First Look: Ghost Song gameplay
The video link is down below. First, a call to action:
I'll lead off by apologizing for neglecting the updates a bit. Honestly, I've been through a few transitions in terms of how I'm doing the game, and, for a time, I wasn't sure what to update with that would be concrete.
I'm gonna try to get you caught up on what's been going on. If you don't care, just scroll down and look for the youtube link. :)
Over the past months I've done things like evaluate and re-evaluate the combat mechanics and pace of the game -- Eventually coming back to the idea that the combat should be pretty fast, with twitchy dash moves, as portrayed in the original Kickstarter videos. It was always a challenge figuring out how to properly balance this, but with a little more experience comes new ideas and new approaches to things. The balance is in a pretty good spot now -- You can dash about pretty easily with "L1" and "R1" (or equivalent) buttons, avoiding damage, but doing so costs "armor" -- There's a resource in the game tentatively called "armor" -- But in effect it's more like armor and stamina together. It regenerates on its own, it's used to defend against damage and also consumed by your abilities. You can be fast and aggressive, but, as you'll see, so can enemies. The game is challenging.
Also not discussed in updates was the engine switch. I know I talked a lot about Unity during the Kickstarter period, and, indeed, an early Unity build of the game exists. The problem was it was just far too hard to be hands on. As someone trying to design a game down to exacting details, with a very specific vision, I longed for the freedom I enjoyed back in the early days with Stencyl. To those of you who aren't acquainted with me, I'm primarily an artist and designer. I just lack the knowledge, experience, or even the disposition to program a game on my own without the assistance of a scripting tool.
Some months ago Stencyl made an internal library change, from NME, to Open FL. As a subscriber, I have access to beta and nightly builds, so at some point I decided to try some experiments in the new Stencyl engine to see what was possible. I also reached out to Jon, creator of Stencyl, who has been very helpful.
Suffice it to say, after much testing and discussion internally, I decided to move the game back to Stencyl as a Windows/Mac/Linux release. The game looks and plays well, and my increased control and freedom compared to designing second-hand has improved productivity greatly. This wasn't a decision made quickly or rashly, it was made in the best interest of the game and my own sanity.
For historical purposes or for more details, you can check the original announcement I made about this matter on the Stencyl forums.
Onto the video. When it came time to decide how to go about the video and what to include, there were many ways to go about it. I ultimately decided against a tightly edited approach, because I wanted to show you all what it's like to play the game. For that, I really needed one long unedited gameplay take.
I'm one of those people who has been bandying about the "Dark Souls inspired" tag since the beginning. Super Metroid and Dark Souls. I think the Metroid influences have always been self evident, but with this video I hope to show you that I really meant it on both counts.
This is a love letter to my favorite games of all time.
Please understand that while I have put effort into the presentation of the game, it is still very much a work in progress, and I am quite acutely aware of some minor sound glitches and a couple of ugly placeholder sounds. Please don't bust my chops too hard over it. :) That said, let me know what you think!
Ghost Song website has been revamped to be more useful and less of an eyesore.
Heart Forth, Alicia This is a game made by a guy I've talked to on Skype over the past four months or so. I've followed the progress of his game and I am delighted to see that his Kickstarter is doing phenomenally well. He doesn't need my help at all, but I'm happy to give it all the same. This is a quality 'vania by a serious person, and soon persons. If you already backed GS and feel the intense urge to back something else, then I strongly recommend it. I've backed it as well.
Greenlight As mentioned, Ghost Song is now on Greenlight. Please vote for it so we can get this Steam thing finalized.
Stencyl The video you see is of the current build of Ghost Song, which was done in Stencyl. If you are a visually oriented person or new to programming it might be just the ticket.
Thanks again, guys, and feel free to hit me with your questions or comments, I'll field them as best I can. On the extremely off chance that someone will ask about XYZ console port, I have no information yet but it remains something I'm interested in!