The next build is taking longer than I initially expected, because the changes in event coding has produced… Unexpected results. Hopefully, it’ll be all fine soon enough.
Anyway, I might as well outline what kind of changes I’ll be making to the project as a whole. They will be separated into general and “Attitude-based” changes, aka, changes that can be made if I moved the game to the Attitude engine.
– Two words: Map overhaul. And one hell of a change in progression style.Originally, the areas were “separated”, and their progression was fairly linear and event-driven. In a sense, it was a lot like Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. It’s a fantastic game, mind you, but I’ve been thinking that perhaps that style of progression may not entirely be suitable. Also, I just realised that I would need to seriously do some re-working if I wanted to extend the playtime, something told me that a player could probably breeze through a level in an hour. So. Here’s the plan.
I’ll reduce the number of areas into one map per series. BUT. Each map will be much larger. And I mean Dracula’s Castle large. Chances are this game will make the Metroid games and Castleroids look tiny. Each map will have differently-themed areas and enemies. For example, the Mega Man-based map might have Robot Master-themed areas, and so on. And you’ll explore yet another version of Dracula’s Castle. As a consequence, there’ll be more enemy types, bosses and sub-bosses.
– As a consequence as well, I will need to focus more on ability-based progression. New sub-weapons and characters, or other new abilities. And perhaps character-speficifc abilities – for example, Julius can do things that Ashe or Sonic can’t.
– Zelda-style puzzles. Puzzles, if I remember, are rare in Metroidvanias, the only actual puzzle in a Metroidvania in memory is that room-shifting puzzle in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, and I doubt it was intended as anything other than another touch-screen gimmick. Traditionally in Zelda, quite a few of its puzzles were solved through a new item or ability, and I intend to intergrate it with the traditional ability-style progression of Metroidvanias. We’ll see.
– NPCs: Originally, NPCs were meant to be the typical sort of townspeople. Except for some series, these are far and few inbetween. So I though of a different idea. Why not include characters that the main characters know personally, say, in Sonic’s case, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, etc. This is a world of memories, after all. The inhabitants change form and personality due to memories, but to them, this is a regular occurance. They are distinguished from the real thing by… Actually, I’m not quite sure. An aura or something? Still thinking about that.
– Chapter-based story: Though I should’ve included this in the other post… Basically, I’ve been thinking of separating the plot into chapters, and focusing on particular characters with each chapter, to get more in-depth.
– 360 degree slope movement: When Damizean finishes the Construct version of his 360 engine, I’ll be able to incorporate the code, and basically do stuff like proper slopes, more accurate Sonic movement, and loops. The Attitude engine would make this implementation insanely easier, though, as it’s already there.
– Party system: Remember Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse or the Julius Mode of Dawn of Sorrow? And the partner-system in Portrait of Ruin? Combine both, and have all characters available fighting with you. Four at max. No, seriously. The Attitude engine, according to Endri, has intelligent AI that can operate on their own, and even fight enemies without your assistance. The AI, enemy or ally, is intelligent enough to fight intelligently (or as smart as you want it to fight, though I forgot to ask him about that), chase you down and even guess your movements if it loses you, and if it wants to get somewhere, he told me the AI will even exploit glitches to do so! Granted, it’ll take some work to do to balance things properly, but really, if Endri is right about the AI system of Attitude being as smart as it is, then it would give that feeling of a true platform-action-RPG with multiple party members, and result in awesome oppertunities such as…
– Multi-character puzzles: This would help avoid the Twilight Princess problem of one thing being used for a puzzle and never being used again for the rest of the game, and also help make the puzzles less obvious. For example, Julius uses his whip to grab a switch that Ashe can’t reach, opening a hatch covering a switch that Ashe can shoot.
– Multi-enemy boss fights: Remember SOTN’s Slogra and Gaibon boss dual boss fight? Or the Dracula and Death team-up boss in Portrait of Ruin? This sort of option becomes more viable with the addition of a party system, AND four-against-four fights, such as the four antagonist Mega Men from ZX Advent teaming up to take you down.
– Combined attacks: Exactly what it says on the tin. Imagine what would happen with Ashe, Bass, Soma and Dante… “Showtime.” (No, Dante is not in this game. YET. The only custom sprites of him I ever found happen to be FFVI style.)
– Day-Night cycle: The Hedgehog Engine looks pretty, mainly because of its Global Illumination lighting effects. These are all pre-calculated. The Attitude engine does it all, almost all of it non-pre-calculated, and Endri comfirmed to me that the lighting is dynamic. So, theoretically, one could do a day-night cycle with it. It would be unbelievably cool.
– Proper cut-scenes: Yes, this is more than possible as I’m making Aria now, but chances are it would be far less of a huge pain in the ass.
Topping Shadow Complex would be an added bonus.
And even better? Being able to play it on Wii. Yes, we’re talking Unleashed-quality graphics on Wii, it seems. Endri says the performance isn’t as good, but he mentioned nothing about the graphics as a cause, but rather, how the homebrew loads and streams the data, which he might be able to fix. And the Wii version is likely to be more accessible as a platform to use Attitude on.