We spent July concepting, developing units, adding player interactions, and updating the engine.
Dwarf Draft Page
In the previous update, Josh mentioned the Mecromage Overview that links us to the different enemy groups and the individual units within each group. We’ve now added the Dwarf page and unit pages to the overview. A few of these units are reimaginings of existing units, some are upgrades, and some are entirely new. Seeing all the dwarves together on one page really helps to get an idea of how well the units complement each other, both tactically and visually. We dedicated two or three mega-meetings to concepting new abilities and interactions for all the dwarf units.
Act 1 Plot and Outline
We mapped the player interactions with enemies and other situations in Orion Wood (Act 1). As we get more enemy drafts where we want them, we can place them in the levels and really get a feel for how fun things are. As part of this task, we named the smaller areas of the levels.
Logos and Badges for Units and Groups
As you can see on the Dwarf Draft Page, Josh has created logos and badges for the units and groups of Eblon as part of our enemy concepting. They have already been useful in concepting the enemies and “storyboarding” the levels, and we suspect that they may have marketing and other in-game purposes as well.
Game Language Pages
We codified and built upon the language for the game. Summarizing concepts into words has been a powerful tool in allowing us to build upon our ideas and have more uniqueness in the game. This is what we’ve done with a lot of our recoils and attack types, grapple mechanics, and spacial imprints.
PLAYER MECHANICS, PLAYER INTERACTIONS, AND ITEM UPDATES
Before adding the new units, we gave the player some objects to interact with.
Pull out blocks that have grapple pullies attached.
The player can grapple debris out of his way to reveal hidden doors or items.
Crystal Container / Gems / Sling Damage
The player can gather gems by grappling and slinging crystal containers to damage and break them open. This is the first item to employ the new “grapple sling” mechanic
Shop Items & Shop Item Confirm Box
A shop items is the in-store representation of a particular player upgrade or usable item. They have an associated price, portait, and text description. When interacted with by the player, a confirmation box displaying the portait, description, and price is displayed.
Water Flood Event
Chris added the necessary scripts and objects to allow the player to pull off a handle to flood an area in Orion Wood.
Lizard Shaman Draft
The corner stone of Culture Mechanics, the Lizard Shaman uses totems to place and cast spells and raises destructible rock pillars, making him a specialized enemy that forces the player to react to changing environments and positioning instead of just enemy placements and power level changes.
Last month, we laid out the prelimenary units for the Lizard Men. <Link to Josh’s pic.> I was most excited by the Shaman, so I got started implementing some his abilities that were new to the game:
* Perch Jump – The shaman can jump to raised areas so he can manipulate the battle from a safe distance.
* Magic Stone Throw – The shaman throws magic stones that effect his enemies in different ways.
* Pillar Raise – No place for the shaman to perch on? No problem. He’ll raise a pillar of earth to make his own perch.
Dwarf Engineer Upgrades Draft
The gritty and gruff engineer can repair and dispense drones to support any battle or mining team’s mission.
The dwarf engineer has a ne w toy – a multi-purpose cannon. He uses the cannon to fire grenades, bullets (single- or triple-shot), and to launch dwarf bots into the heat of battle. With all these abilities available, we knew that we wanted to have different subclasses of the engineer who had predispositions to using particular abilities and to launching particular bots. The final subclasses are to be determined. All of the engineers abilities have been prototyped, but we still have yet to be balance and refine them:
* Cannon Shot (Single)
* Cannon Shot (Triple)
* Fire Grenades
* Launch Bot
* Run to unit in need of emergency repair and launch repair bot
Crawler Bot Draft / Smack Damage
A handy terrain scout and mining utility, this drone is a staple of any diligent Rokknor.
Chris is implementating the dwarf bots, and he started with the crawler bot. The crawler bot is a modification of what was previously “Spider Bot I” and brought about “smack damage”, which is when the player grapples a particular item or creature and smacks it into another enemy to deal damage. The crawler bot has the following abilities implemented:
* Walk on grapple strip, anywhere the strip is laid
* Drop down from grapple strip
* Go into defensive roly poly mode when player jumps on head
* Player can grapple the bot and do smack damage
Flier Bot Draft
Anti-gravity alloy panels are put to use in the form of a long distance scout. The flier can also be used as a small resupply drone.
The flier bot was conceptually based on the Castlevania Raven. He’s a smooth mover. These are his current abilities:
* Dives and Hover
* Player can grapple the bot and do smack damage
Fly to Every Main Level
All the levels in Act 1 of the game have been connected and can be flied to.
Metroid Camera Cues & Cinematic Camera Locks
We have a couple new camera features that add a lot to the game – a metroid-style camera cue that pans from one “room” to the next and a cinematic camera lock.
String Type-Variable Pairs to Tools and Runtime
String type-variable pairs allow assigning of new variables to entities and having tool support for them without needing to touch runtime code. This allows us to branch the flows based on these variables (defined in behavior tool, chosen in sonia, reacted to from behavior tool flows (and runtime), if desired.
Sonia Audit Feature
We added an “audit” feature to sonia to catch scripts that pass messages to spawners if those spawners don’t have that option specified.
We added on-the-fly parabola calculation for shaman jumps and anything that needs to be thrown or jump to a specific point.
Recoil Behavior Update
Basic Walkers can now recoil based in the direction opposite that it is facing (new), in addition to the direction opposite that it was attacked from (pre-existing).