I tried to tailor my 'giant undead ambush spider' to them in particular. Since it attacks by charging at you suddenly from offscreen in true jump-horror fashion, it works beautifully when you put it where people *really* wouldn't expect it, like on a ceiling or rushing down the side of a wall or something like that.
Anyway I've been too lazy about leaving devlogs, but I've been incredibly busy on churning out the content for this game. I can happily say that I've now completed the code for all the normal enemies in the game, 61 so far in total, though as I go along theres room to add just a handful more if I come up with good ideas. So now I'm taking aside a few weeks to revisit some of the earlier content and polish it up graphically to put it on par with my newer work. Besides cranking out tons of enemies and polishing up even more, the past month also had me finish up a minimap system for the game, tons of new camera editing, scripting and physics options. It'll be a big milestone once I get these last crop of enemies polished up. Anyways, heres an example of how some of my old "I don't know how to draw" gets replaced by something halfway decent:
Mind thats the one I'm working on tonight, its not even halfway finished! He's missing his arms and a leg, and I'm thinking of giving him a weapon but not sure on what type. Need to drum up a few ideas for that.
Speaking of suggestions, thats where this post really kicks in. I've got a huge challenge if anyone else can help me out with it. In moving into tilesets and level design in the near future, I need to truly flesh out the core quest and impetus to the game. Its going to be a Metroidvania with emphasis on exploration, dungeons and puzzles/traps for sure, but in order to build up that exploration, I need to give the player some reason to want to go off the beaten track and check every nook, cranny and hidden room. And I absolutely love me some hidden areas, if anyone played Gridquest thoroughly. But in that case, it was easy- the game was gear driven and I just placed a super-powered item drop chest at the end of the mini-dungeons, a reward already using the in-game systems.
For Asunder, I need to come up with a MacGuffin, some sort of plot coupons that you could collect from side quests. But at the same time, I'm limited by my very conscious attempt to keep the game minimalistic. With the unorthodox gameplay, 360 platforming and upsidedown-ness and time rewinding/speeding/slowing/overwriting/nonlinearlyjumping, Asunder is going to be complicated enough despite the fact that there are only 3-4 buttons total besides arrow keys. There won't be a gear component to the game, there won't be an HP bar (everything kills you in 1 hit), there won't be weapon powerups, there won't be anything that extends your rewind time (for the latter two, I could, but I've opted against it). So what do you put in a big sparkling treasure chest at the end of a secret dungeon?
For the main quest line where you say "Beat these 3 dungeons, unlock final battle area, fight boss", its simple enough, you have some plot coupons placed at the end of each one that don't have any gameplay mechanics tied to them. Doesn't really matter what they are. But I want to drive exploration without forcing it down their throat, so where does that leave me?
I've looked at some ideas. Like Zelda games will give you quest where you collect hidden tokens, and after 10/30/50/100 or something, you earn new powerups. I'd like to avoid powerups if possible, but its a possibility that keeps it simpler than adding 'damage counters' to the game. Another is to have purely useless trinkets that once all collected, unlock a secret final ending or area or whatever. Kind of a cop-out method. One I've been leaning for is the gimmick-mechanic plot coupons, where they don't really influence your gameplay, but come in handy for a single set piece. Namely I'm thinking something like having 16 chess pieces strewn across the game, which you can use at a giant chessboard that guards a portal to a hidden end-game area, but in order to pass you need to beat an AI at chess using only the pieces you have (and with your ability to rewind time). Anything even with a silly gimmick like that.
Basically I need to have something I can stick in a treasure chest at the end of hidden areas, and preferably a lot of them, but I'm still pretty lost in terms of what. I just want to avoid saying "Theres 50 stars hidden throughout the game, collect all 50 of them for bragging rights and otherwise absolutely no effect"
And oh god, anything but stars. I'd sooner have you collect pentagrams to summon a demon from the blackest pit of hades than beat that horse's corpse
You know, I think I'm just thinking out loud, not really dev-logging. I should never have taken up homebrewing.
I've amended how enemies in the future section work for their gimmick. Many enemies will have attacks with delayed impacts, "killing you in the future". Like the Red Demon, who channels a short while, then vanishes, and reappears 10 seconds later with a fatal uppercut no matter where you are, even if you rewind time and go back, he'll get you in the new place
I didn't like this much. Its not nearly as clever or impressive as the "Skeleton Archer who shoots arrows that travel backwards through time, killing you 3 seconds before he shot it" that makes people go "wut?"
So my new trick. Future enemies will have these same delayed attacks, and they'll target you in the future and kill you no matter where you go. But if you rewind time, you'll find you can dodge their attack by stepping to the side- it will always appear in that same spot, where you would have been in the future if you hadn't rewound. Thus making the enemies act like they really were jumping forward 10 seconds in time, not just 'waiting'.
The trick is the same as my "kill you in the past" guys and doesn't need any new coding and can work for even more nifty results- when the attack finishes in the 'future', it overwrites the past 10 seconds of recorded time, altering everything since the attack was fired, to lock it into that new position instead of choosing one. So I'll have an enemy that shoots artillery sky high that rains down upon you a long time later- always on your screen even if you went 5x screens away- but if you step aside, you'll be able to easily dodge it after a quick rewind.