This Deepvelopment Monthly post will cover my work on Deep throughout September 2015.
Light Radius -Visual
This month I put a little time into improving the visual quality of the radius of light that surrounds the robot. The new effect is much more suited to the game’s atmosphere and style. Instead of just being this bland smooth transition from light to dark, it almost looks like the robot has some kind of limited torch functionality that lets it see in its immediate area. Take a look at the old:
vs. the new:
Icicles -Balancing -Visual
So I’m sure I’ve shown before that in some parts of the game there will be a danger of icicles on the ceiling.
They hurt to touch, and will occasionally fall from their hanging place too. In the past due to limitations of the engine I’d coded, as soon as they hit the ground and shattered, they’d start to regrow where they fell from. This caused some pretty rough difficulty issues where it would be really hard to navigate specific areas if they had icicles hanging above them, since you’d try to time your movement with the icicle falling but then it would just reappear immediately and hit you anyway! I implemented a solution to that this month:
You can see the Icicle now remains visually shattered on the ground for a short while before reemerging. This lets you do cool things where you can use your weapons to knock down icicles and then make the most of the shattered period to clear obstacles!
Collectable Aesthetics -visuals
I FINALLY this month stopped using those gross bland Collectable sprites, which I really just put together in 5 minutes to have a placeholder for testing, and instead implemented actual graphics for them! They sparkle and shine and look really solid!
Of course different areas have differently coloured coins, too.
Terminals -visuals -content
This is this month’s big one! The Terminals (those computers you find) have been pretty much entirely taken out of beta placeholder stuff and polished up to what you’ll find in the real game! When you use one, first you’ll see it swing around and open up before the menu appears to make it a little more clear what’s happening:
Then you get to sit through a really cool animated sequence that will show off the area map you will have just downloaded, as well as the microchip that will be automatically installed. Each new Terminal will provide you with a new microchip, by the way. Next, the screen has a quick cute, retro style loading sequence to bring up your menu options. It’s not specifically based on anything but the jarring, snappy way the images load in is very reminiscent of early-era user interfaces for electronics:
The graphics for the screen itself by the way are HUGELY improved, and I’m super proud of how they look in and out of motion.
Looking on the right side you can see the screen has actual depth that stretches a little into the background to make it look really 3D, a bunch of scattered details around the frame, the classic Deep™ animated screen-graininess, and even screen glare! This is all set up to overlay whatever is appearing on the screen and it looks really convincing and genuine, fitting right into the aesthetic and atmosphere of Deep. The Microchip equipping/unequipping screen has been totally reworked for the finished game as well: (though I actually still have a little more work to do on this one)
Look at all that! It is of course animated as you’d want to expect at this point.
This is the kind of quality I’m aiming to have all the menus animated at for the full game. I hope you like what you see! It’s certainly very different from what I showed off wayyyy back in the very first blog update where I talked about how the Microchips worked!
Chip HUD positioning -Visual
As you know, equipped Microchips appear on the HUD/screen to show you that you have them equipped, what they’re doing, and make your game window feel a little more unique to match your robot. This month I spent some time testing corner cases where HUD graphics would overlap with each other in undesirable ways and implementing ways to prevent it. For example, the Ultra Friction icons will appear at different x positions on the screen based on whether or not you have the ammo bar set to stretched out, minimised, or if you don’t have an ammo-consuming weapon equipped at all:
That’s all for this month, I’ll see you guys next time! Maybe I’ll have finished up those extra parts of the Microchip menu I was talking about!