Newsletter Week 8

This week was a whirlwind of productivity. It was our last full week of development before Halves (next week is spring break and the following week is GDC). We spent our time expanding upon our game so that we could have a polished build with new content to show guests on Thursday. New things that were added include lighting, sound effects, sprites, and visual effects.

We began experimenting with lighting in our scene because in the later levels of our game we need the effect of fireflies lighting up the environment. We are also considering giving the player a special power that allows him to illuminate the area around him – in which case lighting is very important.

We decided to diversify our soundscape by making the effect for collecting fireflies more dynamic. The sound effect for collecting fireflies is a chiming note but instead of hearing the same note every time you collect a firefly, you will instead hear a similar note that is different in pitch. This creates a more melodious experience when collecting fireflies in quick succession.

On the art spectrum, the sprites for the player’s outer shell taking damage are now completed and in game. However, we were not satisfied with the way it initially looked so we decided to make the visual effect for the player taking damage more powerful. This was done by adding a particle effect that takes the directional vector that the player got hit from as a parameter. We also added in a visual cue so the player can see the direction that the enemy is about to charge in. These effects combined work together to provide greater visual feedback to the player.
On Thursday we were able to show our game to the high-school student guests we hosted. The general feeling we got was that our game was fun and “magical”. Given the age of our guests the “magical” part may or may not have been a surly proclamation but hey, we’ll take it anyways. Next week is spring break so we’ll be getting some much needed R&R and preparing for GDC. We’ll be jumping right back into development soon though. Stay Tuned!