Hi you all! How do you do?

First off, I apologize for the unusually long delay between the last post and this one. I’ve been busy, and there’s been a period of like 2 or 3 months that I haven’t worked on the game at all, so I didn’t have much material to share with you guys. For the past week, though, I’ve been building back up speed, and what better way to get back into things than a devlog entry, right?

Let’s get to it!

News

  • New main theme: some weeks ago, I finally polished and published a video with the new version of the main Monster Embassy music theme! This theme will be played on the game’s titlescreen. It’s my most successful attempt at using LittleSoundDJ yet and I’m pretty proud of it. You can listen to it here:

I also published a little compilation of the theme’s multiple iterations, from 2014 to 2019:

I expanded a bit on the history of this theme on my art blog, if you’re interested. You can read the entry here.

  • Expanded config options: as a warm-up to getting back into the game (literally), I’ve been expanding the configuration options a bit. Taking accessibility into consideration, I’ve added a “speed” option, which will let you increase or decrease the speed at which characters, obstacles and other gameplay-related elements move. Think of it as hard and easy mode. You can also turn off dialogue sound effects (you know, those typical “beeps”), which I know that some people find annoying.

In order to be able to fit those new options into the config menu, I’ve redesigned it with a multiple page layout. I’ve also added a textbox to fit a description of each config option.

screenshot

The amount of arrows in some of my menus is getting frankly annoying, I might have to rethink that.

  • Added automatic joypad detection. Now the game detects when a joypad is plugged in or not. You can only access the joypad keybinding menu when a joypad is plugged in.

  • Reduced the number of game areas and episodes. In order to keep scope manageable, I’ve reduced the number of areas in the game and the number of total chapters is now down to 12. I’ve adapted the prototype worldmap to reflect this.

  • Added a game over animation. Zelda-style! I had always wanted to do this xD No animated gif today, my laptop is refusing to colaborate… the player simply twists around and collapses in a very cartoonish way.

screenshot

  • I finished the thunder animation effects. They might still be improved, but for now they look cool enough, I think.

  • Added a minimap option for episodes, which will appear in the menu. It displays the different rooms in the episode map (again, Zelda-style) and the current position of the player. The prototype looks like this (I will make it prettier, though):

screenshot

Fixed bugs

  • Fixed a bug related to joypad input, which made the load/save menu impossible to navigate.
  • Fixed a longstanding issue (not quite a bug): now using an air spell will only decrease your energy when it takes effect. That is, if you use the spell on a rock, but it can’t move because it collides with a wall, then the spell takes no energy from you.
  • Fixed: when you closed the config menu after setting a new language, the previous menu also closed.
  • Fixed: when going underwater and overwater several times in a row, sometimes there was a crash because the previous instance of the player character couldn’t be removed properly.

Known bugs to fix

  • In the dialogue system, if you press the action button many times when dialogue is still appearing, the dialogue disappears and appears again. I’ve tried to fix this but I haven’t been able to yet, I guess I’ll figure it out sooner or later.
  • Light sources are visible even when they don’t belong to the current active map layer. For example, you can see indoor lights even when you’re outside.

What I want to do next

  • I’ve started working on a “slide” effect for ice. It will probably take me a while, but it should make for some nice old-school puzzles.
  • After this, I’ll probably start implementing more complex elements that you can interact with. For example, I need to finish the “fire” system, as well as adding other elements that can harm you or that you can use to solve puzles: dropping trees and rocks, animals…

Other stuff to do:

  • Improving the cinematics system, so npcs can be moved around the screen, music can be changed, etc. Also, adding more scene transitions for menus and cutscenes.
  • Adding a jump effect for the player, similar to the one found in Pokémon games when you jump over ledges.
  • I want to improve the overall feel of the UI and remove the sliding patterned background of the main menu, since it’s not seizure-proof (no kidding).

As you can see, there’s always a lot to be done. Hopefully I’ll have a lot more to share with you on the next entry.

Best of luck!

Alf