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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, I hope you liked the teaser trailer I posted last week! If you missed it, you can watch it here. I haven't had as much time as normal to work on the game over the last week, but I still have some interesting content to talk about!
Over the last week, I've been planning out some specifics of the world regions. One of these things is the mutagen upgrades at the end of each region. Each reward room contains a choice of three mutagens, which the player can only take one of. I've decided to keep the mutagens in each reward room related to each other. For example, the tutorial reward mutagens will affect the player helix dash. I've shown this room before and it already has two helix dash mutagens, but I needed a third. This new mutagen increases the speed of the dash and sits nicely alongside the others. However, the new mutagen made me aware of a problem.
Bugs and Tweaks
This next bit is a tad technical. When I first made the player metaballs effect, I used a rendertexture which was smaller than the screen resolution. This wasn't a problem as the metaballs trail never went outside of the texture. However, when I applied the new mutagen to the player, the dash trail clearly extended beyond it. So, I thought I would increase the size of the quad the texture is on, which didn't work because of something I setup from the start. The camera that renders to the metaballs rendertexture is a perspective camera. This is a problem because the camera doesn't change its view size when the texture does. Nonetheless, with a bit of work it is possible to do this manually, which I did. Doing this created a new problem, the effect looked different. The blobs looked more rounded, and the edge colour had less space. Basically, nothing I did would make this work so I went back to what it was.
The solution came to me soon after this. If I can't increase the texture size, surely I can move it to centre on the effect. I know that the trail effect mostly goes in the opposite direction to the player. This means I just need to move the camera and texture in this opposite direction. I can do this by using the negative velocity of the player movement. To my relief, this solution works very well. You can see it in action in the above GIF, the green box is the quad the texture is on. Phew, a big visual issue solved! Now, onto other tweaks and improvements.
Perhaps the change which will have the most impact is that the lives no longer reset in each level. Instead, lives will reset at the start of each region. This may not be a permanent change if it proves too difficult, I'm testing it at the moment, but I hope it will make a fun challenge. Something I mentioned last week was the design of one of the Flop Shark levels. I have now changed it to work better with the enemy pathfinding and it is much easier to navigate now. The last change I'm going to mention is something that isn't very noticeable but has some impact. Until now, the player would get 10 points for infesting an enemy. After some thought and testing, I have removed this as a source of points. This is to allow for another mutagen in the future and to prevent early exploitation, which is easy to do with the dash cooldown time mutagen. That's all the changes I'm going to talk about today!
Spawn Machine Lock
The player spawner has needed a change for a while now. Currently, players and enemies can climb up into the spawner. This allows the player to hide while the enemies struggle to get into it. It also means that if the enemies do get into it and kill the player, the player may end up in a loop of spawning and dying, which is not desirable. To fix this, I have finally added a lock system, which opens briefly when the player spawns and closes immediately after the player leaves. Until leaving the spawner, the player will not have control to prevent them getting stuck. Adding this in has reminded me that I'd like to add more animated elements to the spawner, so you'll probably see some more animated assets soon!
That's it for today's post! Next week's post will be slightly different to normal. It will have been one year since I started developing the current version of Squillamorph. So I want to look back at the year and see how far the game has come!
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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!