Hey, how you doing people?
Today's a big day. It has been 14 days since I've launched Smintheus Beta on itch.io and today it reached nearly 750 downloads!!! I think it's a good sign, although I wish I could read more comments with criticism or some kind of feedback. I'll just assume the game is super awesome and there is nothing to rant about :D
Nevertheless, I'm fully motivated and ready to dive into my last game development crunch.
Before I do that, I'd like to present a new fresh patch. I think it will be the last one here because the game is quite stable now, but who knows... Anyway, here a couple of changes:
- Fixed app crash when player wins and looses at the same time. You know, like when Lanky beats Gerald when he is about to do his victory dance or when cat whacked mouse and suddenly got eliminated by a timed bomb nearby. Win or Fail priority goes to the first initiator.
- When player whacks the cat (say, in level 7) he should do victory dance and progress to new level. It progresses all right but what if player moves at the time when he needs to dance? Buggy situation occurs and Gerald just stands on position with the loop of moving animation. Fixed!
- Doors that required keys to be opened had a sound effect with a annoying high-pitched squeaky part. It actually took some time to make it sound right without that irritation.
- Seeing that quite big portion of players were drowning too much on level 1 and 2 I decided to make it more easier for them to pass it. First level now prevents player from receiving any kind of damage thus removing the need of free revival there. Second level turns on "getting damage" feature but warns before making first step into danger zone plus free reviving is doubled. Second level also receives boot spawner near the ice cream cart with the Walrus. If player fails crossing the spikes and get's revived he or she can now continue to attempt passing that spike road again, of course this time with the boots on!
- Previous update had fixed ambient volume bug but that fix only covered object sounds (campfire, spikes, magical door) while ignoring ambient soundscapes present in level and map screen. It took some time to figure why this happened but eventually it got fixed. Realization of source of the problem resulted with huge facepalm :)
So, what about that "crunch" i mentioned above? That's ultimate workaholic's approach of finishing the game. I'll be working on game every single day and post about it on Twitter and other social network pages. Additionally, i'll write devlog posts here, on Tumblr and soon on my freshly updated website. PR will be also included into crunch, i've been too passive about it and it's bad for game's future. Not anymore!
So, what's left to do to make Smintheus fully completed game? Answer is rather simple - I gotta complete other level, draw big world maps for them and finish game soundtrack. Nearly two years ago I promised to deliver 42 levels on steam greenlight campaign and I'm going to keep that promise. I have 24 levels done from which the first 8 are extremely polished. The rest needs heavy restoration and complete tile redraw. These 42 levels are planned to be included in 6 worlds: Violet (Deviated Valley), Underground, Sewers, Swamp, Floating Islands and Mushroom worlds. Each of these worlds exploit specific gameplay elements. That's a lot of drawing and level designing but the most time consuming task will be the production of soundtrack. My crazy idea of having unique music on each level is not going to be canceled. Game is going to be musical and that will be one of the selling points :)
Also, game will introduce experience points and perk feature. Additionally, few more items will be revealed eventually (like gadget gloves which will allow player to instantly place gadgets). New enemies will make passing level somewhat tricky and Lanky the cat will get stronger and craftier.
There will be some changes in plans. In order to finish Smintheus this year I have to make levels shorter but harder. It's mainly a game design decision as well as musical - less walking and more interaction... and why musical? Because I don't have to write 5-8 minute soundtracks anymore. Each additional minute doubles the difficulty and time consumption for me, so the tracks will be 3 to 4 minutes in average now.
Apart from that I have to update my website. I'm already writing devlog. Quite enjoying this to be honest. Next there is trailer that needs to be done. Finally, I have to deal with the indie gamedev enemy #1 seriously - The Marketing! Oh, that boring and surprisingly time killing activity. Oh well... I believe everything will be super great!
Have fun folks!
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