Weekly Progress Update for... November
The completed feature goals last week ended up taking longer than expected, but here is "today's" "Friday" update!
This was mostly me getting distracted, making shelves + walls block incoming light.
Perth Games Festival ran on Saturday 19th November, which I was able to attend! They had hundreds of people come through to check out locally-created games, made by everyone from uni students to indie studios. I met a bunch of cool people and played a bunch of cool games. Unfortunately took 0 cool photos so that's all for this section.
On the same day, the online-only Technically Games Conference also ran, and thanks to Perth's timezone I was able to catch a few of the talks there too. This was a smaller event but was really enjoyable! I spent most of the time in the "C++ foundations" workshops which were fantastic. OTS also had an indie sponsorship slot which I created a 60-second trailer for.
Now on to the dev updates!
Updated level editor menu layout
This one speaks for itself. The icon layout had gotten pretty messy after many additions and it was ready for a rework. Note that the new "change book page contents" button is already calling for a new layout...
Added coin stashes
The thief can now find money within the library by looking out for glimmers of light between books. Not pictured: a burst of coins when a coin stash is interacted with.
Updated: Lighting changes
Light sources will now increase their radius when stacked close to each other. This was a change based off feedback from a couple of weeks ago!
Also changed based on feedback: Lighting / unlighting candles will "flare up/down". This should also be applied to shrines eventually, but will be a bit more involved (thinking of updating the shrine "deactivated" look at the same time).
Shelves and walls will block light sources. This took ages to get right! After a couple more improvements (triangles instead of pixel fill, slow decay light) I'm going to write up a dev log dedicated to this.
Book contents refactor
Before these changes, book contents were completely random. A random number of pages was chosen, and each page's layout was randomly chosen. Then if the book was marked as having a request, a request was randomly inserted anywhere into the book.
This made the books feel very samey, and didn't support future features I wanted including adding "lore" snippets, and being able to find money / items within the book's pages. There was some code to randomly drop pebbles / seeds from time to time, but not being to control when this happened made it impossible to design levels around.
Now, as part of the level design, it's possible to:
- Choose how many pages each book has
- Place pebbles / seeds / money within any book, which can then be "shaken out"
- Choose which page a request will appear on
It's still possible to create books as before, by setting all page definitions to "randomly chosen" and adding one "request" page. And it adds many many many more opportunities for designing levels and rewarding exploration.
Off the top of my head, the next big features on the list are:
- Add lore
- Not just purple books, but inventory items you take back to your house
- Think a lot about how "lore" works. Pieces of an image per library? Need to think about the background story and setting..
- Add uses for money
- Locked gates in library? Need X weight to lift them up? (I like the idea that your money doesn't actually have worth, it's just used to weigh things down)
- Yet another lighting pass
- And a writeup!
That's it for now, see you in the next one!
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I love all of this, especially being able to sometimes find extra stuff in books! I'm interested to see how the glint feels when playing and whether it encourages me to linger in the hopes of spotting one (at the risk of attracting the owl).