Even though we gave up on the idea of the happiness mechanic, we’ve still always wanted the sun to be reactive and feel like he/she is observing the player’s actions and reacting accordingly. Like every other aspect of the game, the sun has gone through several iterations.
Below is the first set of faces I made for the sun. According to my colleague Miikka, they made the sun look like Karl Pilkington. As someone who had never heard of Karl Pilkington, I received this with mixed feelings. I was never terribly happy with these faces overall, but they stayed in the build for a good long while.
The second set of faces were actually done originally for the animated trailer which we put together in the summer of 2013. The faces were a lot cuter this time around, maybe even to a fault. We ended up scrapping them because they were a bit too baby-like and thought that maybe the sun could use some edge since almost everything else in the world is quite cute.
This set of faces never left the sketch stage. I thought the sun could use some distinguishing features to break the round silhouette, but as it turns out, the yellow tuft reminds you of a reasonably popular collection of aviary mobile game characters that you can find on pencil sharpeners, coffee mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, socks, plushies, soda cans and just about every other kind of item imaginable.
The fourth and (possibly) final set of faces took a turn for the more mischievous. If I had to describe the personality of this version, I’d be compelled to use the word sniveling. For maximum effect, it’d be great if the sun would just randomly peek up from behind the hills just when the player least expects it.
What I didn’t even touch are the various sun rays and effects me and Joona have been experimenting with since early last year. They could make for a pretty interesting little blog post some time in the future… Stay tuned!