Frogatto & Friends

Frogatto sprite

Frogatto & Friends is an action-adventure platformer game, starring a certain quixotic frog.
We're an open-source community project, and welcome contributions!
We also have a very flexible editor and engine you can use to make your own creations.

Content News #4

April 25th, 2010 by Jetrel

Added some new, but only “sketched” enemies.  Mostly “milgramen”, which is to say, Milgram’s Minions™.  We’re trying to move to that as a process, instead of meticulously drawing a fully-detailed, fully-animated enemy and only then working on implementing it in game.  In coding circles, this might be called rapid prototyping.  There are tons of reasons to shoot for this as a process – in fact entire books have been written on the subject as it pertains to programming.

Sketching in art has one primary purpose.  SPEED.  All it is, is just drawing the bare minimum amount of stuff to visually suggest something; especially, to suggest the macroscopic shape/pose/layout of some object.  The idea is to do this, before working on all the putzy, time-consuming details, because if you do the details and then find out the pose or overall shape of something is wrong, you’re wasting tons of work.  To correct the pose/composition/layout, you have to destroy a bunch of your detail work to rebuild the more structural parts of the drawing.  Animation works exactly the same way, except multiplied by however many frames long the animation is – and given the average videogame animations, this means it’s easily around 10x as important than with just still drawing.

So what does this have to do with frogatto?  By sketching monsters, and trying them out in game, we’re better aware of which animations are needed, and which ones are superfluous.  There’s nothing worse that wasting a few hours making an animation, and finding out it doesn’t do much good in-game.  Or finding out it looks awkward when the game character is being slid across the screen (many body motions look different when the body has inertia).

Also, and perhaps more important, it removes “fully done art” as a bottleneck for creating new monsters, meaning we can test monsters for several weeks and make them fun – or even, try out monster concepts and avoid making the concept entirely if it turns out to be a dud.  We’ve had a number of cases where we’ve drawn complete monsters, but then discovered that the idea we’d been working with was very hard to make fun ingame.

Also, we’ve created several new levels.  Description is a bit futile, although you’ll notice an airplane boss in the first area of the game.

Bosses now show hitpoint bars, making boss fights seem much less hard (no indication can make some bosses seem like juggernauts).

We’ve added several bits of new furniture.  You’ll notice a new prop that is a fountain outdoors, with an indoor equivalent of a water cooler.  Drinking from this will completely replenish your health.

We’ve also got new parallax houses in the town that really give it a sense of depth, and make the town feel more populated.  As with all things parallax, screenshots do no justice.


4 responses to “Content News #4”

  1. Domochevsky says:

    Y’know what i’d like to see as well? A volume slider. Having it blast at full strength is kinda annoying. (I prefer to keep the physical volume slider high and then regulate per software.) :S

  2. Ben says:

    Actually, that’s planned… or at least a way to toggle music and sounds, and go back to the titlescreen; we’ll see what I’m up to (probably the latter to start). I just have to actually do it…

  3. Jetrel says:

    Yes, that’s one of the few responsibilities I can completely abdicate. 😀 Go ben!

  4. tyler says:

    the games kinda short but i geuss it would take alot of work to make more levels still the game is freaken sweat