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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBlood Moon (working title)
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Author Topic: Blood Moon (working title)  (Read 4095 times)
snackycactus
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« on: December 19, 2016, 09:11:49 AM »

Hello world!  Tiger

Welcome to the dev blog on Blood Moon (working title) - a gothic action adventure platformer with ideas taken from metroidvania, dark souls and many other places. I’m currently in pre-production and the game has barely progressed beyond basic planning so a lot of big decisions and testing will be chronicled here as we move forward.

I’m Willem Rosenthal, currently the only guy on the project, though as I progress and establish the design, art style and get the code working I intend to grow the team. My last project was Pakka Pets Village (www.pakkapets.com), which was a VERY different sort of game.

In my next post I’m going to talk a little bit more about the game’s design and what makes it metroidvania-like, but not a metroidvania. I’ll also be posting soon about some of the (very early) art tests I’m doing, so stay tuned!

- - -
NOTE:
The player character design is stand-in art. I'm still working on his design concepts, please excuse the poorly drawn dude Smiley

- - -
I'll keep an image / gif from my latest major in-game post below:
Link to latest post: Parallax background 50% done!
It looks WAY better here: HQ Version



Here is the latest image from my most recent design/process post:
Link to latest process post: New enemy design

sketches:
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 09:46:09 PM by snackycactus » Logged

snackycactus
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2016, 05:46:22 PM »

The game’s design:

The major inspiration for this project is the Castlevania series, particularly 1, 2, 3 and 4. I hope to make the gameplay (and graphics) reflect this inspiration, with heavier feeling controls and arcady combat.

Something that unique about this project is the approach to linearity. Like in metroidvania games, the game will be built with multiple routes and areas that can be accessed in an ‘open world’ sort of way. Unlike Metroidvaia games, there won’t be a set path through the game. Instead of in-game abilities or items gating off areas and creating a progression route, the route will instead be a result of the player’s own skill and knowledge. A majority of the areas & content will not be readily apparent to the player their first time into the game, so the more the players understand the game mechanics, the in-game clock (which determines when many key events will occur) and the layout of the world, the more they discover and are able to complete. Additionally, the order in which they complete events will drastically change the world and certain levels so that different progression routes will result in very different game experiences.

There is still a lot of the design that’s missing form this explanation, but for now ill leave it at that.

Thanks for reading! :D Gentleman
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 11:07:29 PM by snackycactus » Logged

HIDEJI
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2016, 08:47:22 PM »

Reading "I'm going to make an awesome game like Castlevania!" isn't especially interesting, at least to me. Show us some stuff, snacky! There aren't enough games like CV out there, so I'm excited to see what you make. See being the operative word, though. Wink
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If you like what you see, please help spread the word on twitter! Thank you! Beer!
snackycactus
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2016, 09:55:21 PM »

I was trying to clarify in what way the game will not be like Castlevania to help color future posts. I'll be posting some art and process tomorrow. This game is in its infancy, so pretty much none of what I'll be showing will reflect the final product, but hopefully it'll still be interesting.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 11:05:33 PM by snackycactus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2016, 05:36:14 PM »

Time for some art!

Here is one of my first art tests for the game. In it you can see Richter Belmont (from Castlevania Dracula X) and Alucard (from SOTN) as well as a test character I drew roughly based on their proportions.


Here are the animations I made as part of this first test:


Here's a lil' shot of the walk cycle in action.
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snackycactus
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, 11:08:54 AM »

So after testing a bit, I decided that the character size is too small. I want to invoke a SNES era feel, but I don't want to be held back by the limitations from that era either, so I've decided to increase the size of the sprite by about 135%.

Here's the size difference. (The new character art is VERY sketchy as it's just meant as a test. I'll be redesigning him completely at a later date).


Here's an example in my test level showing the size difference
(I haven't yet made a crouch for this new charachter, so when I crouch it revers to the old size)  Wink


For now, I think I'm going to keep the tile size to 16x16 (actually made up of 4 8x8 mini-tiles) so that I can keep the SNES feel.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 12:33:50 PM by snackycactus » Logged

lobstersteve
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 02:47:39 PM »

nice sprites Smiley
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snackycactus
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 03:21:04 PM »

Working on art for my first enemy! Once it's done I'll start on the base code for the enemy class which I've yet to write.
(I want to get somethin' sexy lookin in game to motivate me to write the class well :D)

Here's the rendered design for the skeleton (It's inspired by the ape skeleton from Castlevania, but I kept it a human and just gave it terrible posture.


Here's the walk cycle wireframe I just finished as well. Now I just have to go in and put the meat on his bones... get it?  Big Laff


Update:
I wanted to take better advantage of him having no musculature to hold his bones in place, so I made his head follow his body's movements a bit late like it's flopping around.


Update: (dec 29)
Final  It took a long time to draw all the detail... Tired
I actually still ended up cheating by having both legs use the same animation (something I can really only get away with on a skeleton.) If I end up using him in the final game, ill probably end up doing it the right way.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 05:08:22 PM by snackycactus » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 05:35:22 PM »

Working on attacks!

My original design of this test character is holding a halbert sort of thing, but I wanted to give him a more dynamic weapon. I've ended up settling on a large spiked ball on a chain that the player can swing outward like a yo-yo (think Tomba but more deadly).

In order to get the chain and elasticity right, I started by just programming the ball to infinitely lash out. It looks like he's playing paddleball with his chest!



Next I hooked it up to a button press, and gave it a bit of a windup (the ball starts behind the player as he swings it forward) so the forward momentum makes sense.



