Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Small Things

Recently, when I've sat down to work on the game, I haven't hard very large amounts of time. With these little segments of time, I've worked on some small issues that I needed to get out of the way.

Missile Doors
Someone brought up that players new to Metroid might not get the concept of the blast shield on the door. Before I go further, I'll explain how the blast shield works. Once you get the Missiles, red blast shields take 5 missiles to open. This is a given to players who are familiar with Metroid. However, I know there are a good amount of followers who have never played the classic Metroid games. Because of this, one might dismiss the door not opening with one as the wrong weapon. So I had to find a way around this without a pop-up dialogue telling you so, because that is cheap and I think it's intrusive. Thanks to Chris2Balls of TSR, a way around this was found: The door glows when you activate your missiles (like in the original Metroid) and gradually shatters as you shoot it.
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Sprite Misalignment and Graphical Impurities
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Several tiny aesthetic changes have been made. The backgrounds now follow the limited color rule of the sprites for visual consistency and to avoid a mess of different graphics. I redid the power suit to looks like its Metroid Prime appearance, as opposed to the unappealing yellow Varia Suit I had earlier. Samus is also drawn 1px lower, to avoid a double outline between her and the floor.

Map System
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I've had an odd relationship with the map system. It used to simply have the whole map available from the start. Because of this, I couldn't continue the Metroid tradition of putting dots where item expansions were, as you already had the WHOLE world map. However, after a lot of experimenting, I got it to work so that you can only see what you've explored. This way, the maps can be more informative and label powerup locations, and it will be easier to complete the game 100%.

It's not much, but I think these little changes will make the overall game experience better. Please comment & share!

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