Programming/Technical Process

As a follow-up to last week’s game design process post, we thought we’d share some details on the technical know-how that goes into making Negative Nimbus. While you may not realize it, there’s just as much creativity that goes into the programming side of things as the art, it’s just not quite as “cute” or “colorful”…

The short answer we often give folks is that the game is developed using Adobe AIR, but there’s definitely a lot more to it than that! Our technical team needed to devise a long list of creative solutions to make all the pieces flow together. For instance, we begin our level design process by laying them out in Flash with placeholder symbols for the characters, flowers, mounds and blockers. Using a custom level generator script we built in-house, we then export each level movie clip from Flash as an XML file with x and y coordinates and information for each level. In that XML, we are then able to adjust the numbers, such as the speed for each multiplier in the levels. We’ve also created a system using equations to help determine how many points are needed to earn each star in a level.

When the art and animation formally meet the programming, an assortment of creative processes need to happen. For instance, our animations are made in Flash, exported, and then TexturePacker is used to turn them into sprite sheets. For gameplay graphics, we use the Starling library in Stage 3D. And to handle multitouch gesture recognition in the game (for all those taps, double taps, and swipes on blocked flowers!), we use the Gestouch library. More recently, we’ve also been working through the technical challenges of integrating Game Center and porting for Android devices. We’re excited to build out Nimbus’ potential with each of these developments!

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