Alien Harvest - Indie Video Game

In the summer of 2016 I spent some time to develop a video game idea I had. I wanted to learn some game programming and show off some of my digital illustration skills as they relate to creating sprites and game piece elements. I chose a card game since the internal game mechanics were built into the idea. The premise of the game is a sci-fi take on the classic Solitaire card game. The player matches cards with a value that is plus or minus one, which removes the cards from the screen. Removing all the cards that cover an alien capture tank reveals an Earthling floating around in the tank. The timer for each round runs out once the alien ship's beam of destruction reaches the barn.

 

Design

I created all the illustrations in the game on my iPad Pro using the Apple Pencil as my stylus and the app ProCreate for all the drawing. For final layouts I used the app Pixelmator. I would then import the images onto my computer and build them into my game. For the actual programming I used the development package GameMaker Studio. This was my first time using that platform to write a program and I used this project as a learning exercise to figure out how to build a working computer game. 

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Earthling Tank Illustration

In the game, as the player removes cards from the field alien containment tanks are revealed. Removing all the cards from the tanks cause the panel to slide open and reveal a captured earthling floating around inside.

These are all the designs for the various captured earthlings I created as game pieces to be randomly revealed inside the game tanks.

The talking alien that gives the player instructions during the game was animated on the iPad Pro too using the app FlipPad. I penciled each frame in FlipPad and then imported them into ProCreate to ink and color them. 

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Alien Face Cards

For the playable card deck in the game i designed custom Alien headed face cards for the red and black suits. Here you can see the King, Queen and Jack of both the card colors.

The alien capture tanks were made up of several individual components for the logic of the game. When combined all together the various pieces look like a coherent whole while the capture earthling bounces around inside it.

The title card for the start of the game was actually one of the last things I added.

Below are some time lapse videos of my creating some of the various visual elements for the game.