Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There's a spring flower to the left, and an Appleseed.

I'm still making progress, don't worry.

The bug up here is especially dangerous.

Lately I've been noticing that it takes a long time to test rooms, so I added a debug room, and started work on save points.

Something's missing.

I'm redoing the weather/daylight system too, so there's still no real sky to speak of.

Oh, it's the enemy radar.

This time I want to talk more about the different throws. Since Double O's attacks are indirect, it takes a little finesse.

It's just an Appleseed, but it's the target.

There's two basic kinds of throws: A quick throw which can't be directed, and a normal throw, which can be thrown in 8 directions.

The quick throw's angle is just a bit off.

Quick throws are short throws used by tapping the C key, and can be done in quick succession. They're good if something is running away or chasing you. Usually, you'll want the normal throw, though.

Since the throw is longer by a bit, it's still important to judge distance.

Other than distance and control, a normal throw is beneficial because after pulling up a bit of ground, you can carry it around and use it whenever you need. It's kind of like loading a round into the chamber.

Just barely.

If you miss an enemy and you're standing still, you get a little disappointed expression for a second.

Just in case you were wondering what was down there: It's a large ventilation shaft.

There's usually at least three exits on any given screen, by the way. Naturally, sometimes it'll be less. If you're low on health, you can always look for a different way out if a path you've chosen is too dangerous looking.

For instance...

Somewhere along he lost his last bit of life.

Unless you're feeling daring, it's usually a good idea to avoid unfamiliar doorways.

Razzberries typically fly in a predictable manner, so they aren't that dangerous.

Crawling can be a good way to avoid trouble, since it halves the height of your hit-box.

It's a good thing debug mode is on.

Of course, it can't always save you.

Ladders come in lots of shapes and sizes, but they're still pretty distinguishable.

Ladders are all over the place, and it's a good idea to hold onto a ladder going down to a place that's unfamiliar. Of course, you could always jump.

They aren't that easy to spot when it's this dark.

In addition to radar being something you need to gain, the ability to see easier in the dark is something you'll need to earn as well.

With a particular item, this wouldn't be a problem.

Once your eyes adjust, it's manageable, but when you're on your last sliver of strength it's not a good idea, unless you're scouting for new territory. Going in one direction until you can't go anymore for any reason is a good way to get your bearings.

Since it's the debug room, there's no problem finding it.

Collecting a powerup also gives you a note with additional details, which you can read from the file screen.

Anyway, the thing you're looking for is this:

Bright Eyes

The first accessible powerup is Bright Eyes, which makes seeing in the dark easier. It's always active, and never runs out, so it's a pretty major ability. A good portion of the game is underground without power, so without this you'll be flying blind.

There's lots of interesting things underground, so I'd recommend finding Bright Eyes as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The start of the intro.

This is the first time showing the final resolution (without scaling). It fits a lot better in most layouts, and makes things easier to set up ingame. There's less memory usage too, so I like it.

Plus it's the SNES' screen size, so that's neat.

For now the title itself is place-holder until I hit a style I think is cool.

There's a short little intro attract mode that cycles through a couple things before the game starts if you don't press start.

I like starting in the second slot, myself.

Of course, pressing start brings you to the file selection screen, where you can browse minigames, enemy cards, and so on once you unlock them. The stats shown are your percentage complete, how long you've played, and how many times you've died. There's a little extra room for certain other bits, but it's too early for those. I'm not 100% on this design, but I like it for now.

Anyway, on to a question that I've been wondering about:

What kind of secrets are the best?

There's one up here somewhere.

Is it fair to keep things completely off-screen to keep players exploring when they have new powers?

Above and below. The webs make web noises when you crawl through them.

Or should they be more like this? I guess it's probably best to have a mix, right? Anyway, there's a couple things to touch on.

Where is he?

There's going to be fake walls, of course. I think in most cases it's probably good to have some kind of clue here, but obviously not all. This one was pretty easy I think.

There he is.

Naturally, there are going to be places that move you around suddenly.

There's still plenty of other places to check out.

Before all that popped up was a little arrow when you could head into the background and access a new area, but now that's handled with the action icon. Press Z to enter places and interact with stuff whenever there's a bubble like this.

Also, about background areas, there's two basic types: Dungeons and Scenic Routes. Dungeons are just what the name suggest, there's a boss inside and good treasure. Scenic routes are alternate paths between two places. For instance, if a path is blocked by something, you can usually take a scenic route and wind up on the other side.

The drawback is that they're usually harder than just carousing the main grid.

It's dark in here.

At first your only way of finding out which is which is just trial and error, but eventually you'll find a powerup that lets you distinguish the two.

And there's weird noises..

Other than that, the only way to have a decent guess is to collect files.

They look like this!

Just run into them to pick them up, then browse around to see what you got. I'm thinking of making it so the next time you check a file, you'll start with the last one you got. Right now, it just opens to the last one you looked at.

A hospital?

Files are organized into Info, for things like maps, Notes for info on things like powerups, and Photos for treasure hunting clues. You can press X to switch between the types, hold Z to quickly cycle through files, and if it can be read press C to read it.

It's not much, but it could be fun.

I also added a little option for people who want to see more at once: You can press backspace at any time to toggle the HUD on or off, but the life bar will never completely go away.

You can even use it to challenge yourself, since your enemy radar and ground thickness display doesn't show.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No. 25: Sparkle Buster

Throughout the island where the game takes place, there are machines scattered about in various levels of decay. The same can be said for facilities, which depending on how deep they are, look dilapidated or brand new. Thanks to their protective paneling, Sparkle Busters are always brand new no matter where they're installed, even in the side of a cliff. Invincible while closed, you must attack them while they're opening or shooting at you. They come in two distinct varieties: A four shot rapid burst, and a single shot spread. Normally, they only open if you're close enough but like all machines, they will react violently if alerted of a threat by a Bun.

Cocoas are the same way. They're machines too, after all.

If I had to put an estimate on it, Sparkle Busters are probably the most common machine.

Oh, and since you asked, I haven't made a whole lot of headway in the music field yet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just another day.

Often in Life+, there are multiple ways around a challenge.

Did they fall in?

Some paths of action might seem like good ideas at first, like the obvious choice here is to jump over the gap safely.

Oh man, I fell in too.

But, you'll fall short with a distance this wide just a casual, every day jump.

I made it out okay, but at what cost?

This much damage usually isn't a big deal, but...

It cost dearly.

You can be ambushed at any time, so it helps to have as much health as possible. That's just common sense.

To be honest, this is the kind of thing that can be gotten through pretty easily, but to make it easier on yourself, explore everywhere. You'll find lots of helpful things. Above all others though, you look for square things that glow and bob up and down.

It's a still shot, but it does bob up and down.

When picked up, these items unlock certain latent abilities that help Double O in his daily life. This particular one lets you dash by double tapping a directional button. You move almost twice as fast while dashing, which means your jumps are equally enhanced.

The crouching is for dramatic effect.

Of course, you could always just attack everything in your path and forget about having to avoid enemies all together, so it all depends on how you want to play.

Trying to crouch while running makes you slide, too.

How's the new dirt look?