Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slugging through the sewers

Well - I started laying out the sewer portion of the map, and it's currently looking really, really nice. In order to get everything running on lower-end systems such as my netbook I attempted to optimize the sine-wave water routine, and stumbled upon a nasty bug that made things run slowly regardless whether or not the water was on screen or not.
My old slime enemies look very nice in the sewer, which might warrant their partial overhaul, as their current AI and attack pattern are quite terrible and somewhat unpredictable. Also - since I can populate the sewer by the slimes, I might as well recycle the huge slime boss, though, it needs to be redrawn to make it less cartoony-looking.
Now I need some alligators, sludge-cascades and rusty machinery - this is gonna be awesome.
I continued working on the game's map layout, as after some thinking I realized that Iya ends up getting her core moves way too late into the game, so I reshuffled the powerup order. Also, it was decided to reduce the number of magic attributes to three - each with 3 levels of upgrade (the third one is a single secret item that powers up all three magics).
Over the last two days I was playing Return of Egypt - an older indie metroidvania. Not a great game, but it made me think - with its map about a fraction of LOI's and only about three distinct environments it still provides several hours of moderately fun gameplay, Return of Egypt is just long enough for an indie project... is it possible I went overboard with LOI's ginormous world?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here's a lesson kids: don't make big games all by yourself!

Well, damnit! I spent almost an entire day yesterday planning out the game's world. Previously I had a basic skeleton just to get me started, but now I actually have the whole thing more or less laid out from the beginning to the end, and guess what - it's HUGE!
For the later branches of exploration I didn't even bother to plot "explorable rooms", as it just got so complex - I'm sure this will bite me in the ass eventually - but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Furthermore the area tileset coloring is subject to change, as I am now leaning toward dividing the game into distinct worlds ala Metroid's Norfair, Brinstar etc, and analogous Castlevania castle wings. The number of health and mana containers is also a subject to change, as I am now debating if I should find a way for the HUD to accomodate more than 5 of each container.

Friday, January 15, 2010

An unexpected leap forward.

Ok - small update - In one day I have added an entire tileset from scratch. This one is for the sewer system in the game. As all other tilesets it's only 16 colors and under 512 tiles (not that it matters, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity for an additional pat on the back: ) Now to add all sorts of decrepid machinery and as much terrifying water as possible.

The town tileset looks even nicer now - added more elements to it as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year, and holy crap! It's been five months since my last update, and I really don't have any groundbreaking progress to report on account of me being horrendously busy all this time.
There has, however indeed been SOME progress.
  • For one thing - the starting "real world" city location - is closer to be done. It currently has only a small tilable building element, but now that I have a starting point it should go quicker.
  • Additionally - I came up with another cool effect just for this short area - fake-reflective windows. It actually looks pretty cool - you'll see: )
  • The Gun-Ganesha boss is almost done. His pattern is almost complete, as well as the animations, scripting and background elements, including a colossal Ganesha statue.
  • Metroid-like minimap as well as a full-sized map of the world have been added, and work perfectly.
  • Another boss has been partially added. This one should be awesome to animate and script.
  • A projectile-firing enemy has been added, codename Bazooka Fox.
  • A wall-crawling enemy ala Metroid Zoomers has been added, but has no finalized graphic.
  • A walking tank enemy has been designed, but isn't animated yet.
  • A rock golem sprite sheet is almost done.
  • A lot of the background foliage is now animated.
  • Dust floats in indoor sunbeams.
  • Breakable blocks to hide secret paths.
  • More tileset refinements.
  • Some screen filters added to make similar looking areas have slightly different flavor.
  • Much, much more, but probably too small to mention.

So, yeah - I guess some stuff happend in the last five months. The game isn't dead... just somewhat comatose.