Where I am now: I spent less than a week redesigning the school puzzles in Act 1, and have now gone back to working on the Zelda section in Act 2 for a few more weeks.
New Act 1 Puzzles. Based on the feedback from GDX, I really wanted to change the puzzles in the school areas. As they currently stand they’re mostly abstract math puzzles and one “where’s waldo” challenge. The intent of these was to hammer home that the player was going through some sort of schooling system. After talking to a friend, he suggested that I could design puzzles that tell more about the world and its history, which was a fantastic idea. Not only would it make the narrative more cohesive, but designing things to have some sort of connection to each other also helps create a consistent tone, which was another problem I picked up from GDX.
So I spent a few days redesigning the puzzles, and I’m happy with the new direction. I’ll be sharing them either in the next update, or the one after. A friend of mine is hosting an indie game tournament here in Calgary, and he’s getting some of us from the Calgary Game Developers to showcase our game at the event, with me being one of them. The plan is to work on the Zelda portion for a couple more weeks, then spend the remaining 2 weeks until the event placing in the new puzzles, and fixing other sharp corners I noticed sticking out from GDX playtesting.
I really want to get the emotional side of things in, namely the mother’s anger and the child’s happiness/depression, but I won’t have enough time to make it by the event. That will have to wait until the Maker’s Faire playtest, happening in September.
Boulder room. Here’s a modified version of a room from Zelda:
Originally you had to collect those 5 freaking coins to open the door at the other end of the room, a design which I strongly disagree with. So instead I replaced it with 2 portcullis you open using switches. This gives the player more practice with the switches, and also teaches them to use a ranged gadget to activate them. I’m happy with this updated version.
Locked doors. Last time I showed off the Zelda portion, I showed the player can collect these:
Now there’s a use for them:
The animation isn’t permanent. I think it’d be best if the lock fell off rather than shrinking like it does. I just wanted something quick and dirty for now.
Mirror room. Here’s another room from the original version, slightly modified with less light switches:
For the screengrab, I turned on shadows to make the light elements stand out more. Speaking of the lighting, it’s all fake. The white beams and the floor light are textures, and the light reflection on the wall is a projected texture.
Here’s what happens when you rotate the mirror to a switch (I turned shadows off again):
It doesn’t look half bad! It’s missing some final feedback when the light reaches its 100% mark, but I can see this making it into the final version. Next on the list is making the mirror rotate using its side handle, rather than rotating it in the editor like I was here. Oh, and making sure the mirror doesn’t reflect light when its back is turned to the window…unlike in the picture.
So, for the next couple weeks I’ll adding as much environmental stuff as I can. After the event on June 6th, I’ll be returning to the Zelda scene until the end of June, and I’ll definitely get some enemies in during that time. Exciting!!!!