Monday, January 23, 2012

The Title Screen

No game seems complete without some sort of title screen to introduce itself to the world.  The title screen sets the stage for the game itself, and serves as a "branding" tool for the project.  A good title screen is a nice little bit of polish that can make a game stand-out.  Therefore, Fahrfall needed a title screen! :-)

Keep It Simple

One could put a lot of effort into producing a title screen.  In fact, I put a whole day into something that I thought was going to be fairly simple.  In fairness, I may not have been at my best after a whirlwind roadtrip to Atlanta over the weekend. :-)  In any case, I wanted to avoid getting carried away with embellishments.

I wanted to have a credible title screen for Fahrfall -- something attractive and reasonably polished.  I also wanted to have something ready to turn-in for the RetroChallenge Winter Warmup at the end of the month, and I still have some other things to do.  So, I decided to stick to some simple effects, a copyright notice, and a simple instruction on how to start the game.  I think this covers the basics and still gives a good impression of the game.

Reflect The Game

The basic elements of the title screen come from Fahrfall itself.  The top of the screen replicates the top of the main game screen -- the flame effect and the score displays.  Beneath that is an animated graphic of "FAHRFALL", with the size of the letters, the rates of movement of the letter groups, and the colors of the pixels reflecting the corresponding elements in the background of the main game screen.  Beneath that is a static copyright notice reflecting me as Fahrfall's author.  At the bottom is a flashing "PRESS BUTTON" instruction on how to start the game.  The overall aesthetics are pleasantly simple while reflecting the main game screen.

Credit Is Due

The DOWNFALL title sequence contains a number of credits and "shout outs" to a variety of folks.  This seems common with homebrew games, and probably has a lineage back to the days of "demo coding".  I would like to do something like this in Fahrfall at some point, but it can wait until things are farther along.  Similarly, some sort of self-playing "attract mode" would be a nice addition in the future.  When I add something like this, it will probably take the form of messages periodically replacing the copyright notice or somesuch.

Anyway, there it is -- I think Fahrfall is looking fairly good!  I hope you are as excited about Fahrfall's progress as I am.  Stay tuned for more updates!

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