What is Squillamorph?
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Below is the development log for Squillamorph. It is GIF heavy and it might take a while to load them all.
Hello everyone! This week the University of the Creative Arts Farnham campus is having their graduation show. As part of the Games Arts course incubator studio, we will be showing Squillamorph there! If you are interested in playing it, and seeing a bunch of awesome student work, you can find the relevant information here --> UCA Farnham Show Details
If you do go, send a photo to us on twitter @squillamorph!
I've just noticed that in three days time it will have been a whole year since we officially announced Squillamorph. Crazy to think how much the game has changed since the prototype we had then! I haven't prepared anything special for this as I hadn't realised but I will do a special post for a year of development on the actual game, which we started work on at the end of August. Here's a quick GIF showing the change between the old prototype we finished a year ago and the current version of the game. Then it's onto the new updates!
One of the things I really wanted to get done this week was the framework for the HUD transition animations. The HUD will adjust colour and the character image to match any creature the player infests. Connor has done some great work on the animation which I have begun implementing. We are still working on certain aspects of it, the infest timer for example. I'm still not sure if I like the way the entire graphic changes from the creature colour to the yellow/green colour we associate with the infest mechanic. I'm just not sure about the blend of certain colours that result from it. Nevertheless, having the ring timer has really helped us clearly convey that there is a time limit for infesting.
Work on the Flopalodon has been good but slower than I'd like due to the work on controller support. Connor is working hard getting sprites made for it and I am working hard to get a version of it ready for the show! I won't be able to completely finish it for the show but there will be something done for it. The fight is still in very early stages but I wanted to show something. I won't explain how the fight is going to work because I don't want to give away too much. Nevertheless, I will be showing a bit more of it in the future!
I spent a large amount of time adding controller support over the past week. This was something highly requested at EGX Rezzed but I hadn't gotten around to it until this week. The main reason for doing it now is that I feel using a controller can be more intuitive for new players, especially with Squillamorph's control scheme. I think it would be good to have both options at the show.
One of the largest challenges for me with mapping the controls to a controller was the mouse aiming system. The solution seems obvious; instead of aiming with the mouse, use one of the joysticks. However, when the mouse button for directional abilities is held down, it displays a subtle aiming line. When the player releases the button, the ability triggers in that direction. So how do I do this with a joystick? The prototype's method was to hold down the left trigger to bring up a line, aim with the right joystick, and activate on the trigger's release. This was not very easy to understand or convey to the player. So, I've come up with a simpler solution.
To aim a directional ability, you push the left joystick in a direction. Moving the joystick brings up a line showing you the direction. When the joystick is pushed far enough the ability will activate. Confining this system to one control input rather than multiple has proven far more intuitive than before. Nevertheless, I have yet to test it thoroughly and I'm sure I'll have to tweak it.
To round off this section, I'll mention that switching between mouse and controller can be done in the middle of gameplay and any text or tutorial elements will adjust accordingly. You can see this switch happen in the above GIF. It's probably also important to mention that I have made quite a large change to the enemies. To stop things from getting over-complicated, I've removed the second ability that enemies can have. In existing content, this only affects the Flop Shark; they no longer have a tail swipe stun as standard. Don't worry though, this ability will appear in a variation of the shark!
I hope that wall of text wasn't too much! There isn't much to show when it comes to controller support so I've tried to explain it concisely. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to leave a comment and share on social media! Thanks for reading!
I'm the game developer for Squillamorph! I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.
I'm currently looking at an Early Access release very soon. Stay tuned for updates!