This is one of three blogs as I have decided to move certain topics to their own venues. For the latest demo updates you can find them on the Steam store page and for my personal thoughts on the project, you can visit the itch profile. Links are at the end of the article.
𝕬t the time of this writing, my artist are still trying to rebuild their DeviantArt account.
Their account go suspended erroneously and now their trying to pick up the pieces. So there hasn't been much in the way of development progress due to this. In the mean, I decided to make plans for the future and figured I would share what is upcoming for Child Arms.
This was explained in length on the last devlog so I won't talk too much about it here. Besides, there hasn't been much progress either other than just updated the temporary sprites. While I'm waiting to hear news from my artist, I'm currently planning the overlay for Escudo and Gunshi.
But despite not having much to show, this new perspective is changing not just how the game plays but the overall game itself. There is going to be a whole overhaul on how I'm presenting this game that it's going to feel like a whole new game. Even these temporary sprites have shown just how different this game is becoming.
Soon, there will be a complete restructure of how this game is described so keep an eye on its eventual evolution.
After playtesting the game a bit, I feel that the controls need to be updated, mainly for gamepad. For one thing, the current game won't allow you to use the analog stick and some players may prefer using that to control the character. I also got feedback that the controls can get cumbersome and may even soft-lock the game, among other things.
One of the most significant changes I need to make is at current the game only allows you to use either keyboard or gamepad, not both. Unless you want some strange amalgamation where some buttons are on the pad and others on the keyboard, the game is strict on only allowing you to use one or the other. I've been meaning to implemented the option to use both at the same time, but considering how the code is built makes it a daunting task, but not impossible. It just requires setting time to do so since the workload to implement this will require dedicated time to it alone. I'll eventually find the time to do this but chances are it won't be in the next update of the demo.
There are also for to add mouse functionality for both menus and gameplay. This shouldn't be too hard for gameplay purposes, but for menus the previous issue applies here. But I'd like to think the new first person perspective may make using the mouse a viable option.
Presentation on the character stats screen will be made much clearer by including the total amount of stamina and health. Every character in this game gets the exact same amount of health and stamina rather than a stat dedicated to it. I must confess, the reason why I did this is because I had no idea how to make a lifebar that corresponded with a dedicated health number while keeping the bar the same length for every character. After years of working on this game, I have finally figured it out and the next game I would like to give every character their own health and stamina number. For the time being, due to the game already being built around the current system, I will be working with the current system and leaving such a feature for future games.
On the character stats screen, the total amount will be displayed for both health and stamina to get a better idea of how much each stat affects them.
And if you are curious right now, every character has 3,378 health and 800 stamina. In the case of health, its dependent on how many health bars are present. Each bar totals 1,689 and arcade mode uses 2 bars. You can add up to 5 bars in versus.
Simplifying the color editor
The new perspective no longer allows you to select a color due to the decision being redundant, but this doesn't mean the end of the editor itself. I am still using it to color the opponents, the original split-screen version in versus mode will still give you the option to select a color, and future online play will allow you to show your character's color palette to your opponent. There's still a purpose for this this feature and won't be going away anytime soon. In fact, I will now be streamlining it.
The color editor is currently being used to give the default colors for each character and thus necessitates some features that regular players may find daunting and even time-consuming. It takes a long while to create a color palette with the current system and I would like to rectify this by giving players a more simpler option.
I am thinking of simplifying the process by giving a limited amount of colors and a small variety of gradient choices. For those who are not too invested in the coloring process but still wish to provide a unique appearance to their character, this new limited option will be perfect for that. And if the players desire more options later down the line, the current more advanced version will be available by simply switching to it.
Adding special move info to the character select screen
After watching many players test the game, I realized that many, if not all, never actually used any of the specific moves the characters have. One player even stated that every single character felt the same due to them not knowing about the other moves available.
That last statement was not necessarily false. The idea behind the primary attack was that no matter what character you choose, the primary attack would remain the same. This was designed to keep the game from becoming too complicated as I intend to make this game as easy to pick up as I possibly can while still having enough depth for players to discover once they get comfortable enough to explore each character thoroughly.
You can play the game without needing to use the special moves but since every character plays the same, I fear that players may give up on the game before they explore it even deeper.
The only way to learn that they have other moves is to push the secondary button, which to my surprise not many actually did, or to go into the character bios page, which nobody apparently did (or at least they didn't report doing so). The character select screen for arcade mode and practice will rectify this by adding the special moves on the space where player 2 would usually be. My desire is to show players there's more to the game than what's on the surface.
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