This week, I worked on creating the "Wishfire" mechanic and section. After (almost) every level, the player gets the opportunity to rest at a Wishfire: a camping ground where you can heal your party and have an extended chat with them.
Click 'Read more' to read more about the origin of this mechanic, and my implementation.
Talk with your friends
A 'story section' after a bit of gameplay is nothing new under the sun. Many games hold to the pattern of gameplay to story to gameplay to story. It's a natural way to slow down the pace from the gameplay, so the next level can properly build back up to a climax. And usually, these kind of sections give the player a reason to play the next level.
Anyway. In Viola, it's also a way for players to gain a higher "bond" with the characters they've recruited, allowing them to gain new skills. It's not implemented yet, since for the vertical slice you wouldn't actually be able to use those skills.
The code isn't anything impressive to talk about: I'm using RPGTalk to handle the dialogues, and the buttons simply change settings to play the correct dialogue.
The art changed a bit while working on it: I wanted to use pixelated overlays to simulate light at first. But it ended up looking, uhhhh. Bad. So I tried using Unity's native lights and it actually looks nice. I feel like it's not something to overuse, but for these little moments it works well enough.
Also, some characters disappeared, and one in particular changed their look. During playtesting, I also asked which characters were appealing and unappealing from a visual standpoint. This led to the mouse character Mhys, and the robotic character Arti being cut. Emerald was a little more divisive, but mostly leaned to unappealing, so I completely changed up her design. There are a few more design and sprite changes underway, so I'll highlight all of them in a separate blog post some day.
Next week it's time to get spells working! I needed a good break from programming, and I think I have a good idea on how to get spells to function now. I've promised myself to take it easier, so I'm splitting up the work into two weeks. On the side, I'm going to work on the character designs and animations. After the spells, all the game's major mechanics will finally be done! I'm currently hoping to have a fully polished vertical slice early-mid September.