Why hello there, and happy new year! I feel like 2019 is gonna one of those years where change is imminent, and let's just hope it's not a bad change but rather a pleasant one.
With the new year comes a new schedule. I've decided to write the Weekly Updates (and consequently ends sprints) on Saturday from now on. This way I can synchronize all of my updates.
But anyways, I've also decided to take a 2-week hiatus, hence the radio silence for the last weeks. It was a nice well-needed break and I feel overall revigorated and well rested from it all.
With that said, I have a whole lot to talk about, so without further ados, let's get right to it!
First, there's been a significant upgrade to minimaps.
Now the minimap can display the position of collectables items, interactable props and other notable landmarks.
Each point has their own type of minimap markers so players can easily locate any collectable items they missed.
Each marker is also kept straight no matter the map's orientation, giving them the appearance of some kind of GTA-like map markers. Mainly an aesthetic choice but I like it like that anyways.
Quite handy if I say so myself.
Stores, Stores, ＳＴＯＲＥＳ!
Another upgrade worth mentioning is that I've revamped the level generation code so that the appearance of malls won't depend on the player's luck anymore. This means that it's the seed that decides malls position.
This effectively means that during normal gameplay players can still encounter shops no matter if they're lucky or not.
Aside from that there's also been a significant upgrade in special rooms constraints. Now special rooms are more likely to spawn due to less strict constraints.
Overall this means a more seasoned level, of which the game is in dire need of.
Second, I've decided to add a new type of interactable props: the rest area.
These are actually modelled after rest area found in most shopping centers and malls. (because of aesthetics)
The player can actually use these to rest and restore some of their health. Each rest areas can only be used once, as the player actually "trashes" it when they use it.
However, there's a catch: every enemy also gains their health back. This means that players have to be careful when using these, especially if they're facing a boss.
Rest areas only spawn in regular rooms if the player is lucky, and there's only one rest area per rooms.
There are two types of rest area: a common one and a rare one.
Common rest areas
This common rest area only heals 50% of health to any active entities
Rare rest areas
This is the rarest variety of rest areas. It fully heals any active entities
Bosses Range Attacks
Previously I've talked about how bosses were in, and now I've enabled that boss the ability to do range attacks.
The way it works as of right now is similar to a melee attack, but it also produces some kind of "shockwave" that moves towards the enemy.
A skilled player can actually try to either jump over it or simply avoid it altogether.
Bosses choose to do range attacks whenever their target is far enough, otherwise, they'll either try to get closer or do a melee attack depending on its distance with its target.
Third, let's talk about items in general.
I've previously said that I've started to do playtesting among my closest friends and family, and have been taking notes on some matters here and there. One of the most noticeable things was the fact that most players disliked walking around the room to try to collect most items that were either drop as loot or from a treasure box, especially if it was money.
So, after thinking about it I've decided to implement an item agglomeration mechanics where collectable items can "fuse" together, much like how it's made in Minecraft.
Each item agglomeration has some kind of "notification pill" on the top right corner telling how many items it has inside.
If two items that can agglomerate together are near enough from each other, then a magnetic force will pull each item towards each other, creating some kind of magnetic/gravitational forcefield.
Most aglomerated items will also have different sizes based on the amount of agglomerated items. Larger agglomerations mean larger sizes and vice versa. The item's mass also gets bigger and bigger the more items it has.
There's also a limit on how big an item agglomeration can be. If the limit is reached then another agglomerated item is created. Item agglomerations that are full won't agglomerate anymore, and there won't be any pull forces applied to them.
When the player grabs an item agglomeration, then they get the specified amount of items.
With this, it was significantly easier and less time to consume to collect every item, as they now group themselves together. It's also quite mesmerizing to see items get pull towards each other.
Right now only money, keys and bombs can agglomerate, but I'm sure there's gonna be a whole lot more different type of agglomerate items in the future.
- I've decided to nerf the bow by removing the ability to the bow to induce knockback.
- Fixed bugs with items orientation when placed on their pedestal
- There are now many more different distinct types of notification, each with their own designs and colours
Added a "box breaking" effect that shows the "health" of breakable boxes
- I'm still working on it though. It seems that I'm not really satisfied with it, to begin with...
- Consequently, I've also fixed some bad geometries on the breakable box model here and there too.
Added a velvet-ish shader for some types of props that are made of cloth or similar substances
I've decided to balance movement speed a bit. After a series of playtesting that shows that the player moved too fast.
- It was a wonderful thing to do. Now the speed seems more reasonable and manageable.
Changed how much damages bombs do (slight buff).
- I've also changed the actual damage distribution. It is now a linear one (might change it in the future though).
- This means the closest an entity is to the bomb the more damage it gets
- Same thing with the explosive force
Next week will be a really hard one.
With all that free time of mine during countless car trips and what not I decided that some brainstorming was in order (especially with all that playtesting. It's really eye-opening and all)
One crucial idea I had was to diversify the room's landscape a bit. I hope that with that it's gonna make the game a wee bit more exciting and captivating.
Technically this is currently in WiP and that's why some of the pictures taken may have holes here and there. I'm currently working on an algorithm that will enable me to have varied types of grounds (like grassed, iced or even chasms).
I'm currently working on it and it would probably be the main theme of next weeks' sprint.
Aside from that, there's also the idea of adding many more enemy types and perhaps more weapons and even more balancing.
There are also other relics, activated items and perhaps pieces of equipment to add.
In other words, there's no shortage of work to be done!