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Getting down and dirty with the code

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hol2_weekupdate

No video update this time, since there is so much new code that the amount of bugs are pretty high and I’m not happy with all the stuff that’s currently moving on the screen… so skipping the video, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep you guys updated!

I rewrote various things the last few weeks, the way avatars interact with you is now much more streamlined code-wise, so it’s easier to add new characters that have different things for you. The shop-guy was already there, as were some of the characters that stand before a closed gate telling you how to unlock it (a quest).

These guys now all share the same code, so to test it out I added a “white wizard” kind of guy that will take an X amount of purple diamonds and in return heals you completely. Besides a few bugs left and right, it now seems to work and adding more of these characters should be fairly simple. It also makes the purple and blue diamonds have a purpose this time!

I’ve also added the first couple of magic-spells. They will all look like a piece of paper, but the use varies and you’ll only know what a scroll does when you pick one up. Right now the two flavors are: “No movey movey” spell and the “loot attractus” spell. The first one makes all monsters freeze for X seconds, and the second one makes all the loot in a room fly towards you. Simple things, but again it’s mostly testing out the code.

And now I should come up with a bunch of other spells!

My plan is to add some sort of rare magic books that you need to find first before each spell becomes available to you in the game. Like a perma-unlock kind of feature. With those books spread around the dungeon, so the further you get, the more powerful the spells you can unlock for your next run. It also means I have to add a nice screen that shows you “X out of X scrolls collected”.

hol2_teleport

I added teleports, and these took some time to get them working correctly. Mostly their position inside a room is causing some issues still (with other items spawning in the same spot as the teleporter). Adding the teleports them selves was pretty simple: in the level generator I simply replace a door-corridor-door construction with a “teleporter – nothing – teleporter”. So basically removing the generation of the corridor, and replacing the start and end door with a teleporter.  The addition to the game is a pretty cool one as it changes the way you navigate the level a bit.

The lighting has also undergone some changes, the ambient light for the dungeon is made darker, but there is a “spotlight” centering the player. This makes it look a bit more like the original Heroes of Loot with it’s pixelated-light, and also makes your surrounding area much brighter and clear.

My main two problems at this time are the fact that the game feels very rough around the edges gameplay wise. There is a lot of stuff on the screen, and altho that was the same in HoL1, it feels a bit more chaotic this time around.. so I’ll need to fix that, possibly by just removing the amounts of debri or cleaning up some of the floor-textures (less pixels makes for a cleaner look/feeling).

The second problem is that the game feels “long”.. even running through as little as 16 levels feels much longer. Not sure why that is, might just be being tiered!  I should probably time myself playing through HoL1 in 16 levels, and then compare that to 16 levels in HoL2.

I have a feeling the quests might make it feel longer, or the actual levels being bigger might be the problem. Various solutions I can come up with for this are: less quests/closed doors. Smaller levels. Less enemies. Weaker enemies/stronger player.  And as you can imagine, trying the various solutions means just a lot of work without any visual changes!

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