Post news RSS The True Slime King (Early Access) Release

After 1.5 years of development, The True Slime King has finally released into Early Access. It's a very exciting moment for me. I've poured a lot of myself into this game and am very grateful for the experience I've gained along the way. I hope other people enjoy the game as much as I do.

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I've been developing The True Slime King for 1.5 years now. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but somehow I managed to stick with it... and here we are now at the release of The True Slime King (Early Access). In this post, I just want to briefly talk about some of the features in the game and the struggles I've had with creating them.

Level Design

The game currently has 115 levels (not including the overworld and cutscenes) that I've spent countless hours trying to perfect. They are definitely not perfect, but I tried to make them at least entertaining. I wanted to create an experience for the player where they felt both empowered and challenged at the same time. My approach to implementing this was to build up the player's skills in one level and then put those skills to the test in the following levels, continuously forcing the player to redefine what they thought was possible and how they approach solving a given challenge.

Level Editor

Man oh man! I wish I created the level editor sooner. The built in room editor for GameMaker Studio gets the job done, but level design quickly becomes tedious when you have to wait for a large game to compile just to test a minor change to a level. It did take me a decent amount of time to actually develop the in-game level editor. I knew that I eventually wanted one so that players would be able to make their own games, but for a long while I didn't see it as worth the time it would take to build it. Once it was built, it quickly became apparent that it was well worth the time invested. On top of that, I could offer players the level editor right away once the game launched into early access instead of them having to wait for it to be developed. This should provide some extra entertainment value while I'm completing the hard mode levels for the game.

Fancy Walls

For some reason I got into my head that I had to make the graphics for the walls in my game a certain way, but it just so happened that making the walls that way was a lot more demanding on the CPU when playing, especially in areas where there are lots of walls on screen. It took a lot of fine tuning, bug fixing, and tweaking to get the walls to the place where they aren't such an drag on game performance. The walls are actually made of layers. The bottom layer is a master sprite that's 256x256 (so each wall block has to select the correct sprite from the master sprite). The outer layer selects its sprite out of 47 possibilities depending on what its neighbors are. Over the course of the game, I've implemented several things trying to increase the performance of the game, especially in the large one-room overworld. One of the biggest things I've implemented that's upped the performance is the chunk loaded (which I wrote an article about). The chunk loader drastically reduced the load time of the overworld to about 1/10 of the time it used to take.

I could talk forever about all the decisions I've made throughout the development of the game, but I wanted to keep the post short today. I just wanted to have something to celebrate the launch of the game.

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