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Welcome back to the Orchid of Redemption devlog! This week we’re going to dive into the design principles for each of the six currently available worlds in Mage Drops!

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Welcome back to the Orchid of Redemption devlog! This week we’re going to dive into the design principles for each of the six currently available worlds in Mage Drops! If you are yet to enjoy the magical odyssey that is Mage Drops you can find a free demo here!

These design elements serve to provide each world with a unique character that matches with the overall tone of Mage Drops while still providing dynamic and evolving challenges to keep engaging and rewarding the player.

World 1: Forest World

forest


World 1 introduces open spaces with new risk areas and applies the basic physics of Mage Drops in more complicated designs than the Qualifier Cup (tutorial). Players will start to see more intricate, aerial based puzzles showing the scale for growth in worlds to come. Here the focus is on interacting with organic elements - growing trees to use as platforms, evading sentient bushes, bouncing off bubbles and sticking to slime.

World 2: Ocean World

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World 2 both impedes and enhances your shots with greater height but reduced distance due to the physics effects of being underwater. Level design incorporates low overhangs and moving obstacles to quickly communicate the adjustments needed in this drowned world.

Levels soon come to balance both underwater and above-water areas adding the challenge of shifting play styles as well as introducing the fun of layered levels.

World 3: The Ruins

ruins


World 3 introduces health management and risk/reward playstyles to the player. The Gun Ships, ancient cannons and explosive barrels can harm you. Use your magic to remotely detonate certain artillery so, if angled correctly, the explosion can launch you to new areas.

In a slightly different style, the cannon fire can be controlled to create a launchpad where you need it most. Some cannon fire can even be ridden across the level but look closely to see if it's the safe kind - if it's flashing it's dangerous! Be sure to heal yourself after taking damage by collecting health.

World 3 will also ask players to pick up the pace a little in a few select levels. The water is rising! Players will need to act cool under pressure, plan their shots and stay ahead of the rising tide.

World 4: The Haunted Mines

mines


World 4 offers a new challenge, rather than scaling lofty heights players must venture into the ominous depths below. Unlike any other world so far, how you descend is of absolute importance. A few new tricks help you on the journey including suspended pools of water to drop through and helpful Cave Jellyfish that will keep you on the right track.

The Enchanted Skulls also present a new form of consequence. Just one touch will send you back to your last checkpoint so plan accordingly. There's not much time between activating their totems and their deadly embrace so aim fast and true.

World 5: Machine World

machine


The constant rain of World 5 is not just for show. This automated world is one big safety hazard! The wet metal surfaces will cause you to roll further and faster. Perfect for gaining extra distance but dangerous when navigating the cramped aerial platforms and lofty metal structures. Luckily your magic can influence this mysterious technology, activating barriers to create safe zones.

World 5 also introduces levels with full 3D freedom of movement that return the player to previous worlds but with a whole new perspective! Enjoy some of the styles of iconic earlier levels with the added challenge of navigating in full 3D! But remember the rules of those worlds as they're still in play!

World 6 Trickster World

trickster


We have spoken at length in our previous devlog: The Mystical Art of Procedural Generation, about the chaos that is World 6. Not only are the level layouts randomised but players will see obstacles and affordances from all previous worlds collide for intense platforming gauntlets that will test everything the player has learnt.

In World 6 the focus is purely to survive the madness. Players have all the time in the world to navigate some of the most vertically and horizontally dynamic (and challenging) levels in Mage Drops!

It is also in this chaos that a new ability is found. Collect shields to protect you from future damage, a perfect counter to the nefarious Cat that chases you across world 6. The projectiles the Cat hurls your way are incredibly powerful and will home in on you and launch you skyward upon collision. Use the shield or place an obstacle in the way of the Cat's projectile to save yourself! However, in the chaos of World 6 even your enemy can help you on your journey if you are brave enough to try.

Fore-ward:

That's all for this week's Mage Drops devlog! We're very excited to soon be involved with the Variety Level Up for Kids charity stream as part of the Melbourne International Games Week come the 2nd of October!

variety


If you’re a content creator looking to engage with some excellent Australian indies and do something to empower kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with disability you can find more information here.

Mage Drops is available now in Early Access on Steam and Itch or Wishlist for our (tentative) late 2021 launch:

Steam: Bit.ly
Itch: Bit.ly

Until next time,

Orchid of Redemption.

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