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.