"We gonna play until you feel happy"
This week has been... let's say interesting.
We are now officially working from home because of the corona virus, which is a little disappointing. I will likely miss seeing my coworkers on a regular basis, but I think this is a good exercise to see how efficient I can be when working on my own. Sure, we are communicating through Discord, but it's not the same thing at all as working on site.
At the same time, people in the video game industry are going through the very same thing right now, which makes me believe being part of a large group where all members are all working from home is a useful experience for me.
So! What have I been up to this week? I can happily tell you that I have finally begun building part of the actual level of the game! I finished the mockup with the hazards at the start of the week and then had a short meeting with the other two designers who would work on the level.
What we discussed was how the work load would be divided, how long the level should be and how and when the game would introduce its' various features. I will design the middle part of the level and am responsible for creating a segment that teaches the player how to deal with two things: one type of hazard and one type of enemy.
The hazard in question is the tar, which slows down the movement speed of both the player and any enemy that steps into it. The enemy that I am responsible for is the ranged goblin, who fires projectiles in an arc towards the player's position.
We should have had this discussion much earlier, but the content of the game has changed to some extent for each passing week as well. The content is now set in stone -unless we have to start cutting things away at some point-, so I hope we won't have to change anything.
The image above shows the first part of my segment. When the player reaches this point, they have completed 1/3 of the game and been introduced to the enemy types melee goblin and the Orc.
The "1" represents the tar. It covers the entire width of the corridor, so the player cannot avoid contact with it. The player is in a safe space, so they are free to interact with the tar as they see fit and learn all of its effects without the threat of any enemy attacking them.
The next part -"2"- is a large room. While it is not finished, this room will contain both melee goblins and at least one orc. The ground floor will also have patches of the tar that was introduced previously. In other words, the player must now figure out how tar can pose a problem when in combat as well as how the tar affects the enemies. By climbing the stairs, they can reach the bottle neck at the end and reach the next part of the segment.
What you see here is the second of five intended parts of my segment. The player arrives from the lower right corner and is once more facing a corridor; this time with an enemy -"1"- blocking the path instead of tar. The enemy in question is a ranged goblin.
They are not intended to be a challenge at the time; I simply wanted to show the player the enemy's behavior. While it may seem like a copy of how I introduced the tar, I will use this corridor and the ranged enemy again for a third and final time, but then do a twist to the whole thing. In other words, there is a purpose to this design. I have sadly not built that final part yet, but I will tell you all about it in the next blog post, so stay tuned!
There is one additional part that I have built where I introduce elevation + ranged enemies, but there are some things that I want to polish before I talk about it. I would prefer to have a better image of it to show rather than only use text.
What I can tell you is that I have currently built the foundation of 3/5 of my segment. After that comes playtesting, which will likely lead to updating the segment some more. I feel confident that it will work out fine.
This week, my Sourcetree stopped working and Unity has caused my entire computer to crash if I work in our project for just a few seconds. This has caused me to lag behind during the first half of the week. I somehow managed to catch up to where I should be and life just feels so much better again.
It might be a little strange to suddenly work on my own, but I've got a good groove going on. We are suddenly living in strange and scary times because of the virus, so be sure to take care of yourselves and also those around you. We'll get through this.
Title song: OutKast - Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)