So it may be a tad late for a January update, but I think we're still in acceptable range!
Adventures of Chris is coming along. Progress on the Japan level continues, along with backgrounds for the final two levels. MAGFest in Washington, DC was awesome - we watched a lot of people play the game, and made a number of changes in response to the feedback! We're curious to hear what you think of the new stuff, so read on and give us your opinions!
We now have the interior designed for Keito Dama Castle and populated with all kinds of ninja cats from the Clan of the Black Yarnball! Check it out:
The ninja cats should feel pretty fierce - this is still pretty preliminary, of course, so difficulty is still being tuned, but I think there's some promising stuff here. The darkness in the secret passages of the castle is a new feature - I'm not typically a fan of darkness mechanics in other games, but I think with Chris's ability to shoot fireballs or glowing ice crystals to illuminate his path, Chris should feel significantly less lost than other platforming heroes. Getting the darkness to look good in Unity was a little bit of a challenge - fortunately I think the end result looks pretty good!
MAGFest Indie Videogame Showcase was a wonderful experience - met a lot of great people, got a lot of great feedback on the game, and generally had a good time all around!
I was honestly a little surprised at how many people named "Chris" wanted their picture taken with the banner!
Watching people play the game was very instructive - a number of people played a considerable amount of time and went through several levels (a couple people even came close to 100%-ing the demo!), so we got a lot of useful data. We smoothed out a number of sections that seemed to be more challenging than intended and fixed a number of bugs. We also significantly tightened up the dialog in Story Mode - I don't want to shortchange the narrative, but I also want to get people to the world map as soon as possible!
The most significant change (you may have noticed this from the above GIF, if you've played the game before) is that we gave Chris a "ceiling walk" animation:
I thought Kyle's animation here was pretty hysterical myself, but the main goal was to give Chris a very obviously different "state" for when he's on the ceiling versus just in the air. This is because the Jump button has two different functions depending on that state - jump when on the ceiling, deflate when in the air. My hope is that, by making Chris's "state" very clearly distinct, it will make Chris's "reverse gravity" platforming more intuitive in general. What do you think?
Another concern has been making sure that all primary gameplay elements are clear without requiring players to read text - sometimes important information gets skimmed over or skipped if it's buried in dialog. We're working on adding some help icons to make it clear that you can always float out of any given level to return to the world map - hopefully in an unobtrusive, temporary sort of way!. We're also trying to think about ways to encourage folks to visit Mexico first (I really don't want to restrict players anymore that I have to - I love having freedom, even if it's freedom to go somewhere that may be too challenging!). Suggestions are, of course, welcome!
In case you haven't seen it yet, we setup our "Coming Soon" page on Steam! So now you can head over and wishlist or follow us: (https://store.steampowered.com/app/341170)
We also setup a Facebook page a while ago, so if you prefer to get your updates that way, that option is now available: (https://www.facebook.com/AdventuresOfChris)
You can check out our animated reveal trailer here:
With Chile pretty much in the can, we've been making progress on Japan - the idea here is to build a level that's a little more stealth-oriented. Crawling with ninja cats, Keito Dama Castle must be traversed slowly and carefully lest you're seen and mercilessly speared with ninja stars...
The original conception of this level for the OUYA version tried to walk a balanced path between a more "stealth"-based mechanic and more traditional platforming, but the result (at least in the exterior portion of the castle) felt pretty much like platforming only. The ninja cats wouldn't shoot until they saw you - but they could be dodged easily enough, so players weren't super motivated to avoid the cats' steely gazes. For this version, we're experimenting with cats that are far more dangerous when they see you - but hopefully not so dangerous that you just die immediately upon being spotted - or artificially kicked out of the level, as in the various stealth-based portions of Ocarina of Time (or even, to some extent, Breath of the Wild). Chris ought to be able to take a hit or dodge if necessary, but still feel the motivation to tread carefully.
There's another new thing we're experimenting with...
A sword for Chris!
I really wanted to give Chris a sword for a very simple, totally objective reason - swords are awesome. The trick is coming up with a compelling in-game case for it. Is it stronger than a fireball to compensate for its shorter range? How big a hitbox should it have? Have rapidly can you swing it? All these questions are fairly tricky - if a new ability feels weak, that's not much fun (you can create artificial situations that require the new ability, but still...). But if the ability is too strong, that can feel nice for a little while but you certainly don't want to trivialize later content. It's possible we might wind up adding a magic cost to the sword - especially with Chris's ability to deflect or reflect enemy projectiles with it! But we'll definitely let people give it a test run at MAGfest...
Speaking of MAGfest, we're super excited to be heading out to Washington, DC in a few days for the MAGfest Indie Games Festival! Should be a lot of fun hanging out at the Gaylord Hotel, and we're looking forward to seeing how people react!
In other news, lead animator Kyle appeared on the Gamkedo podcast recently, talking about being a game artist for Adventures of Chris! You can check it out here.
If you haven't wishlisted us on Steam, you can do so here: Steam Coming Soon Page
Or join the mailing list here, to make sure you don't miss an update: Join Mailing List
Progress continues to be made on Adventures of Chris! The game is still on track to be finished by mid-2019. Here's what's been happening:
steam, Facebook, and YouTube
We finally setup our "Coming Soon" page on Steam! So now you can head over and wishlist or follow us: (https://store.steampowered.com/app/341170)
We also setup a Facebook page, so if you prefer to get your updates that way, that option is now available: (https://www.facebook.com/AdventuresOfChris)
The game's animated reveal trailer is now (finally) finished. You can check it out here: