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After winning yet another award in the MSU contest, developers of The Ball get ready to unleash their fourth installment.
Posted by stenchy on Aug 14th, 2009
Since the fourth phase of the contest is only three months, Hueca consists of just one level, but it is a really big level with a lot of special and unique content. Lets line those up. *Please note that all the art work is work in progress and that some of our plans may be subject to change.*
At the end of Teotl the player crossed two huge waterfalls and then took an elevator down. Hueca starts at the bottom of this elevator and makes the player travel through those same two waterfalls once again, but much deeper down their shaft. On the other side of those two waterfalls, so technically directly below the cities of Teotl, is a huge cave. There is a massive tower at the end of this cave and it holds up an artificial sun that illuminates half the cavern. The player enters in the dark side, and then travels to the light side, where the exit is located. Three large pyramids are located in this cave. Each pyramid has a strange mirror like device on top. The ultimate goal is for the player to enter each pyramid, make his way all the way to the basements of these pyramids, and then activate the elevator that will take him all the way up to the roof of the pyramid at which point the mirror like device can be rotated towards the light. In each pyramid are between one and three standard puzzles that must be completed, and the player can solve the pyramids in any other.
The area in between the pyramids is made up of desert, and holds a few secret areas. Since the player is this deep into the volcano, and this close to its heart, every now and then an earthquake shakes the cave up.
We are introducing a new environment style in Hueca, namely a red metal and copper one, giving the whole a rather industrial look. This industrial style will only feature deep down in the basements of the pyramids in Hueca, but in Part 5, which will be an ancient factory, this new industrial style will feature very prominently. As mentioned, at the bottom of each pyramid is a basement. Upon entering a basement the two lights on the ball will light up and act as a flashlight. So basically these three basements will be navigational puzzles in the dark, in which the player has to use the ball as a flashlight.
This ancient machine has a magnet on the front so the ball can be attached to the vehicle. Basically you have to see the ball as what the horse is for a horse carriage. It hooks up to the front of the vehicle, and powers it. At the back of the vehicle is a stair the player can climb to get up to the drivers area. The player will be able to leave the vehicle and unhook the ball whenever and wherever he wants. So he will be able to freely explore the world with, or without the vehicle.
We decided to add this vehicle as it will add a good amount of variation to the way the mod had to be played up to this release. Also a vehicle allows for much larger environments, something we have been pushing for since day one. If you look at the levels, starting from level one to this one, you will notice that each level is twice the scale of the previous one. The idea really is that the more you progress into this magical world, the more the scale and the impact this place has had on history becomes apparent. And the environment has to reflect tha t growing sense of scale. To grow even more beyond the scale of Teotl we thus required a vehicle to make those distances manageable.
In the basement of each pyramid is a huge sandworm guarding the final button. The idea is that the huge worm is pretty blind and has to rely mostly on its other senses to find out where the player is. Upon discovering the player, it will have itself fall down and crush the player with its body.
We are also working on a huge bird. It is kind of a mix between a dinosaur and a tropical bird, and it will guard the artificial sun and thus the exit. The idea is that it will circle the area and drop things down like a bomber.
Furthermore we would really like to see a cannon fodder enemy be added, and we will attempt to make it in time. Right now we are thinking about an insect roughly half the size of the player, and inspired by a ladybug but with much bigger jaws and in general a more scary look.
Look out for The Ball - Hueca later on this month or download Teotl now!