Week of May 15, 2011
5¿½Ễ…ạỳ>ϕ-.11Oh hey! So it turns out that doing narrative stuff? Does not work so well for bullet-point parades. Unless you want to get, like…
-Added the scene where the guy says that thing
-Made the camera pan up slower so we see that guy later as he does that thing to build suspense
-Made it fade in slower to increase the atmosphere
-Added a line to better express a certain character’s awkwardness and to make the player feel more blah blah blah
So here’s the one thing I did, gameplay wise, and some plans for next week:
Explosions! I realized that this was really what the combat was lacking. Okay, I’ll invent a new thing for combat to ‘lack’ every damn week, but for serious, this is great! Most of the dudes you fight are also robots, because everything is robots. It’s thematic. You don’t care about that. But yeah, robots everywhere! So with the exception of slimes and other things, most enemies will malfunction at a certain point of damage. Slimes will… I dunno, bleed out, maybe? Anyway, after a certain point of being damaged (one-fifth of their total HP for now, but I’ll probably make it specific to each enemy), dudes will start sparking and gradually lose health. If you just cut them up, they’ll quietly keel over and die. If while malfunctioning they run out of health by themselves, however, or they suffer a violent impact (remember you can pick them up and throw them, throw enemies into them, or throw corpses into them, so…) then they’ll violently explode. This will damage all enemies and throw them aside, depending on how close they were… which, as you can imagine, can result in some pretty messy chain reactions if you throw a malfunctioning enemy into a crowd of other, weaker enemies. Some enemies will be added who have low HP to begin with, and a low threshold before they begin malfunctioning, basically turning them into makeshift bombs.
It’s changes like this that can really make the combat system ‘take off’, allowing for all kind of weird possibilities. For example, enemies are going to be ‘themed’, by the standard elements you all already know and are tired of. An ice-themed enemy could make an explosion that freezes all others, an electricity-one could immediately make everything it shocks start to malfunction, resulting in more chain reactions… Man, shit’ll be crazy.
Okay! Planned stuff. Again, I hate to talk about what’s ‘planned’, but I actually know how this is going to be done, so it’s not like I’m Molyneux-ing. It’s not like I’m announcing procedurally generated, dynamic architecture or anything like that, Spore. Basically, I’ll be trying to put together individual rooms for dungeons, and have them be randomly put together for each one. Look at Dark Cloud 2 (kiiiiiind of an influence? I haven’t played it in ages) and Spiral Knights for an example. All the rooms are individual and distinct, so this is not a cop-out to having to design actual dungeons. Every in-game day, the dungeons are re-shuffled. This is just to keep every dungeon a surprise, since after playing games like Oblivion non-stop, I’ve found certain dungeons get really boring after running through them 20 times. Seriously, I’m just sleepwalking through Vilverin now. Since every dungeon has its own theme, too, this lets me add a few things to each floor that changes dramatically based on what theme dungeon it’s current in. Enemies, traps, and a few obstacles will be different depending on if it’s a ‘fire dungeon’, or a ‘water dungeon’, or what have you. There should also be a unique story in some dungeons, told through scraps from journals and notes that will be there regardless of what room it is.
On the note of dungeons, I use the classical elements as examples, because they do pervade the whole game, but they’re not so basic as ‘fire = lava and shit everywhere’. Each element is attached to a culture in-game, and those cultures are what define the dungeon themes. Fire dungeons will look like, say, pleasure palaces, harems and such. Water dungeons will have a calm, religious air to them, Classical architecture, and yes, waterfalls, because Romans had water everywhere in their architecture (ever heard of aqueducts? Yeah, they made a big deal about it). So yeah, don’t worry, it’s not too clichéd. I’ve also got ‘time’ and ‘space’ themed enemies, partially to shit on anyone who’d call me unoriginal.
No, I’m not explaining how time-based enemies work. It’ll remain a secret until you can experience the temporal orgy for yourself.
Beyond that, probably going to incorporate enemies besides the ‘Chargers’, which just stand there, follow the player, and then try to butt into them. Probably shouldn’t go too much into the various enemies, but we’ve got ‘Flyers’, which just stay back and shoot at the player, ‘Gunners’ which are the same only stuck on the ground, and ‘Dancers’, which are more advanced melee attackers that like to dodge and take advantage of openings. There’s more, but I’m not 100% that they’ll go in yet.
So yeah, that’s set for next – er, this week. Sorry for the lack of bullet points, but those actually don’t necessarily indicate progress! They’re just satisfying.