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?


  1. Well, as long as you make this world fun it's not too big for indie game. Ever.

    From what I see you're changing a lot of things all the time, like power up placement. It might be good idea to keep things like you have already planned and then when everything is finished fix it. I know it goes against some of the ideas of project managing, but for one person project it usually works better. Fixing stuff as you go makes you see less progress.

  2. @Tatry2007: I thought it would work that way too, but unfortunately I realized this will totally screw me in an open-world Metroidvania game, as too many things have to be planned ahead. Like, I never thought of how much hassle the map planning would be. I had to basically create color layers to illustrate which rooms become accessible with every new powerup, and where player can and can't go at each point in the progression. Also - seeing the big picture made me realize that the game will not be very fun early on, as Iya's special moves make it much more interesting to play, and those were some of the last things a player would've gotten. So I rearranged stuff - the player will get new moves early on, and more superficial stuff, like powerful magic spells and an ability to breathe underwater much later on.
    Also - note it's a one-man project. Return of Egypt was made by a small group. I'm going it solo, and already have more content than that game, at least asset-wise (about 10 enemies, 2 bosses (unfinished), 5 tilesets, and a protagonist with about 14 attack moves and 2 magics (unfinished), oh, and something like 30 rooms varying in size from a single-screen to about 12 screens)

  3. Honestly, your game gives me inspiration to work on my game. I may not be as good at spriting or drawing as you are, but seeing the amount of effort your putting forth is inspiring.

    I see lots of games out there made by one person. Cave Story I think was made by one person, though I'm probably wrong. All I'm saying, is don't give up hope. It may seem like it's taking a great amoutn of time, but this game you're making is on par, if not greater, than a lot of commercial games you see out these days, especailly on the Xbox Live arcade.

    I look forward to the finished project, but take as long as you need to polish.

  4. Well, I just hope you don't abandon it halfway, even if that meant getting help from other people. Being one man project is great, but being completed project is even greater. Just don't rush :)

    DPRutledge00: Yup, cave story was 1 person project as well.

  5. Agreed with DPRutledge00, your project defintely gives me inspiration to finish my own. As for you thinking things might be to big, work with what makes you feel comfortable :)