[This post will contain spoilers about RogueQuest. You were warned!]
Previous – Dev Log #8: Initial Playtesting Begins!
It’s been a strange time of productivity. Despite not opening up the Minecraft server for the past few days (an incredibly rare thing for us!) we have still been working hard on the map, just different aspects of it.
The most notable progress that has been made has been on the narrative. We’ve had another look at our structure – with a slight change to the original floor pattern, players now clear each floor twice, making six floors in total. With this in mind, we found it very unusual to have some minishops with no cutscenes at all and others with two cutscenes back to back. It didn’t make much sense in the grand scheme of things and ended up chopping up gameplay a little too much, not to mention the extra workload with having so many scenes to film and record, etc. We’ve cut this down to 6 instead of 8 for each character, still allowing us the thrill of some dramatic tension at exactly the right moments without drowning the player in several minutes of dialogue. With this new format in mind, Emily Duskreaper and I have been cracking out the story, trying to keep back information where possible to keep players wanting more! That’s the sign of a good hook, after all. 😉
Just so Duskreaper has something to work with, I quickly bashed out some voice acting for Freddie, the shopkeeper in Lycia. He’s not much to look at yet, but here he is chilling in his shop. Although I had an idea for his character, once I sat down to write his lines I found it difficult to convey the personality I had first hoped for. Nonetheless, I still think he’ll be an amusing character that reveals some information about our decisions on storytelling in a roguelike setting. I’m hoping that Maddison’s story will be ready in time for this weekend as I hope to get our voice actress to perform all of her lines on Saturday, but we’ll see how things pan out. One interesting ‘problem’ with the archer’s dialogue is her attack sounds, since firing a bow is not quite as deserving of a sword-swinging ‘Hai-yah!’ I’m thinking of changing Maddison’s attack sounds to trigger on killing an enemy rather than with every hit, with the occasional ‘Bullseye!’ remark. I’ll speak to Duskreaper about how feasible the change is.
I’ve been fiddling with the JSON a little to make sure the loot tables are up to date. The new shield pattern that we picked out for Kyana now applies to each of the bulwarks she can find from spectral bunnies. I thought I’d give the game a little test run of my own, so I tried a solo playthrough as the Shieldbearer. I was a bit dismayed to find that my thorn-enchanted shield was barely ever dealing return damage. I investigated the enchant a little more thoroughly and found that the chance to return damage at level 1 is a measly 15%. We’re going to buff this enchant a lot – giving it a 100% chance to return 2.5 hearts of damage. The reason for this is simple: taking any damage is such a crushing blow! The whole point of the game is to last as long as you can in such a hardcore setting, so we feel that buffing this enchant will make it a worthy purchase after all.
Our musician has been overworked lately, so he’s not managed to produce the songs that we need for the game. As such, we’ve been exploring other options, and I’ve done my routine browsing of Newgrounds’ Audio Portal for some atmospheric tracks. I’ve so far managed to find some nice Kactera music and a couple potential songs for Pyralia. I’m yet to find anything appropriate for the Core or Lyica, but I haven’t looked for much in that direction yet so I’m sure I’ll come across something nice soon. In the same vein, I’ve found plenty of sound effects to make the game extra satisfying. Using abilities feels rewarding and more tactile now!
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