Deepvelopment Monthly #11 {March 2016} – The Sound of Effects

This Deepvelopment Monthly post will cover my work on Deep throughout March 2016.

New ‘Hit Spark’ -Graphical
In games, generally what we’re referring to when we say a ‘hit spark’ is that powerful looking flashy effect that bursts out when something has a heavy impact on something else. Like for example when you hit an enemy with an attack. Deep’s have been pretty lackluster until now and I actually think good hit sparks are a huge part of what makes or breaks game-feel. So here’s the new one in action!
hitsparkrandomsmall

Poison Bubbles -Graphical
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that some of the wildlife in Deep is able to put you into a poisoned state, where you slowly take damage as you continue to move around.
To make this a little more visually distinguished, attacks that have that kind of effect now have a distinct purple bubble trail.
poison.gif
Wait, how can you be getting poisoned if you’re playing as a robot? Maybe you’ll find out over the course of the game.

Window Icon -Graphical
This is just a cute little addition that I felt was somewhat overdue.
taskbar.png
You might just notice that in the corner of the Deep the game window is a little bumper bar! It’s down there on the taskbar too. Deep has a window icon!

Camera Shake -Visual
Here’s a feature I’ve been meaning to work on for quite some time. It’s a little hard to show off in a .gif, but the camera now lightly shakes when certain actions take place like firing a weapon or falling from a great height.

Rotation Animation -Visual, Balancing
Obviously, many of the creatures in Deep can climb up and around walls,roofs etc. You can even join them with a certain Microchip installed. In the past however, entities doing this have simply ‘snapped’ 90 degrees in rotation each time they change orientation. This both looked wonky and at times was an actual balance issue as enemies quickly snapped from a wall to a floor and hit you out of nowhere. NOW I have implemented a system that slows enemies movements as they negotiate this kind of terrain and smoothly rotates them around corners! Check it out:
rotation.gif

Fullscreen -Content

This is one of the two ‘big ones’ this month. It took quite some effort to figure out and set up (and we aren’t quite perfect yet), but Deep the game can now be played in Fullscreen!!
fullscreen
There it is on a much larger scale than it’s used to. I left my regular laptop in the photo for comparison.

Playing the game at this bigger size just feels IMMENSELY better. There’s a lot of small graphical effects in Deep that just have that much more impact when you’re seeing them on the big screen. It’s also a lot easier to be aware of all the enemies and dangers in your surroundings. It’s also very user friendly.
-By default the fullscreen button is F, but you can remap that to whatever takes your fancy.
-You can switch back and forth between fullscreen and windowed at any point while you’re playing the game.
-Deep will detect your monitor’s resolution and automatically pick a size that fits it appropriately.
-Deep will also save whether or not it was last open in Fullscreen or Windowed and automatically open up in the same way next time you play.
I’d say fullscreen is half of the reason Deep is starting to feel like a more finished product, this month. The other?

Sound Effects -Content

Heck yeah, sound effects.

Unfortunately the video recorded with the sound a little out of sync, and there are still a few things here that don’t have sound effects added to them just yet, but it sure makes a massive difference when you’re playing the game. Everything has so much more weight and life to it when it makes a sound. What’s really cool too is that I’ve implemented positional audio, meaning that sound effects in the game play from your left or right speaker/earphones based on where on the screen the action is taking place! They also get quieter and louder depending on how far away from them you are. This does a lot to help immerse you further into the world.

 

Honestly these features are only a small chunk of what I was able to get done this month. I also worked closely with my playtester, @VoidFriction to more carefully polish and tweak a number of gameplay elements, including boss battle related content, balancing and general gameplay mechanics. This is pushing us ever closer to the release of the free gameplay demo I will be releasing, and of course, the full and final release of Deep the game. Look forward to reading more next month!

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