Hi all, Harrison here. I'll be providing our developer update for the week this time.
Our showcase date of 12/11 is rapidly approaching. Most of us spent some time at home for Thanksgiving, but we were able to find the time to polish some of the final elements of Elementus.
First and foremost, we began implementing the final area of our game. We decided to develop a boss battle with a Witch. The Witch can call down a hail of fireballs from the sky for our heroes to dodge. The Witch has basic missile attacks to the left or right. These fireballs do some heavy damage to our players - 2 damage to our heroes with 3 health, meaning a player will face death if they get hit twice. However, players can avoid damage using their special skills. For example, the earth player can form a barrier against these fireballs and the air character can divert these missiles away. Players can damage the Witch through traditional means, but upon taking the Witch to zero health, the Witch must be defeated with bombs that they lob at the player. These bombs can be manipulated in even more ways than the fireballs. I.e. channeling to create a steam tunnel that will launch them back at the boss. We created a new segment of our level to contain the Witch.
We created a trailer for our game, posted here: Indiedb.com
We discussed some lore of our game for the first time: our heroes are wizards from elemental clans assembled to reclaim the Elementus, an ancient relic stolen by the Witch. We also made some technical improvements. We fixed our longstanding flickering tile bug by adding a sprite atlas, also improving our rendering efficiency. We implemented the voice lines provided by our voice actors. We also fixed up health bars for enemies. For the Earth player, we made the pillar a toggle ability and added an indicator and limiter preventing problematic wall growth forcing players into walls.
What's the Motivation?
We wanted to include an experience that would test both the problem solving and combat skills learned throughout our stage. A boss battle with the Witch will hopefully feel like there are high stakes at hand, based on its strength. Also, the Witch guards the fabled Elementus stone, the namesake of our game. Our game trailer sets up the player to reclaim the Elementus stone and defeat the Witch, so hopefully this boss battle feels like a fitting end to our game. We also tried to set up this battle in an open ended fashion so that most/all hero abilities are useful in the fight.
Fixing up health bars and adding more indicators to pillar growth prevents confusion towards the player. Without health bars, players would attack enemies with no idea of how much health they had left, meaning the player is always unsure of whether or not they have an advantage.
While our boss battle now contains rudimentary functionality of the fireball and bomb stages, we would like to flesh it out more. We also want to add more features such as camera panning that will be potentially used to highlight key findings on the stage. Finally, we should flesh out our remaining channeling abilities (water+air). We delved into the lore in our trailer, but we should also mention this story during our actual gameplay (even if this mention is brief).