Mole Maiden Devlog August 2021
Hello and welcome to the month of September. The month of August was a very long one, I got a new job, finished my Japanese class, started my senior year of school, and I’m adjusting to this new amount of work I have in my plate to do.
Let’s start with the good news. I have been able to confirm that Mole Maiden will be my senior capstone project. This means that Mole Maiden is now my main project for next year, and I will have enough time and resources to make my capstone on time. Awesome! So now, time to talk about the progress I made during the month of August.
Last month I remembered saying that I wanted to finish all of combat systems by the end of August. This did not happen for a lot of reasons but primarily because I hadn’t really thought about Mole Maiden’s combat system until the month of august. Sure, I had some idea of how attacks would work, and I had a basic attack put in the game, but then I had people play the game and discovered that people didn’t attack the way I expected them to attack. The standard punch attack was almost never used, instead people tried to used Penny’s coil-launch as their main source of attack, and when their expectations where not realized, they became rather frustrated.
It then became obvious to me that designing a good combat system is not as easy as it might seem. So, I spent the month of August having different people play Mole Maiden (now with enemies) to see what their expectations where for attacking an enemy and how I can build on top of my already existing combat style make sure that I make something that’s cohesive and fun to play with.
First was addressing what happens if an enemy meets Penny while she is in “Drill Mode”. People wanted to make this the main form of attack, but I was against this. The whole coil then release action does have a lot of power behind it, but it isn’t responsive or quick enough to replace the standard attack that Penny has. The surfaces that Penny can burrow into is called “SOFT-soil” after all, so it makes sense that Penny can only burrow through this stuff because it’s not as tough. Still, people where right when they said that there needs to be a reaction the enemy has when contact is made. Eventually a settled on making it so enemies can be stunned.
I also mentioned last month how I have started to use playmaker as a tool for programming enemy AI. Well, turns out you can use playmaker for just about anything and even use your own C# code with it as well. These flowcharts that you write can be saved as templates and used with any game object you add it to! So, I created a new health manager system that can be attached to any enemy in the game and “reads” the conditions for all of the planned attack methods it’s variations.
Now for the big updates. FINALLY! After six months, you can finally die in Mole Maiden! Next, the latest update showcases the brand new save system! Finding a save room will restore all your health and save all your abilities, dizzy meter, and location you last saved it. Soon to be added is the overworld item memory. Right now object you have collected in the overworld do not load when you reenter a scene, but this data doesn’t save when you save the game….yet!
What's Happening in September:
While I don’t have as much new visual/dramatic changes, the changes that have been made are all part of working towards making a better game. A lot of the time when you’re making something you haven’t made before (like a combat system) you assume that there isn’t as much work that goes into making something so simple. Sometimes you need to take time to play test, and consider what is fun to play, or what result does you audience expect to happen and have you considered this idea before. I will continue into the month of September to add and correct the games combat system more. I hope you will look forward to it.
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