Art Process: Water Meter Dash
On creating concept art for Water Meter Dash, the idea tickled my funny bone, and I wanted to bring a wicked sense of humour to the game. The main character (Peter) is practically doomed from the start, in an unlikely but hostile environment where one slip up could spell game over. When I made the first sketches for the game, Peter came about with bright attire but wearing a perpetual frown (in huge contrast to another famous character in a similar career). He knows that his world is out to get him, but he’s only doing his job. I also fetched images of roadworks and meter installation, which would add flavour to the looping background.
Within my sketches I’d included visual notes on how Peter would jump and collapse, and would add these as key frames at the animation stage. I had animated Peter frame by frame in a painting program called Paint Tool Sai (like a pared down version of Painter, but a personal preference of mine for digital sketching and drawing). I later assembled and ran the frames through Photoshop’s Animation window to check if details and movements aligned.
Nogginknocker Street (the name a silly pun on being hit on the head) was created mainly in Photoshop, to keep the various layers of detail aligned. The houses and bushes needed to be on an infinite loop, so adjusting the art beyond the canvas was required. Enough space was allowed in the foreground to fit the enemy and obstacle artwork.
My most favourite part of working on Water Meter Dash was creating the various Game Over screens. When Peter hit a particular obstacle or enemy, the game would end and the player could post their score via social media. There are a total of six screens, and I hope the player took their time to find them all, as well as relish the detail.