The days are beginning to blur. It's all starting to get a bit crunch-y. But that also means it's all beginning to come together, feature-wise.
|From left to right: Light, Air, Water, Metal, Dark, Earth, Fire, Primal|
Leanne did us a lovely suite of the new Glyph Icons. The old elements are still there and the new ones are called Metal and Primal. For Metal, think things like blades and for Primal, think spirit animals. Kinda mini summons really.
Aesthetically, I really like them. They're a bit of a blend between our original set and the ones Chorus did for the Japanese version. We'll probably still tweak the colour balance throughout testing as we do find people trying to blend things like Air and Earth still.
Loot glyphs are back in. They work just the same as before - you have a chance of them appearing and, when you collect them, they'll either be a nifty item or cold, hard cash. This time though, we're keeping tabs on them a bit better and capping the maximum number that can appear on the board. This number is something you can increase by Upgrading your Luck stat.
Oh yes, Upgrades are in. Remember that whole levelling up thing I was talking about before? Well, it has finally gone from sitting in it's own little scene in to the main game itself. You can access it from your room in the Inn. So the way character progression now works is this:
- Kill monsters.
- Get XP.
- Level up at prescribed XP thresholds.
- Gain upgrade tokens for each level you gain.
- Spend upgrade tokens on upgrades.
- Kill monsters, but more effectively this time.
The Upgrade Screen itself is functional, but requires some serious art love. The layout could use a tweak or two as well to better make use of the themes. We've broadly split Upgrades in to three different themes - Offence, Defence and Utility*.
Offence is where you'll find things that help you do more damage - from upping base damage on a per-element basis to increasing the chance of a critical hit or the amount of damage you do from a chain. You can even throw in extra glyphs to add a bit of Aftertouch.
Defence is where you'll find things that help you stay alive for longer - normally reducing damage you take or increasing your base health. It can also help you resist harmful status effects, so things like those Goblin Shaman may start to lose their sting.
This is where all those other neat features that can't fit into straight up attack or defend fit in. These are all to do with things like the aforementioned Luck or gaining XP at a faster rate. There's also one that increases the material drop rate of monsters. "Materials?" I hear you say? Why yes. Materials.
Oh ho! Crafting. Okay, so I haven't written this bit yet, but the idea is that you can harvest all sorts of icky items from dead creatures and turn them in to really useful bits of kit. New robes or weapons and the like.
There's a part of me that's a little concerned by the Crafting bit - if nothing else, it's just more work. It should add a bit of longevity to the game as players might want to grind to gather material for cool pieces of kit. That doesn't mean to say that we need Crafting per-see - ultimately, it's topologically similar to just awarding kit for killing enough creatures, so that's our fall-back position if it ends up too much work.
It's always a good idea to have the odd contingency plan or two. In fact, we'll often spec out two or three ways of implementing something and list them in order of difficulty. If we can't do it the first way for whatever reason**, we'll look at doing it the next way and so on.
Young Parker dropped by last week on a bike ride. He started talking about servers and accounts and all sorts. I nodded and smiled. This is still Plan A - piggybacking Game Centre and it's user IDs and friend lists and stuff. Need to look up the Google equivalent. We're probably going to stop short of cross-platform stuff - that is to say that iOS people will only be able to summon other iOS people and likewise for Android - otherwise we'll have to set up our own user accounts system and that's just a complete pain in the backside waiting to happen.
As a precursor to this (slightly terrifying) prospect of taking your friends' characters on quests with you, I had to hook up henchmen to the customisation stuff. It's still not finished but now you can swap yourself out for a randomly generated test mage. Next, I need to hook up the gameplay stuff so that these henchmen can have stats based on their Gear and Upgrades.
Plan B probably means we don't do the online stuff. Instead, we'll have a local repository of generated characters for you to pick from. In fact, we'll need Plan B anyway for such times as you can't connect to the ol' interwebs.
Either way, I still need to write some kind of 'recruitment' screen, where you select which character you want to take on a quest with you.
Narrative and References
In keeping with the higher narrative content of this game, we've got some really interesting things in the pipeline. Collaborations. In jokes. References. That sort of thing. I don't want to ruin any surprises (or, indeed, jump the gun) so I'll probably stop talking about that stuff now.
Actually, that's something to mention. Nothing dates a work quicker than throwing in a pop-culture reference or two. Pop-culture moves very fast and memes get left behind even faster***. It's generally a good idea to avoid references like that. But we don't mind. This isn't games-as-a-service. We don't expect you to be playing Super Glyph Quest in a year's time. What we'd like you to do is play it now and have fun doing so. We don't have the resources for Big or Polished so we have to go for Funny. The easiest Funny to pull off appears to be pop-culture references and in jokes. So we're loading up on them.
Along those lines, Leanne found a weird thing on Reddit**** the other day. There was a thread somewhere that accused Glyph Quest of being a rip off of Dark Souls because of the Summoning Stone item. I'm not sure the guys got far enough to summon the Sun Knight*****. Thank you internet. There are many, many references to many, many things in the first one and it's only going to get better in the next.
Well, better for us. Worse for Shin who's going to have a hell of a job translating all of those references to ensure they're still funny on the other side of the world. At least this time the text is all in a single file and not embedded in the deepest, darkest recesses of the code.
I noticed an interesting button in Unity the other day. It lets me toggle between different aspect ratios for iDevices. Man, that would have been a good thing to know about when we were struggling with image sizing for the original game.
It's much nicer writing things the second time around. You have a much better chance of getting rid of the annoying bits. Now scrolling through things like the shop screen won't select items whenever you let go.
|Burn, familiar goblin chap|
Macs are pretty cool for things like screen grabs or video capture. I wanted to send a short video to Shin, showing him the Sunstrike effect and it was a work of seconds to capture a video of the relevant part of the screen. In fact, how about a screenshot of the game as it currently stands?
Willow now fits in her Creeper baby grow. It's still a bit big, but hey. Next up: the "Little Short For A Stormtrooper" one.
We have a lot of cake in the house. This is probably a Bad Thing.
* LoL and WoW have a lot to answer for...
** Normally a lack of resources.
*** Except for things involving cats. It would appear the internet has a long way to go before we get fed up with them.
**** Hardly news, I know.
***** \o/ Praise the Sun! \o/