Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AD: Beta Numero Three!

Well it has been a while since I've last released a beta, so I figured I'd release the most recent one now! (I also saw some people only downloaded this not too long ago - sorry!) This version includes a heap of new features catering to the current game (sorry, no large expansions for levels yet!), however you can now look around the testing Quality main level room.

So the changes made between this beta and the second are listed below (this is taken from the readme file):


  • Fixed a bug where players could skip past level rooms to end of the level
  • Fixed a bug where players could skip level cutscene without initiating it
  • Fixed a bug where the player could go to the next room by examining the stone slab


  • Text for Pause Menu, Main Menu, Level Begin, Level End changed
  • General text changed font
  • When falling off a ledge after double jumping, player can now perform another jump as intended
  • Changed the time of transitions
  • Added level names
  • Added an exit bar to the levels so that players cannot accidently exit a level
  • In levels, time is displayed as HH:MM:SS instead of just seconds
  • When failing a room and restarting, the time now changes back to the time you entered the room with
  • Level hud now displays the level and its name, which disappears after beginning the room
  • Level hud reappears if it has disappeared and the player pauses
  • Death animation/transition tweak added
  • Fixed some decorations in level rooms
  • Modified level congratulations screen, displaying time in HH:MM:SS and shifting the placement of text/sprites
  • Player now knows if they've perfected a level (whilst not in the congratulations screen) with the level doors turning gold
  • Perfection times modified to fit new timing system
  • Fixed an issue with the paths 'jumping' in the lava/mountain level completion
  • Added a world hud to display level/name/best time if the player is infront of a level door
  • Changed decorations in the first dungeon room
  • Stone slab now correctly displays blank slab
  • Backgrounds (sky, far mountains, mountains, underground, lava, far ice mountains, ice mountains) changed to better-fit graphics
  • Added additional decorations to some Temple rooms
  • Changed the real dungeon entrance sprite completely
  • Added 'lighting' decorations to dungeon rooms
  • Changed the 'YoYo Games' logo on start-up
  • Changed the 'created by: Andrew Wickens' on start-up (currenty a placeholder)
  • Changed the game loading bar (currently a placeholder)
Quite a long list, so I hope everything has gone to plan. (Note: I forgot to update the readme file when uploading this version, so it isn't in there, don't worry although, I most likely won't be adding the second-third change log until I release the fourth beta).

Well, short blog post, but now hopefully I can get some feedback to do with these changes! Also the download links on the Approaching Dawn page are updated with the third beta, so don't worry about downloading the second from there by mistake!


Friday, August 20, 2010

AD: Graphics, Gameplay and.... Other?

Well, it's been 10 days since by last blog post (got to love to hate school). So, some more things have been happening in Approaching Dawn, spiffy new graphics for some of the old stuff! At the beginning of AD I wanted to 'anti-alias' the whole game, but after doing it to a few sprites (and leaving them in there), I scrapped the idea. I also created a few 'place-holder' graphics (such as doors etc.) whilst I then fill them in later with better ones. Well the time has come and I'm replacing quite a few sprites, especially doors (love doors).

The first and most important door that I wanted to alter was the 'real' Temple entrance. The original entrance looked too similar to the 'fake' entrance (it was a copy, to be honest) and it didn't give the 'feel' that I wanted it to give. So after a good hour (or more, I lost track of time), I finished the new door!
(click for full-size)
The old 'real' entrance on the right, with the new and improved one 
on the left.
I still have a fairly long list of graphics to replace and edit, so things will change visually (some things). These include re-doing the other regular doors going from world hub place to another; the pause menu 'slots'; the options menu 'slots' etc.

This also brings me to the next planned 'thing', to modify the Arcade Door cutscenes, to 'better-fit' and 'not overuse the white fading effect'. Hopefully with these I'll use some particles to make it look much better than it currently is.

I am also in the process of drawing up the level design for the 'Thought' Quality level. This I hope to have finished (and implemented) within the next week (or so), moving onto the next Quality level - 'Speed'. These will be a challenge for me, as I want to... make them 'difficult' but not overly, emphasizing on their set characteristics and hopefully exploiting them in such a way that it makes for fun gaming. These Quality levels will also make use of a new 'pad' as well (like the Save, Exit, Next and Finish pads), the 'Checkpoint' pad, with the levels being longer than the others. These 'Checkpoints' will enable the player to leave the level completely, being able to return to that Checkpoint at a later date. More info. about Checkpoints will be released with the coming of the Quality level beta.

The two planned extra Arcade levels have also gone under a bit of 're-thought' as they'll now serve as the bonus levels, fitting in how I originally imagined it. The 'core' and 'wasteland' Arcade levels will not be out for a while however, and will have difficulties equal to the fourth level and higher.

The world hub has also been extended to the Quality level select area (now the world hub goes - OUTSIDE: begin, dungeon entrance; DUNGEON: begin, Arcade level main, Junction, Descent, Quality level main), with the 'Pit', 'Darkness', 'Path', 'Core', 'Final Descent', 'Floor' and Secret areas being built at a later date.

I think I managed to release enough 'spoilers' there, so that about wraps up this blog!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AD: Spit and Polish

Over the past week (nearly two), I've been receiving feedback from testers of Approaching Dawn (all two of them, hooray!), and with this feedback I've been 'polishing' the game. Lots of minor things have changed, such as the Level HUD and the 'Level select area HUD', time has also been changed from being displayed in seconds - "148 seconds", to a different layout - "00:02:28". Hopefully this will look a lot cleaner and improve the overall look of the HUD. As from feedback I've also changed the backgrounds of the mountains and the underground areas.
New Lights/details and More Detailed Background for Underground Areas
Changed Background for Mountain Areas, also changed Timer and "Level" display
Improved Lava Background, also Text has changed font
(which should make it look less generic) and an "exit bar"
Background of the fourth level also modified.
(This may also look new to some testers!)

Considering I wanted a connection between Arcade levels (both the field and the mountain/snow levels, and the underground and volcanic levels), I've kept the backgrounds and tile-sets "similar" to each other, still giving the effect of a completely new environment, but at the same time retaining that 'homey' feel.

Apart from these small fixes here and there I've been heavily working on the next main aspect of the game - the Quality Levels/Areas. This allowed me also to draw more doors! (I love doors for some reason...) However, as some of you guys have realised, most of the main doors of the game are "mechanic" in some sort of way with the whole temple being ancient (some-what). This is simply because those who built the temple... let's say they had to somehow make it "time-resistant".

The door of Quality, after being opened of course! (Still in planning stages)

This is a rather short blog-post as I haven't had much time to write! But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's five of 'em!