My first blog
So I've decided to write my first blog about this game. I'm a little nervous because I still have to get comfortable with keeping a growing audience up to date, but I feel it's nice to have updates about the progress on this project once in a while.
In this first blog, I will briefly give an update about the current state of the game, back from August 2019 where I started from scratch.
Let me first make a short list of things that inspired me to make this game:
Magical girl anime
When I started on the project, I was inspired by the Magical Girl genre of some Japanese anime shows, mainly Tokyo Mew Mew, Mermaid Melody and Cardcaptor Sakura. What those anime had in common was a happy vibe, memorable songs and left a warm, good feeling.
This emotion is something I wanted to capture and pass on to other people. By creating a game about a magical girl, I enable the possibility to play the heroin rather than watching her in a show.
I chose pixel art as the style of my game because it reminds me of oldskool games from the NES, SNES, Gameboy Advance, etc. The style allows me as a single developer to make a lot of things for the game.
Furthermore, pixel art is much easier to perfectly fit together than a 3D game. In 3D games, there's always something off or not fully fitting together. This is especially obvious in older 3D games where you can see a clear difference between different types of objects.
With pixel art, you can exactly shape the game in a way that everything looks nice together, and keep everything simple and easy to understand.
A few years ago I played a game called "Rabi ribi". It's a game that got me hooked because of the way it was built. You start as a character that can do nearly nothing, and as you obtain powerups you can do more and more, allowing you to reach sections of a level you previously couldn't reach or access.
This gives value in revisiting the early levels, and gives the player an extra reason to keep exploring because lots of secrets could be found. I remember the first level being a forest, but if you find a secret path while having some abilities allowing you to jump higher and wall jump, you could find an entire new zone (dark forest) right next to the starter forest.
The beginning of Amitania
So I finally begun working on my dream project. Back then it still had no name, and even my game studio "Celestial Potion" didn't exist. I just downloaded Unity and started to figure out how everything works. I had a programming background, but zero experience with art and music. Initially I used Piskel, but soon I bought Aseprite as I became more serious about building my game.
The screenshot you see in the header of this blog is the current state, but it's not where I started. When I begun, I absolutely sucked at art. I disliked everything I made, especially the main character, and I rebuilt her twice from scratch before reaching the level I'm happy with. I had to research a lot about art (the anatomy of a body, the usage of colors, hundreds of tips and tricks), and I practiced a lot.
The name "Amitania"
Later I had to decide a name for the project. My main rule was to use something that doesn't exist right now as I wanted a unique name for my game. You can imagine how difficult that was.
The game takes place on a fictional hidden continent, somewhere in an unknown location in the world. Looking at existing continents, all major continents except for Europe start and end with an A (AsiA, AmericA, AfricA, AustraliA, AntarcticA). So that's what I wanted for my project too. After many attempts of mashing letters together, my wife Melissa and I came up with Amitania, which is now chosen as the name of my game.
You play a seventeen year old girl who woke up on one of the beaches of Amitania. This is where the first level starts.
The first level serves as an invisible tutorial, teaching you how to control the character and how the game works in general. In the beginning, you can't transform yet. Right from the start, you have the ability to fight enemies using kicks and punches. This should be sufficient to beat the first few levels until the storyline brings you to a point where you can transform, allowing you to learn and use magical spells aswell.
Fast forwarding to today
So here I am, writing my first blog about this game. This is the beginning of a long journey as an indie game developer. My first priority is working on the game, but eventually I will also create some dev logs using Youtube, going more in depth about what I'm currently working on.
I hope you find this game interesting. If you have some tips for improvement, ideas, or anything else, please don't hesitate to let me know using any of my contact methods displayed on my Celestial Potion website.
My intention is to make this game as great and fun as possible, and I will keep working on it until it is done.