the first set of sprites that we got back. The sprites were generated from a 3D animated model with the intention of painting over them later on.
It wasn’t quite what we wanted, so we decided to explore some alternatives for a while. So we let our art designer (Rain Park) go nuts. He was only at it for a short time, but what he came up with was beautiful.
Since at first the game was more serious (like Karateka) the direction that we gave was mostly in that direction. Then one day Rain sent us this:
Needless to say, we were totally convinced that a less serious game was the way to go. Here’s some animation guides that he came up with:
And a background concept:
Initially we were thinking that Tap-Fu would be more of a platformer and that the Hero would start off in a town. The town is what is pictured above.
Since we decided to go for a more cartoony look, we needed a new art style. We are fans of the old school sprite games so we found another team of artists that were available to do some sprite work in Montreal. They took the concept drawings and came up with this:
Meanwhile our concept guy was busy cranking out more drawings.
Here’s a bit of a milestone. Our favorite character:
And a hawk was added:
Around this time, the level and tech design started getting a little bit bloated. Since we were doing a platformer, we realized that there was still a ton of work ahead. In the interests of getting the game completed faster, we decided that we would shift the project from “Tap-Fu adventure” to “Tap-Fu Arena” and focus on smaller levels. This would greatly simplify the AI and gameplay and would probably be more fun. A few weeks after that we put in the story mode which was a nice balance between the two.
This is the first time we put sprites in the game:
Clearly backgrounds were needed. Here’s more concepts for that:
The terrain was looking pretty crappy so we switched to 3D models for them. Here’s some 3D modelling tests:
Then background elements were created. These are drawn as sprites in the engine:
Putting it all together gave some really good results:
Some HUD work being done:
After all of this, the rest is mostly just polish. Sounds, from our sound guy Dan, were added. The HUD was finished. The menu system became fully functional. A little bit of music was added to the title. Hundreds and hundreds of gameplay tweaks to get it perfect were done.
We hope you enjoy it!
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.