Welcome to our End-of-August update (sorry it’s a few days behind schedule!). We’re quite excited to tell you all about our new dungeon generation improvements!
When looking at screenshots below, please be aware that all of the art is for testing purposes only, and there may be layering issues and other visual bugs! These will be fixed soon — our programmers are simply focusing on the big-picture of level generation at the moment.
As you will know from our previous updates, our programmers have been working hard on a fully procedural level generation system. At the end of last month, we had the ability to create a “critical path” (the player’s pathway through a room), and build a room shaped to it.
But there was nothing to stop players from taking shortcuts right to the end of the room, and to prevent this we needed to create in-room barriers. Over the month of August, we’ve begun lining the critical path with obstacles so that the player must complete all of the room’s challenges (sometimes in order) before moving on. These walls, pipes, and chains/rails also add variety to the room, and will generate a large portion of a dungeon’s theme and aesthetics.
The first step in this process was adding what we’ve called “sub-walls” (smaller block-walls that appear to be the height of the character) between sections of the critical path. Our goal was to make the pathway look architectural and well-defined, but easily traversable.
The next step was to add variety to these sub-walls, by replacing certain amounts of them with pipes or chains. The amount of sub-walls that are replaced, and what they get replaced with, is fully configurable by our scripters on a room-by-room basis.
To add some variety to the outer boundaries of the room, we next added configurable properties to replace sections of the 3D “outer walls” with pits, making the room feel like a set of platforms suspended over empty space.
The last process we’ve been working on is the ability for the room to occasionally line the pits with chains. The quantity and coverage of these safety chains will also be configurable — so easier rooms in early zones may contain more chained-off pit edges to help prevent the player from falling.
Later rooms will contain increasingly exposed pit edges, making them even more deadly.
We have several goals for the upcoming month or two, including the placement of destructible objects. However, we may also take a break from level generation to put some work into status effects, damage-over-time, and other special effects resulting from character perks / equipment. More on that at the end of September!
We are also working on a big lore update featuring the Elements (fire, ice, etc) of the Delver's Drop world. It's almost finished, so we may turn it into a mid-month update, to tide you over until we have more development news at the end of the month. Here is a quick teaser of what's to come:
You may be interested to know that we are changing our livestream time to Saturdays at 1:00 PM CST. Daylight savings is about to end for us later this month, so we’re sorry in advance if this makes our stream time funky for those in other time zones!
We would like to start interacting more directly with all of you via the comments on the streams — so if you have thoughts or suggestions, please chat with us on Saturdays! We are also posting each episode to Youtube later, for those who can’t view the live show.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Twitch Livestreams: http://twitch.tv/pixelscopic
Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
So until our next update: we hope you have a great several weeks, full of gaming and (hopefully) wonderful autumn weather. Thanks for reading!
— The Pixelscopic Team