LRGBIC Devlog #9 – Finishing Touches

This has been quite the month hasn’t it? At the very beginning I was just following Fornclake’s Zelda Godot tutorials which lead me to releasing the prologue just two weeks ago. Now we are at the beginning of September closing in on the Silver Rule’s release. It’s been quite the journey doing these two jams and now all we have left are the finishing touches!

Once I finished putting together the dungeon, I decided that it needed a bit of life. The dungeon was pretty dark and bland so I figure adding some music and sound would solve this issue. I jumped in LMMS and cobbled together a track that I felt served nicely for navigating the Silver Rule dungeon. The original song I was composing for the dungeon ended up being the music for the title screen. I’ve put both songs in this post for your listening pleasure. Give them a listen and tell me what you think.

In the middle of doing the songs for the dungeon and title screen, I also used LMMS’s SFXR instrument plugin to generate some sound effects. This was probably the most fun I had this week. SFXR can generate all sort of sound effects for a specific purpose like pickups or it can just give you some strange completely random sound. While it won’t appear in the final game you can listen to the most interesting sound I got. After it was all said and done I had all the audio I needed and Silver Rule felt more lively…If that’s even the right word to describe it.

After getting the sound the way I wanted I decided to work on some of the dialog for the game. I wasn’t going to add dialog to the final game, but I felt it might be weird since the prologue had some plus I think people enjoyed the dialog I wrote. I used Talkit to write the script which exports JSON that I use in Godot. To be honest, the dialog in Silver Rule is a test of sorts for some software that I am working on that derives from Talkit. It’s heavily attached to my next project so you’ll hear more about that in the future.

Now that we have some sound and dialog Silver Rule feels more like an experience instead of something for players just run through. At least I hope players will have some sort of experience. Regardless, I have had a blast making Silver Rule and it’s prologue. I hope you and everyone else out there enjoys it when I release it tomorrow. That’s right! You can play Silver Rule is almost 24 hours. Our last devlog will be sometime after which will also serve as the post mortem. 

LRGBIC Devlog #8 – The Fuego Fuegi

On the last devlog we went over the dungeon that Ace will have to conquer to get the Silver Rule. If you remember, I started that off by mentioning some of the improvements I’ve made to the game. I mentioned the revamped magic, the reworked enemies, and the new enemy. That new enemy is excatly what I am here to discuss!

The fuegi was planned to be the third monster in the prologue, but I held him back after I ran out of time. I put together a nice little sprite and gave him the ability to change his element on the fly. After some thought, I decided to give this ability to the rambie. I wanted the fuegi to have less of a passive ability and present himself as more of a problem.

Introducing the Fuego Fuegi

With the rambie taking the fuegi’s original ability, I couldn’t come up with anything interesting to give the fuegi. It was at this point I decided to leave the poor little fuegi out of the prologue. All said and done, this worked out great. It gave me time to really figure out what kind of challenge I wanted the fuegi to give Ace on his quest for the Silver Rule.

Now what can the fuegi do you might be asking? His main objective is guarding the last door to the Silver Rule. I’ve made the fuegi the final challenge the player will face. He combines several aspects of the dungeon to cause issues for Ace and I can’t wait to see how players handle it.  Well that wraps it up for this devlog! We are coming close to release so I hope you are ready!

LRGBIC Devlog #7 – Puzzles and Traps. Oh My!

How’s it going, everyone? We are fast at work on the second phase of LRGBIC and on the last devlog, we went over the feedback I received for the first phase. It seems Ace has received some additional training from Silus and his magic skills have been upgraded. He will need them too because the baddies have been reworked as well. There will even be a new vermin joining the crew to give Ace some trouble in the dungeon, but I don’t want to talk about the vermin. I’m here to talk about the dungeon itself.

If you remember, Silver Rule is all about Ace obtaining the Silver Rule from a dungeon. The prologue took place outside in a nice grassy field mainly because I ran out of time to implement the actual dungeon itself. The feedback I received from the prologue shows this was a good idea. It allowed me to focus on what’s wrong with Ace, his magic, and the monster. With this in mind, I made sure the dungeon itself worked around the improvements.

The First Room of the Dungeon

When I started to design the dungeon I knew I’d want it to be straightforward and simple. I quickly decided that I’d have four types of obstacles that would show up two to three times. This could allow for variety while keeping everything simple. The four types of rooms Ace will come across are monster, spike, puzzle, and empty types.

