Mazeland 6 BLOG



In 2020 COVID came and I was forced to stay at home. The new iteration of mazeland was born.

Here are my journeys on creating a new mazeland.



Mazeland is a project I'm working on since 1999.

Inspirations for mazeland

  • Eggerland : https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggerland
  • book : " pinkeltje en de autoraket " written by Dick Laan
    with a story about Willem who harms animals and wolkewietje turns him into different animals to learn about his mistakes
  • phantasy of a playing boy wanted to become the man of 6 millions, sourcerer and other phantasy stories

    Previous versions

  • Mazeland 0 was a character mode game
  • Mazeland 1 was a puzzle game I have made for my sister
  • Mazeland 2 was the version with more levels and objects
  • Mazeland 3 was a HTML version
  • Mazeland 4 was a Stencyl version
  • Mazeland 5 was another Stencyl version
  • Mazeland 6 is the version I started to work on with an own HTML engine

    MAZELAND 6
    Theme:

    Becoming Another


    2024


    May

    The results of the LD55 came in and I rated 202th place on Audio. So that investigation time 'paid' out since it was the highest ranking I ever had on audio.
    Graphics is a little better and overallit was the highest place I've got : 258th place(from 462).

    Starting to work on rewriting engine.
    Benchmarked the earlier assumption on animations on iPad1

    Benchmark DOM versus Canvas

    April

    In April I entered the Ludum Dare 55 compo.
    I wanted to use the current state of the game engine to see if it was ready for making games

    Also, I wanted to test the multiplayer code

    Ludum Dare 55 : Summoning Elements


    What I've learned:
  • The game engine did not scale well. On laptop screens the lower part of the screen was not visible.
  • Pushing buttons conflicted with the game state where the mouse events where made for game-states and not for menu-states
  • Multiplayer was way too slow when more than 2 concurrent players where active
  • Luckily some twitch streamer wanted to play the game while some other players where watching the stream.
    We ended up with 4 people online and it wasn't responsive anymore


    Conclusion:
  • The engine needs a rewrite to handle all devices and scaling
  • New approach to multiplayer will be a focus on a moveable area where others can't come into the area and your input can be done without server interaction.

    April was used to prepare for Ludum Dare by constructing light-weight-client server code to be used in LD
    Also investigating MIDI and learning some music theory

    March


    When switching players we show a menu where the switchingplayer in appears.



    Attempt to make the player character stand out better. Using borders:

    I find without still better:


    Currently I'm deciding on switching by mouse and zooming using a zoom-bar.

    This needs to be extensively tested during game-play.

    The switching between characters needs a smooth transition.


    February



    Starting in 2023 I've worked on zooming code : worldview display.
    The player is fixed on the screen and all the objects are moving ' with ' the player
    Also, switching between the different characters and introducing the characters is very important.
    If you have a large overview of the level you don't realize what the different characters are. The zooming will help with that

    Also a Javascript rewrite was needed since the pushing animations needed more pixels to overlap the pushed object.
    Just adjusting the sprite with extra pixels gave a glitch on the world view.

    Because we will zoom we need better resolution for the images.
    I had 96x96 images and I need to re-scan all the images to match 256x256 pixels.

    Initial zoom demonstration


    And a better pushing in zoom-state (the previous version had more pushing pixels in larger zoom states)




    2023


    November


    The outline drawing helps to use Aseprite Magic wand to select the white until it hits the outline.
    That makes drawing-scanning-computerization easier.


    Next I will focus more on one single level. To make all the assets to make a complete simple level.

    In order to do that I wanted to put more life to the level.
  • Butterflies
  • Mice
  • Owls
  • Sparrows
  • Faeries

  • But I went overboard and put too much in :




    October

    The animals are not very clear when they ' only ' occupy one tile. First I experimented with the shadow.


    But a horse is much larger than a human. And we have elephants in the game !!!

    So the horse should be larger or the human should be smaller.

    Maybe it is better when the characters are wearing a mask indicating the type of character it is.
    So when you need an elephant you select the elephant man:


    The background really should need some grass (and later flowers and other forest-things)


    September


    During our vacation I made around 80 trees.
    But they have the wrong perspective :(



    Back to pencil drawings and scanner

    Experimented with transparent papers (different kinds)

    And pencil lead-types.
  • HB : to hard
  • H2 : to vague
  • B3 : just right
  • B4 : too soft
  • b6 : too black
    Decision is made to draw the static objects on plain A4 (printer) paper. Since this is cheaper than the transparent papers.
    All the animations are done on transparent paper.
    Most of the time a Blender Rendered image is used.
    Camera fixed on position and light with a certain intensity.
    1024x1024 rendered image.


