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! Over the past week, I worked on finding a solution for having leaderboard time entries work with the new hub level game structure. I also spent some time working on ambient visual effects.
It didn't take me long to decide what to do about the leaderboard times issue from last week. I decided that I would only allow times to appear on the leaderboard if a player completes the game content. This means that I don't have to change the way the leaderboard works. It will also clear up the leaderboard somewhat, which was becoming cramped. Another has to be made to accomodate this; when continuing a previously saved game and re-entering a region from the hub level, the recorded play time will no longer reset back to the last time saved at the start of that region. This means that you cannot achieve a faster completion time using a single save and would have to start a new game instead. I believe this is how most speed-runs work anyway, so it feels like the right decision to me. However, if you are unhappy with this, I can easily change it.
After getting that problem out of the way, I started looking for ways to improve the game visuals. What stood out to me is how static the environment is. So I did some research, looking at visuals in 2D games. I found that most of them have animated background elements and ambient particle systems. I can't currently justify the time to animate scenery, so I focused on particle systems. After a lot of tweaking, I came up with a 'dust' particle system. It is a very subtle effect but definitely adds to the atmosphere. I also brought back an old distortion shader I made, to improve the hot pipes with some heat distortion. I intend to add more ambient effects to the game over the next few weeks.
Lastly, I'll mention that I have started work on a new enemy, and the first passive critter. I finally caved to the suggestion of adding multiple enemies into each region. This will significantly delay the game's completion, but it is necessary for the sake of variation and enjoyment. I will not give specifics on what the new enemy is but it will reside in the Waste Processors region alongside the existing Flop Shark enemy. I expect that the levels will have to change slightly to accommodate the new enemy's behaviour, but I hope to be able to show it by the next post. The reason I'm adding passive creatures is to make the game world feel a bit more 'alive'. More info on this in the next post.
I hope you like the ideas I've discussed in today's post. I greatly encourage you to let me know what you think!
Please consider getting Squillamorph on Steam and leaving a review. It is still early in development but the more feedback I get now, the more enjoyable the final game will be!
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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!