The monster rooms will be where Ace will have to face waves of enemies before proceeding, similar to the prologue. The puzzle rooms will test Ace’s wits before allowing passage. The empty room type covers rooms like the entrance or the Silver Rule’s resting place where nothing interesting happens. The spike rooms are a secret that you will have to uncover on your own. As you can see each room allows a bit variance so they can show up a couple of times over the course of the dungeon.

The Legendary Silver Rule!

I honestly had a lot of fun putting this dungeon together and I hope everyone enjoys conquering it to help Ace get the Silver Rule. That’s basically all I wanted to share this time, but we are coming close to the end of LRGBIC so expect a couple more devlogs before the AGBIC release. Next will be going over the Fuegi, Ace’s new adversary in the Silver Rule dungeon.

LRGBIC Devlog #6 – Can We Fix It? I Hope So!

It has been awhile since the last time I saw you all! I decided to get some rest after the release of the prologue and it did me some good. I was able to let the prologue settle in the wild and get some much needed feedback. Pretty much everything I evaluated about the game during release was echoed by my players. I want to go over the issues and how I hope to fix them.

After compiling the few reviews I got for the prologue I figured my issues came down to two things. On one hand, the enemies were too quick fro players to react to in such a small space. Almost everyone commented on this and I have to agree. For instance, the spiders could blindside you coming onto the screen and get three clean hits in. One way to address this problem is to slow down the enemies and another way is to give the players more ghost frames. Mostly I have to take into account that this game is only 64 by 64 pixels.

The other issues were with the magic skills. Most of the magic Ace could use, no matter the level, was useless. The fire stab was too risky and the ice shot’s distance was too short. I don’t even think anybody used the shock burst which suffered from range issues. With this information, I decided to just revamp the magic system completely. For instance, I think it would be nice if the level three skills were super versions of said skills.

I think most people enjoyed Silver Rule: Prologue and I’m glad it was received well. Most people really enjoyed the mini-game to restore your mental level and the backstory. I think there is something within the Silver Rule and hopefully, I can buff out the dents and make it into something. Until the next devlog my friends.

LRGBIC Devlog #5 – The Prologue

A lot has happened since the first devlog! Hopefully you’ve seen and enjoyed the video I did for devlog four and seeing the game in action. I definitely had a time putting it together. What I wanted to talk about now is how I am going to handle Silver Rule being made for two game jams that end at different times. LowRez game jam ends in a few days while AGBIC last through the month. I’ve come up with an interesting plan.

Lowrez game jam ends in under 24 hours from the time this was posted. Of course, the game isn’t really complete so the question is how do I make the release before the end of Lowrez jam? I thought about the best way to go about this and I’ve decided to use Lowrez jam to set up a bit of story for Silver Rule. Tomorrow you’ll be able to play Silver Rule: Prologue.

Title Screen

Silver Rule: Prologue, will have the player see the hero, Ace, undergoing training so that he may gain directions to where the Silver Rule rest. The main two goals with this prologue are to give the player some story and let them mess around with my work so far. As a bonus, I was able to get my dialog system from Subspace Before into the game with little to no problem. This will also allow me to get some suggestions for the AGBIC edition that will come at the end of the month. 

Well, I have to get back to work so you can play Silver Rule: Prologue tomorrow. The next devlog will be announcing that release and going over some of the work leading up to it. I am having so much fun with LRGBIC and I hope you are having just as much fun following along. I am really looking forward to everyone playing the prologue. See you at the next devlog and have a great day.

LRGBIC Devlog #4 – Abracadabra

Got something a bit different for this devlog. I got so much work done since the last one that I didn’t think a plain text blog with low-quality gifs would cut it so I made a video! In this video, I mainly talk about what magic skills the player has to their disposable and how those skills work with the mini-game I mentioned in the last devlog. I hope to do more of these so if you have any suggestions or advice please share them. Please enjoy the video and have a great day.

This took about 50 takes…I have an impressive outtake reel

LRGBIC Devlog #3 – Clearing Your Thoughts

So with this nice foundation I have for Silver Rule, thanks to the great tutorials by Fornclake, I was able to think about how to implement the twist for the game. The hero has access to a wide array of magic that he can use to handle the dungeon’s challenges, but that’s not the real challenge. The hero can only efficiently use his abilities if he has a clear mind.

