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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.
Hey everyone! The past week has felt great for progress! I've worked on a ton of improvements which have made the game feel much more enjoyable to play. I've started to really enjoy testing it! Anyway, let's start with the level design changes.
I've nearly got all of the Waste Processing levels, that's the Flop Shark region of the game, to a playable point. The last level of the region isn't ready yet but the other three are almost finished. After testing them in sequence, I noticed there was something that didn't feel right about the first level. At the events I've taken the game to, I've only included this level so that it doesn't take too long for players to reach the boss. I made the level a bit larger to make it interesting without having to add more levels, but this now feels strange with the other levels being a bit smaller. So I've shrunk certain parts of the level while managing to maintain the overall design.
Another aspect of the first level that I originally thought would be a good addition was an unlock-able shortcut back to the player spawn point from the exit. However, I found that players were more interested in unlocking this optional and empty passageway than unlocking the exit. While I do like levels that loop around, and will probably use this sort of design later in the game, I no longer like the idea of it being in one of the first levels the player will experience. Removing it has actually made the level feel much more streamlined. I'm pleased with these changes, especially as I enjoy playing the level more now that it is compact and simplified!
I've got a new level to add to the list. This is a level that will appear at the end of each region. I want to reward players for completing regions to make them feel good about making progress. This was always going to be done with the Mutagen upgrades, which I've talked about before, but until recently I was not sure about the best way to do it. What I've come up with is a choice between three different Mutagen upgrades that the player will be able to identify through their symbols. I used to show what a Mutagen does using text that appeared when the player got close to it. However, I think that it might be more interesting to let the player guess what it is or learn to identify Mutagens by their symbols. I think I will make the reward selection random for each play-through when I have more of them, but for now it is the same every time. Hopefully, this will promote replay-ability and make replaying the game more interesting.
Tweaks & Fixes
As I've already said, I have done a lot of testing over the past week. This has led to the discovery/rediscovery of a bunch of bugs and issues that I am working my way through. One that has been irritating me for a while is the player appearing behind parts of the Flop Shark arms. It wasn't too noticeable but drove me crazy when it happened. I fixed this when I found that the enemy materials still use 3D space sorting rather than 2D sorting layers. Another issue was that enemies would damage themselves if the player infested one while it was attacking. Enemies would also continue attacking if stunned during an attack. To fix this, I added an interrupt to the attack animations. There are many other fixes but I've mentioned the main couple that were irritating me.
Before finishing the post today, I should mention that I'm going away next week. This means that the next post might come out at the end of this week instead of next Monday. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week's post!
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I'm the game developer for Squillamorph! I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.