It’s been a long time now. The most recent update is that I begun working on a map editor which allows for a much neater dev environment. It will make it easier for me to add cool features later, such as a zooming effect.
I have now gotten to a stage in which it is time to sit back and plan the overall macro experience of the game. I need to design a world, graphically and interaction-wise (and also audio-wise which will be very interesting) and then start implementing a draft of the entire game.
I started working on a map which sort of shows the world. I will also need to tie all the concept I have brain stormed together. The royal magicians, the witch knights, the demons and the puzzles.
No, I cannot work on a lite version. There is no passion…
I will continue to fight for the big version, perhaps I will pick a different project completely in order to get something done quicker. At any rate the gamejam at the retro game fair is coming up in the beginning of May, so I will be working on some other project for 24 hours then at least.
So I completed the basis for a dialogue system. I realized that I needed a way for the characters to talk in order to flesh out their characters and tell a story, and text is a convenient way to do that. Sadly, I understood (mentally I have of course done this some good time ago but physically…) that this is not the small project that I planned to have finished sometime soon.
It started out as a quick port of a semi-finished puzzle game for PC which needed a new control scheme and more levels and now it is quickly becoming an epic saga. I have chosen to try an counter this by starting to implement a lite version which will be the new core and graphics but with the simplest of gameplay, so that I can finish the game soon but still develop relevant material for a larger version (which is a darling I’m not going to kill).
I have been struggling with trying to use box 2D (so that I can easily implement physics for puzzles and environmental effect) while maintaining good motion and control of the player controlled characters. I finally managed to put together a pretty useful hybrid between parts of my old, own crappy but pixel precise physics and Box2D, nice.
This also means that I have been fiddling with the overall feeling for the gesture control and movement, and I must say that I’m getting there. I am also still super satisfied with the new graphical style. This can become something beautiful! : )
I have developed a new graphical style for the game and I finally feel that I am onto something. All shapes are drawn with a 2×2 square brush and only a base color with a few shades are used for each sprite. I have removed silhouettes which gives the graphics a cleaner look. For my first scene I have been trying out what can be done with the proper physics engine, adding water particles and blocks, and also how much environmental graphics can be handled, using two layers for parallax and moving scenery.
So I have been fiddling around a lot with how to actually control the game lately. I feel that the puzzle basics are solid, but that it is no evident how to control the player. It’s a 2D platformer, originally designed for use of keyboard and mouse on a PC, redesigned into a smart device app.
The early app prototypes featured two dumb buttons at the bottom of the screen for going right and left, but that’s not good enough. I really love the game Sword and Sworcery and it’s been a great inspiration for me in that “hard core” games are possible for smart devices. I have now started implementing movement controls that have similarities to this game in my game for moving the character.
Holding and moving a finger will draw platforms and a certain gesture (not super decided there) will activate a spell gesture mode for more advanced magic.
I have been reworking the graphics of the game in order to better express characters. I have also decided to split the old character into two new ones whereof one is more like I imagined the original (even thought that was a very blunt figure) and the other one is a punky female magician.
I call my characters the Mystician (sligthly crazy, mad alchemist, elemental arcane magic) and the Punkomancer (punk is her magic, more warrior-like, doesn’t give a fuck). They are old friends and the royal magicians. The only people who stands them for a longer period is themselves, so they live on a floating island called the Hover Tower, in the outskirts of the kingdom.
The graphical style is going somewhere, but I’m far from “there” yet.