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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! Over the past week, I've been hard at work on the next boss. It has a long way to go yet, but I hope you enjoy seeing the first bit of progress on it.
The boss for the Reactor K region is based on the boss that was in the proof of concept demo. The boss was designed to be similar to the much smaller Root-Toot enemy, which was the predecessor of the Kobold. At the time, I did not have an official name for the boss but referred to it as the dragon. As I am remaking it, I have come up with an actual name. It might still change but for now it is called the Kragon. At the time I could only give it one attack, which you can see in the GIF above. It was quite a complex fight though. To defeat it, the player would have to infest a spot on its back, which they could only do when launched out of a vent while the boss was shooting. The new boss fight will not be like this due to the number of players who struggled to understand the original.
A Big Kobold
The boss is essentially a big Kobold, in the same way the Flopalodon is a big Flop Shark. This means I had a good base to start building the boss from. However, I found it particularly difficult to get the core things setup. This was partly due to me forgetting how my boss template works, and partly due to several challenges I had making a larger humanoid. I had big trouble with positioning the body parts in the right places. For some reason, they kept wanting to be in very different positions to the ones I specified. It felt more challenging than it should have but I finally managed to get the essentials setup and working.
It is difficult to put the body parts in the right places without having artwork, so this had to become a priority. I have not done the artwork for a boss before, Connor made the sprites for the Flopalodon and the original dragon boss. Things were made easier because I could use the old sprites as a base but they still needed to be reworked to fit the new art style. Even so, certain parts had to be completely redone, such as the legs. The sprites are not finished yet, I haven't even begun altering the head, but I am pleased with the direction they are going in.
Some Legwork Required
I have previously discussed that the legs of the Kobold are a big challenge to get working; I still need to work on the leg movement for humanoids. To get the same leg style for the Kragon, I simply took the Kobold leg code and scaled it up a bit. This worked perfectly, but it wasn't a good thing. Making the legs bigger exposed the problems with them. Limbs with one joint, the Flop Sharks arms for example, are relatively easy for me to make. When another is added, it gets more complicated. Unlike most other parts of the creatures, the knee and elbow joints are not physics objects. This means I can't connect them in the same way as everything else. For the Kobold's legs I came up with some position calculations that worked well enough. There is some stretching that occurs but it looks alright. This didn't work for the Kragon, so I started again from scratch.
I've made some new calculations that mean the legs cannot stretch apart and it looks so much better. I am very pleased with the new method, which I will probably start using with the Kobold. However, doing this created a new problem to solve, The legs will appear further than the feet at times, meaning that when the feet are on the floor the legs will be well into the floor. It took me a while to work out a solution to this problem. I had to draw some diagrams to get my head around it. The solution does create a tiny bit of stretching in the leg if the foot becomes too close to the hip, but it works well enough. So that's one leg issue solved; the next is making the boss look as though it is able to support its weight by positioning the feet properly.
That's it for this post! I know the content wasn't as varied as normal but the Kragon took up most of my development time this week. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed seeing the recent progress!
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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!