Guest post: Muir Freeland of Sky Tyrannosaur.
The style of Blowfish Meets Meteor was largely inspired by a single concept sketch of the Diver, quickly drawn up by a friend, Jared, in the early stages of the game’s development. I thought the playfully large, rounded heads would be well suited for the iPhone screen since it created simple shapes and silhouettes that were instantly recognizable even at a small scale, with the added bonus of lending an exaggerated level of goofiness to the game and its characters. The titular Blowfish, for example, is basically an inflated circle with fins looking anxiously like it could pop at any moment. From there, I animated the sprites, starting with the giant krill-spewing humpback whale (why not?). Everything was animated frame-by-frame in Photoshop as we wanted the animations to feel smooth and fluid but still maintain the edginess of traditional animation, so we avoided employing time-saving tactics like tweening that can give them an unnatural, computerized feel. It was a lot of work (the Diver alone, for instance, has roughly 300 frames of animation) but I feel it paid off!
Then work began on the background art. A challenging thing about Blowfish Meets Meteor is that the entirety of the game takes place underwater, which would under normal circumstances limit how far we could take the individual level designs, but we wanted each world to have a completely unique feel to it. Fortunately, because the game’s premise is so wacky to begin with, we felt free to throw these rules entirely out the window (leading to such bizarre paradoxes as an underwater snow level — hey, it works in snow globes, right?). In keeping with the style of the characters, the backgrounds are defined by smooth, exaggerated curves and bright colours, forming vast landscapes dotted with glass dome houses to immerse the player in this grander story of an underwater colony of divers and mermaids whose livelihoods are being threatened by sinister, otherworldly forces. We basically wanted to cram in as much life as possible into this game, really pushing the iPhone’s hardware to its limits.