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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! I'm excited to tell you that Squillamorph now has a Steam store page! That means you can now add it to your wishlist! I can't wait to get the game out there for you all to play and I hope you are excited about it too.
As I've already mentioned, the Steam store page is now live! Go add the game to your wishlist and tell your friends about it too! I am ecstatic about this as it is one of the final steps before the Early Access launch. I also now have a launch date! The soonest I am able to release it is Sunday the 17th of November, so that's when I plan to. I know it is slightly later than I've been saying, so I apologise for that. Nonetheless, I hope you are as excited as me for the Early Access release!
The first update I want to talk about first is to the local leaderboard. The plan is to convert it to a Steam leaderboard, but this will happen some time after the Early Access launch. Until then, it will remain a personal local leaderboard. At EGX, the leaderboard showed progress by percentage, total play time, and total points gained. The board was sorted by the completion percentage, showing players who got further through the game first. However, as more levels will be added over time, this sorting method isn't preferrable. So the leaderboard will now be sorted by points, and percentage complete will become region reached. This will display the initials of the region the player got to, i.e. 'Waste Processors' becomes 'WP'. I have also removed total play time for now. The total number of view-able leaderboard entries has increased as there is now a scrollbar for the leaderboard on the menu.
In regards to region names, I realised that I never state the name of the regions in the game. So, I've added an intro screen that appears when the player enters a new region. I think it does the job of introducing a new region quite nicely. I might add a few extra bits to the intro as time goes on but I like its simplicity for now.
The rest of the past week's updates were mostly optimisations, bug fixes and improvements. I also rewrote the leaderboard saving method to fit in with the same saving and encryption method as the player data, which I discussed last week.
New Levels & The Design Process
I wanted to show a couple of new level designs since it has been a while since I showed any. This is what all levels look like when I am designing them in Photoshop. I've created a couple more preliminary designs along with these but I didn't want to show them yet. It's important to note that these levels are not guaranteed to be in the game at launch. These levels are for the Reactor K region and will feature the Kobold enemy type. Designing them was a refreshing break from the tweaks, tests, and improvements I've been doing recently. I can't remember discussing much of the process of how I design a region for the game, so this seems like a good opportunity to.
Before I create a new region, I'll make the enemy that inhabits it. Depending on its abilities, this can take as long as making a boss but is usually much faster. Earlier in development, I made a rough design for almost every level in the game. I'll take the rough of the level I want to make and detail it out, taking gameplay mechanics into consideration. Once transferred into the game, I then test it to find and fix any obvious design flaws. Once all of the levels of a region are in the game, I'll test them in sequence to find remaining bugs or unintended choke points. Then it's time for the boss level, which takes the longest to finish because I need to create the boss for it. Then it's a case of repeatedly playing through the region until I get rid of all the bugs I can find and feel as if it is fun to play and replay. I'll add in scenery assets and make region specific assets throughout the process.
Last of all, I implement the mutagen upgrades and the reward level that is found at the end of the region. I usually do this once I start work on the next sequential region as that is where the upgrades have the most impact.
So that's a brief insight into how I develop a region for the game. I hope you found it interesting!
That's it for this week's post! Don't forget to wishlist the game on Steam! Stay tuned for more exciting updates!
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Don't forget to tell your friends to check out the game too!
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!