Published: November 22, 2022
Before we start, I've got a quick announcement: I'm now accepting applications for translation heads! If you'd like to volunteer to be in charge of the localizations for a particular language, please go to this form to learn more details and apply!
It's been too long (5 months, somehow...) since I last completed a level, but I'm finally back at it, this time with the second-to-last level in world 4. Here's a video of level 4-4 in its entirety:
Level 4-4 takes a slightly slower tempo (110 BPM, vs 128 BPM for level 4-3) and cranks it up a notch with the interplay between water zones and air jumps/flight paths. It also specifically leans into a few syncopated rhythms, such as this flight path riff:
One of the "rules" I'm forming for myself as I chart these levels is that syncopation is that off-beat rhythms are mostly off-limits when it comes to attacks or ground jumps because of readability concerns, but they're much easier to interpret when it comes to air jumps and flight paths because the height differentials give you an indication of the relative beat positioning of the notes.
Of course, water zones change up the visual representation of those beat positionings, which is what this level is all about:
Visually, I wanted to do a skyline theme, as I hadn't done that before. World 4 has a little bit of a visual identity crisis at the moment, flipping back and forth between "alien space world" and "cherry blossoms", so I don't know if this truly fits in, but as with a lot of things, I'm just going to roll with it now and question it later.
I was inspired to do this pink/purple color scheme, which feels vaguely scifi-esque to me. There are a bunch of examples I found by other artists of this sort of look (please let me know if you find the original artist for either of these works so I can credit appropriately):
My process was essentially to draw a bunch of layers of semi-random tall rectangles, then afterwards go back and add some sporadic details along the tops of several of them. There isn't actually a ton of detail here -- I decided to just stop after adding a few as it seemed to work well enough. The only other real thing going on is the sun in the very back, and then a bunch of layers of semi-transparent clouds (which are all over the place throughout world 4 -- that part at least is visually distinctive).
The color palette here is pretty straightforward by now: notice how the hue goes from purple to reddish-pink as we fade into the background layers. The colors get brighter and less saturated for the back layers.
Overall I'm happy with how this one turned out (I feel like I say that every time...), but I'm mostly just happy that I still managed to complete another full level. There's only one level left to do for world 4, so I think that'll probably be next on my list...