Blacksmith Menu

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On Player One’s side there’s what the blacksmith menu currently looks like. There are other stats besides the three pictured in there, but we put these three in here because they can be upgraded without limit, and to make the end-game shop a little more attractive.

Every upgrade costs whatever is displayed, and the cost depends on your character’s level (or total number of upgrades), similar to Dark Souls. The blacksmith’s upgrades start fairly cheap but ramp up in price as you get stronger, while the shop’s prices start higher but never change; this should create a natural progression where it becomes a better choice to risk going into the most dangerous part of the map to buy more effective upgrades. It’s impossible to guess what exactly the shop will contain, though, so the blacksmith never loses its usefulness if you want to make sure you have enough of a certain stat.

The prices will take some careful balancing to get right, but hopefully this will result in a system where the player is rewarded for picking the right time to press forward but the losing player is never so outstripped that they have no chance of winning.

There is also a yellow fist in the top left HUD to indicate your strength bonus. It’s kind of cute.

-Justin

Enemy health bars!

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Short update today! This update introduces the existence of enemy health bars (as pictured in Player Two’s HUD). Fairly straight forward, but it helps to reduce visual clutter and makes things a little more consistent. Before this I had it so that boss monsters had health bars and no other enemies did. I prefer this because it lets players get a feel for how strong various enemies are without having to try to tank them. Another benefit is that it reduces the necessity of screen-looking to figure out how much health the other player has. There will still be screen-looking, of course. This just means it isn’t REQUIRED.

My next goal is to begin the heinous task of rebalancing the game to cater to the new Blacksmith and upgrade system. It’ll be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be perfect yet. Yet.

 

See you soon!

Chris

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Or maybe I meant change…

We’ve decided to restructure some aspects of the match layout to promote motivation and objectives for the players. We found that with our current layout players tended to be lost and roam aimlessly, finding upgrades essentially by accident. There was no real goal or understanding of how to get better. We wanted to change that.

What we did was redesign the map entirely. The game now loosely follows this structure, with (obviously) room for strategy:

-Players begin the game in bases in opposite corners of the map. They both start off very weak and must ‘farm’ for nuts within the relatively safe inner ring, closest to the base. Players can then spend their money within their base in the blacksmith on upgrades to health, damage, speed and stamina.
-Eventually, players will grow strong enough to venture outside of the inner rings, where they will encounter more difficult enemies, as well as the shop in the centre of the map, a boss in one corner and a casino in the other. This is where players will start to skirmish, fighting each other, laying ambushes, and chasing. Players can return to their own base to restore health, and they can head to the enemy base to destroy their point of health restoration.

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That’s the very simple explanation of the reformat. Of course, players can choose to play things entirely differently. They might decide to do a risky rush of the shop in the centre for early access to powerful equipment, or they might decide to upgrade only their health so that they can attempt to tank the boss in the early-game. We’re doing our best to encourage multiple playstyles that suit the other player and allow for every match to be different.

Another addition that we’re in the process of developing are Alleys. Alleys are narrow pathways that lead between some rooms across the map that allow players within them to be invisible to players outside. This lets players set up ambushes, as well as escape from pursuers. The catch is that to enter an alley, you need to use a key. This sets the alley up as a tactical trade off that can become very important in the late game for catching your opponent off-guard.

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The map is much more visually distinct now, with each area a different tileset and cast of enemies. The screenshot above shows the beginnings of the most difficult, central slice of the map, affectionately known amongst our team as Hell.

Obviously, we have a long way to go before this game gets to where we want it, but I feel more comfortable with the journey now, knowing that we have a set goal instead of just adding features and hoping they improve the game. I’m going to do my best to keep frequently updating for the next little while as things fall into place, as well as perhaps detailing some of the systems that are being developed.

See you soon! 🙂