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Let’s explore!

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As work on Ashworld is finally nearing completion, I’m slowly looking at ideas for the next game. Right now the most promising prototype and idea I have is an “Exploration game”.

I started this prototype by toying around a bit with my light system and trying to add some volumetric type light to it, which proved pretty simple to do. The lights are still all based on alpha-blending sprites, so there is still the downside of not having actual shadows, but there is the upside of speed and also having it look cool enough.

I borrowed the level-generator I made for Meganoid, and made it a bit more flexible in terms of full world-size (Meganoid was 4×4 “screens”, and this one can now be any size so randomly picks levels between 3×3 and 3×8 “screens”).

There are a few things I want to focus on with this prototype/game. One is building an interesting environment, and two is trying to have a “relaxing” gameplay.

As for the interesting environment, some of the things I’ll try to do is have it feel alive. You can already see the grass moving in the video above, and the flames also move if you run past them. Dust specks are flying in the light beams, and I plan to add some more tiny effects like dirt crumbling if you hang on ledges, etc.  All tiny effects, but our brains pick up on things like that.

The relaxing gameplay will have to come from a forgiving platforming experience, and if possible I’ll stay as much away from adding enemies/monsters/shooting (no promises on that one). The key to the game will be exploration, finding items that can open other area’s, collecting things, etc.  Progressing through these ruins/temples/caves, with the feeling you found your own path and are the only person to ever see it.

So idea’s are piling up, the engine is coming together, let’s see if this prototype can become an actual game!

Drop me some comments, thoughts, feedback, or just a “hey, I read it!” message below ;)

Update:

Made a tech-demo available(windows,mac,linux) have a try:

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  • Rohit Bhatia

    It looks little bit like vagante without the monsters.

    • just checked Vagante, and I do see the resemblance :) but it’s early days on this one! so things will change

  • Stephen Delafield

    I really like this more peaceful exploration idea. And the lighting looks great!

    • Stephen Delafield

      And I just tried out the tech-demo. I’m definitely interested to see where you take this.

  • Gornova

    I like the atmosphere, but I prefer when procedural generation came with also with prefabs.

    One note, why the water is glowing ?

    • this proc gen does come with prefabs, it uses the one I had in Meganoid.. just that I did some quick prefabs to test things out :) it’s all a demo! not a game yet

      same goes for the water, still tweaking it to see how I can make it look best

      • Gornova

        okay, thanks!

  • Walton Nuedorff

    The movement reminds me of many land.
    http://manyland.com

  • Walton Nuedorff

    I have an idea for a future game:
    A tower defence game!
    The black duck corporation, we discover was the one responsible for opening the portal in the space grunts laboratory and on the Meganoid. They are also responsible for releasing king loot, and in 2017 their latest scheme caused a worldwide apocolypse. Now, just after civilization has been rebuilt, they strike again, with even greater force. It will take the combined forces of the space grunts, the Gunslugs, the heroes of loot, the groundskeeper, and Ash to stop this brazen attempt to end humanity as we know it once and for all!