Before Life's Impetus was called "Life's Impetus", it was called Fountain of Life.
I changed it for many reasons, but the Fountain of Life is still an important element of the game. In this devblog, I'll be talking about what makes this fountain so important, and the difficulties I'll face in making it.
A Fountain of Life, at first glance, looks like a fountain. Nevertheless, it's much more than that; it's a portal to the "other side", yet not anything can go through it. It's a passageway for souls, the spirits of the dead. And for each fountain, there is a Reaper, the being in charge of taking souls to it and sending them. This is no easy task. Most reapers most face Soul Guardians, entities that defend the soul that birthed them, and the Corrupted, fiends whose inception is the corruption of souls left too long alone. Yet, while the Fountain of Life is something that can be seen and partly understood in the human world, souls, reapers, Guardians and Corrupted all reside in a different plane of existence.
Although the reaper isn't exactly a living being, its life depends deeply on the fountain. When it is created, the reaper is linked to the fountain. If the fountain is hurt, the reaper is hurt too. But how can the Fountain of Life be damaged? The answer is Corrupted, beings in a limbo between life and death. Yet, they seek to live once again, and to achieve this they seek life; in great part this consists in consuming souls, but they can absorb life from objects that exude it, such as the Fountain of Life. Even though they can never get near the fountain itself, the mere presence of Corrupted harms the fountain. While the damage is usually negligible, a powerful Corrupted can put the Fountain in serious danger, to the point the reaper may die. This is when a countdown timer appears over its head...
Building a Fountain
As I've mentioned before, with most of the main game systems in place, I'm free to start working on the art, and I'm looking forward to it. Programming is fun, but it's boring to work with stick figures... Looking at my schedule, I decided now was the best time to work on the Fountain of Life (was doing animation before, but it didn't really work out). I want to take my time with it, mostly since it's one of the most important props in the game, but I'll try to give a quick overview of the two aspects that will make it so time consuming.
I suck at perspective. No other way to put it. It's a combination of a lack of natural ability and a lack of practice, but it's something I don't really want to dedicate much time to (I don't really see myself as a full-time artist any time in the future). So, I need a workaround, just like how I do it with characters. Since making a fountain to take a picture isn't very practical, my plan is to make a 3D model. I... really have never modeled before, but my plan is to make something very simple (basically just geometric shapes like tubes, half spheres, etc), move the camera to an appropriate perspective, and use that as a base. If using an actual modeling program fails though, I can always improvise something in Unity or simply look for a free 3D model I can adapt to my needs.
How do you animate water?
I have no friggin idea, and yet this is the main aspect I need to get right if I want the fountain to look great. So, I'm leaving myself a lot of time since I'll need to experiment a lot. An important thing to note is that the water will be blue; well duh, but this is significant when the rest of the game is in greyscale. You see, blue is the only color the game will have, and as you may guess, it will represent life. Things like souls and the death countdown will be blue too, but the Fountain of Life will be by far the element with most blue in the game (...well, actually it'll almost be, but if I told you anymore it'd be spoilers), so it becomes doubly important. Besides just being able to do nice looking water, I also need to animate the fountain water reacting to different actions like souls being sent, power mode start/end, etc. And I have no idea how I'll do that either...
So, that's what I'm working on for now. I should have something to show by the time the next devblog rolls around, but if I don't... let's just say that wouldn't be good. Wish me luck!
Have you ever thrown a coin into a fountain to make a wish? I haven't, but for me it's fascinating how a fountain littered with coins looks.