Hey everyone, I hope you all had a good Christmas and are feeling ready for the New Year! I've actually done more with Squillamorph than I expected to and most of it is visual, yay!
I've been wanting to find a way to add more visual interest into the current tilemap without actually using more assets. We do still intend to add scenery assets. The method I've come up with is still a work in progress and I'm not going to use it if I can't get it past its current state. I use a custom distortion shader to warp everything behind a mesh that fills the level. The shader takes into account an image to control the strength of the effect at different parts of the level. If a pixel is completely green, the effect is applied at a maximum strength. If it is completely black, the effect will not be applied.
The problem this shader has at the moment is that the only thing that limits the distortion to the solid areas is the low res filter image; meaning things excluded from the distortion can still appear in the distorted area. Ideally, I would put the scenery I wanted to be affected on a different camera and then have the camera render to a texture. Then I would put the texture on a mesh in the final scene. I did try this but I couldn't get the texture resolution the right size. I will attempt it again but as it isn't a massive priority it won't be for some time. If I do fix its issues, the shader could have many uses.
A Smol Shark
I want to make a few variations of the shark to create more interesting gameplay. Nothing extreme, just slight alters to the existing shark to make gameplay more interesting. If I hadn't used a scriptable object method to assign the base stats of creatures then making a variation of the shark would have been much harder. All I had to do was duplicate the existing shark scriptable object, alter the speed and health values, and change the size and spacing of the sprites. I also altered the tint of the sprites temporarily to make it easier to differentiate the shark types. Now there is a smaller, faster, but weaker shark. I still need to test it properly but just messing around with the prototype was a lot of fun.
Making this faster shark made me realise how janky the arm movement is. I knew I would have to revisit it but I hadn't quite realised how inaccurate it was. Limb movement is driven by the appendage on the end of it, such as a foot or hand. The elbow is then moved depending on the position of the appendage and the position of the segment of creature it is attached to. To keep it short, the method I've been using to tell the appendage where to go was a total mess. So I've rearranged and altered it. Although not perfect, it is now much better at making it seem as though the Shark is using it's arms to move. Whether the same appendage will work for legs is something I'll have to discover later.
So that's it for this week! I hope you all enjoy the New Year's Eve celebrations!
I'm the game developer for Squillamorph. I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.