Nuts & Bolts
In this update we get into the specifics of what to expect from Infernal Edge from a gameflow and features standpoint. I walk you through the options and new accessibility features, while revealing a bit more of the finer points of Infernal Edge 2. While some of this info may seem kind of basic, its oh-so necessary to address the infrastructure of a big project before it is in full-blown production. When discussing "new features" I'm referring to features that were not present in the original Infernal Edge.
In the original Infernal Edge, if the player was firing, he could not move. Doing away with this, the player is now outfitted with thruster boots that enable him to fire while moving, which helps speed up the pace of the gameplay as a whole, and offers up new gameplay opportunities.
If the player presses the left mouse (as opposed to holding it down) when near an enemy, the player will perform an offensive plasma saber slash. Also, certain enemies, environmental objects, and projectiles can only be damaged by the plasma saber. The player will be prompted via the Left Mouse Display (see sub-section F in the HUD section) showing when he will be able to use the plasma saber. The saber serves as a way to break up the action in a meaningful way while adding depth to the experience as whole.
The implementation of checkpoints creates a huge impact on the overall pacing of Infernal Edge 2. In the event that the player gets a "game over", upon continuing, the player will start the level at the last checkpoint. This factor makes the game's pace far faster, since the player is repeating less of the game. This also shifts the difficulty away from having to endure long bouts of gameplay, and instead focuses on completing shorter, more incremental gameplay achievements.
Like checkpoints, saving helps prevent the repetition of gameplay, and is simply a must for a larger game. Saving is done automatically whenever a checkpoint is reached. When loading a game, the player has the option of starting from the last checkpoint, or to go to the level select screen.
While there are many different actions that can be performed with the action button, here's just a a few samples…
1) Rotate: When situated on a rotating defender (see Elements of Gameplay) the player sees a depiction of what will happen; the player will be rotated to the interior of the wall. Or conversely, rotated to the exterior of the wall.
2) Flip: When holding onto a Screw Wire (see Elements of Gameplay) the player will be flipped to the opposite side of the Screw Wire.
3) On/Off: This action has a number of different uses, such as activating a boss battle, manipulating the game environment, making in-game enemies fall from above, activating installed lasers, and so much more! The on/off concept is broad and can be repackaged in so many interesting ways.
4) Checkpoint: When the player reaches a checkpoint, to activate it, the player simply presses the action button, this also doubles as saving, as progress is saved at checkpoints.
5) Info: When holding onto an "info block" the player can press the action button to speak with Angelique Frost (see Meet the Cast!). Angelique may provide you with useful gameplay tips, explain some of the lore of the environment, or advance the plot in some way. This is a significant and far reaching action that serves to enrich the entire gameplay experience by offering the player better instructions, and is a very non-invasive way of offering players story information throughout Infernal Edge 2.
6) Up/Down: When on top of a movement pillar (see Elements of Gameplay) the player has control of whether the pillar will move up or down.
Now that you're familiar with all the new features of Infernal Edge 2, here's a chart depicting the gameflow as a whole. With a bigger game comes the need to plan and organize the gameflow beforehand. This chart is far less complicated than it might seem, it just walks you through how the game operates and what to expect when you start a new game, get a game over, what you can do with the menus, and everything in between.
While options are fairly standard on most games, they are worth mentioning since they can impact gameplay in a big way. All of the previous Lazy Brain Games are brief, so they didn't really require much in the way of options. With a big game like Infernal Edge 2, it makes sense to let the player dictate the control scheme to assure that players don't have to adjust to a different playing style if they don't want to. Once the controls are addressed, the player can jump into the action with ease and confidence.
A) The player can toggle the in-game music on or off
B) The player can toggle the in-game sound effects (or SFX) on and off.
The player has the choice of 2 control schemes for the mouse, "independent" and "toggle".
C) Independent: Left click=gun, right click=hookshot
D) Toggle: Left click=item selected (gun or hookshot), right click=switch items
E) Pressing this on-screen button will display an explanation of the Independent and Toggle mouse control schemes.
The defaults are "WASD" for movement, and the spacebar for action.
F) By pressing the on screen "start" button within the "config keyboard" viewport, the custom key assignment will start. The player is prompted to input the desired keys for right, up, left, down, and action.
HUD is short for "heads up display" which is information overlaid onto the screen that depicts relevant game information to the player. The HUD for Infernal Edge 2 resembles the HUD from the original, but with accommodations for new gameplay aspects, and has some general improvements. The HUD is very much inspired by Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, in the sense that the buttons and their functions are displayed directly on the screen, so that learning how to play is simple and straightforward.
A) Directional Display: The Directional Display shows which key on the keyboard the player can use to go either backward, or forward. One big improvement on this concept is to also have the Directional Display rotate with the camera, so that no matter what direction the player is heading in, the appropriate direction and key are always displayed.
B) Score: A fundamental component of many classic games, the scores in Infernal Edge 2 can be submitted to an online highscore board when the game is over. While the scoring system as a whole is similar to the original Infernal Edge, the addition of checkpoints, the ability to be granted extra lives and the presence of more levels enable advanced players to rack up higher scores by avoiding a "game over" for a longer period of time, which is something only possible in a bigger game.
C) Lives: Another gaming basic, lives play a bigger role in Infernal Edge 2 since the player can acquire more lives when a certain amount of points have been acquired. Lives have less to do with the game’s difficulty as they do with acquiring a high score.
D) Action Screen: When the player is in contact with an object where the "action button" can be used, the Action Screen displays a preview/explanation of the nature of that action.
E) Action Button: When an action can be performed, the text over the action button display will be changed to whatever the appropriate action is. In conjunction with the Action Screen, this will give the player ample information about what will happen when the action button is pressed.
F) Left Mouse Display: Depending on what control scheme is selected (in this case the Independent control scheme) the left mouse button will display "fire" if the player is able to fire his gun at that time, or it will display "saber" if the player is able to use his plasma saber at that time.
G) Right Mouse Display: Depending on what control scheme is selected, the Right Mouse Display will either indicate "hook" for hookshot, or "switch" for the Independent & toggle control schemes, respectively.
Outfitted with new features, a firm grasp on gameflow, and touching on a few of the "actions", the overall picture of Infernal Edge 2 may be taking on a more definite form in your mind's eye. This is the backbone, the foundation, upon which Infernal Edge 2 with all of its systems and sub-systems will be built upon. One must know the nuts & bolts of a big game development project beforehand in order for it to succeed.
Next update we’ll take a look at all of the exotic galactic locales, as well as reveal more information about Operation Sky Scream. Thanks for reading, and thank you for your contributions!
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