    A DOS batch file creates an animated GIF to be used in the own developed HTML5 engine.
    The batch file creates a standard _idle.png when we make a walk animation (.gif)
    A Javascript program then displays the (single frame) image from Blender so that I can draw on to of it using the transparent paper.
    This is scanned into a HP Deskjet 2700 scanner on 600DPI with graytones


    May




    Shading experiments


    What does feel more 'alive' or 'uniform world' using which shading?!

    Darkest (screenshot modification)


    Solid on only the WOODEN_GATE on the left


    Solid light on only the WOODEN_GATE on the left


    Solid lighter on only the WOODEN_GATE on the left


    bit lighter on only the WOODEN_GATE on the left




    Stencyl Demo with perspective for both trees and characters

    When on Black & White we are having problems distinguishing characters. Maybe adding color is a better way?!?!

    November 20, Color GAME
    image:


    Another Angle November 19
    image:

    Lighting and Blender composition lighting


    Outline on Characters


    2022


    Most of 2022 revolved around searching for the perspective of things.
    Learning Blender (3D Modeling/Animation Software)

    Blender Tutorials

    As well as rewriting the game engine. From Stencyl to my own HTML5-engine.

    November



    A little outline on Characters (no outline does not work!)



    March

    Become Another Demo

    2021



    2021-07-01 : New Engine



    HTML5 Engine experiments

    START


    Multiple JS scripts
    input
    rotation (prevent - stay in landscape )
    SpriteSheet
    Loading Bar
    HTML5 mazeland6
    stencyl demo


    As a player you need to change into different characters to accomplish tasks. (Latest work first)
    2021-06-07

    New Title/Theme/Design Direction(?) : Mazeland 6 : Land of Mages


    To move objects or to interact with objects you use magic.
    That removes a few issues with the animation-work-flow.
    Pixel perfect / collision detectable object interaction was a problem.

    Like pushing/pulling rocks/tree-trunks.
    Like chopping wood (no axe -land on tree)

    When we move into the magic-realm we can use 'spells' to interact with the objects.

    We will have an Action Button (Magic button?)

    You can't accidentally push or interact with other objects/characters.

    Only when used with the action-key + direction to which the action is aimed, can you do the action.


    2021-05-22
    Another perspective of the trees.

    2021-05-17
    Worked on some trees and bushes. Not sure if this is the right atmosphere:

    2021-04-19

    Experimenting with shadow below characters:


    And without shadows:

    Elephant and character that can pull instead of push:

    A cute doggy:




    2021-04-12

    Herding (With dog/wolf and monk/farmer)


    herding


    2021-04-11

     

     

     


    April 2021

    Pushing with strongman



     

     
    3D side-top-down demo

    Last drawn 2D version - stencyl file

     


     

     

     

     



    date & image

    Older work / unsorted



    With platform on base of character


    With shadow


    Moving character


    Character Stage built up. The scene is getting loaded and the characters are put on the stage.
    16:

    24:

    96:

    Different characters on one big stage

    Background

    Moving characters by switching between them:

    Changing tree house and move behind it

    Different Levels of shading: 20:

    30:

    40:

    100:

    Menu

    Bushes scanned into one stage:

    Objects behind trees:

    Different type of characters on stage

    When multiple of them same character are on the same scene.

    Drawing hedges and scanning them. What a mess that was to get them to align!

    Align them to form a rectangle and put my family in it:

    Different characters and hedges:

    Mower. He mowes the grass into a pile of hay.

    Characters moveable on grid .. idea is that the sticks are under the floor. Sticks that hold up characters

    Grid with background



    Tree-Perspective in the background



    Flipping character when changing direction

    Trees at the sides of the stage






    Editor


    Experiment with colored objects together with hand drawn characters:


    Black&white version


    Experiment with black&white background objects together with hand drawn characters:



     

     

     
    Demo

    Bad 3D Demo

    Last drawn 2D version
    Last drawn 2D version - stencyl file

    Animations

    The handdrawn characters still don't make a good feel for the game.
    Also the drawing of the bushes/trees don't satisfy me.

    I've experimented with some 3D stuff.
    Testing 2D image using png-to-svg and using svg file to import in tinkercad
    Also testing using Blender to create boxed/rectangle character. All of them OBJs into mixamo and convert FBX into MD5 or MD2 files and using them with Away3D library .



    That didn't give the vibe I was looking for

    3D black & white world

    Using blender, mixamo, aseprite to make a top-side-down view.

    Walking child ... Doubtful on the down-up/right-left perspective:



    Strong Man

    structure-fill



    Solid fill

    Two characters of different sizes walk together:

    Switching between two characters: (fade)