When I saw a screen shot of Night Driver it immediately made me think of the driving scene in The Killers that Jim giffed a while back. I started thinking about how to combine the two. You could use the silhouette of the car interior and the two figures as a mask, and have the game run in the windshield, but you’d have to approximate the upper outline because it’s in the shadows. I let the idea slide because it seemed like it would be better as a concept than a product.
Isabelle “Red” McIntosh of the illustrious Noir Illusions Agency captured a video of some of the gameplay, which made me rethink the idea.
I took Jim’s gif and cut it down to 9 frames. I took the Night Driver video and made a gif of it, which I then edited down to 16 frames. I resized he gif to match the pixel height of the Killers gif, then adjusted the canvas size to match. That cropped the image a bit, but that was okay. In my Night Driver gif, I inserted a new layer above each existing layer, so I had 16 layers of Night driver interspersed with 16 blank layers. I copied each layer of The Killers and pasted them in order in the Night Driver. Since that had double the number of layers, I repeated the process. I set the blending mode of each Killers layer to darken, so the game play would come through in the light parts of the image. I set the opacity of each layer of Night Driver to 70% so the image wasn’t near-totally black. Then I merged each Killers layer down with the corresponding Night Driver layer below. I won’t go into the amount of trial and error that went into figuring the process out.
Was the end product worth the effort? Maybe, maybe not – I didn’t get enough of the game to come through to make it actually look like a game. But the process was a learning one, and that’s worth it.