I guess that means I owe everyone an update. Here goes nothing!
The information blackout this summer has turned out to be a pretty good thing for my work, I think. It’s kept me focused on making rather than presenting, and I haven’t spent more than a few weeks at a time focusing solely on other work. I think it’s safe to say that my current project is not only at the point where Hysteria and The Outer World managed to get to, but it’s already beyond that. I have already programmed and art-ed in every major mechanic for the player character, created a useful tile system that allows me to fairly quickly create and apply a new set of tiled graphics to an area without worrying about setting the right tiles for the right spots (as they automatically set themselves to the right tile graphic based on what’s around them), coded a nice little Baby’s First NPC Dialogue System complete with branching dialogue paths and my own syntax codes to make certain actions happen when the text reaches a specific spot, and even put together a few enemies to fight, all with their own simple AI systems.
Right now, I have the foundation just about completely laid down. It’s quite playable in its current state, and even rather pretty, save for the lack of UI elements and various things I intend to sprinkle around levels. But even so, I feel like it’s too soon to show it off just yet.
This game’s mechanics are simple even for a sidescrolling action game. If you’ve played Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero, you know the kind of movement system I’m putting in place. It’s very much a modern take on an oldschool gameplay style. You have quite a few actions at your disposal, but they are all limited and balanced in their own ways, so you need to think through how you’ll go about each scenario you end up in. It’s like if you took the old NES Castlevania games, how they handled moving around and how each weapon or item you used had its own limitations, and applied that same sort of thinking to 2D Metroid game progression, where you obtain new skills and items as you progress, which open up new possibilities. Dare I say… Metroidvania?
Surely this is nothing new. It probably sounds a lot like things you’ve already played. To be fair, this IS a smaller project than those before it and I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I have ideas that I’m sure will make it a very fun play, but the problem is that they mostly rely on a more finished state to show them off. I still want the ‘full reveal’ to be a surprise for everyone so I’m not really going into detail about the game until I’m really ready to lift the curtains. When that happens, I’d like to have a demo to throw out there to let you experience the first couple levels for yourself and see what I’m really on about here. Or at least have it coming soon.
With school back in session, I have less time to get work done on the game, but this has been a very productive summer and an interesting game project so far. I plan on continuing my work on the game alongside schoolwork and art commissions. I’m hoping that this will be successful and everyone likes what I’ve done!