Thursday, September 9, 2010

AD: The Quality of Persistence

Lately I've been playing RuneScape (unfortunately old habits die hard). But I think that this will benefit Approaching Dawn a fair bit! Considering the whole basis of the game was developed because of RuneScape, I've been now working on getting my Runecrafting to 99 (at 95 at the time of the blog post, no, this won't turn into a RuneScape blog either), and whilst doing so, people have been asking me: "Where do you get the patience from?" except it isn't patience at all - it's persistence. Now looking into the second Quality level, at first I was going to make it a maze, a giant maze which would test the player's persistence. But, seeing as I've run a good 1000 laps in the past week (for those who don't know, Runecrafting is the creation of Runes used for magic, you create them by using things called Essence and binding it with the energy in a specific altar to create Runes, you often have to follow a path to the altar, and will then bank, restock with Essence and go back again), this got me thinking about the different elements that I could put into the Persistence level.

Now, I've thought up a set 'path' that a player can take throughout the Persistence level, as creating a maze would ultimately lead the player to finding a guide and to cheat. Instead what if I made the player continue doing the same path over and over again twenty, thirty or even fifty times? I really want this game to be different in aspects of level design so I really want something that will force people to work to beat the game, and not just look up a guide to say "go left, right, up, right, right, up" etcetera.

I'm now thinking about merging the both and creating some aspects of the level repetitive whilst continuing the maze idea with some aspects. Such as the player completing the lap 'forty times', but with each time the player completes the room, it chooses the next room randomly from a list (there may be 10 different rooms created each offering different 'paths' to lessen the amount of repetition) which the player must then complete. If I can make each room a suitable size and 'fun' in an aspect, then it might just create the unique Quality level I'm looking for.

Unfortunately I half-wrote this blog a few days before it was posted, so half of this stuff is out-dated. Luckily though school-work is almost over and done with for the third term and I should be back to my blogging self in no time.

I've concepted seven of ten rooms which will be used in the Persistence Quality level. These have just been quickly done in paint, and a few consist of a few game gimmicks I've played throughout the years, some are just plain boring and straight forward, whilst some require trial and error and planning.

I plan to make this level approximately 10-20 minutes long to really sink in the feeling of persistence. Of course because of this I'm going to be using save points throughout the level for those who can't do it all at once (like a save point every 10 or so rooms completed).

Something else that I have been working on for the past week was the last tileset 'used' in-game. This was also the longest to create (mainly because I wanted to capture a specific feeling). I do have an incomplete screenshot of the new tileset handy so I'll throw it up. Remember though, this will likely change before its release (which won't be for a while anyway).

As you will notice the background isn't done, nor are the small decorations from within the tileset. They will be finished soon however.

Of course I still need to complete a fair few things, so expect another "Progress Report" coming up sooner or later outlining what is left to be done!


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