Warning: This blog post does contain a fair few spoilers, read at your own risk!
Wow, it's been 8 months since I started this project and I cannot believe how far it has come!
This is a special (sorta) blog entry for a few reasons, all of which will be revealed later in the blog (hehe). But in all seriousness, there is going to be a HEAP touched on in this blog post, ranging from the development of the last levels, last HUB rooms, secrets, bonuses, ending, code room, music and sound, graphics and much much more!
So let's get started!
Quality, Final and Bonus Levels
Even though they're not finished yet, I can still say I'm very excited to be making them. The Quality levels will be easier/harder depending on the individual person. People who have no patience will think of the Persistence level as a challenge, whilst those who aren't quite good at thinking quickly and being quick in general might have 'fun' in the Speed level. Let's not forget those who don't like to think ahead much, they might find themselves in a bit of a pickle in the Thought level.
The Persistence level
The Final level is also in concept stages - let me tell you this though, it will not be for the faint of heart. This level brings together all the elements of gameplay in the game, even adding a few little extras in just for fun! The actual look of this level is yet to be decided, but I can assure you that you might get the false impression of home when first looked at! This level will be similar to an Arcade level in parts but without the time, parts will be also similar to Speed where it will be time counting down, rooms that seemingly repeat themselves until you find that going through portals will not help you, spaces that seem to be impossible but require careful planning and much more!
The Thought level
Last but not least are the two Bonus levels! These two Arcade levels have their own little unique themes of Core and Wasteland! These levels will be similar to the other four Arcade levels except do not have a perfection time, but instead gift the player with something special if they dare complete them! Unlock the double jump ability which might be of great help later in the game or unlock one of nine secrets.
The World HUB
Not only will you be able to play new levels, but you will also be enabled to travel deeper into the World HUB! As you get deeper into the Temple you will be greeted with areas of darkness along with the core, a powerful light that powers the entire Temple - but what secrets does it conceal? You may also find the floor beneath you begin to warp into something not out of this world, but out of this dimension!
You may also fancy to be an explorer and search around the Temple as there are five secret areas hidden! What are in these areas nobody knows, but they might just hold more secrets or perhaps a Stone Slab that will help you decrypt where the next secret area is!
Secrets and Bonuses
As told above somewhere there are nine secrets to be found. Of course all of these secrets are documents giving you information about a heap of different things. Insight into the mysterious Universal Exploration Institution, the Government and a hint towards what'll be at the bottom of the Temple if you can work it out!
Stone Slab and Code Room
Now, I was originally going to make the Stone Slabs yield a mini-game in order for it to reveal its secret. But now I figured I'd have it reveal a code, with the player jotting it down somewhere or memorizing it. This code can then be entered into the Code Machine.
Click the image for a larger view.
You may also notice the carvings on the walls, yes, these are the perfection times for all four Arcade levels! I had to sneak them in there somehow so I thought why not this way. Of course I figured they looked better in seconds so I kept them like that. (You will notice a dramatic change to the first dungeon room.)
Well... what exactly does the Code Screen look like you say? They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so here's one!
Click the image for a larger view.
I had to include screenshots in this post somewhere so I thought why not for the Code Room! You may also be asking: "What on earth are those goofy symbols?"... Well, they're the symbols for all ten levels! (You never get to see some of them in/near the levels themselves but it helps me remember them!) Top row (left to right): Final, Persistence, Thought. Middle row: Speed, Vivacious Volcano, Everlong Everest. Bottom row: Mellow Meadows, Craving Caverns, Core. Very Bottom: Wasteland. You will however see the Persistence, Thought and Speed symbols as they are... littered throughout the level.
Along with some new content comes more and new graphics! You will be witnessing more than three new environments in the final release such as the Final level, Wasteland, and more!
Some of the old graphical bits will also be undergoing a makeover to better fit the rest of the stuff in the game! Also, as said in an earlier blog post, a range of different looking World HUB doors are being made to give the feeling of something new instead of old and reused!
This would have to be one aspect of the game that I'm extremely happy with, the graphics turned out great - especially when I was working on the programming aspect a lot more heavily than the graphical one. I plan to keep this style of graphics when developing Nearing Dusk, Approaching Dawn's sequel and the final part of the Vest Trials series.
Music and Sound
Last but not least music and sound. Good news, I've found a musician who is making music for Approaching Dawn! His name is Brian and you can check some of his stuff out here http://stargenx.newgrounds.com/audio. Hopefully when it's all done Approaching Dawn will have over 15 different music tracks being heard throughout the game. Not only this but some other sounds - such as level start/completion will also have some unique sounds and achievementous noise for you! (Yes, I made up that word.)
There will also be a heap more sound being added to the game. Sounds in new areas to sounds in old areas where they were lacking (such as the Arcade Gems and environment noises). So I hope you enjoy that!
I think that concludes this blog entry. What? I lied? Oh right I didn't put anything about the Ending in.. oh silly me. I guess you'll have to wait and find out what's at the bottom and what happens along the way yourselves!