game-dev

Prepare to finish Umbraseal

After Steam Early Access and few times of update. We find special bullet is not as fun as we expected. On the other hand, we also realize our budget cannot afford scenario material of story. Current material already consume our last budget, but the quality still under excepted. So instead of presenting roughly made story, we decide to reorder game flow for change the game style.

We want to adjust difficulty and game flow. We tend to make Umbraseal more friendly for beginner. So we divide difficulty to four level. The enemy in easier difficulty will shoot less bullets or be spawned in smaller group. In addition, we may replace level selection by more linear game flow to decrease play time in each stage.

Although many features are changed after Early Access announcement, we still want to finish this project and bring playable feature as more as possible.

\\\\٩( ‘ω’ )و ////

繼續閱讀 “Prepare to finish Umbraseal"

game-dev

Umbraseal is now on Steam Early Access!

After months of working, Umbraseal finally joins Steam Early Access!

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All enemy shoot bullets like crazy! 《Umbraseal》is a bullet-hell dungeon crawler top-down shooter.

繼續閱讀 “Umbraseal is now on Steam Early Access!"

game-dev

Prepare for Early Access

This month we decide to add shadow ability, new level theme and traps. BTW, Umbraseal becomes pre-beta on itch.io .

To meet game title, our heroine now has shadow ability. Shadow ability contains two phase:

  1. Right click to release Umbra :
    • Umbra is a shadow entity that attack with player
    • Each hit from Umbra increases shadow charge
  2. Right click again to release Penumbra:
    • Penumbra is a shadow entity that release shadow power.
    • The effect of shadow power is decided by current shadow charge :
      • 0 – No effect
      • 1~2 – Umbra and Penumbra shot the nearest enemy
      • 3~5 – Create shadow area that keep damage enemy and reduce player mana cost
      • 6 – Create shadow area that hugely damage enemy and exempt player mana cost

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The new level theme is Mine. To adapt more and more area theme setting, we rewrite asset and theme setting system and import lots of outsource asset as breakable props in stage. The new system allow us to reuse theme setting and place traps in areas. The traps contains three types:

  • Floor Spike – triggered or periodic active
  • Auto-Shot Fort – on floor or wall
  • Sawblades – on floor or wall

When player is dealing with enemy, those traps can create more dynamic situation. This mechanic forces player to make decision more frequently and quickly which enhances gameplay.

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After delivering pre-beta version of Umbraseal on itch.io, we receive lots of feedback. Most complaints are about tutorial and visual effect. We think it is a sign about “Current gameplay is ok, but need more polishing". And Yes, we will keep working on it. Meanwhile, we are preparing for Steam Early Access! There are so many things have to be done, first two level content, press release, game trailer…etc . Hope we can meet customers on Steam before August.

\\\\٩( ‘ω’ )و ////

NOTE – Itch.io page will be closed. Free play demo and community will move to Steam.

繼續閱讀 “Prepare for Early Access"

game-dev

Custom bullet mechanic

This month we added custom bullet and boss stage seal mechanic.

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By default, player has 3-way shot pattern with round bullet. Now you can change what you shot by looting different shape and property of bullet from enemies. We are still trying other bullet pattern shape and bullet property. Although shooting lots of random things is very fun, but the goal is to make bullet pattern become crazy. 😛

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For connecting middle stage and boss stage, we introduce seal mechanic. Player unlock seal by defeating enemies, and allowed to pass boss stage portal when multiple seal unlocked. This process creates short term goal (unlock seal) and long term reward (defeat boss). Now we should focus on various middle stage environment and awesome boss fight.

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After delivering pre-alpha version of Umbraseal on itch.io, we receive lots of feedback. The major complaints are about UI material and repeated middle stage environment. However, the outsourced assets are almost done. Hope we can apply new artwork for completing early access version as soon as possible.

( ~’ω’)~

繼續閱讀 “Custom bullet mechanic"

game-dev

Free to play demo and outsourcing

This month we were trying to deliver first playable demo for players. There are many trivial works like adjusting visual effect, user interface, config option, gameplay element. Because we want to get more feedback in early stage, now you can download pre-alpha version of Umbraseal on itch.io for free. The gameplay cycle may seems a little bit rough, but we will polish it as soon as possible. Your comment would be super helpful to complete this game, please play Umbraseal and tell us what you think.

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light map up!

To polishing this game, we started to outsource art works like tile map and some enemy animations. Although communication takes a lot of time, the process still faster than we expected. It seems like we can make most of polish work done in the next month.

( ~’ω’)~

繼續閱讀 “Free to play demo and outsourcing"

game-dev

Enemy behavior and bullet pattern

This month focus on adjusting enemy behavior and bullet pattern for gameplay.

For enemy behavior, we need they perform flexible movement and attack. So an enemy will chase player to the death, yet keep distance with other characters. Once in right position, enemy will start to surround player like a satellite. Also, enemy will attack constantly. Combine those movement could create a flow. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

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For bullet pattern, we adjust fire speed and cooldown time per shot. Moreover, we make bullet to predict player’s position so that it can intercept player. :3

We have more confident to find artist for coworking, because most gameplay element is done. We shall make material and art task list for next phase.

(・`ω´・)

繼續閱讀 “Enemy behavior and bullet pattern"

game-dev

A little more action, please

To solve the “game is too easy" issue from players’ feedback, we make all character can do more action.

In Shoot ’em up, player can focus on dodging without distraction because bullets usually come from single direction. However, bullets come from any angle in Umbraseal. In that case, player become helpless when facing bullets unless we reduce bullet number (like we did). So that is why players consider this game is to easy. New solution is to provide a “Dash" ability to let player survive from surrounding attack, yet keep bullet numerous.

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On the other side, enemies only had simple behavior like approaching player then attack. It help player to predict their movement, but make enemy least interested. To deal with this issue, we make enemy behavior more action game like. Now, they need to avoid each other to catch player and have poise value, pre-attack animation, stun, etc. These behaviors allow enemy interact with player’s action.

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action without animation, need artist help 😛

In this month, we were trying to enhance core gameplay and control. Meanwhile, we finally find screenwriter and composer guy. ヽ(∀゚ )人(゚∀゚)人( ゚∀)人(∀゚ )人(゚∀゚)人( ゚∀)ノ. It sounds a bit odd, but our game development still do not have artist yet. Need to work it out. _(┐「ε:)_

繼續閱讀 “A little more action, please"