With the third Tai Ming zone up and running, and the base of the dungeon essentially completed, it’s only natural to have a meeting to discuss the feedback we’ve gotten!
Before uploading the patch our inhouse testers had given us two point of views on the third zone: one said it was impossibly hard, the other said it’s too easy. The general consensus after uploading the patch seem to be it’s somewhere in between those two (yay), but we’ll keep monitoring your comments and make adjustments to the difficulty accordingly.
Aside from the usual bunch of bugs and a couple hotfixes, things seems to be sailing pretty smoothly and now all that remains is cleaning up the placeholders, await sound effects and polish things up for the stable release, which is our next goal!
So, for the next stable release, we’ll basically clean up Tai Ming to the best of our ability and launch the dungeon when it’s properly completed. We’ll also be adding a couple of things to the dungeon before patching as well, namely:
* A couple more NPCs in Tai Ming’s first zone
* A secret chest…somewhere I won’t say
* New shop items
We’ll also make a slight change to the Mimic battle so that the Mimic spits out the sword if you solve the puzzle mid-fight. It felt a bit unsatisfying to push the block onto it only to be rewarded with nothing until the battle’s done, so that had to be fixed!
Now, as for what happens after Tai Ming… Previously we had an idea that we’d do a vote for what you people would like to see added, but after discussing our options today we realized there are so many things we feel need to be added ASAP, that we’ll probably end up doing all of those and only save the super optional stuff for later. More on that later!
Some other things we’ve discussed recently:
What year is it?
Some of you might have asked this question already, with all the time jumps in the dungeon! We’ve had multiple discussions about whether or not to include years, either when you zone or/and added somewhere in your journal.
The obvious argument for is that it would hopefully make it easier to know how much time has passed between certain events. However, there’s also the risk of annoying people who forgot what the previous year was, and now gets another year presented. This happens to me a lot in movies: in the beginning they show the setting and present us with which year it is, and I go “oh okay so we’re in the 1600’s”, and promply forget what the last two numbers where. Then, a while later, there’s a jump and they show another year, also 1600’s, but since I didn’t remember the whole year I have no idea how many years have passed in either direction (is it a flashback?), until I get it based on the context. In those cases the years did nothing but annoy me, since I had to rely on the context to grasp how much time has passed anyway.
It is our hope that we’ve provided the player with enough such context that there isn’t a need to know the exact year. We haven’t completely thrown out the idea though – if it becomes too confusing, we might add them later.
After Tai Ming comes the desert, and as such we had another talked and decided that before we update the Stable beta, we’ll add the bare minimum of the first desert map – most likely only the background and something blocking your way from continuing (so no enemies or NPCs or anything like that).
The reason? Those “this area is not in the game yet” notifications. Once we add the first desert map we actually won’t have any of those anymore, and I’m pretty sure you guys are just as annoyed by them as we are! Nothing throws you out of a game as much as a blatant reminder that you’re only playing the beta.
Temple of Seasons Story?
And now for something completely different. Did you know that we, from the beginning, intended to have picture carvings here and there in the Temple of Seasons, telling the story about the player character’s mother Charlotte and how she came to save the fae that one time? Don’t worry, we won’t add that right now, but we did have enough time during this meeting to reiterate that we will add it at some point. Likely after the main story is done.
Spirit World Objects
Finally, we talked a bit about the spirit world and what kind of objects should appear when using the skill. We want certain things to be able to appear in order to create puzzles and challenges – such as a bridge that only exists in the spirit world, and so on. During this discussion we talked about what they should look like graphic wise.
Right now we’re thinking that we should go full on horror style – having the objects be made of bones or dark goo or other creepy things you’d associate with ghosts. We’re still balancing on an edge where we’re not sure if it’s gonna be too creepy or not (the game hasn’t been that scary until that point, even if we begin to see some darker things in Tai Ming), but hopefully it’ll not feel too off in the end.
If you guys have any suggestions for what you’d like to see graphic wise in the spirit world, let us know in the comments! :)
Since we’re currently busy airing out the bugs that have been reported, adding sound effects and basically polishing up the graphics, which isn’t much to show visually in this blog, here’s a sneak peek of the Mount Bloom Arcade Mode floors instead!
To make these floors, we’ll be using a bunch of basic room backgrounds as base, and create variations by decorating them in different way. When creating the bases I make a standard background, add some basic decorations that don’t need colliders (basically floor and wall stuff, such as moss and vines), as well as four exits – one in each direction:
The exits are on their own layer, and beneath is a solid wall, so you can simply apply the number of exits you need for the specific room. Some might only have one door, others might use all four.
I then make a second and sometimes a third variation of the basic decorations, moving moss and wall decorations around so they aren’t all exactly the same:
Next step is adding props that have colliders, which are added using our editor. In order to increase the sense of variation we divide each backgrounds into four parts, and create a minimum of two variations in how the props are placed within each corner.
Once that is done, the game engine will be able to mix and match each corner for the background, creating 16 possible variations per background, if each corner has 2 different layouts:
The basic room shapes are the same, but thanks to different numbers of doors and decoration differences, they feel more different than they are. These are only the first two room types, next I’ll be making a bunch more to increase the sense of variation as you progress through this floor.