The Boy Who Stole The Sun - Devlog #4 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

The Boy Who Stole The Sun – Devlog #4

It's snowing!

Cleanup! Got the last of my terrain integrations done from last time. The new terrain package files are already making the process of creating new maps more streamlined. Just to test it out, I whipped together a string of five maps and linked them together, and now I have a little test map with several increasingly dark caverns beneath it. I added some little stairs decorations to mark those spots. It's amazing how a few little graphics updates can be a feature feel fresh. While checking all this stuff, I ripped out all the old code and fixed a handful of errors and annoying features along the way.

Moving on! Time to plunge forward again toward The Vertical Slice. On the (relatively) short list of features to implement and test... I have three basic outdoor entities to create for the snowy, blizzard overworld. And three for the caves.

Outdoor entities upcoming: Snow piles! Flurries! Ice Beasts!

Snow piles: These spots accumulate snow whenver snow is falling. And when they reach a certain mass, they lie in wait for the player to pass by. When the boy is near... a flurry pops out and the snow pile resets to empty. However, if the boy punches the pile before it's reached max size, it'll knock some snow off and get smaller. This entity is 90% complete. Everything except the particle effects and the flurry spawning is done.

Flurries: These are creepy little snow critters which wander around and bump into the player. Each bump will freeze one of the boy's health points (like this: ). They can also be picked up and tossed around. The intent of carrying them is to be able to toss them into water and freeze the water making a little bridge. This entity is 50% complete. Still have to make them bump and freeze the boy's health points. And I have to figure out the water-freezing, ice-bridge-making situation.

Ice Beasts: These dudes are meant to harm the player's health directly. They have stabby ice hands. Their arms can be shattered with the right tool, but the arms can be re-attached. (In early phase of design, I had dreamed of making these guys spawn by way of five flurries hopping on top of each other, but I'm not sure I have a good way to do that. Gotta simplify, so I'll probably just manually place in the world for testing and see where it goes from there.) 0% done.

Cave entities upcoming: Ghosts! Crystals! Ghost Fire!

The boy and some of the critters.

Ghosts: These wandering spirits are humanoid and collect around sources of heat or light. When the boy comes near, they will follow the boy and attempt to freeze his health points and take his heat for their own! 25% done. I have basic graphics for these guys, but no behavior has been implemented.

Crystals: These are permanent cave fixture which can absorb light when a light source is near, and will hold and emit a low level of light for some time. 50% done. I have graphics and had a working version of these in a earlier prototype. Will need to re-implement them in current script system.

Ghost Fire: Blue fire which emits a ghostly lit. Other flamable object can be burned here. 10% done. Have graphics for this. Requires secondary flamable object to test this feature. Early prototypes had a little lamp that could be lit on the fire. Need to decide whether to keep and provide lamps in these levels or have other flammable objects provided. So this entity is actually a series of related objects that will play in the dynamic light system.

Other systems needed for The Vertical Slice: Dialog system! Health system! Sleep Cycle!

Dialog system is the one I'm most eager for, but it has a lot of piece to it. It needs a string system which can retrieve named strings from any language (the game will support localization to different languagues). It need a data format for storing the conversational data. And I need to define the behavior for displaying word bubbles and response prompts to the player. So far, I have the first part done, which is the named string/language system. I have the ability to display word bubbles, but the major part... the data definition, loading, and gameplay part is all yet to be written. So I'll call this 20% done.

Health Sytems: This will be display of little hearts, not unlike Zelda games. These hearts can be depleted by being hit or frozen by VeryColdThings(tm) that bump into the boy. Heart depletion will kill the boy. Heart freeze will kill the boy. 0% done.

A dimly lit cave. Need to get some light sources in here!

Sleep Cycle! When the boy dies in the other world, he doesn't die in real life. He just wakes up (Despite the nightmarish qualities of the magic world, this is not Elm Street). In order to continue the game, the boy must fall asleep. In order to fall asleep, the boy has to sort out his thoughts in a little mini-game before he can return to action. 0% done.

This is a chunk of work to get the Vertical Slice, but I'm pleased that tools are in order. I spent about 6 hours last week thoroughly debugging my scripting system Feeling good about that code and ready to make some critters come to life!

Posted by Seth Gorden

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