I had already begun developing work for Guardians, or as it was known previously, Tidal Force, at the end of last semester. I had a pretty good idea for what I wanted the world to look like, and what the gameplay might look like in the final product. I wanted to create a small-ish Metroidvania with 2 areas for the player to explore, 2 abilities to unlock and one boss to defeat. I figured this should be a good amount to develop in the time that I have for the project and allow me to develop my skills to a higher standard.

The art style I opted for was a painterly one, with the backgrounds looking similar to those created by Ari Gibson of Hollow Knight. I hold great admiration towards Team Cherry’s work, and they have served as a big source of inspiration and passion for my own project.

To create the sprites for my game, I first took note of the size of the camera (1920 x 1080 px), as well as the size of the player character (10 x 15 px). This allowed me to ensure that all the objects in my environment are to scale, which will create a more believable world.

To make the assets for the Caverns environment, I have used Adobe Photoshop. I created a document of size A2 (W: 54.9 cm x L: 42cm) at 300 DPI, and made a “frame” using the camera resolution I measured earlier, to make sure that all of my assets are to scale. I utilised a variety of brushes with different settings to achieve the effects I wanted, listed here:

  • Hard Round Pressure Size
    • Size: 50px
  • Acrylic Glaze
    • Flow: 15%
  • Wet Blender
    • Strength: 65%

Once work on the assets was completed, I exported them as a large scale .psb file (using a normal .psd or image-based file doesn’t work). Once imported, I found that my assets weren’t of the same quality as they were back in Photoshop, and found that the Max Size settings under Platform Settings of Import Settings weren’t at the correct scale. Changing these from 1080 to 4096 resolved this issue.

In Unity, I was able to quickly set up some scenes using simple black, 2D sprites, with Box Collider 2D components so the Player sprite could stand on them, and then apply my assets to start creating environments. Through my research, I was also made aware of how parallax is used in games to create depth in their environments, and so I endeavoured to use the same effect to make my environments more realistic, too.

I’m not much of a coder, so much of what I will be creating over the course of this project will be with the help of tutorials. Using this tutorial, I was able to achieve a very nice parallax effect with relative ease. Using empty gameObjects, I am able to organise my hierarchy in a similar fashion to using layers on Photoshop, and have organised my assets into the:

  • Foreground
  • Base level
  • Background: Parallax 0.9
  • Background 2: Parallax 0.8
  • Background 3: Parallax 0.6
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using UnityEngine;

public class Parallax : MonoBehaviour
[SerializeField] [Range(0f, 1f)] float lagAmount = 0f;

Vector3 previousCameraPosition;
Transform camera;
Vector3 targetPosition;

private float parallaxAmount => 1f - lagAmount;

private void Awake()
    camera = Camera.main.transform;
    previousCameraPosition = camera.position;

private void LateUpdate()
    Vector3 movement = CameraMovement;
    if (movement == return;
    targetPosition = new Vector3(transform.position.x + movement.x * parallaxAmount, transform.position.y, transform.position.z);
    transform.position = targetPosition;

Vector3 CameraMovement
        Vector3 movement = camera.position - previousCameraPosition;
        previousCameraPosition = camera.position;
        return movement;

To add a little more “polish” to my environments, I’ve also utilised Unity’s Particle Systems. I’m familiar with the basics of these, and so it wasn’t difficult to create and import textures, and then change the settings to fit the needs of the environment. As this is an underground cave, I figured it appropriate to have some light dust drifting throughout the environment.

I’m very proud of the end result and the overall aesthetic of my game is something I look forward to continue developing.

I’ve also begun my branding and marketing material, setting up accounts to show the progress on my game. These can be found at:

I’ve also thought of a logo design for my game. It doesn’t look like much, but I think the serif font and the monochrome colour scheme gives off a sophisticated vibe, befitting of the creatures of power known as “Guardians”. I’ve also included a small insignia of water, representative of the Water Guardian, who will be the player’s companion on their adventures.

Trello is now my main go-to for organising myself and my work. As such, I’ve made a list of things which I’d like to accomplish for my project, but over the past couple of weeks the list has seen some growth, and so it’s important that I stick to the scope I outlined for myself in my project proposal.

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