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.
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