Caught in a trap
We have traps! Well, we are calling them hazards, but I couldn't find a proper recognizable song that has the word "hazard" in it and thus I decided to qoute Elvis instead.
This blog post is a belated summary of Week 3. It was a very busy Friday, so I couldn't find the time to post an update at the time.
So! After last Wednesday I was part of many discussions about which hazards to include and how they would work. There was also some confusion regarding how both the player's combo, dodge and Charged Slash would work, so I explained to the programmer who was responsible for combat how it all worked. I updated the GDD based on the feedback from the programmer as well, so that it explained the mechanics better.
Communication is such a strange thing sometimes. Luckily we all went away from the conversation feeling better.
Since the characterizations of the hazards became finalized after the morning meeting last Friday, I could make a clearer mock-up. The two hazards (out of four) that we picked were lava and tar.
Lava will deal a large amount of damage to the player upon collision, but if the lava area is narrow enough, the player can use Dodge (and its invincibility frames) to roll over without taking any damage. Enemies will avoid the lava which will hopefully make sense, since the lava appears in their home naturally. In other words, they are well aware of where the lava is and are accustomed to its dangers.
Tar does not damage the player, but will slow down the movement speed of both the player and the enemies if they collide with it. The player can still use Dodge to traverse the same distance as when they are not colliding with the tar though, but the AP cost for that action is higher.
In the image above is a bridge that is covered in tar (see "1.") as well as a platform with ranged enemies (see "2.") who are out of the player's reach. The player must traverse the bridge while dealing with the tar hazard as well as avoiding projectiles from the ranged enemies. This scenario is called a "challenge room", which is similar to a "combat room", but with the difference that the player cannot defeat the enemies in said "challenge room". The focus lies instead of reaching the end of the room while using their wit to deal with the challenges.
The game itself is slowly progressing away from the hack & slash genre because of this, but this is not a bad thing. The main focus is still the combat, but these "challenge rooms" are there to break up the challenge and decrease the risk of having a monotone experience.
1. One of two hazards in Song of the Bardbarians; the tar. I wanted the base plane to cover a larger area (3x3 units), since there would be little purpose for the player to only be affected by its effect for but a moment. Smaller pieces would take more time to place out, which would be a waste.
2. The ranged enemy, which is out of reach. They are close enough that the player can see them, but when they cannot be approached, the enemies will pose a larger threat.
In the image above is another scenario; this time the lava is in focus. The player has an elevated platform with ranged enemies on top that must be defeated, but said enemies are surrounded by lava. Parts of the lava is narrow enough to be crossed (by using Dodge) with out taking any damage, but they are further away from the player. It is up to the player to decide whether they want to get to the enemies quick, but take damage from the lava or take a longer route.
1. The wide part of the lava stream. The player can traverse it, but it is too wide to be crossed with just one Dodge.
2. The narrow part of the lava stream. The player can cross it without taking Damage by using a Dodge.
3. Once more a ranged enemy. They will fire at the player, but can be dealt with quickly if the player is daring and uses Dodge to cross the wide river of lava that is shown in "1.".