Polish & Preparation
Pushing forward! These past three months have been full of polishing and refinement in both the gameplay and art fronts. We're on the cusp of being where we want to be before deep diving into level design and creation. Mike's brother Ryan started working for us in the beginning of the year, and has been busy with extensive gameplay analysis/tweaking as well as tackling all the smaller but still-important tasks.
Gameplay-wise, the enemy NPCs' logic has been combed through and iterated upon. Pathfinding bugs and the numerous AI oddities have been getting ironed out one-by-one. We added some additional animations for transitional states that make our NPCs smoother level travelers, as well as animations for the player traversing through doors, an idea we've been toying with to add depth to level design.
Combat logic adjustments give the NPCs more agency and make them feel more threatening and punishing; it's helped ramp up the game's difficulty, which we can now balance out. The caster NPC archetype has been revisited and given two spells that should pressure players and make them feel like the casters generate a lot of threat behind their melee comrades. Our first knight enemy's been made, and she hits like a truck! As for the player characters, there have been a bunch of tweaks that improve how their attacks and movement feel.
Art-wise, Mike's finished up concept designs for 2 of our NPC characters, Panta and Varos. He also started Panta's sculpt. He's been drawing them since last year on his own time, so this was exciting for him! One of our bosses, the Child, has a finished sculpt and base model thanks to some freelance help by Frederic Arsenault. Mike just finished texturing it! The Child's level will be the next development target.
Particles across the board have been revisited and polished; including but not limited to: hits, impacts, dashes, blood, enemy-specific attacks and more! New death animations to add some variance to your NPC destruction! Layered hit reaction shaking for enemies who don't stagger easily! Stun states for tougher enemies that can link into powerful combos!
The game's narrative is continuously brewing and the bosses, their backgrounds, and their story lines are all coming along nicely. Stay tuned for the next devblog!