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posts tagged with: dev log

Dev Log: Loot Numbers

Dev Log: Loot Numbers
Whoops I forgot to post for like two weeks again. Why do I keep doing that! Oh well.

I'm quickly running out of things to do in Super Sky Sisters now as I try to polish every last bit that I can. I just keep letting my anxiety get the best of me and I refuse to release it because my brain is broken in weird ways. Anyway!

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I added some fancy numbers for when the player collects loot in the game. I figure since damage and healing has numbers then also collecting loot should also give some fancy numbers as well. I tried to make them look very different from the damage numbers so I went with a white fill and a gold outline.

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The numbers also get bigger the more you collect which can be pretty fun at times...

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Dev Log: Remaining Stuffs

Dev Log: Remaining Stuffs
October is passing me by way faster than I thought! I think this month has proven to me that I'm temporarily out of juice for Sky Sisters. I put a lot of energy into the game toward the end of the summer, and then there was PAX, and then there was the post PAX rush of new features I wanted to put into the game.

Now sitting here in front of my visual studio window I find that I'm totally out of energy. There are some things left to work on still, but I'm not feeling that kick of inspiration to finish them. I know that I have to continue to work on things no matter what I'm feeling, but I also don't want my total lack of energy to show in certain parts of the work.

For now the remaining tasks are pretty simple except for more polish and bug fixing. I need to be doing sound effects which I might tackle if I'm feeling up for it, but I'm not exactly an audio designer and I'm not sure if my chippy sounding effects are really keeping up with the high res art of the game. It's easy to get away with low fidelity sound when the graphics match, but when it comes to high res art it just sounds a little off.

I also need to figure out how I'm releasing this thing! I have maybe a few options in the form of publishers if I wanted to go that route, but I'm still feeling pretty anxious about it. I know that Sky Sisters is a pretty weird game, so I'm not exactly expecting it to sell any sort of crazy amount of copies. I've had fun working on it though and that's enough for me for now.

I suppose this post was just meant as a small vent, and also as I wrote this I'm trying to figure out what exactly it is I want to work on next. I think I might dig back into the secret final boss of the game and see if there's any way I can spruce it up.

If all else fails I'll dip into another project for awhile as that usually makes me feel better, but right now the only side project I have that's worth working on is the new version of Otter that will use FNA instead of SFML. We'll see how that turns out!

I'm just constantly reminded that creating stuff is super dang difficult.

Dev Log: Progress Markers

Dev Log: Progress Markers
One of the things I realized when watching people play Sky Sisters is that people need some sort of indicator for how far they've gone in the game, and what's coming up ahead. Most of the time play sessions went well enough, but I wanted to more clearly indicate the pacing of the game.

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I decided to change the pacing of how often boss fights happen. Before it was kind of an arbitrary and slightly random method. It would count how many "event bags" the player went through and then spawn a boss every so often based on how many completed bags there were. This ended up in varied pacing as to when a boss would arrive, and I didn't like how sometimes a boss would show up at 2 minutes and other times maybe 4 minutes. I changed it to be a strict "when the players complete X events, queue up a boss fight," and this seems to be working out better.

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This little progress bar indicates how far along the players are until the next boss fight. It is hard to tell sometimes if knowing exactly when a looming threat is coming is good or not, but I think in this case it can be a good tension builder. The players can also know if they just survive for a little bit longer they can defeat the boss and take the exit portal.

Dev Log: Procrastination and Anxities

Dev Log: Procrastination and Anxities
Wow this has been a month, hasn't it?

I kinda dropped off the face of the planet again. I had a dangerous combo of a little bit of anxiety followed by a visit from my family. This full combo took out about two weeks of time. Whenever I take a long break from something it always takes me forever to get back into it, and that's what happened here. I took a long break from my dev stream and didn't really touch any Sky Sisters stuff. I get this build up of really bad anxiety that does everything in its power to stop me from working on stuff again.

I'm climbing back in the saddle now though at least. I started on some bug fixes in Sky Sisters and started working on some last lingering tasks. I've started to dig more into distribution options for the game as well.

So, yeah, sorry. This happens in my brain sometime and it takes awhile to get over, but making this post should be a good lead into working again. I have a small trip coming up this weekend but hopefully that wont derail me too hard. I'm dreading the holiday season coming up though as that usually means total destruction of my work habits. I just hate how every time I fall off the rails at all it takes me forever to climb back on. I'm probably not the only one with this issue though!

Dev Log: Upgrade Queued

Dev Log: Upgrade Queued
One of the main pieces of feedback I recieved about Sky Sisters was something like "it would be nice if the players had a proactive goal instead of just reactive goals." Meaning that instead of just dodging things all the time it would be cool if the players could work toward some goal.

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Right now the idea is to have some sort of outline of a shape in the arena. The players can use the orb to trace that shape. Whenever a lap is completed the shape will change into something more complicated. Right now I have this tied to getting upgrades, which I'm still a little unsure of. The first time you complete a lap you unlock an upgrade. The second upgrade requires two laps, and every upgrade after that requires three laps. I have yet to try this out with two players though. I kind of like the upgrades always coming every 3 or so events, but it also seems like the most worthwhile reward that this shape tracing thing can give you.

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This might have to go through a lot of refinement as right now even I find it tough to find time to complete laps around this thing during all the madness of the gameplay. Having a proactive goal though also introduces the problem of cheesing certain events so I have to come up with ways to address that as well. Basically I don't want the optimal strategy to be to leave events running as long as possible to get more upgrades. We'll see how this turns out through play testing, and this might have to be something I possibly address or change after the first release of the game.

Dev Log: Enemy Shields

Dev Log: Enemy Shields
I keep mentioning ways to keep both players involved in the gameplay of Super Sky Sisters in my recent posts. Here's yet another way I've tried to address this issue!

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I've introduced the ability for enemies to spawn with shields that can be either red or blue. These shields operate in the same way that the Orb shield does just placed on enemies instead of the Orb. It's a pretty straight forward challenge: red shields can be destroyed by player 1 and blue shields by player 2. This means that situations will develop in the game where you are forced to switch who is doing the shooting at times.

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Another scenario that can arise as the game goes on is stacked enemy shields. Enemies can have more than one shield on them! So this makes switching who is doing the shooting even more important as now players will have to trade off multiple times in order to take down a single enemy.

So far I'm pretty happy how this change has effected the game, but I've yet to see it in an actual two player situation. I'm looking forward to my next play test opportunity as there's now a load of new things to test!