Michele Mantovan

Steady Drop – Log #1 – Starting off

This is the first post of Steady Drop dev log. I’m going to start this dev log maybe a little too late (my bad), but I’m going to do a recap. First of all, what is Steady Drop? Steady Drop is a 2D game about controlling the gravity by tilting your mobile device while your character is falling down.

Starting development

The development started in summer 2015 when I had the idea that the input on a mobile phone can be given in several different ways other than the classic input methods (swipe and tap). At the time I choose the gyroscope to be the main input that served the gameplay and I imagined  a game that could satisfy this paradigm. So I grabbed my sketchbook and after some sketching session and I came up with a falling game. (Only recently I realize that Ridicolous Fishing has similar inputs, but the gameplay is pretty different). Then I passed into Unity 5 and started the development.I had the vision of the game pretty fixed in my head, so the first couple of weeks I worked on to get the input controls right. The gyroscope attribute is very easily achievable in Unity without requiring any native plugin for the devices, so I used that to create a first prototype and I was pretty happy about it.Then I thought about structure of the game, level organization, menus and so on. I came up with something similar to Cut the rope 2 or Two Dots in term of level selection but with down scrolling (since is a falling game). I started to develop the architecture for the game actors and all the managers and the level handling. At the time I was thinking of a playful graphic style and some themes for level groups (like space, sky with clouds, ground and underground. I was planning to release the themes on regular time spans. I also studied  the character design and a little bit of the game plot placed in a believable world and environment.

Change of direction

To make it short, I was planning to add a lot of things (maybe more) and after a period of time where the things was stalling, I decided to cut the fat of the project and resize it a bit. Instead of having multiple levels I choose  one infinite level. Also because a continuous fall divided into levels maybe was not a great design idea. I also redesigned the graphic style choosing a more minimalistic style with flat 2D shapes and no themes at all. So I had to go through some refactoring sessions to change direction and to get to the point where I am now. I regret a little bit this change of direction but without it the project would fail.

Current state

I’m currently working on the visual style and on the tools to make the things looking good on different screen resolution. I’m thinking of using svg format for images and I found this plugin on the assets store, I will try it out soon. I’m also planning to integrate an analytics framework and a life system based on how many add you watch (like Threes game), we’ll see. Since is a side project, I’m working on it in the spare time, so be gentle with me if it’s taking me a lot of time to finish. I will post other previous and present development stuff in future posts. Stay tuned!