Hey everyone! The UCA Farnham graduation show is now over. If you managed to go, I hope you enjoyed it and managed to play Squillamorph! Unfortunately, I became aware that the room Squillamorph was in was locked for some days because there were no students to watch the equipment. It's a shame but it happens I guess. Anyway, onto the main content of this post.
I was play testing some bug fixes when I noticed that something didn't feel right about the game visuals. For the Rezzed build of the game, the levels felt near complete and exciting. In contrast to this, the current build feels quite empty and bland. I believed the main reason for this was the lack of background machine/panel sprites. I admit, I had to rush some into the levels before the show because the redesigned levels had none. So I threw a few more bits and bobs together to make things feel more complete. Nevertheless, it still felt strange and incomplete. This happened to be around the same time I saw some of the new game trailers from E3. When I saw some of the games, I noticed how alive their worlds seemed. I then realised that Squillamorph's world currently feels quite dead apart from the enemies.
I decided to quickly throw together an asset to make things feel more active. I had meant to make this asset for a while but it had not been a priority until now. Connor had made some empty glass tank sprites. He left them empty so that I could fill them with 'liquid' made of particle systems and other sprites in Unity. This liquid would be something tied to Squillamorph's plot-line. The creatures in the game are filled with a synthetic goop that acts as their lifeblood, which you can see in their orbs which allow the player to infest them. So, I made a couple of them and placed them in the Flop Shark level. I did not expect the difference they would make. The background colour palette is now broken up by the dark goop tanks which makes it much more interesting than before. I'm going to do more like this so that the world feels much more exciting.
After listing a couple of bugs last week, I thought I would give you an update on the progress I've made with them. The main one was the Flop Shark blocking issue. I tried several things to resolve this and the result I ended up with is not quite what I wanted. The Sharks now don't push each other anywhere near as much as they did. However, if the player infests one then it will be able to push others around. This allows the sharks to move past each other, without looking too odd, while still maintaining a more solid appearance for the player's benefit. As I said last time, the ideal scenario would be to have them climb over each other. However, due to the pathfinding system and collision system I made, I cannot do this without greatly impacting performance. So I'm going to settle with slightly intangible enemies for now.
The wall jumping segment was the other point of contention. I have not yet changed the wall jump to be easier to use. Nevertheless, I have added a ledge to allow players to go through the segment without using it and some simple arrows to show how the player should manoeuvre up the corridor. I still intend to make the wall jump easier to use but it needs more thought before I do.
I know there wasn't as much new content this week as I had to do a bunch of documentation and research last week, which took up a couple days work. Anyway, I hope you are enjoying these posts! Next time I might have a new level to show, but we'll see. Thanks for reading!
I'm the game developer for Squillamorph! I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.