Deepvelopment Monthly #10 {February 2016} – Big Announcement

This Deepvelopment Monthly post will cover my work on Deep throughout December 2015 through to February 2016.

Welcome back to Deepvelopment Monthly! I hope my top 4 games of 2015 article was interesting enough for you to not miss my normal blog post too much in December. It’s also obviously not January or February anymore. There’s been a lot going on and you’ll have to just forgive that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down and write a full post up on what I’ve been working on over the last couple of months.

Health Orbs -Content

healthorb1

Here’s something I added in to help out somewhat with the game’s balance. Defeating enemies is the main way to earn back health in Deep, and sometimes the only reason for fighting an enemy rather than trying to avoid one. This still has an element of luck to it however, and it’s very possible to go quite a long time with quite a small amount of health left. So every now and then, to counter that, you just might stumble across:

breakorb

A Health Orb! It should be pretty clear from the animation here, but you want to break these apart to heal yourself. As with all of the level design in Deep, where these turn up exactly is randomized and different for every save file, but you can expect to run into them roughly once per level. They won’t reappear until you head to a whole new area though, so you won’t be able to just sit around and hold onto infinite health because of them.

Full Health Effect -Visual

This was just a cute little graphical effect I added in on a whim. Your health bar now glows white if you’re on full health. Here’s a little comparison image.

healthfull

healthnotfull

Boss Work! -Content -Balancing

This seems to show up almost once an update now, right? As per usual I’m still spending quite a lot of time working on the bosses in Deep, so they definitely deserve a mention here in my post, but I can’t go into too much detail without overstepping onto what I consider spoiler territory. I’m back into the routine of receiving actual playtester feedback and working on problems/ideas as they arise so it’s been a very productive period of time.

Roof Spikes -Content

This one kind of speaks for itself, so I’ll just show you a picture:

roofspike

Microchip Animations -Content -Visual

This one is really sick, and I only started working on it a day or two before I’m even writing on this. In the past, when you equipped a Microchip, and it visually added the little attachment to the robot’s body, the attachment itself was more or less a single static image.

drillback.gif

So for example, the Drill attachment here (sticking out from the side of the robot and hanging behind it) is of course bouncing up and down with the robot’s natural animation like it really is attached, which is great, but it’s still just a single picture of the drill and it isn’t animated or dynamic in any way. This goes for all microchip attachments.

Well, actually, it doesn’t, anymore.

drillanim.gif

Look! It’s subtle, but you can see now when you use the drill the arm it’s attached to actually swings around to the front of the robot, and two rail arms pop out vertically for the drill to move up and down on while it’s being used. It’s all a bunch of little things but they make a huge difference in how dynamic the robot’s animations look. This is something being applied to many of the Microchip attachments in the game. Here’s another example in the form of the Jetpack microchip that I’ve shown off a few times before.

jetpack.gif

There are a bunch of cool subtle details to note here, like the jetpack’s flashing light turning from green to red when you run out of battery power for example. Please look forward to discovering these cool details on your own when it comes to the many many other Microchips in the game.

News? Decisions?

So when I first announced that I wouldn’t be releasing a Deepvelopment Monthly blog in December, I did so under the condition that I’d have something bigger to share when I finally came back to start posting these again. Now I’m not doing some kind of large scale announcement or launching a kickstarter or anything like that because it’s still quite a ways off, but I have decided officially that I will be creating a free playable demo of Deep. The main portion for this is actually done already, as I have fully planned and organised the structure of the demo to be, and it is essentially just the first area of the game with a few restrictions in place. The remaining work boils down mostly to

-Audio

-Ironing out some known bugs/polishing some functionality up.

-Learning a little more about what’s involved in distributing the release build of a C++ application for easy download and use on any computer.

Obviously that’s still a fair chunk of progress that needs to be made but I’m trying to power through as much of it as fast as I can, and I’m going to be using these blog posts in the coming months to be as transparent as possible regarding the progress and state of the Demo’s release. I hope you’re all very excited!!! See you again next month.

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