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To build off of Justin’s post directly below, here’s some progress into our atmospheric enhancement! We’re in the process of implementing coloured lighting (as evidenced by the glows around the torches and the crystals). It’s quite amazing how much of an effect this has on the game. If you look at one of the screenshots from a previous post for reference, the game already seems a lot more varied and interesting, visually. It’s an exciting step to take, for sure.

One interesting issue that has presented itself to us of late is having too many elements in the same room, as well as design complications. As we add more and more objects into the game, we have to be very specific as to where they are placed, as well as how they interact with each other and the players. One room with enemies, spikes, a chest and a portal can get really visually confusing and hard to play, so we need to figure out how to properly place things.

We also are going to try out information pop-ups in the shop to help the player understand what the items for purchase are. This way, hopefully new players will be familiarized with the game’s mechanics rapidly, so that they can develop their own strategies quickly.

 

-Chris

Sparkly Things

Hey, Tangleworm here! I make art for our game and now I make blog posts for the blog.

One of the things we didn’t like about Ascension was its lack of dynamic environments; if you stood still in the game, it felt more like a screenshot than gameplay footage. This was in part due to rampant laziness and in part because that game resisted all attempts to develop it.

The player characters in Grabbyhands don’t have idle animations, like Atticus did. Fortunately Grabbyhands likes to help us develop it by being more fun, and we’re now motivated enough to put animated objects into the game.

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It’s just some sparkles for now, but these cave crystals will hopefully make the environment feel livelier. They will eventually be joined by torches, generators, and other things, depending on the zone.

The crystals being breakable should also help with another of Ascension’s faults that we’re trying not to repeat: the environment wasn’t very interactive. Now, in Grabbyhands, almost everything is interactive and trying to kill you. The crystals are nice, though. They drop loot sometimes.

For convenience’s sake I’ve used some highly advanced software to make a mockup of what the final game should look like with these ideas in mind.

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Oh the humanity.

Things that happen

Good evemorning everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a real update here. I’ve been super busy, not only with Grabbyhands but with school, work and family. We’ve made a lot of progress though, and I’m hoping that we can launch a small public build within a month or so, just to test out the gameplay. We’ve got a lot of work to do still, but the game is forming nicely and starting to feel really fun.

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We’ve added too much to bother going over, but I’ll outline the new weapon in the picture above. This is the Missile Pod: it’s a tricky weapon to use and a lot more strategic than something like a sword or knives. Your light attack shoots out a single missile, but if you release your heavy attack you’ll shoot out three lock-ons that will seek out the nearest enemy, with some restrictions. The next time you fire, your missiles will seek out all the locked enemies. It’s hard to use, but it can be very rewarding if you play it well!

A lot of what I’ve been doing lately is bugfixing and optimizing. It’s proving to be a unique challenge that I haven’t had to deal with until this game. Things are working out though, and I’m excited for the future as we fill in the empty bits of the gameplay 🙂

See you all soon!

 

Chris