Monday, April 15, 2013

Area Development/New Things

I'm trying to spend a good amount of time developing each room... Every room should have a purpose, but they should all come together in a non-linear way.
 photo set1.png
I totally redid the title screen, and added customizable controls. However, at the moment they're very unstable. I might have a separate executable available for editing them. It shouldn't hurt anything, as long as they work. I've also finalized the save system, it works a lot like that of Metroid II, however, it restores your health. One might say this makes things too easy, but considering how few save rooms there are, the difficulty stays at a good level.
 photo set2.png
As long as you could spam enemies with your beam they weren't a problem. I've found a better way of doing things. While some enemies can be damaged all over, some have weakspots, weaknesses and resistances. For example, you can only use concussive weapons on the space pirate (bombs, missiles) but you can use anything on the jumping slime enemy.
 photo set3.png
I totally neglected 2 things I had programmed before: Acid and Elevator Shafts. I've found places to put acid so that one is more aware of their environment and doesn't just breeze through. I've also added scrolling elevator shafts to keep in touch with some of the special things Metroid has always done.
 photo set4.png
This is just to show that the second area, Anfine, is now the main focus of development. I'm still working on new enemies for it however. I've recently started redesigning enemies to look and behave differently from classic Metroid enemies. Also added a little particle trail to the power beam, and other types of trails for the other beams.

That's all for now, please comment & share!

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.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sprite Misalignment and Graphical Impurities
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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!