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Current Development Logs:
Devlog 1 - Introduction
Devlog 2 - Video Update & New Dungeon Tile
Devlog 3 - Props & Loot
Devlog 4 - Composer, Progression & Videos
Devlog 5 - 2D Art Overhaul Begins
Devlog 6 - Video, New Enemies, 50 levels!
Devlog 7 - Video, Stats & Accomplishments
Devlog 8 - Heavy Construction
Devlog 9 - Road to Beta
Devlog 10 - In-Game Shop & Menus
Devlog 11 - Services & UI Progress
Devlog 12 - Beta!
Devlog 13 - Frozen Area Preview
Devlog 14 - HUD Finalization
Devlog 15 - Gadget Area Preview
Devlog 16 - Magic Area Preview
Devlog 17 - "Free Running" Mode
Devlog 18 - Rank-Up & Perks
Devlog 19 - Full Soundtrack
Devlog 20 - Free Running Polish
Devlog 21 - Finishing Up
Devlog 22 - Last Additions
Devlog 23 - iOS Submission
Devlog 24 - Prize Codes
Devlog 25 - Making a Press Kit
Devlog 3 - Props & Loot:
In this week's update, I'm showing the system I implemented to sprinkle props into levels, and to flag level tiles to allow or disallow random spawning of loot crates. As well, I have a couple of brand new gameplay gifs demonstrating speed runs on difficult levels.
I created a new breakable type (loot crate), and a new pickup type (gold coins). I prototyped a system to randomly spawn the new loot crate on any empty floor tile (shown above). It worked well but introduced an issue. Some areas of the level need to always be clear to allow for quick traversal (dodging projectiles). If a loot crate randomly spawned in one of these areas it would block the player.
I already planned to add a "tile properties" section to the tile editor for placing props on tiles so this was an appropriate place to also add a toggle for allowing random spawns on a tile. And since I had 2 needs for this new feature, it was an appropriate time to add it to the tile editor tool.
It's ugly, but it's functional. It serves 2 purposes: Props (the 4x4 grid), and Random Spawns (the little checkbox at top right). I realized, from the wall shapes I have, there are 16 possible locations where I might need props to be placed on any given tile. So I made a grid of 16 buttons to represent the locations. Checking the buttons updates meta data for the currently selected tile. In the game, I've created 16 prefabs of props (candles and small vases) offset within a tile node appropriately to match each of the locations portrayed in the editor.
Example 1 (straddling a small wall next to a room boundary wall):
Example 2 (in a corner next to room boundary wall):
Example 3 (one side of a small wall):
Example 4 (nestled in a small wall corner):
The props really add life to the levels. I will eventually make additional sets of the props with different models and randomly select when the level is loaded for variety.
Gameplay Preview - Speed Running Difficult Levels:
In addition to the visual variety of the props props, the randomly spawning loot crates are helping to give the levels some gameplay variety as well. Now that I can control where they may spawn, I can continue designing intentionally difficult levels that require specific timing without the fear of loot crates blocking a route.
Below are a couple of preview gameplay gifs showing off speed runs through a couple newer levels. I'll make a dev log in the future that outlines the progression system, but as a teaser I'll say this: there is a 3 star system for each level as well as a stored speed run time. Speed runs have no objective other than getting to the exit. For 2 and 3 stars you'll additionally need to defeat all enemies, and also collect all pickups respectively. So it is a legitimate strategy to play every level with each gameplay style (speed, combat, completionist) and be acknowledged and rewarded for each.
Until Next Time:
While playing, I feel like I'm in a familiar head-space like playing Pac Man or Donkey Kong. This really excites me because this is the direction I was striving for. Those are two of the greatest arcade games ever (Ms Pac Man is better, but you know what I mean). The combination of memorization, pattern recognition, quick reflexes, and adaptive strategy is such a great flow to be in while playing. I can't pretend to be making something on par with either of those games, but I'm just happy that I got that feeling. :)
Tune in next update when I'll be introducing the composer who's working on the amazing soundtrack for the game! Also, It will be another video update so you'll see the game running on the phone again, but this time with music!