So yesterday I posted a fresh Faucibus image on twitter, and those who have been following the game might’ve caught that there’s been somewhat of a graphical overhaul going on.
(scroll down to the previous post to see the “old” Faucibus)
Since I’ve been teasing the game for a while, I feel like I owe an explanation as to why exactly this change had to happen. And it comes down to this:
Balancing the visuals for a video game is hard.
Faucibus is meant to be a masocore type platformer that presents itself as an atmospheric one. To a certain degree, I want the visuals to be almost like an extra level of difficulty- lush and distracting. There’s something really powerful in the divide between skill-based platformers that focus on speedrunning, and atmospheric (usually puzzle-based) platformers… that’s what I want to tap into.
Originally I felt I had a good base to make this happen. The noise overlay really added texture to the game, the whole thing was really fun to get lost in. But when I started actually making levels, something felt wrong. As far as hardcore platforming goes, you want to feel like you lose because you did something wrong, but Faucibus didn’t convey the visual elements in a way that offers players all the information they need to utilize their skills to succeed.
It was really frustrating, and not in the good way.
So I set out to address these flaws, and came up with a much cleaner look without having to sacrifice the lush imagery and details. The difference is, despite the immersion I’m trying to shove down players’ throats, you can focus on the obstacles and -most importantly- dying feels like the player’s mistake rather than the game failing to give the player what they need.
Having to redraw the game didn’t slow me down much; I think I may have lost one day doing it which isn’t a big deal.
Alright! That’s a whole bunch of words about video game art, so let’s end this with a closer look at Faucibus herself.