For most of this week I have been pretty ill, which has not helped progress. Nevertheless, there has been some progress.
I decided to improve the functionality of the system that translates the Photoshop level designs into tiles. I've given it the ability to use a colour palette to place different types of tiles. Currently the colour palette is small because we don't have many tilesets but it has allowed me to make the level much more interesting without spending hours placing different tiles in Unity.
A while ago, I tried to use a perspective camera to get a better representation of depth, which is basically free parallax. However, this does not work well with pixel perfect art. So I've made a simple parallax script to get the effect of depth with an orthographic camera. The script allows me to place objects where I want them to appear in the scene and then moves them closer to the player at the start of the game, depending on how far back they should be. The objects then move with the player but at a slower speed. The reason I move the object closer to the player at the start of the game is so that when the player is at their position, they will appear where I placed them. If I did not, the objects would be much further away from where I actually placed them.
So I was testing out the new level design and I found that it felt very empty. I did expect this because currently there are only tiles to make things look interesting. When I get some environment assets in things will look better but I realised that something else was missing, lights. So far, the only lights in the game have come from the player and the sharks. Now I've spent some time placing a few lights around the level, things look much better. They are mostly just spotlights but a couple have light cookies which make them look like spinning fans.
I'm currently working on particle systems that can be used around the level to make things seem more alive. I haven't finished any ambient particles yet but I have been using them to make a sort of furnace underneath the trash compactor. At the moment it is very stylised, using only squares to create the effect of flame. I doubt it will stay like this because it is quite different from the rest of the game but it gives you an idea of what I'm aiming for. Also, when it's done the flames will kill the player.
That's it for this week! I should be able to get more done now as I'm getting better. Hope you found this interesting!
I'm the game developer for Squillamorph! I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.