Recapping and Catching up:
It’s been about four months since Codename Allnight’s release! After release, some played and offered feedback for Allnight. Most of the feedback revolved around graphics, and some optimization suggestions. However, as a whole the initial release of Codename Allnight failed, and from the feedback received it was likely due to the graphics which, after playing enough I understood the major flaws in the graphics. Before Allnight’s release, there was feedback on the graphics which I took into consideration and did last minute “touch-ups” to. In the end, the touch-up only added highlighting to each sprite.
The mistake that was made prior to release was, not interacting with the people who were, kind enough to offer feedback and I apologize for that. Instead, I assumed I knew the problem that was being referred to and tried to fix it without consulting further on any suggestions or where the flaws might be in the game. Instead of giving up on Allnight, I am working on various changes to remedy the problems present and show how much I want to support and interact with anyone interested in or who supported Allnight throughout its development.
First Major Change
The first major change is, the way I interact with you guys as a community. As mentioned earlier contact with people offering feedback, and those with questions and comments was limited mainly due to most of the focus being on getting the game finished. Two of the main issues that arose before release was, pricing and graphics(explained later in Dev-Log). Pricing was not decided until a few months before release and was not communicated until the last few weeks of development, completely my mistake and unprofessional on my part as well. With pricing announced at $6.99, some said that the price was not worth the game. The touch-ups to the graphics was the fix to that feedback which, was not the right route. As a result the first change to Allnight will be its price. For now its going down to $1.99 and will go up to $4.99(compared to $6.99) when the graphics update is released.
The second part to the first change is, I would like to ask for more feedback and comments for Codename Allnight to make the game as good as possible and provide as much support as possible. There will be a poll up Codename Allnight’s instagram page to vote for the new or old graphics please go vote using the link in the upper corner or at the end of the dev-log. Also, there will soon be a discord server for Codename Allnight for easier communication and all content to be easier to find. More about the Discord server later.
Second Major Change
The next major change comes to the graphics of Codename Allnight. The mistake on my end as the developer was the graphics were not a priority during the development phase, the main focus was on the gameplay. Specifically, on how to approach creating and combining, a true retro gameplay experience using platformer style movement and run-n-gun functions with new gameplay features like, random world gen,survival, crafting, and, a story driven society. As a result, graphics were never focused on and critically overlooked. When designing the artwork, the only focus was making the sprites look like the desired object. The only focal point being, the way the player and npcs were designed.
Nothing else was focused on such as, a theme for all the graphics, or a common color palette. The base for the current graphics came from games that were designed when I first started coding 5+ years ago. These graphics had a lot to be desired and using them was a design challenge because, when it came to critiquing the graphics I did not want to make big changes so the general focal point would not be disrupted. After a lot of consideration, the graphics are being overhauled rather than touched up.
The first step to overhauling the graphics was to pick an art style, pixel art was the most logical choice since, Allnight is a tribute to retro games. Next, various palettes were experimented with until it was decided that the NES palette was the best choice for the overhaul. Using the NES palette, other colors were derived by combining colors and changing their shades. Next was applying pixel art to the current graphics. For example, using each pixel to define the sprite and make its features both blend and pop more.
Next, taking away the black outlines and replacing it with a darker shade of the sprite as a way to tell the difference between background sprites from active sprites.
Lastly, is going back and fixing jagged lines that are present in some sprites.
At the point of writing this dev-log the graphics changes are a little more than 10% done. The full update for the graphics should be here by the end of July. The specific day the update will be released is TBD however, I will keep you posted on the progress as much as I can.
In addition, to the two major changes coming to Codename Allnight there are smaller changes coming as well. The first is a bug fix that will fix a few problems and improve frame rate stability. Most bugs were reported from those who played after Codename Allnight’s release while, some were found while porting Allnight to HTML5. Which leads to the next change, there will be a demo version of Codename Allnight coming to the website soon. The demo will of course be free and because it will be available on the website it will be playable on mobile devices by accessing the website. There is no set release date since the main focus right now is the graphics overhaul but, I will try to keep regular updates for the demo version. Lastly, the website for Codename Allnight has been touched up for easier navigation and better management of Codename Allnight’s content and social pages. Over the next two weeks there will be an update and known bugs page coming to the website as well so stay tuned!
Thanks For Reading!
Thank you for reading and supporting Codename Allnight! For any questions, concerns, or suggestions please email me @ email@example.com. Also, make sure to get Codename Allnight now while it’s only $1.99 once the graphics overhaul is pushed the price will go up to $4.99. Lastly, make sure to follow Codename Allnight’s social pages for updates on graphics and new dev-logs.