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  Blobs II Sketchbook

The Best Laid Plans...

While making Invasion of the Blobs II, I did a lot of preplanning in the form of sketches. Each level, cutscene, and plot point was figued out in advance, resulting in a much better story than its predecessor. Also, I tried to figure out exactly how each new idea could be accomplished with Game-Maker's toolset to avoid technical problems later.

These pages are in the same order as they appeared in my sketchbook, except for a few small drawings that were used to fill empty space in larger pages. Levels that appear at the end of the game were sketched out before earlier levels were. In other words, expect a lot of jumping around.

Try to follow along with these pages so you can compare how these preliminary concepts compare with what appeared in the final game. In some cases, they differ quite a bit.

The artwork that follows shows that my drawing skills were pretty rough in the late 1990's, but I'm all for preserving as much Game-Maker history as possible. So with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at Invasion of the Blobs II!

First, we have an attempt at drawing a semi-realistic Melissa.

A new game, Pib! It clearly resembles Arkanoid, but what are "Possible Heads"? More on that later.

The reveal of a female villian was originally supposed to be a surprise, which is why Yarna is cloaked here. Also, two sketches of a blob orge, or blogre.

A semi-realistic drawing of Yarna.

Rob and Melissa falling asleep at their high school graduation. In the final game, they're more alert, espcially when Yarna (still cloaked here) drops in.

A different view of the blob ship's cockpit. Sadly, the "bad hair day" joke was dropped.

Many obstacles for the Guts level. The fist's graphics were merged with the foot's direction. Also, making the wave and surfing pose for the following stage.

Planning the layout for the Rob clone fights. The final battle would have taken place on some kind of grid in space(?), where you'd force Yarna backward into a swirling vortex. This otherworldly concept was changed to a basic command center.

Melissa and Yarna don't exactly see eye-to-eye.

Melissa uncloaks Yarna, revealing the alien beneath. In the final game, Yarna never hides her identity.

Level 14's boss fight was way too complicated at first. Nevertheless, the bat was drawn on a grid to help pixelize it. In the final version, only the slime fists remained.

Some ememies and bubbles for the swimming level. Also, some machinery and humanoid blobs for the factory. The claw end of the hammer was flattened so Melissa could stand on it. Finally, a really creepy Pyro Rob clone.

Anime-inspired art of our heroes as children for a planned flashback scene. Another blogre and a giant worm are also present.

The ending from Blobs 1, and... Krazy Kat? In short, Krazy Kat was the first computer game I ever made, for the Apple IIe! It was an all text, 38K, choose your own adventure game. The ending showed Krazy Kat, a blue feline wearing a red bow tie. The female cat is Katey Kitten, a movie star within the game.

My first attempt to create a cave monster. This idea was a worm that shrunk as the cave got narrower. It didn't work, but some of the bipedal blob ideas did.

Attempt #2 to make a cave monster. Now you had to kick blob skulls (blobs have bones?) into the worm's mouth before it pushed you into a slime pit. This also failed, but attempt #3 with a near-invincible blogre succeeded! The slime volcano worked well, too.

A comic book motif again retells the prequel's ending, but this time Melissa meets the friendly blob (Zib) as an adult! The last time we saw Zib, he was in a spaceship with the kids, returning to Earth. I can't explain how he would have travelled to planet Ooze.

Yarna with her magic staff.

Factory walls, bulging intestines, and an unused giant funnel.

A few changes were still made to the cockpit, but the biggest was flipping the entire layout. This is due to an odd bug in Game-Maker: background blocks on the top and left edges of the screen don't display any animation, but background blocks on the bottom and right edges do. The exhaust had to be on the right or else it wouldn't be animated.

Do you want to make your own wordlocks? Well, here's how it's done! Easy, right? Eh, maybe not. Kinda messy too. I'll make a detailed wordlock tutorial someday, but until then, this'll do. Oh, and the graphics on top were used in level 17, not 16. I think this was changed once I got the surfing level to work.

Nothing but cutscenes! The gameplay must have been almost done at this point. I made things easier on myself by drawing fewer slides than I originally planned.

Sooooo many cutscenes... Counting all of the pictures used for titles, instructions, story, credits, loading, saving, level transitions, and the ending, the final game uses 56 GIFs. I crossed them off a checklist as I completed them.

The game over screen. The game is pretty easy, so most people who play it probably won't see this. I had to cover all the bases. Also, just look at all the time and effort I put into the ending!

I promised you I'd get back to the "Possible Heads", as in the Ten Heads of State of Chaos! My Arkanoid clone would've had villians named _____head and attacks based on their names. Instead of Pib, the game would star Zib, and be called Invasion of the Blobs III... if the game was completed. Game-Maker just wasn't designed to make this type of game, nor the Marble Madness homage I tried next. I had pushed the software to its limits, the software pushed back, and the Blobs trilogy never was.

On a happier note, here's a cute drawing of Melissa...

...and, as always, Yarna isn't far behind.

Well, that's all folks! Be sure to check out the Game-Maker Archive for information on more great games!