Voyage to Beyond the Bottom of the Sea

This is my latest venture.  It’s progressing slowly, but nicely.  Now, it’s just a matter of whether or not it continues to be worked on.  8-O

“Voyage to Beyond the Bottom of the Sea” started out as a challenge idea I posed to the GMC in September, 2014.  The challenge was to make a game, any kind of game, out of this title, and you have approximately one month to do it.  I’ve always loved the old adventure and sci-fi classic movies and I hadn’t seen many underwater games lately, so it seemed like a good theme.  As it turns out, it was a great theme for me as it has really motivated me to learn a few new things and stay focused on development.

I haven’t made a GDD for this game yet, but I have a few ideas jotted down and/or thought up.  I had started a devlog on the GMC in the challenge topic, but I have cut & pasted it to here and will update my progress to this page from here on out.  Might as well use my website for something, eh?

“Voyage to Beyond the Bottom of the Sea”
by HayManMarc

Download:  (N/A)

Latest Screenshot:


DevLog: (All times PST [GMT -7])

Previous entries:


9-17-14 (1:01 AM)



Spent most the day trying to figure out how to make screen resolution adjustable between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, to no avail.  Ended up making this cool title logo along with a pixel art submarine (placeholder? undecided).  I have officially started this project/challenge.


9-17-14 (10:02 PM)



At first, I couldn’t decide whether to make an homage to the 1961 film (and the mid-60′s series that followed)  “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” or just make something brand new.  After sleeping on it last night, I decided to go with an homage, but with my own spin on it.  I spent the better part of today researching the Seaview and other various underwater vehicles from the old movie and series.  After many many trials at trying to make the original sub shape look less like a penis (seriously, the ’61 film reeks with misogyny and male chauvinism), I decided the Seaview needed a fresh, completely new look.  I can never remember how to draw straight lines in gimp (until now, now that I’m writing this, now that it’s too late), so I used the sprite editor in GM to create the pixel art sub.  I must say I surprised myself with how it turned out, though I shouldn’t be since it took me a few hours to make.  Also, I was able to jot down a few notes regarding potential enemy and obstacle types for the game.  I still don’t have a grand storyline thought of yet, nor a complete gameplay scheme/design.  I implemented basic movement to the sub, but only for testing/viewing sake.  I’m thinking about using a completely different control method for guiding the main submarine (Seaview).  Something more submarine-like, instead of just arrow keys.  Like “dive to a certain depth” and “ahead 1/3 power”.


9-23-14 (12:18 AM)


So… The last six days have been…. uhmm… a learning experience?  I guess?  I wanted to get a wave effect on the water, so I looked into surfaces.  Then I looked into shaders.  Pretty neat stuff, and I sure would use a shader here, if I could figure it out.  I must’ve spent 3 days searching and experimenting and trying to get a handle on the darn things, but I couldn’t get them to do what I wanted.  In the end, I learned (got an introduction) about surfaces and shaders.  (I will still implement surfaces as I want to do some lighting, but that will come later, hopefully.)

Another day or two was spent reacquainting myself with a music making program and downloading/installing 1000MB worth of VST’s.  Yeah, really.  It was something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but hadn’t got around to it.  I wanted to try making my own music for this project, plus just have it available anyway for future use, so two birds killed with one stone.  Today (well, yesterday now), I fixed up an underwater ocean sea background and decided I wanted fish swimming around while you play the game, driving the submarine around.  I began trying to code a school-of-fish AI and after about an hour decided I needed help.  I looked and found icuurd12b42′s “Swarm Based Movement” and spent the rest of the day plugging it in and customizing it to my liking.


Also, mixed in with all of this, I’ve been watching a bunch of the old classics.  Of course “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”, but also:  “Journey to the Center of the Earth”“The Incredible Petrified World”“Master of the World”“Destination Inner Space”.  I have more lined up.  They are great inspiration – I’ve got a few plot ideas now.

Perhaps next, I can develop some gameplay, huh?  *smh*


9-24-14 (12:42 AM)


Today (yesterday, actually), I managed a few more things.  I made an octopus.  (I named him “Squiggly Down Under”.)  I successfully applied a wavy shader to his legs for a very cool effect.  Very happy that I was able to figure out the shader.  Special thanks to xygthop3 for his awesome work with the shaders and bravo for keeping them free to the community!

Also, I gave Squiggly some basic AI.  It works.

An under-the-sea game needs bubbles, no question.  So I made bubbles (particle effect).  You can see them in the screenie emitting from the logo.


I did some fine-tuning with the fishies.  Gave them variable depths so now they can pass in front of and behind objects.  Lastly, it took forever to get this screenshot, so I hope you enjoy it.   

P.S.  It should be evident by viewing this screenshot that I turned off interpolation.  It was messing with the two-piece octopus sprite, giving it lines where there shouldn’t be lines.  Not sure what to do…

P.P.S  Yes, I really did just use P.S. and P.P.S.


9-28-14 (1:54 AM) — A productive day today.  I was able to use some GIMP tricks and make a rocky ocean floor.


If you can’t tell from the pic, I turned interpolation back on, and that’s how it will stay.

I did some touching up on the Seaview (submarine).  Made the windows bigger (effectively making the submarine seem smaller), added intake vents for the engine turbines, and added ballast vents.

I’m learning how to use shaders and surfaces a little bit better.  I tiled the water background to a surface and then was able to put a wavy shader on it with a subtle wave.  I then positioned the background surface to be 200 pixels down from the top of the screen.  This way I was able to make the ocean surface.


The sky is just an empty background color at the moment.  Over the top of the water background, I stretched a 64×64 semi-transparent, light blue background to make the stuff underwater look more like it was underwater.  You can see the color change in the submarine in the above picture.

Now that I had a surface, I had to put limits on object movements.  I started with the fish and restricted their upwards and downwards movement to stay within the boundaries of the ocean surface and the ocean floor.  It took a little more doing than I thought it would, but I got it working nonetheless.  After the fish, I tackled the submarine.  I wanted the sub to bounce a little as it came out of the water, especially if it was surfacing fast.  After a couple of hours fiddling with code and math, I succeeded. It made me quite happy.

So this is where I stopped for the day.  I still need to decide what to do with the ocean floor.  It looks cool when the sub goes behind the rocks, but I wanted the rocks to be dangerous to the sub.  I want to try a parallax view down there, where one of the views is the collision view, but I haven’t figured out exactly how I want to do it yet.  Perhaps the next log update will have the answer….


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  1. Since, um… … …LAST YEAR…. » HayMan Quarterly Blogs says:

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