Rebound Design Blog, Part 1: The Beginnings

    If you haven't played the demo yet, I highly recommend doing so before reading this. You can grab the latest demo here.

    Hello, and welcome to the first part of my postmortem on the Rebound demo. In this series of postmortems, I'll explain some of my thought process while designing the game, as well as share some interesting development-related trivia. This first part will detail the very beginnings of the game.

    The initial development work for Rebound started shortly after the compo was announced. I had an idea for a parallax scrolling routine, so I set about implementing it in advance of the compo. Wait, parallax? On a system that only has one background layer? It can't be!

    Turns out such parallax scrolling is possible on the Game Boy, however there are some limitations. The method I chose was to reserve some space in video memory for a set of 4 "background" tiles, and shift them around in realtime. However, this requires a fair amount of CPU time as shifting around graphics in this manner is inherently slow on Game Boy. For this reason, I opted to make the game Game Boy Color only so I could take advantage of GBC's "double-speed" mode and HDMA transfers to speed things up as much as possible.

    At the same time I was working on the parallax scrolling routines, I also was working on the first draft of Boink's sprites. Here's the earliest revision of the sprites I have:

    As you can see, the early sprites have a black outline and not-so-stellar shading. I showed these to Twoflower (assistant artist), and it didn't take very long for him to suggest some tweaks:

    I ended up using Twoflower's shading, and after a few more tweaks I ended up with the final sprites (though I only ended up using two of them in the demo):

    As a little bonus, here's an animation that didn't make it into the demo. The original idea was to have Boink turn slightly in the direction he was moving. I wasn't able to implement this in the demo, though.

    Stay tuned for part 2 coming Soon™...

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