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Discussing new features to come like new ground tiles and a "tutorial".

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After the release of the demo of SONAR, there is now time to think about some cool new features. Some people gave feedback and I got the overall impression that there are quite high expectations regarding the coming release of SONAR at the end of October.

So, now it is time to take this project more serious. SONAR was a quick shot. The engine and the basic gameplay were coded in two or three weeks and releasing it properly (and not only to friends) was a craze first. But it seems that at least some people are interested in this so I will put much more time and effort into the project to make sure no one is disappointed.

This really is a challenge. SONAR is a simple game. It has minimalistic graphics and a very tight gameplay and it its not that easy to implement new features without destroying the game's style. For example: concerning the graphics it is now hard to add a new visual feature such as ground elements or different wall types because you have to code them visually. At the moment, you have a binary coding of walls and free space which makes these highly pixelated look. Every new image affects this look and therefore the feeling of the game, too. Another issue is that you have to use features which affect the mechanics wisely. At the moment, the whole game is build around the already existing gameplay elements. So, if you add new stuff, there always is the problem that your game has to be adjusted to these to assure the new features make sense. If you would add new types of ground tiles, you have to place them in a matter that adds something to the game itself and maybe alter or recreate the whole level so the ground tiles are not just there, but are really part of the whole thing.

New feature

Here is a list of several new features, of which the most are implemented already. If all of them make it into the final game because of the above reasons, we will see. I am playing around with additional ideas, at the moment, trying this and that to look, if it adds something to the game or just makes it feel overloaded. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share your thoughts! I don't see the need of a forum at the moment, but if this is a feature you request, I would think about that, too.

New feature

The new features are:

  • Credits to attribute everyone who supported the project.
  • Strategy hints after you die as some kind of tutorial.
  • Lots of more unique ambient effects. Every level will get a couple of soundeffects to set hotspots and give each level a unique style.
  • As suggested in the commentaries, the water drip effects will be stationary and be blocked by walls. Hopefully this will improve the feeling of situatedness in an area or room.
  • Different kinds of ground elements such as moss and water. While something like moss makes you more sneaky, walking through water makes you loud and slow. This should add an additional tactical component to the game but bears the mentionend issues.
  • Maybe, but just maybe there will be a new kind of creature in the game. These creatures are the natural prey of the ones you can encounter in the demo and are probably some kind of worm or insect. They will not harm the player and will crawl around very slowly. Whenever you touch them, they scream very loud, which attracts the enemies. But, if the enemies reach the worms, they eat them and be calm afterwards. So, this would be just another tactical component. You could attract the monsters with the worms and sneak away to reach an area of the level you were not able to in the first place.

This is it right now. I hope you like the ideas, and I hope you liked the demo and the trailer. Be patient, there will be more. In the next one or two weeks I will release a second demo with an english installer and there may be some of the mentioned features in there. So, check it out!

-JS

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