I'm going to continue working on Lich to make a full game, with more abilities and a world to explore.
I started work on improving the art, trying to add better detail while keeping the simple feeling that I like from the original sketches. Here are some ideas for the Lich, next to the version I had for the jam.
I'm also trying to figure out how to do the map. I've never made a map for a game, so I'm not too sure yet how I'll store and load the information as you move through the world. I'd like it to have seamless movement without room breaks, like Don't Starve.
My game Lich is complete. My main focus today was adding sound. I made some sound effects on bfxr.net, and figured out how to limit the number of sounds being played in the right way. One thing that helped a lot was not starting the same sound twice within a few frames of each other. This way you can hear a big army fighting each other without it breaking the sound by trying to play 10 sounds at once.
I also added a little skeleton variety for fun. There's still no boss or end to the game, but there are multiple stages that keep introducing new enemies, so it should give a good challenge and feeling of progression.
In-game tutorial explains how to play, but here are controls for reference: WASD to Move Mouse to Aim Left Click to attack. Hold and Release to charge your magic attack Right Hold and Release to Raise Dead. (Or right-click if you have mana) Spacebar to return to life. Pick up Mana while dead to boost your magic power and to progress to the next stage.
I started today by making some much needed UI. Hearts to show your remaining life, and spirit life. The red heart is your current life, and the silver outline is your spirit health. Earlier I was thinking these two sets of hearts would be near eachother, but not on top of eachother. Once it occured to me that I could do the spirit health as an outline, I decided to make you resurrect with life equal to your spirit health, so it feels even more important to protect yourself while you're dead. Spirit life regenerates over time while you're alive, so sometimes after regenerating spirit life you might want to die to resurrect with full health.
I spent most of today making a tutorial. There are a lot of little things to explain, like clicking to attack vs hold & release to charge an attack, raising dead, dying to pick up mana, ect. It starts with words on the ground telling you to move, and words to the right that you can't see until after you've moved. I try to follow that pattern of making you do a thing before giving you the next piece of info, and teach players that getting killed can be a good thing before giving them any threats.
I also added blessed versions of enemies, that can damage you while in spirit mode. Here's the game so far with no sound! http://differentname.net/necromancer/NecromancerGame.exe
Tomorrow I can only work a few hours, so my main priority has to be sound. I also need a title. Beyond that, maybe I'll make a couple more skeleton types, that you get from raising different enemies. I thought about having some tougher skeletons from tougher enemies, because it sucks when you kill some paladins and only get a few wimpy skeletons out of it. Also, it was the first thing TheChubu and Alpha_ProgDes suggested when trying the demo, so I should probably get to that if I have the time. I also have ideas for a boss that kind of mirrors your own character, but I probably don't have time for it.
I added the power-ups I talked about yesterday. Enemies drop mana power-ups when they die, and you can only pick up those power-ups when you die and are in spirit mode. To progress to the next area, you have to pick up enough power-ups for new enemies to stop spawning, then defeat the remaining enemies.
I also finally added the loss I planned on. Take too much spirit damage while in spirit mode, and you lose. Spirit health replenishes over time while you're alive. Die again too soon after taking spirit damage, and you won't have much left.
Today I adjusted the balance of skeletons and enemies, so a crowd of skeletons is useful, but a paladin or two can destroy a ton of them if you let him. I worked on necromancer magic, like making the raise dead spell an area effect ability, so you have to go near enemy bodies to turn them into skeletons. I also added archers and priests for ranged attacks. I plan to give priests the ability to bless enemies, so blessed enemies can damage you when you're in spirit mode.
Tomorrow I'm going to focus on a progression to early game to late game. I'm thinking I may make it like an old fighter game, like double dragon, where you defeat all the enemies in one area, then a hand pops up and points you to the right. This way, when you move to the new area, you leave behind the extra enemy bodies, and leave behind most of your skeletons. I think I'll also make enemies drop power ups that you can only pick up while dead, in spirit mode. Picking these up gives big boosts to your spell power for a short time, so it will be important to kill enemies while you're alive, then pick up the powerups while in spirit mode while dodging holy attacks so you can return to life.
Today I added a variety of enemies. I gave the peasants pitchforks and torches. Knights are like the basic soldier, but a little tougher. Paladins are the toughest so far, and have a faster charge ability.
When you die, you enter spirit mode, so only holy enemies like paladins can see and attack you. The sprites change to show this.
For now, I'm having trouble with the balance, so you can feel powerful but also threatened. A few skeletons feel worthless, but too many overwhelm the enemy. Maybe I'll give the player a limited number of skeletons? I also want some kind of progression, allowing you to get more powerful over time, but this could be tricky.
I'm also not sure what the course of the game will be. Just one room that gets more and more challenging until you lose? Multiple stages that end when you defeat everyone? Rooms that you move through like a Zelda game? Whatever I go with, I'm not sure I'll have much time for it.
Today I focused on the enemy soldier. It chases you and your skeletons if you get near, and attacks you if you're right next to him. Of course, simply chasing you makes it easy to kite the whole group, so the rest of the day I just worked on more movement types. Sometimes instead of chasing you directly, enemies will move at a bit of an angle first, so they try to flank you. Sometimes they'll charge in your direction, faster then their normal movement, but unable to turn. They also push away from eachother if they're too close so they don't stand in the same exact spot.
By focusing on a variety of movement types now, I'm hoping I can add a variety of enemy types quickly, like knights or paladins with faster charging, more health, and knockback resistance. I also plan to have specific enemies capable of damaging you while in spirit mode.
So far, I've added movement, peasants, a spell to shoot peasants, a spell to turn dead peasants into skeletons, and added the ability of skeletons to kill peasants. Next, I think i'll had soldiers with the ability to attack you and your skeletons. Here's a screenshot highlighting what i've made so far.
This is my first time entering "The Week of Awesome". For the "Death is Useful" theme, I'm making a game with a Necromancer Lich, and plan to address the theme in two ways. The first is obvious for a necromancer, making use of an opponents death by raising the dead. I also plan to make the players own death useful by recharging magic energy, and leveling up their abilities before returning to life. This might include a push your luck element, as the longer you stay in spirit form leveling up your abilities, the longer you're at risk of getting banished by spiritual enemies, ending your game.
I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew with this one.