New level development
The gameplay mechanics of this new action-based level is almost ready. However, as the mechanics of this level are quite different from those of the other point-and-click levels, it has taken lot longer for us to work out a suitable design. Plus, we’ve introduced a new action for the character, and the artwork of this level has also gone through several changes in order to keep the gameplay experience smooth enough. Therefore, as you can see from the screenshot below, the bugs that can come along with all this new stuff are just borderline ridiculous.
And For the past few months, while we were developing the levels which heavily involved the dual characters system, we realized that we can not use one single control system for both of the characters. So on the programming side, we are now working on separating them into two.
In order to explain why both of the characters should not share one control system, we’d like to explain a little bit more about each character’s role in the world and how they might affect the gameplay design.
Explorer and the Aborigine
The main character, our young boy, was designed as the classic “explorer”. You and him start the game together with the same very limited understanding of the surroundings. But along with the development of the story, the more you two learn and discover, the stronger the sense of connection and achievement can be developed between you and the character. This “emotional bond” is actually what we hoped to achieve the most during the game design. So based on this purpose, the gameplay experience will be more important than the action design itself. So far our main character has already got almost 25+ sets of animations, which is more than enough to cover most of the gameplay needs.
This was the system we followed, and it worked fine until recently, because we do not just have only one character. And their role in the game are really quite different.
Past the first half of the story, the player will soon find out that our secondary character has an unique ability, which will make it more like an aborigine of the LUNA world or a guide that was sent with an unknown mission or purpose. So in order to emphasize this important role difference, both the action and gameplay that are related to it have to be designed differently.
If we keep adding new features and action sets into the old system, it might cost more serious bugs in the future and is clearly not the best solution. So our programmer is now working on making sure the old and new features can be played smoothly. It’s not an easy task and it is taking longer than what we expected, but we believe the future progress will definitely benefit from this, so no shortcuts.
Finally, some animation to let everyone know we are still alive and working hard on LUNA.