It's been a while since I've updated ZOE as I've had a little break from development to explore some other ideas, but I couldn't resist getting back into it to try and figure out how to turn it into a more fully formed game. My way back in was to have a go at designing the transition from one level to the next, thinking about it thematically and then how to actually implement it.
The theme of the game is a drawn on film animation, so I've always had the idea that each level would have a different tool of the animator tormenting the player throughout each level and serving as the end of level boss, and I had previously figured out that there would be a big brush that paints over Zoe's environment to change the colour of each level.
In the current demo build available here (it's just one level, so no transition in there), once the boss is killed the film comes to a stop and everything pauses , so that was the first thing I needed to fix to keep things moving and to actually have some sort of cutscene happening. Zoe now goes back to sleep, happy that her work is done, the camera slowly zooming in as the relaxing music starts up, and the game sort of reverts back to the title screen sequence only to be rudely interrupted again by the big brush as it splats down it's new coat of paint and shocks her into action. Then the new level boss (a knife this time) appears above her and taunts her before the first wave of yet-to-be-designed enemies attacks!
One of the ideas I was exploring during my break from ZOE was a point and click adventure which involved sorting out a cutscene system - that's not really come to anything yet, but the cutscene tutorial by Friendly Cosmonaut that I followed really helped out and I was able to apply it to this part of ZOE as well.
Of course the whole idea of transitioning the level and starting a new one threw up some unforeseen coding issues that I just hadn't even considered up until this point. I don't know if this is the right decision, but I decided to keep everything in the same room in Gamemaker, rather than transitioning to a new one for each level, so I had to figure out a system for resetting the buttons and the ink bleeds activated by the player during the previous level, and to disable the player object as the cutscene animations take place. After a lot of trial and error (I'm new to coding, remember!), it's pretty much there now and I think it's flexible enough to allow for different animations and sequences of events in between the coming new levels...
Although none of this stuff is in the current demo build, I'd still really appreciate any feedback on what is there if you get a chance to try it out.
Thanks for your interest!