First of all after showing the lineart of the Ghost Ship exterior to Teddy and Fred and having some discussions, we’ve decided to change it in a couple ways. First, let’s take a look at what it looked like last:
First thing we wanted was to make the ship a bit higher, so with some quick editing here’s what we came up with:
Then we also wanted to make it longer, adding a broken mast to make sure the area you’ll be fighting in doesn’t get too big. Another sketch of that here:
So with these fixes in mind I went ahead and started with the reworks, also removing the door with the ladder and adding one from the left side instead:
And here’s the finished thing, ready to get colored (unless we decide on changing some more things):
Now, with the ghost ship progressing and most rooms actually already being finished, we’ve come to realize we’ve done something different with this dungeon that we haven’t done before, and we’re not sure it’s a good thing.
Usually we start off with sketches of every room and make sure we can run through each of them in a row, just like the dungeon would actually be, before we make the final art. This time however, because Teddy and Fred were so busy getting the last bits of the desert completed, we decided against that and had me work on making the completed rooms first thing. What that has lead to is that we have a lot of finished rooms, but we haven’t even had a possibility of running through the dungeon in its entirety yet as we usually do.
To remedy this, I’m going to take a break from the ghost ship exterior and focus on making quick sketches for the last bunch of rooms that haven’t been made yet, so that Teddy can put them all into the game and we can try it out and see what it feels like.
That was one of the things we discussed in today’s meeting. The other thing was that strange section I’ve mentioned before, where you’ll find yourself awaken back in Startington, but it’s a Startington that’s weird and kind of off. Previously, we wanted 4 mini “challenges” or events to take place here, but for now we’ve settled for three – each one representing obsession, expectations and deceit. These three elements are key to the story in various ways, and by adding these ‘challenges’ / cutscene things we’d like to put some emphasis on that. The deceit one is still in the sketching phase but will likely involve the artifacts you’ve been collecting in some way… Stay tuned for more on that ;)
…. and here they are! The fantastic sketches made for the remaining rooms of the ghost ship dungeon!
The puzzle one is very unclear right now since we haven’t decided exactly what kind of puzzle we want in there right now. Previously we wanted it to be one of those puzzles where you get chased by something in the ghost world, as I mentioned earlier, but now we’re kind of feeling like putting in a phase shift puzzle instead – can’t have enough of those, right?
The rest of the day we’ve been playing through the dungeon, each room now added by Teddy in a strange world with no colliders or enemies whatsoever, imagining what it’ll all be like when it’s finished. The short of it is that we kind of wish we had done this earlier, but alas, here we are. We got a ton of notes on things to fix now at least, which I’ll be talking about shortly.
Overall though, I think it’ll be fine – it’s a bit of a strange dungeon (but then again, so was Tai Ming), but thanks to the ghost world mechanic and the enemies I think it’ll be interesting.
So the first thing we decided to change when running through the dungeon was the size of the first room – always amazing when your first big change is in the first place you see, right? We felt this room was a bit small and didn’t give the proper introduction to the ship as a big and creepy place the way it should.
Same thing with one of the rooms on the third floor – previously we’ve been making a lot of too large rooms so I started making them a lot smaller since I always overestimated the sizes. Turns out I’ve gone too far the other way not instead, haha! Oh well, for this room it will be an easy fix since it hasn’t even been properly made yet.
Next, there’s a room where we thought we’d have some sort of bullet hell thing going on, but we’ve decided to change that for two reasons: one being that the boss already has a lot of bullet hell elements, and second, the room would be a nice opportunity to embrace the creepiness factor of the world instead. So, instead of an exciting bullet hell, there will be some creepy examining things in an abandoned ghastly kitchen, trying to figure out where a lost key is.
Other than that, there have mostly been minor edits and changes to make, such as more details in some rooms and added features in others, like a bookcase that will fire books at you, and possibly an encounter with a possessed refrigerator and oven – it depends on how further testing goes.
This whole dungeon is pretty strange right now as it’s very finished but also very unfinished, many of the rooms are ready but the encounters and puzzles are not. It’s possible we may need to redesign some parts if the puzzles we want to make don’t work out, but we’ll see! Needless to say, right now we’re doing a lot of discussing and testing back and forth, so we’ll see where things end up when all is said and done.
Meanwhile in Fred’s department, it’s time to finish up the crab enemy! We’ve designed this in a way that is kind of similar to the boar, which I think will become apparent once we start prototyping it. For now, here’s a bunch of its animations during battle:
So cute! I personally think this might be the cutest enemy of the game. Who agrees with me?!