Picking up from last week; we are starting to feel very optimistic about our refining of Zhamla’s normal attacks. They are much more fun to deal with, they feel more varied and they’ve solved some of the clarity issues we had before. 

The only downside to all this positivity is that Fred has a bunch of new animations to tackle. Zhamla poses two normal attacks in all three directions (it’s technically four, but the left/right is just a mirrored version of each other) with the ability to finish his attack pattern with either of them. This means Fred needs to create 6 unique “Hey, I’m open for attack now!”-animations to indicate to the player when it’s time to fire back at Zhamla. It might seem a bit excessive but in the end, we feel it will be worth it. Zhamla deserves that extra bit of polish only reserved for the finalist of final bosses!

So, while Fred is busy with that, Teddy has put together some prototypes for some new potential attacks for the King of Collecting!

First up, we have another take on screen-wide fire move. As with most attacks like this one, its main purpose is to give the player a change of pace more than being overly difficult. Since the area of attack is so massive, we want to make sure players have ample time to react properly.

For the other attack, we went with another element: Lightning, with a touch of rain!

The first iteration of the attack both looked and felt a bit overwhelming during the testing, so Teddy did what he does best and cranked it up a notch:

Much better! Once again not the most difficult or threatening attack on its own, but it can easily be combined with other patterns and combos to add a bit more spice where we feel it’s needed.
Visually there’s still more to be desired, Fred has already been tinkering away with some suggestions:

The idea is to have a more pronounced lightning effect in the middle, surrounded by a bunch of smaller bolts. We’ll see how it turns out next week :)   

Back at it again with more Zhamla shenanigans! Last week I mentioned we were tinkering with adding one more sword-based attack to his arsenal and this is the result:

We based this attack on the elite version of Echo of Madness from Tai Ming. On one hand, because it felt like just the type of intimate and Perfect Guard-focused attack we were looking for gameplay-wise and on the other hand, it’s also a nice little visual connection between Zhamla and the Echo’s.

The graphics are still in the very early stages of polish, there’s still some clarity and size issues with all of Zhamla’s shadows bunched together, but nothing that a few coats of animation won’t fix!

Another focus this week has been to give the players more visual feedback for when Zhamla is open to be attacked. Since he is so hectic and agile in his playstyle, we feel it’s more important than usual to make sure players know when they can inflict damage and not get taken by surprise by Zhamla.

Fred whipped up this animation (the above one) as a test for when Zhamla leaves himself vulnerable after one of his normal attacks:

While still rough around the edges, it’s still more than enough to give the intended effect during testing. After some time spent in Teddy’s workshop, here it is in the game:

And another iteration with some more visual feedback added into the mix:

The added effects bring a bit more oomph to it, which I personally like. The flames were put there as a placeholder, but I dunno. It kinda works! We will keep experimenting and pushing it further, but just this simple test feels very promising so far :)

This past week Teddy and Fred have kept tinkering with new attacks and patterns for Zhamla. We are trying to find that sweet spot where Zhamla lives up to his name as King of Collecting, the most powerful collector of all time, while at the same time not trying to overwhelm the player with an endless moveset. It’s a fine line to walk and it’s always tempting to push it even further when you’re working on the final FINAL boss of the game, but we’ll try to not go too overboard. No promises tho 8)

So, one of the new attacks we’ve been working on is screen wide wind inferno-thingy! It’s main intention is to break up the pace a bit and give the player a small amount of breathing room before jumping back into the high intensity of dealing with Zhamla face-to-face.

First up is a video of an early iteration of the attack, trying out to concept and game feel:

And a later iteration with more polished graphics to get a better feel of the cinematic qualities of the attack:

There’s still a lot of tinkering and polish left, but so far, I think it looks pretty sweet!

The second attack we focused in on this week is a Blink Strike. At the moment we’re taking some extra time and care to make sure Zhamla feels fluid and varied when his utilizing his sword. The Blink Strike was an attempt to make him more agile and able to reposition without the need for too many fancy animations.

A video of it’s first iteration:

Aaand a second one with a bit more polish to the graphics:

So far during testing, it’s been doing just what we intended (which is not always the case, yay game design!) and while there are still adjustments to be made, so far so good! We’re still deliberating on and trying out at least one more sword-based attack for Zhamla to have access to. Hopefully, you guys will enjoy what we cook up!