We.. are.. getting.. close! And as always my biggest problem now is: me! I have to set a date, work towards that, don’t tinker too much with current systems and just wrap up the bugs and work that is still open.
So far only one person played Ashworld, and that was a few months ago and a LOT of versions ago. The game has undergone huge improvements and content revisits since. So simply put: nobody has played this game besides me.
And it makes me a bit nervous to start sending out beta versions to some people, but I have to cross that fear and just do it.. soon.. really soon. Not really looking for critical feedback, but well, that’s how it works and part of it all.
The last few days I decided to just dig in and do some graphic work for the many buildings and characters in the game, this is very simple work, but the results are much more visible as most of the other things I’ve been doing. So it’s a nice refreshing task. It means I draw a new tile-set (the graphics used in background of the building levels) and then once it’s drawn, I have all these beautiful buildings with new interior designs. It improves the look of the game overall, and it really gives a great sense of completion and size.
Same with the character graphics, it’s changing one value in the code, and there are a bunch of new people roaming the Ashworld. Pretty cool, and something that I really needed after the last few weeks.
Most of my time the last few weeks have been on tweaking and improving parts of the code. This game has more “systems” then any of my other games had. With systems I mean that almost everything interacts with other things in the world. Where normally my enemies are not even aware of other enemies around them.
A simple example is: flames! We obviously know they are hot, but I now have it all setup so that things interact with flames. Flames can come from campfire, wall-mounted torches, flame-thrower, a torch in the player’s hands, a fire-rang (boomerang set on fire), and some of the enemies also create flames.
Stuff that then interacts with flames are things like : a non-burning torch (will get lit), the player can throw raw-meat on a burning-campfire, which then turns into cooked-meat. Enemies will get hurt by flames, Skellies and Critters will flee from fire, cars can be set on fire, then explode into a car-wreck, which can then be searched to dig up some scraps or junk items for your inventory.
This is just a simple example of all the systems that are in place, which do bring the world alive, and hopefully give the player the feeling of being in control and possibly finding solutions to problems (that are obvious, but still make us feel smart as a player!)
I also added some crafting to the game, right now it’s very basic, but it’s easy to expand and add things that hopefully will come from players who play the “First-access” release I’m working towards. The crafting is kept very simple, it’s more a trade of your inventory items. If you got some dry-wood and some clothes, you can turn them into a torch, which is only interesting if you happen to need a torch more than you need dry-wood to build, for example, a campfire.
One other interesting thing I’ve been working on the last week, was adding some more “use” to the avatars. So they will now check various things the player might be interested in, and point you towards it. So if you ever get lost, find a random character in the world and talk to him or her. She might point you towards the next mission, or to something you need for an existing mission (this usually will cost you some items!).
Right now I’ll have to figure out what the best date is to start a First-access release. This will basically be like Early-access but on Itch.io and I’ll probably spread it in batches of X amount of players/testers. It will also be for the people who want to check out the game, support the game, or enjoy playing an early release version of a game before everybody else does!
So stay tuned for any announcements I do on that, and make sure to sign-up to the newsletter if you don’t want to miss out on the first batch of testers!