The purpose of these Dev Logs will be to share with everyone the creation process for Steampunk Panic. A way to look behind the curtain, so to say. Some of these Dev Logs will be simple, others will give plenty of in-depth explanation for how things work or why things were done the way they were.
While work was happening on the leaderboard and finalizing the server code, talked about in our last Dev Log, I asked two concept artists to explore two styles of the game: a device object to see and touch, or a full screen UI that makes your phone’s screen look like the body of the device. I provided the various concept art sketches we had already created, for inspiration and information for requirements. Let’s see what happened!
Concept #1: The Machine in your Phone/Tablet
I really liked the idea of the device being an object that you interacted with on the screen, so we asked our first concept artist to explore that area.
So yeah, holy crap! He really went all-in on the idea of the device being a cool machine that you interact with. I could see any of these machines being on the screen for the player to interact with, but I was definitely in love with the one on the left, and some of the features of the one in the middle.
But having the machine in your phone/tablet would make some sections smaller, could make parts of the machine hard to read, and in the end, make less of the screen usable or have important information.
Concept #2: Your Phone/Tablet is The Machine
Now, if your screen was effectively the body of the machine, holding your phone/tablet would feel you were holding the machine. So, let’s just do the full-screen UI. Enter our second concept artist.
The first image reveals all of the important information that we need. It’s not too complex and is easy to read. It has a nice casual mobile game UI feel and that multiplier section is hot! I also like the little flip switch for turning on the fever mode. I really like this concept. When I put it on my phone, it felt like I was holding the device in my hand, and I was interacting with it. With animations placed on the tesla coils, spinning numbers, bubbles and more, this could really shine and be what we need!
The second image goes for a more complicated look, with more bells and whistles. The background would have slowly rotating gears, and that steampunk styled goblin could be an animated character who could slide in occasionally to distract the player by throwing gears or hitting things in the background. Or, he could appear at the start or end of the game to spin up the game, or wind it down. Basically, the goblin could be a character to provide more charm. You’re own little goblin in the palm of your hand.
In the end, I really like the first image for Concept #2. It looks good and feels good and clearly tells the player everything they need to know. It’s not too distracting and would be a great fit for a mobile game.
With this concept selected, I believe we have nailed down the look and feel of the game. We can start working on the polished version of this screen and start developing the UI art for the game. The logo for the game can also be started, now that we have an aesthetic style!
All Android-specific code is now written and tested. In-App purchase code, ad viewing, server communication, local notifications, done. This is huge, because it means that I all code written from this point on is game code. I also have the Android publishing process figured out and tested, so when the time comes for Steampunk Panic’s iOS and Android release, it should be fairly straightforward for me.
Also, thanks to this work, I can roll this code into Eat the Moon’s common codebase used for all my games. I’ll be able to update the codebase for Idle Realm and Taco Cat Taco, letting them finally pop out on Android as well!
Monetization will be talked about next, as we have finalized what our plan will be.
We also need to start up UI concept art for the game dialogs as well as the game logo!
We also need to pick some music for the game that will match our new art aesthetic.
I can’t wait to share more of this process with you in the next couple Dev Logs!