Friday, January 30, 2009

By the way, there's lots of things to examine.

Alright, time to go back to working on a real update.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hey, basically reposting an update from /v/ last night.

The starting screen. On a big grid, it would be at R3.
This place probably looks at least a little familiar. The caves are to the right, after going through the caves to the plains I racked up a couple life ups. I feel good.

In this game, you can walk.
By the way, notice how these are all full resolution screen shots for once. I decided to make it square and went with 512x512 instead of 512x480. Right now, there are just life ups laying around and collecting one increases your life by one heart, which has four hits, like in Zelda games.

If you weren't expecting it, I guess it can surprise you.
And, like in Zelda games, there are places on the global map that are totally separate, have their own maps, bosses, treasures, etc. Because I figured out that this adds a lot of area to the game, I'm thinking about totally doing away with the timer. Either that, or only run it while you're outside in the mountains, plains, or canyon.

Just tap up to go in.

To exit, just head out the hall to the left.
Anyway, unlike most games and more similar to La Mulana, the map of each dungeon isn't always located in the dungeon itself. If there's a puzzle or maze you can't figure out, chances are you missed something. Sometimes, however, the map is close by. The map for this first dungeon (I say first because it's closest to the start, you can tackle them in any order, or even skip them if you're going for the quick end) was located in the building right outside. Let's take a look at it.

It's a bunch of scribbles on a floor plan.
Pressing Space brings up the menu and map, but I might change that to Enter. At first, you probably won't get it completely, which is kind of the point. You can also see the position of the dungeon in relation to its area in the main map. That's the entire map for the western facility in the upper right, the rest is an overhead view of the dungeon's layout. Usually in a dungeon you'll have to get your bearings, so let me just give you a quick run through of how to do that in case you can't imagine.

Just find a landmark.
There was a two floor building just outside the entrance, and I'm in a hall with three doors and two hallway junctions, so I'm in that north/south corridor with three doors. It's just that easy. Next, we should probably check out the rest of the map's markers, starting with the nearest circle.

There's claw marks on the walls, and the floor is in pretty poor condition. There's something else down this hall, so let's look for consistency with the circles.

More claw marks, and that exclamation mark was probably for the poison hazard. Broken pipes spew out poisonous clouds that drain your life. The circles probably mean something was sighted at a particular place. I did mention each dungeon has a boss, right?

Of course, you don't have to get your bearings at any point, or piece things together. If you prefer, you could stumble around blindly without using a single map.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome to LIFE+ World!

Alright, somebody suggested I do sort of a digest post to welcome people to the concept. What we have here is a thematically organized, largely nonlinear Metroidvania. What I mean by that is, different areas (plains, mountains, facilities, etc etc) will place a higher emphasis on certain aspects of a Metroidvania, such as platform jumping, combat, puzzle solving, item hunting and so on. To add a bit of pressure, there's a time limit of about an hour. There's constant opportunities to gain back lost time, but when time is up you get the bad end. Speaking of combat, the way it works in Life+ is a bit of a departure.


More similar to Doki Doki Panic/Super Mario Brothers 2 USA than anything else, the combat involves ripping up chunks of floor and hurling them at enemies and obstacles. You can pluck certain projectiles out of the air, stand on some particular enemies and rip them asunder, and stuff like that. When you pull up a tile, its constitution depends on what you're standing on and your luck. If what you're standing on is too thick, you won't be able to pull it up until you find a strength building powerup.

When throwing, there's three basic modes. A quick release, done by holding attack, simply hurls a projectile along the ground. You can tap attack to pull something up and carry it around, then press it again to throw it straight ahead. Lastly, you can hit Z to target a nearby enemy and throw things directly at it. This works with quick release and carrying.

Let's dig and let's dig, future digging game.
In that vein, there's also digging. Certain places might look suspicious, for instance in this place holder area there's a single patch of white flowers. If you try to pull up something to attack with, you'll start digging in these areas. Sometimes you'll find things like restoration items, sometimes treasures like hats, powerups, or secrets to be accessed from the menu. Some of the powerups you'll find aren't buried, but simply laying around or being guarded by a boss.

Things like triple jumping, swim jumping, walking on water, strength boosting as mentioned earlier and more come into play. Other than powerups and bosses, decisions you make at certain times affect the world as well. For instance, releasing a loch before hitting a certain switch floods a portion of the caves region. Not stopping a speeding train from crashing obstructs a portion of the canyon region for a while. At certain times other things happen, like earth quakes and plants blooming.

Let's see.. What else? I suppose I can just post more as time goes on, but hopefully this was a good introduction.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Sorry about my lack of updating, but things have kind of taken a dive with the death of one of my closest friends on Wednesday and the kinds of things that follow something like that.

I don't wanna make a great big post tonight but will try later today, so how about just a questions post? Ask whatever and I'll get around to answering.

Hey, neato.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Test post test post test post