Hello everyone! Here we are with some juicy things that we wanted to share with you and more details about the development process.
On a brief note, we wanted to address the frequency of our updates. We usually keep a 2-3 months gap between them because we collect most of the content created in that time frame, and getting the media together to make an update within our 10/7 infernal schedule is complicated (also, we stated multiple times that we don’t want to post a “hey we are still alive, working hard, ‘kay bye” kind of post and prefer to show a bunch of content). We know that some of you would be less concerned if we posted shorter updates, but at this stage we think that it’s out of doubt our compromise with the game, since we always strive to publish new content on a regular basis. Progress goes slowly but surely.
Last months we fixed a ton of stuff, finished the last enemies, developed bosses, and worked on unfinished puzzles. Bosses are very tricky to create, more so considering all the different outcomes that may appear once Subject W has the full set of skills (does the boss see W camouflaged if we break its equipment? Has to avoid shell attacks so players won’t finish him in 5 seconds? What happens if the spore is at Lv3 instead of Lv2? Headaches everywhere) >_<
A bunch of enemies have been added too, but we can’t show most of them since they enter spoiler territory. In any case you can check below the rest of human/mechanical NPC’s that will appear in a relatively advanced state of the game.
So without further ado, let’s have a look at the new things we’ve been working on.
Guard pursue routine
As of late, this enemies kept their position after the plant disappeared (either by exiting their sight, entering a hideout that was far from them, or using the camouflage skill when they were actively chasing Subject W). This was made on purpose, so players won’t be able to pass through them easily and forcing players to think carefully before facing different kinds of situations. The problem with this behavior is that guards stayed in the last known position of the player, even if Subject W was a few feet away out of their vision path, which looked kinda ridiculous.
Now if the player disappears they stay in the last known position of the player for a brief time in a “tense” state before moving forward until they find the player again or reach a wall.
The only downside about this is that you can avoid them with the camo skill almost instantly (unless there is another enemy called as backup) so we either find a path between both mechanics or keep them still for the same amount of time that the camo skill lasts at Lv1, so players can’t pass through all situations in a blink.
What do you think about this change?
State bubble color issues
We talked more than enough about the enemy’s state bubbles but we wanted to show a quick change made recently.
Now the state icon will be represented in black, indifferently of its background. We realized that on certain spots the negative effect mixed the icon form wile descending, so we decided to tint all of them with a universal color to avoid confusion and obtain an homogeneous look.
One thing that we noticed was that the conducts to connect rooms vertically can go unnoticed because of the dark palette and design, and probably some people will miss them.
To help players locate them from any position we added orange arrows to their design, giving them away with a simple look at the stage.
Click to enlarge
Different animations to enter/exit trapdoors
To make the gameplay more fluid and accessible, all interactive elements have an area of interaction bigger than themselves, and Subject W is moved automatically to the point where the animation/action is launched. It may be the case that a solid object is pushed near a trapdoor, so we locked trapdoors when pushable platforms stayed above them. Here comes the tricky part: the interactive area of the trapdoor is way bigger than the pushable itself, so the solid gets in the way while repositioning Subject W, getting the player stucked between both elements and locking the movement.
To avoid this problem we needed to change the animation of W entering from the side and doing it above the trapdoor, reducing the interactive area and fitting it to the sprite so it won’t interfere with the pushable object.
So far, all the regular enemies of the game have been created but this is is the extent of the content we can show regarding this part of PLFC without revealing too much of the plot:
The cambot is the mobile version of the security camera. It also has a laser pointer that is moving constantly, so staying unnoticed is more difficult inside a room with one (or more) of these. Once the sensor locates Subject W it will follow the player, revealing its position to other enemies. Cambots are able to cover larger surfaces than a regular camera and sometimes players will need to keep an eye on their routine if they need to take care of multiple enemies at the same time.
Decoys and spores will keep them busy or knocked out temporarily so the use of skills can be handy if there is no hideouts near Subject W
PS: Yeah the FX of the box is way off, it's just a placehoder.
Aside their look and how they react to certain skills, this enemies can perform the tasks of a regular scientist. Their singularity is that the hazmat suit protects them from the spore and host skills (both long range) so players must find a way to distract them or directly knock them out knowing the consequences of that action if someone is on the surroundings.
Following the same line of design of the previous enemy, the pyroguards are immune to darts and spores. Their weapon of use is a flamethrower that generates progressive damage when they are confronted, so you better keep the shell skill active near them.
Lt. Shyam Ryder
Ryder (whom you probably remember from the demo) will be one of the main characters of the story. He’s one of the subordinates of Captain Ash Galloway and one of the most dangerous enemies that we’ll face inside GER. Electric traps are his specialty and the suit he wears provides him with special abilities to both evade attacks and create an energy field to keep us at bay.
The electric dash helps Ryder get away from direct hits and leaves W defenseless
His close quarter attack produces progressive damage
Ryder is equipped with a railgun that shoots long-range lightning bolts. It is also capable of creating an electric current across the floor, so you'd better keep an eye on his attack routines.
Like Clark, Ryder is an expert marksmanship and Subject W will have a small gap to avoid his shot
After charging the railgun and unloading it under his feet the floor will turn into a dangerous surface
This is not a tool that we developed, but it is worth mentioning since it’s helping us a lot and, hopefully, improve the workflow of other people that reads this post. The Aseprite Importer tool, that can be found on the Unity Asset Store, has been conceived to import animations from the Aseprite animation program to Unity without the need of creating sprite sheets. It automatically generates the texture by itself, preserves the animation speeds in the Unity timeline and even read the tags inside the .ase file, separating them into different animations. Also, when a change is made outside Unity, the data is reimported so it can really save you precious time.
Estimated Time of Arrival
We talked about the release date multiple times in both comments section and previous posts, and it’s always a sensible matter to speak about because we know how eager are you to play the full game, but we can’t compromise the quality of the product to have an earlier release. We are looking to complete all content for the first quarter of next year but if things get complicated with the rest of bosses and the development of cutscenes we could be talking of a summer release. At least all basic content, enemies and most of puzzles and stages have been done, but you must add testing to the mix, so time will tell.
The amount of animations of this game is insane so we’ll be putting extra time on holidays to make additional progress on this department in hopes to reach the coding side and try to blow milestones faster ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Well, that’s all for now. We’ll continue posting new content as soon as major advances are made or, at least, try to keep you up to date in the comments and show that we stay on duty. See you!