Looking at…The Island by Marty Fun

Hey guys, today’s blog post is a little different this time, I’ll be doing a bit of commentary on a random indie game I’ve been glancing at.

A few years ago…

I was browsing social media and I found myself sucked into that twitter wormhole where you just look at other people’s profile timelines. There I’d look at random Indie developer retweets followed by another. Eventually I found myself looking at this one guy’s post…

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it did remember how squash and stretchy it was and the peculiar characters in it. The developer went by the username “Marty_Fun“. They were making this pixel art platforming game with charming character designs for a project called The Island.

Once in a while though, I’d look at the developer’s posts, the game he was making looked really nice.

In fact, one day I had so much free time that I went through most of their tumblr posts to see how the game had changed…and…WELL…

…this game had started ~10 years ago!

It’s kind of amazing how many times this game has been refactored and reiterated. I don’t even have complete knowledge on all the versions and different avenues Marty went through.

As I was browsing through their tumblr, I saw an old download link for one of the old versions of the game. I played it and liked what I experienced even if it was incomplete and still in alpha. I’m not going to go through all the revisions because I feel there’s just so much stuff to cover.

I felt it would be fun to talk about some of the things I really like about how The Island does it’s visuals and game feel.

First off, Marty is a really good at pixel art, way better than I am (or maybe I’m just more impatient and overly focused on getting content done). They way they do their line-art and shading is very reminiscent of Game Boy Advance pixel art from games like mario and luigi superstar saga and mother 3.

They have a really good sense of designing particle effects in their game. I love the “8 spiked orange translucent flicker” that happens on impact, It really adds an elastic feel to the impacts (It’s not even that complicated of an effect to pull off either). Even the tiny yellow stars and twinkles add that charming level of polish that in some ways reminds me of cavestory.

Just look at how much the boss’ head squashes on impact, that in combination with the motion blur from the attack and stars really sell the hit.

It honestly doesn’t surprise me why this guy is more popular than I am.

I could go on and on, but the game has really good art and effects. I don’t know what Marty Fun has been working on now but I just thought I’d share a game that has been on my eye. Perhaps in the future I’ll do a blog post again someday on other random games I’ve looked at in the past (or maybe even ones I’ve already played!)

-Brandon

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