This has been another good week for progress! The first thing I'd like to point out is the website; it now has a proper domain name. I'm very excited about this and it also means I can upload longer GIFs! In other news, I've got stickers and business cards prepared for EGX Rezzed now! Anyway, onto this weeks update.
One of the most noticeable changes this week is the cursor I have implemented. This has been needed for a while as it drastically helps the player direct certain abilities in-game. I'm also starting to use it to represent when the player can use abilities through a colour change in addition to the border colour of the player character.
To help with the feeling of progression in the tutorial, I have limited the space the player has to begin with using large doors. This really helps to create this feeling and makes the tutorial room feel more dynamic. As such, I might experiment with this in future levels. I haven't yet updated the tutorial 'script' accordingly but I will be doing that over the next week. I also hope to have some visual control images implemented soon too.
I have finally implemented the Test Dummy's ability, a joust-like charge. This is an important milestone for the tutorial as players are now able to learn the complete control layout for infesting a creature. In regards to this, I was introduced to a new problem in the last play test. Players found it weird that the Flop-Sharks did not use the space-bar for anything. They don't jump like the blob and Test Dummy but I wanted to find something for them to do with it. To resolve this, we decided that giving each enemy 2 abilities would be a good idea. The Test Dummy has the joust and a jump. So the Flop-Shark will have the leap and an ability Connor and I have discussed a few times before now, a tail swipe. This ability does no damage as it is very hard for the player to dodge but it throws all creatures away from its origin. I'll admit, it does take a while to get used to but I have found several gameplay scenarios where it is beneficial and fun to use.
In the last post, I discussed a new idea to give the player three different pathways of varying difficulty. To help visualise this to the player, I've created a small pipeline asset. It makes use of the colour palette shader to use different coloured lights. Next to each level exit is a small infestable port. When the player infests this, they can deposit points they've earned. When they've deposited enough, the exit will activate and the player can move onto the next level. As well as serving a gameplay purpose, the new pipes make the environment look more interesting. We might make some less prominent versions of these pipes to add more interest into the environment background in the future.
Since the demo of the original version of the game last year, I had decided not to limit the amount of time the player can infest an enemy. This was because, in the demo, players found that it was detrimental to their enjoyment. In hindsight, this was only because enemies did not respawn whereas now we have enemies that spawn infinitely. So I have now reintroduced the timer. My main reason for this is that it makes gameplay more interesting. It forces the player into keeping note of where they are in the level. For example, you don't want to be kicked out of an enemy surrounded by deadly environmental threats. It also allows us to make use of the Mutagens I talked about in the last post. I am currently representing the timer by slowly changing the colour of the cursor and the border around the infested enemy.
The mutagen idea I discussed last week is now fully implemented. There are currently three planned ways for the player to collect these in the game: Enemies have a small chance to drop them, bosses are guaranteed to drop at least one, and there will be specific levels where the player can find them. There will be different types of mutagen assigned to each of these to make sure that they are varied and interesting.
I hope you still like the way things are going. There is now less than two weeks to go before Rezzed! I am doing my best to get as much done before then. Stay tuned for more exciting content!
I'm the game developer for Squillamorph! I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.