Hi there! Welcome to this week's Weekly Updates blog! Last week was quite interesting, to say the least. Early on it was E3 and not a whole lot of work was going on. Nevertheless, I've still managed to cook up something new and kind of exciting if I say so myself.
So without further ados let's get right to it!
First up, let's finish up the smallest new thing first. I was able to remix some of my sound effects. Previously it was kinda chaotic, like in the far west or something. Now I've gone through most of my audio and fixed it all. For example, some crucial sound used to be culled while lesser important one kept playing. It was really weird, but nothing a good balancing can't fix.
Another big improvement was that now there's a compressor on the SFX channel. This effectively meant that now if it gets too loud then the overall volume will get reduced accordingly. It really works wonders when one sound is played multiple times at the same time.
Using a compressor can also better simulate a loud sound without any clipping occurring. It quite a powerful tool, but when used badly it can actually muffle every sound. This means that a lot of tweaking is in order and while I don't claim that it's perfect it's getting there surely.
Speaking of volume, I've also tweaked my volume sliders too! According to this blog, the AudioMixer volume is actually has a logarithmic scale. This means that if we tried to plug it onto a slider we'll get a really sensitive slider with the extremes being almost useless.
To fix this I've decided to follow its advice and instead code my sliders so that the send value will be translated to a logarithmic scale. With this fix, those sliders will properly scale and be a bit less sensitive.
That's about it for audio updates.
Next, it's all about the star of the show. I've decided that the game wasn't really as challenging as it could be. I've then added a new type of entities that I call "environmental enemies". These enemies won't count as real enemies. This means that the player doesn't need to clear them all to get to the next room. This doesn't mean, however, that they aren't dangerous at all. They can, in fact, be very lethal to the most careless players. But which enemy will be the first to enter this private club?
Enters the Bumper.
Bumpers are abstract motorized mechanical contraptions. As their name suggests they really like to bump things around. Basically, they behave just like a Legend Of Zelda Blade Trap. This means that if an entity gets in their way they activate and chase the trapped entity by closing in quickly on them, destroying any breakable props along the way. Unlike the Blade Trap, Bumpers can't really discern players for enemies and will attack both. They also don't have a resting position and will instead move between two points. After moving they will idle around until another entity crosses their path, thus making damages on contact. Another thing to note is that Bumpers are actually destroyable. Once a bumper stops the button on top of their head will become lit. If the player jumps on it while the button is fully lit then this will trigger the bumper's auto-destruction sequence. But, there's a catch: the button is deactivated while the bumper is moving. This requires timing and precision, as missing the target can mean getting a full-blown hit.
Some rooms will have Bumpers while some won't. When bumpers are spawned they will always be laid out in a given pattern. Good players will recognize these patterns and use them to their advantage.
Bumpers have motors which can give their position away. When they move the motor will change its pitch, so if you hear a high pitch motor noise then it means to get out of here fast. They also rest on a rail, which can easily be seen and avoided by players. As long as the player looks for these signs they'll be safe.
There are (or will be) a variety of types of Bumpers. As of right now, there are only 4. so let's get through them one by one...
This is your typical Bumper. It got normal damages and will hurt quite a bit. A thing to note is that Spiked Bumpers will hurt whenever they move or not, so try to keep them away from them!
This one is special. Instead of spikes, it got some kind of electric probes all around its body. You can actually see the sparks coming out of this guy, so be careful.
Electric Bumpers will induce electric damages, which in turns will cause paralysis. A paralyzed entity will not be able to move at all for a given amount of time, which means that this can leave entities vulnerable to enemy attacks. Be extremely careful while these Bumpers are around, as one bad move can really mess-up your run!
This Bumper uses some kind of toxic gas to bump entities with. While the gas itself doesn't do any damage it will still make any entities poison-struck.
When poisoned, entities will take damage for a given amount of time, after which it will dissipate. It will never kill but can leave entities weak and extremely vulnerable. Keep an eye on these, especially while there are a bunch of enemies around...
Finally, there's the Flaming Bumpers. These guys will emit red hot flames.
Needless to say that this is bad news for anyone involved. Unlike the Poison Bumper, the Flaming Bumper does deals damage. It will also make entities catch up in flames.
A burning entity will take damages over a set period of time, after which the fire will extinguish itself. Unlike poison, this WILL kill. This is not to be taken lightly. Fortunately, entities can extinguish themselves with water. They can even protect themselves by being wet.
That's about it for bumpers. Right now there's still a bit of polishing to do but the main gist is there. I still need to polish up the auto-destruction part and maybe add some new types as well. I might also balance their damage output, speed or even trigger zone in the future.
Here's a quick video showing off Bumpers in action:
- Fixed a bug with island room layout not being properly built;
- Fixed some bugs where some paralyzed entities would still move;
- Made the statue boss more visible;
Added some noises to some floor, mainly the lava floor for now.
- This works by selecting a random vert and playing given sound at it;
- For example, some lava bubbles can sometimes be heard from lava pools.
So next week I'm really going to continue with the bumpers. Now that E3 is done I'll be really able to finish them up. Then I'm going to implement a better system to spawn enemies. Right now they kinda all spawn at the middle of the room, which isn't really good at all.
After that, It's back with enemies. I'm probably also am going to add a few neutral NPCs too, but that's too early to say.
Then, I'm going to really implement some new pieces of equipment, capacities and perhaps even some activatable items.
And finally, it's probably either going to be bosses or special rooms. But at that point, it's really not set in stone.
And that about it really!