I haven't decided 100% yet, but I'm thinking about making the chain links collectable as items so over the course of the game you can extend your ball's reach.

also, thanks @lobstersteve!
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 07:42:30 AM »

The level design/progression you described sounds great. I like the idea of things not being static, but changing depending on the path you take, etc. The times events are one of my favorite things - though you run the risk of many players being entirely clueless to this mechanic, unless you offer some sort of in game hint about it?

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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 09:09:42 AM »

Hey Pixel Noise,
Thanks! :D

There is a lot that I intend to do to make the time mechanics more known. My goal is to find a balance where the play time from start to finish is fairly short, and the secrets so plentiful that nobody will think twice about starting the game over. Once anyone is on their second play-through, it should be more apparent how much things change based on timing & your actions.

I also intend to have a clock on the pause menu that tells you the 'in-game' time, I.E. the game's world time will start at 6 or 7pm and continue forward as you play- so you'll always have a reference point for 'when' you are in the game. I'll also likely have NPCs that refer to the time of day, as well as a clock tower with bells that ring on the hour and half hour that can be heard anywhere in the game.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 03:06:09 PM »

Looking good! Smiley
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 03:59:16 PM »



I also intend to have a clock on the pause menu that tells you the 'in-game' time, I.E. the game's world time will start at 6 or 7pm and continue forward as you play- so you'll always have a reference point for 'when' you are in the game. I'll also likely have NPCs that refer to the time of day, as well as a clock tower with bells that ring on the hour and half hour that can be heard anywhere in the game.

That will all be really helpful. I think that's the way to go, rather than having it be more obscure.
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Recently completed the ReallyGoodBattle OST!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=vgf-4DjU5q
snackycactus
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 08:57:41 PM »

Hey Paul! Thanks!
Ok, so I've done a lot in the last two days, but not that much that's visually interesting, so I thought I'd focus on some level art stuff I just started to play with on this post.

Here is a forest tile set that I've just started to play with:


Something that I'm doing that's unique (ish) is having super tiny tiles (8x8 pixels). This lets me make very detailed, crumbling and broken feeling environments, perfect for spooky gothic horror type settings!

In the image you can see my tiles on top, & a rather hastily thrown together environment below them. Hopefully you can see what I mean by the tiny crumbling details, and also see how I'll hopefully be able to get a lot of detail and use out of fewer tiles.

- - -
for posterity's sake, here's the tech stuff as well that I got done today and yesterday:
- enemy class is now a thing!
- the skeleton enemy is in the game and can be killed!
- the player can be 'hurt' by touching the enemy (but cant die yet)

Thanks for reading!  Beer!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 10:19:41 PM by snackycactus » Logged

Froschlaich
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2016, 02:58:45 AM »

The graphics are really neat! Especially the skeletons.

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snackycactus
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2016, 05:15:47 PM »

Camera + Test level!

Whoo hoo! I have my first "level" in the game. Hand Joystick It's nothing more than a tiny stretch with some skeletons, but it feels good to hit that milestone.
The thing that made it feel awesome however, was not the level itself– what made it feel great was the work I did on the camera.

Here it is pre-camera work:


Here it is post-camera work:


The camera at first was just too interested in focusing on framing the player, rather than creating a sense of space in the level. What I decided to do was build some 'soft' walls for the camera to be guided by. Basically they are walls / lines that when intersected with, the camera tries to move above or below.

Here's an image of how it's set up in debug:


The light blue lines are my walls. The idea behind doing this rather than tracks is that it gives me a ton of freedom by letting the camera track in a more cinematic way around any sort of level shape.
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snackycactus
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2017, 06:10:05 PM »

Yo!
So I've put off doing better art and level design ideas for another day to work on something a bit more fun n' flashy. I've got ropes in the game now!


I actually had this working yesterday, but it took me a second day to get the animations & support for multiple people on the same rope (so enemies can chase you!).
Here's a crappy example with two players to show how having two folks on a rope works. You can make them do synchronized rope dancing!


P.S. Does anyone know how to embed WebM videos? I'd love to be putting higher rez examples in here than these gifs. Let me know if you know a way!
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2017, 08:19:57 PM »

Really cool, looks like it's coming along quickly. What's the gist of how you got the rope effect going?
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snackycactus
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2017, 10:12:51 PM »

Hey!
Sure, here's the gist of the rope stuff:

Making the rope:
I started by making a 'segment' that can be applied to any rope (I.E. the rope and the chain look different). I then set a value for the 'slack' or how far down the rope can be pulled when someone is on it. With the slack, and the length of the segment I calculate how many segments I'll need to fill the space between the end points of the rope and then make em all with a loop. That gives me all the parts and puts em where they should be when the rope is left alone. (I'm considering going in later to give it a little bit of a parabola so it looks more natural, but we'll see if and when that happens.)

For collisions & hanging:
When my player is in the air and moving down, I cast a little ray that looks for a rope. If it hits one, I add that player's x and y info as well as his 'hang distance' (how far below the rope he hangs) a list of passengers stored in the rope. This also adds a point to an array that used to only contain the start and end point of the rope, so now I draw the rope from A to B to C rather than just A to B. If more peeps get on the rope, it becomes A B C D, etc. To get the hang distance I just get a % of the slack value that goes from 0 (ends) to 100% (middle of the rope). If more people are on the rope than one, then they 'share' the slack so that the weight of one will raise the other up. I intentionally don't rotate the segments to give em' a more pixel-y effect.

That's about all of it, hope it was interesting! Hand Thumbs Up Left ^ _ ^ Hand Thumbs Up Right

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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2017, 01:31:50 AM »

This looks very cool, and it sounds like you're going very fast! I'm impressed, so I'm posting to follow your updates :-) Good luck, and looking forward to what's next! The post about your rope building process is very interesting, I'd love to read more in-depth design/programming thoughts like this!
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