This is where the twist comes in for Silver Rule. The player will have to jump between the actual game and essentially a mini-game in which they literally have to clear the hero’s mind of his wandering thoughts. This will be tracked by a mental meter and as it drops your mind will be filled with thoughts. If you don’t clear those thoughts your magic will get weaker.

The way the player can clear the hero’s mind is by switching to a mini-game where you play the mind’s eye and bump into your wild notions until they vanish. You can switch in and out of the mini-game at any time to clear those thoughts to unlock the strongest your powers have to offer.

That Mind’s Eye looks fed up

So far the hero has two magic attacks he can perform. He has the fire stab ability which is basically a sword and the ice shot which is basically an arrow. Each attack has three levels of power which are affected by the mental meter. For instance, the ice shot will travel much further and faster if you have a clearer mind.

The hero performing the ice shot skill

Well that about wraps it up for this devlog! As you can see by the pretty gifs I am making some good progress. I’m having a little issue with switching between the main game and the mini game, but let’s hope by the next devlog that’s all fixed up. Hope you’ll stop by for the next edition of LRGBIC Devlogs!!

LRGBIC Devlog #2 – Tutorial Rule

Now that you know what LRGBIC is you might want to know what I’m actually doing. Using Namada’s 2018 Famicase, I am creating a game called Silver Rule. It will have you take the role of a young man who has to overcome the challenges of a dungeon to obtain a relic known as the Silver Rule. It will basically be a Zelda clone with a twist.

Namada’s 2018 Famicase – Silver Rule

I decided to use the Godot Engine for this one since I have basically moved to it from Unity since I think it is better suited to making the 2D games. I’ve been using it for about a year and I’ve only released one project with it. That game was my #NotGDC jam entry, Subspace Before, which was just a glorified test of a dialog system I was working on at the time.

Logo for Subspace Before

Since this would be the first actual game I would create in Godot, I figured I go find some tutorials and see what I could learn real quick. Luckily I came across these wonderful Godot Zelda tutorials by Fornclake. I spent about two days following his six tutorials and came out with a nice base to work with.

Now that I’ve learned some new Godot tricks and given myself a nice foundation to start with I can finally start getting to the nitty gritty of Silver Rule. I still haven’t said much about the game itself, but I have to give you something to come back to. Well no worries as on the next episode of LRGBIC we will finally get to what makes Silver Rule so special!

LRGBIC Devlog #1 – A New Challenge

    Been awhile since I’ve done a devlog and I must say it is about time. I figure the best way to celebrate moving on to bigger and better things in my life is with a good old fashion game jam, but why should we stop there? Let’s do one game under the conditions of two jams! I will call this jamming extravaganza Low Rez Game by Its Cover (which is what that acronym in the devlog title stands for)!

Low Rez Game by Its Cover or LRGBIC is a combination of Low Rez and A Game by Its Cover game jams. I’ve never done Low Rez jam which has you create a game at a strict resolution of 64×64 pixels, but I am more familiar with A Game by Its Cover or AGBIC. If you are familiar with my game Item Sweep, I made that for AGBIC in 2016.

A Game by Its Cover is a jam that has participants pick a fictional Famicom cartridge designed by amazing artists for the Famicase Exhibit. It’s one thing to discover an art show of all these made up cartridges, but finding out there was a jam that challenged you to actually make a game behind them was an opportunity I didn’t and still don’t like passing up.

I missed AGBIC last year and refused to miss it this year, but I also wanted to take part in Low Rez jam. Instead of deciding which one to do I came up with the idea for LRGBIC! So here we are at the beginning of another jam (or two). I already know what I want to do, but I’ll save that for the next devlog…

Renovations Incoming!!!

I’m not sure what happened, but I haven’t been giving this website the attention it deserves. I am in this huge transitional stage in my life right now so I haven’t had much time to devote to the website like I’d hope. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook then you know I’ve still been working hard at creating, but I want this site to be a central place for everything I do.

Well once I’ve finished with my transition which includes leaving my job, moving, and getting married, I’ll be able to give this website the attention it deserves! Anyway look forward to that and follow me on Twitter @AsentrixStudios for more!!

Also be sure to check out the songs I did for the 21 Days of VGM Challenge!