Sep 23, 2016

Suzy Cube Update: Friday September 23, 2016

#suzycube #gamedev #indiedev #madewithunity 

Progress on two levels and some useful new functionality make for a nice little update this week.

Pyramid Plunder!

As you can see in the title shot, I've started work on a new Egyptian style level: Level 2-1. What mysteries await within the pyramid? A different viewpoint perhaps?

Should Suzy be wearing a green tunic?

The great thing about having built a robust camera system for the game is that creating interesting perspective changes, like the one seen here, requires no extra code work. For this level, based more on puzzles and exploration, I wanted to emulate the camera style of the old Zelda games. I was able to achieve this by using trigger volumes to move a target object around from room centre to room centre. The extra little bit of movement comes from the fact that the camera is actually targeting another object which uses a weighted average to stay between Suzy and the room centre. The cool thing about the set up is that we get the old school room-to-room movement with a little extra movement based on Suzy's position within each room too.

A Treacherous Road Ahead

I've also completed work on the design rough for Level 3-1, the snow themed auto-scroll level mentioned in last week's update.

Vast, snowy, expanse...

I've cut out a number of boring bits where Suzy was stuck just waiting for the camera to catch up, reworked the "rest stop" areas where checkpoints are found and created a fun little bonus area full of gift boxes. Good luck finding the star!

And a Bunch of Random Stuff!

In addition to fixing up bugs, as usual, I've also been busy working on some new items and functionality to either spice things up or enable new gameplay possibilities in upcoming levels.

Coins everywhere!

Ever notice how Mario games will sometimes award you coins, straight up, but sometimes make you run around for them? I figure this behaviour helps keep players engaged with the surprise of suddenly having to chase after the splash of treasure. Thus the new Coin Splash reward. This is a new, different way for me to reward the player with coins which spits out a number of coins to be picked up. The splash can be configured in a number of ways including the randomness and force of the trajectories and whether to explode into a circle of coins or to send them all in a particular direction. And no, this won't be limited only to gift boxes!

I wonder what we will find!

Continuing on with the theme of rewards... RANDOM BOXES!! These, basically act like regular gift boxes but will give Suzy one of six rewards when bopped. And, yes, these are totally random, even I don't know what I'll get from a random box. Though I can configure which items can or can't appear from a particular box and with which frequency if I really have to, I plan on using the perfectly random ones whenever possible. I like the idea of getting a clutch item at random that could totally affect how the rest of a level plays out.


And, finally, on display here, we actually have two new pieces of functionality. One is quite obvious, triggerable torches, the other, a new toggling behaviour, is more under-the-hood. The switch, you see, sends an activation message to a toggle trigger. It's this toggle trigger which then sends an activation or deactivation message to the torches based on its current state. This way, the one switch can be used to either turn the torches on or to turn them off. Very handy... perhaps for pyramid puzzle-y bits..?

All told, a nice, productive week. There are a few things I was thinking I'd get around to that I haven't had the chance to yet, and I've not progressed on Level 2-1 as much as I was hoping, but that's ok. I ended up spending most of that time working on the intro area of the level... Yep, that light at the top of the pyramid, you get to jump down there! You don't see it in the shot up top, but since most of the level takes place underground so doesn't use a skybox, I had to get clever when creating the background for the outdoor section.

So, have a great weekend everyone, I'll see you back here next Friday!

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