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Dev Diary - Angel.Net

A topic by cutegamesclub created Jan 11, 2019 Views: 203 Replies: 3
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Hey all, I'm making a game for the ace jam and wanted to use this place as a space to write down stuff that I'm working on. It's a dev log, but more than that, kind of a journal. 

The game I'm working on, Angel.Net is about the internet in the 90s, with a lot of the social websites and MMO's that I hung out on. It's a pretty simple game to make, but Inevitably, I've been trawling through my own internet history looking for inspiration. I managed to log into my old xanga account, and my old gaiaonline account. No luck with my Neopets account, no doubt my Shoyru will be waiting for me forever ):

My most interesting discovery, however, was stumbling across my very first internet community, Ham Ham Kingdom. It was a hamtaro fan website. It's not online anymore, and to my massive disappointment the internet archive took several captures of the website in its heyday, but encountered errors so lots of pages are missing. But I managed to catch a glimpse of it! it made me so happy. I guess what really made me sad about it was that I learned the website creator passed away. Even when I was on her forums back in the day, I heard she'd been dealing with cancer. But I was a kid back then, I didn't really understand what that meant. I'm so sad thinking about how that wonderful piece of the internet might disappear, but also wondering if there's some way I can preserve it, or at least memorialize it.


I've been touching up the game's page, which isn't live on yet. I want to create some adoptables for the page eventually (It's so crazy, when I was a kid I thought the people who made them were godlike, but now that I've been making art for many years I finally know how to do it!) and a fake website background to make it look like the layouts of the old days.  As of today I've made six pages of art for the coloring book. (each page has four pages within it, so there's currently 24 pages total). Tomorrow I'm going to try and bust out some more!


Hey guys, more updates on the game.

  • My new pens came in.

 I promised myself I wasn't gonna buy anything to make this game but I caved and bought some pens, as well as a sparkly folder to hold the paper. The mind is willing, but the body is weak D: The pens are called Pigma Micron Pens, and they're made by a company called "Sakura". They are felt tip, but so incredibly fine. Sakura is a pretty good art supply company. I also own their watercolor case for travel. I swear, this isn't an advertisement. Anyway, thanks to the fineness of the new pens, I can start inking all my sketches. I'm glad I can add lots of interesting details to the drawings but I have to keep reminding myself to keep it simple, otherwise I'll never finish.

  • I am listening to: Gino Vannelli

Two days ago I dug into my dad's old things. I encountered a chest full of records. Thankfully my best friend has a record player, so I've borrowed it and have been playing all the records on it. The records are really well kept but still sound a little scratchy (I'm hoping it's due to the record player--my friend never cleans it and it's not in the best condition). I found lots of popular music in the record collection, but one artist who I didn't recognize made music I really like. His name is Gino Vannelli and his music sounds like video game music from the Sega Genesis era. Just that really city-pop, upbeat music. I miss my dad. I wish he could have told me where he got the music from.

  • I made a couple adoptables.

It's been a while since I've flexed my pixel art muscles. I made a couple of angels in the style of those old website adoptables. I think I'm going to make one more before my game page goes live. But I'm posting the ones I've made so far because they're really cute and I want to share them.

I also want to make some old school avatars, the ones that had rasterized images but had pixel borders, which was a popular style. This is an example from hamhamparadise, made by user "mimitchi":

Well, that's all for now. I expect I'll be posting some pages soon, and I want my game page to go live in the next few days. I also think I'll petition itchio to add a custom cursor feature for game pages. I think that would be cool, even though in most cases it's completely superfluous.


My Progress on the game continues.

Today I made a cute background for the game page by overlaying a pixel avatar over colored pages of the game. I also want to keep making more adoptables. However, I'm worried that I'm being too ambitious with the project. As it stands, I won't be able to finish the game, so I spent some time today modifying the mechanics so that I'll be able to make significantly less pages. Originally, I planned on there being minigames and such, but I'll probably have to take some of those out. It'll just be the coloring pages, and the game's story. And of course, I'll have to ink up the shops and the layout the game's tutorial.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed that I haven't completely lost my ability to make ink drawings. I haven't done them in a while, and although the inking process is pretty tedious, I like how the art is coming out. I took a photo of the ink drawings so you can see it here:

This process reminds me a lot of when I was a kid and made ink drawings all the time. I like the way a pen makes a little splotch at the beginning and the end of a line. It's somehow very nostalgic. 

Anyway, that's all for today. I'll keep making more pages and posting progress.


Today I felt unusually unmotivated. I know in 2019 I said I was going to give it my all, but lately I've been running into these types of days. In the middle of my drawing, I stopped and suddenly felt like nobody is going to play this game. It's a print and play, after all, which inherently asks a lot of players. Also on twitter anytime I tweet or talk about the game, even when I share artwork, I don't get a lot of interactions. I think that is just twitter's terrible algorithms though.

Even so, I'm determined to finish what I started. But maybe I won't put so much work on myself. I think I'm going to remove the shops functionality and just focus on the coloring book itself and the story. Hopefully it will make a nice little zine. Something I know I did well, but didn't stress myself out over. Luckily, even though I drew all the shops, I didn't ink them (which is the painstaking part). I think I'll scan the shops in and save them in the devlog for posterity or something. Seems like a waste to just throw them away altogether for the moment.