Continuing my trend of completely unrelated titles…
So I’ve got some shitty news, my laptop was stolen yesterday. Thankfully, I backed up Ascension because I am smart and have learned from experience. Sadly, there will be about a week’s pause in development as my bank account is torn to shreds in the pursuit of a new computer. Them’s the breaks, I suppose.
Will have more news later on once development returns 🙂
I’ve been working on a new interaction system over the past couple of days.
You may remember how it worked from the demo we released back in October (good god that was so long ago oh my). It is no longer like that. Before, the only level of interaction you had was pressing E when on-screen prompts told you to. It was the same for health packs, doors, panels, batteries, etc etc. Not very fun, not very interesting.
What we’ve done now is bring the cursor into play. Now, you can use Q to switch to the “Empty Hand”, which transforms your cursor into a hand icon that you can hover over various objects and interact with them. If an object can be interacted with, it will glow and text will appear over your hand.
What this system allows us is far better placement of objects. We can hide notes on shelves above the player’s head and have them actually have to search for things instead of just pressing E when the indicator tells them to. You will still be able to open doors and skip text using the E key, but everything else has been mapped to clicking. Another benefit of this system is that we can slow the player down as he explores each room, and force him to unequip his weapons, which could lead to some really frantic situations. Te gusta? Me gusta.
Today I finished up containers, which as you can see in the images above and below, allow me as a designer/developer to hide items inside closets, cupboards, boxes, etc. Special items aren’t as blatant anymore, you’ll actually have to look around for them. This is a good thing.
Stay tuned for future updates! We’re picking up steam now, there should be some neat developments over the next month or two!
A few days ago (maybe more than a few, have lost track) we got someone to QA test the game for the first time since the demo. Our tester played in optimal conditions and responded with the feedback that our atmosphere was kind of shit.
SO, we met up and did some design revisions, and here’s what we’ve come up with:
-Our mechanics are too complex for the shortened scope of the game, so we’ve cut a bunch of unecessary items and statuses
-Our text engine isn’t working for us, so I set to work coding up a custom one for the game
-Our intro isn’t engaging enough, so we’re lengthening it and making it more interactive
-The player moves too fast, so we’ve made the main movement speed a walk (and accompanying animation)
-The environments are too static and boring, so we’re introducing a better interaction system and more objects to interact with
(As well as other things that involve story spoilers so neh neh you can’t see them)
We’ve done a lot already, so here are some pretty screenshots to show off our work! Note that not everything is complete, like the bottom half of the HUD.
Things are coming along very nicely! I hope you agree.
See you all soon,
Hello dearest peons, I have an update!
You don’t get any pictures today, because I am nega-ScreenshotSaturday. Or something.
We’ve been busy with schooling and other boring stuff, but an interesting scenario has hit us with a teacher/professor/whatever job strike, giving us 5 days with not much to do. So what am I going to do? Work on Ascension, of course!
As of right about now, Zone 2 is close to being completed. Not counting polish and all that good stuff, which will come much later. In terms of mechanics, story and scares however, we’re basically done. All the zone needs is a couple more prominent tiles and then we can move on!
If you recall, the game is going to have 5 Zones. Zone 2 is one of the largest zones to boot, so it’s good to have that in place and ready for cleaning up. It’s tricky business, designing a horror game (especially a sidescrolling horror, whose genius idea was that? [It was mine]) so we’re going to take it slow, making sure we’ve got the pacing absolutely perfect. The story plays a large role in the atmosphere as well, and I want to get it as good as is humanly possible.
I’m going to be looking into improving the lighting system if I can, which will hopefully lead to a better atmosphere and more options involving colouring and illumination. We’ll see!
Be on the look out for more screenshots in the next few days, we’ll hopefully have some out for you to drool over 🙂