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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsLevathia Bound - A Lonely 2D Metroidvania
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fishtaco567
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« on: April 08, 2021, 03:44:08 PM »



Hi, I'm nard, and this is a devlog of my metroidvania, Levathia Bound! It's been in development a while, and I'm finally hitting my stride! I'm a one person team doing everything, so development can be a bit slow, and be interwoven with large lulls and sudden progress, so it should be interesting!

Levathia Bound was inspired primarily by Environmental Station Alpha, another metroidvania by Hempuli. I loved the difficulty and the distillation of the metroidvania down to just exploration and boss fights. No fussing with pickups or anything like that, no filler, just a really fun and interesting world, and at the end, laced with a massively enigmatic set of puzzles. I loved that, though I wanted the world to be a bit more dynamic, I wanted a bit more to "happen", so I started on Levathia Bound.

You start out entering a castle filled only with automatons and monsters, though soon you hear a disembodied voice. Several more as you explore too, before, eventually, you come back to where you first heard one. You've done a bit around the castle, killed a few of these massive creatures that seem to have taken up home inside.  And when you make it back, a person, the first living soul you've seen in the castle, stands before you.

I'll be using this to share the devlogs I'm making for the wider audience, aaaand mostly for talking about fun techniques I'm using in the game. I'm absolutely one to overcomplicate something simple!

Features
  • Hundreds of rooms
  • 10+ NPCs to unlock
  • Cryptic puzzles
  • 15+ Bosses
  • Overcomplicated Graphical Effects
  • Boids!

Recent Screenshot



Latest Devlog




« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 12:22:21 PM by fishtaco567 » Logged

Levathia Bound Devlog - A Metroidvania

Everything's procedurally generated if you think about it.
Ramos
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2021, 03:49:56 PM »

Welcome!

Visually it looks like it got a solid old-school personality.

Regarding gameplay, having a mix of platformer and puzzle in this style seems very rare, please do post some gifs of some puzzle-solving when you get the chance
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fishtaco567
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2021, 07:35:10 PM »

Devlog Update #2

I haven't done a video in a bit, I've kind of gotten caught up in other bits of work, though I'm hoping to get one out soon! In anticipation of that, I'm doing a quick text devlog here!

Over the last few weeks I've been bouncing around a bit. I've finished an additional nine rooms, completing the first "act" of the game. I still have a bit of iteration to do on this first section of the game, as I feel a few parts are relatively unmotivated story-wise, something important to me with this game. I don't want to let too much out about the way the first bit of the game is supposed to feel, but suffice to say, the crystal cutscene posted below feels a bit unmotivated as of yet.



At that, I aught to say a bit about how the storytelling works in Levathia Bound. It's heavily inspired by Environmental Station Alpha (again) in this respect, so story is mostly told through the world elements, along with little journal fragments left around the castle. There are a few parts where you're able to interact with other living beings, but that's something I'm not ready to talk more on yet. I found this structure interesting because it sets you learn of in the past, everything is a discovery about the world up to the time you're experiencing it. I think that really goes back pretty far in the Metroid tradition, and for a good reason.



As another interesting bit, in the last of the new rooms, one of the first environmental puzzles starts. Here, you can pull a lever to raise and lower a platform on a massive screw - what might it do above? These kind of world-state puzzles will be the primary form of puzzle in Levathia Bound!



The new rooms also feature a new miniboss, but I want to keep him a bit secret - I can post this redacted screenshot though!



I finally gave the camera an actual transition between rooms. That was an interesting problem, as rooms are multiples of the camera size and showing a corner of another is absolutely unacceptable spoiler-wise. I went with a transition that moves only orthogonally, with a bit of smoothing on either end. Getting something that's fast enough yet not too jarring is a tough challenge!



And the last bit, probably the least exciting of all.... a control remapper! This was pretty important to me for reasons of accessibility, which I'll have to write a whole devlog about at some point, but suffice to say, it was a bit of a pain. I'm not much a fan of dealing with UI, as you may suspect given metroidvanias are usually pretty light on UI. The remapper allows remapping of gamepad and keyboard controls separately, and works with another system to provide these button hints over interactibles. I'm pretty happy with the system! It's also the first (and hopefully only) scrollable menu in the game.
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Levathia Bound Devlog - A Metroidvania

Everything's procedurally generated if you think about it.
ThemsAllTook
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 05:09:29 AM »

Wow, this looks real neat! Seems like it's pretty well fleshed out already, so I'll be looking forward to playing it when it's ready.
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fishtaco567
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 12:45:05 PM »

Thanks! I've been fleshing it out as I go rather than going in passes. I'm unsure how this is for productivity, but it seems to be working for me!

I just put up another video devlog, focusing on a bit of what I talked about in my last post, as well as a couple of new features. I'm in a bit of an annoying part of development for talking about the game, because it being a metroidvania, I don't want to show too much! The biggest new things I *can* talk about are my new particle system, with cool wind, and my control remapper. The video's linked below, but I'll also go over it a bit in text.





The control remapper was something I really wanted to do, I'm rather big into game accessibility and allowing remapping I think is one of the most basic, most essential parts. I allow remapping of keyboard and gamepad controls separately, and allow both to be used interchangeably in game. I also use the mapping to generate button hints on interactable and when you pick up objects, based on which input type you've used last. A lot of this might not be noticed by the player, but that's really the point. I want to provide a smooth experience for somebody just picking up the game.



The new particles I've added are fairly simple, but I think therein lies their strength. I made a really simple way to create a bunch of single pixel particles, with fairly simple behaviors, that can be affected by "wind". The first usecase I had for these was adding dust to each of the rooms, as shown below. I just spawn a bunch in the room, and they all choose random velocities and trajectories, fading in and out. The player also "kicks some up" from the floor when walking by. The idea with this was to communicate that the castle has been rather empty, unused, and not taken care of for a while.



The wind is a bit more interesting. I basically allow things to register wind zones with the particle system, and these wind zone's velocity field is defined by these two functions.

Code:
v_x = (2 - y * y) * (1 - r / r_max)
v_y = x * y * (1 - r / r_max)

The last bit in each is just a radial falloff, to about 3 units out (the height of the player, ish). These functions probably seem a bit random, but the idea was to have a speed falloff above and below the thing that's moving, and to have a bit of circulation behind them. These just happened to provide it, after player around graphing them. Here's a screencap from the editor showing my debug view for it.



Probably a little higher effort than it needed to be, but at least it was fun!

Along with all of this, as I've said, I've been pecking away on content. I've got a bunch of new rooms finished, another miniboss, some special art for an area, and a bit more... I finally counted the number of "room cells" I've finished vs the number I've yet to finish, based on that I'm about 30% of the way along. Same as I estimated! I think in reality I might be a bit further, primarily because I don't have any more systems that need to be created, and I have a lot of the elements and enemies that will continue to be reused already done. Now I'm mostly on the content train, which takes a while in itself, but y'know, 30% along that(ish).

Anyway, that's about all I've got for now. Next time I'll be doing a small rework to the combat in the game, and trying to figure out how to talk about content development without spoiling too much.  Roll Eyes
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Levathia Bound Devlog - A Metroidvania

Everything's procedurally generated if you think about it.
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