The principle of Egz was set. Still, I had to define the graphical identity of the character, of the universe, in short, of the game. My drawing skills were sadly limited, but I agreed with myself the style would be “simple”.
Birth of an Egz Egz
Several versions of the Egz had been done and a silhouette never stopped popping up : a round shaped ball on some legs. The rationale behind this explication was dead simple : gameplay. Knowing that the game would revolve around a realistic 2D physical engine, designing a character that would be anything but round shaped would lead to too many troubles: for example, how could one throw a cube against a wall and guess where it’ll land right after that? This would have been frustrating for the player.
In addition, I really wanted the Egz to be cute and lovable. Adjusting its proportions was probably going to do the job : huge head, small legs. Several versions had been done to make it more or less expressive : big eyes, smiley face… But I wasn’t happy with the result : the eyes were working and did make the Egz expressive, but it also felt like it lost a lot of its originality. In the end, I decided the Egz would be a simple ball on legs. Or rather, two legs supporting a shell (because this is what it is in reality).
The idea of having eyes or other distinctive attributes was not dismissed altogether, but kept aside as a way for players to customize their Egz…
The moment to name it came. “Oh, but it looks like an egg ! And it has legs too ? Let’s call it… Egz with legz“? Or simply put, “Egz“.
Creation of the Universe
One of the main problem encountered while creating the universe was that… I didn’t think about its story, and its background held in word : “organic“.
At first, and in order to differentiate it from the other games, I strongly decided against using a “tile system” level, like in “Mario Bros”. Instead, I decided I would forget about all the technical constraints and that I’d simply draw what a level would look like.
But there was still a huge lack of “style”. That world could have been in any other game. A new attempt was done, by removing details, stylizing the whole thing by using geometrical shapes.
This angular / low poly style was about to become the right one. To the point where, at the time, I had it colorized, vectorized and even integrated in some kind of early prototype (lost today), developed with Flash.
And yet, something was bothering me. The “low poly” style was beginning to be a huge thing at the time. But I was already bored with it. It didn’t feel like it had my touch. And since I was trying to do something original… Given the fact the Egz are round-shaped, the idea of drawing all the universe with curves dawned on me. I was thinking about all those games: “Worms“, “Patapon!“, “Loco Roco” or more recently: “Tiny Wings“…
Finally, the word “organic” came back and progressively made sense. I started drawing curves, rounds, and the “cell background” became more and more important.
Once the main characters set, all I needed to do was to stage everything and release a video that would allow me to get a glimpse of the future gameplay and finally use it as a demo? to search for “indie dev pals”…