I forget which week this was, but it was a good one. A little unorganized, but a good one. I mentioned previously that I use a dropbox folder to communicate our progress to investors, as well as to the rest of the team. Along with the Change Logs sub-folder, I added another for Design Journal entries. I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the design of the game so that we have a better understanding of what we’re going to be creating as we move forward and Ellian begins producing art, full-time.
This week I wanted to nail down a lot of the story elements. I think we have the plot in place now. It’s somewhat simple, but it gives the characters’ personality and motive. That’s really all we need for this type of game. I setup the opening scenes of the game, through the somewhat tutorial-ish area, and up to the first boss fight.
From there I also made a rough outline of the world map. It basically shows where each area is in relation to the rest of the world. You’ll start the game slightly west of the center of the map. The forest is further to the west, the water temple is southeast from there, etc, etc. It isn’t set in stone, but it really helps me bring everything together in my head.
Lastly, we touched on some camera stuff and how that’ll relate to the map that we have in place. Simply put, we decided to follow the Super Metroid model. The map will be on a grid and the width/height of rooms will be multiples of some form of grid unit. The view port in CATAM is going to be 640×360, so that will be the map unit dimensions. This means that all rooms will be at least 640×360. Bigger rooms will be multiples of that. For example, we could have 2×1 rooms that are 1280×360 as well as 1×2 rooms that 640×720. We want the map to help communicate to the players where they have and haven’t been so that exploring is less tedious for players who aren’t into that.
We pulled back and focused on enemy design this week. We know how combat in CATAM works, but we hadn’t tested it up to this point. We’ve decided to work on the Water Temple first, a later stage, so we created an enemy for that area.
The fisherman is a simple enemy that can be damaged with most weapons in your arsenal. The fisherman also fires bubbles at the player. Sometimes the bubbles are purple and sometimes they are blue. Blue bubbles can be reflected with the shield or popped with other items. Purple bubbles are always dangerous and explode on contact.