So I’ve finally had some time to work on Brave Earth: Prologue. I haven’t touched the game since ROFLcon and basically got back to doing this earlier this week. Instead of getting right back into content, I decided to make some bigger changes first. Most of this is without any context for you guys though. I’ll be talking about stuff you haven’t been able to play with so it might be hard to say why these changes matter. Either way, you guys keep asking for updates, so have one.
Naomi’s jump has always been contentious. I really like the jumps of the old Castlevania games, but they didn’t go over well with everyone. I wrestled with this a bit and thought about making jump control for all characters be an adjustable switch in the options like Castlevania rebirth, but instead I decided to just change the jump. Naomi now has limited air control. She can’t control the height of her jump, but she has some control over her momentum. This is also rolled together with a general speed increase. Where as Naomi previously ran at a plodding 60 pixels a second (1 pixel every ‘tick’ of game logic), she now moves a whopping -66 pixels-, due to a staggering 0.1 increase in her walking speed! That sounds silly, but it’s … 10%, which is enough to make Naomi feel a tad faster on her feet. It also increases her jump distance. Now, none of you have played the game, so there is no frame of reference here, but generally what this means is I’m moving a bit away from “Castlevania” and getting a bit more actiony. A bit more speed and air control means I can make later parts of the game harder in a way that still feels fun.
Also, Naomi is in no ways “mobile”. She cannot turn around in the air line Sinlen can. If you start with a forward jump and hold the opposite direction really fast, Naomi will just barely overcome her forward momentum by the time the jump finishes. Basically, jump distances can almost be seen like this.
Jump Forward (than hold back immediately): Jump roughly one tile forward.
Jump Forward(than release): Jump two tiles forward.
Jump Forward(and hold): Jump 3 tiles forward.
You basically are fighting momentum when you try to change your air velocity. If you wanna have some idea what the jump feels like, imagine the NES Batman jump, but only like 40 pixels high and with no startup. So anyways the hopes for these changes is that Naomi will feel more responsive to players without actually compromising the need to be careful and plan jumps while also giving me a little bit more wiggle room in terms of design space. Hopefully this will be Win Win Win.
Over time, most of Naomi’s sprites have been changed to some extent.
Here you can see her sprite I made early on, followed by the one I had through most of development so far followed by the current one, which came with these images I posted on twitter months ago. I’ve also added lots of cool secondary cape animations, such as when she’s jumping or stops walking. I also changed what happens if Naomi mashes Attack
(for the old comparison, go here)
This doesn’t increase attack speed, but it does make consecutive attacks easier and looks nicer. It does sorta remove an element of timing (though you do sorta have to time the button press to do it perfectly), but we’ll see. If it proves problematic, I can add recovery frames to make it work out a little better.
I’m updating the HUD. Not a ton, like some of the mockups that some people made on Twitter — I like keeping it clean and simple, but there is some compositional errors that make it look kinda butt. I’m also messing around with the levels to tweak balance and probably am going to add a few new enemies soon. Now, you guys haven’t seen a ton of enemies, so it doesn’t matter much, but you at least have some idea what I’m working on!
Also my Music Guy, Necrophageon is about to pin down some finished tracks, which really should finish the ‘tone’ of the game.