Abilities and Bosses
This week, I focused on two things, implementing a fun ability for players to play with and designers to design around, and a boss for players to kill to get an end to the demo.
Stabbing the Ground
The ability we decided to use for the first area of the game was one that would work well as a controllable double jump. It was the ability to stab the ground and then jump out of it to get more height, as well as stab into moving platforms and enemies to ride them.
This new ability works by setting the player into a groundstab state and adding a small hitbox on the bottom of the spear. When that hitbox enters into an enemy or the ground, it parents the player to that object, so if the thing it hit's is moving, it'll move too. Also, when it stabs in the ground it makes it so the player can't move left or right, and is stuck in the ground until they try to jump or attack. Jumping pushes the player higher into the air and attacking just makes the attack work at the height above the ground the stab puts them in.
Designers can come in and easily change the stab height, and any artist can change sprites easily in the animation controller.
Here's our little friend SlimeBot, in my terrible artistic vision. He's pretty simple right now, but it's a good first boss for me to make and for players to hit against. Luckily, making him was pretty simple because he's just a glorified state machine. But before we get to that, let's talk how he works as a boss. He's just a slime that's taken over a robot, the robot can't get hurt, but the slime can. He's on a platform above a toxic lake, so jumping off either side makes the player take damage. While the slime is inside the machine he can control it, but it's really small and uncomfortable so he has to pop out after every attack and recuperate. During this time, the player can attack the slime without fear of getting hurt. After a set amount of time, he goes into his next attack, with a little cooldown time when he's inside so the player knows to stop attacking.
So, his types are attacks are pretty simple, the first is just a basic charge across the stage which the player can jump over, which is difficult, or they can stab the ground and jump over it, which makes it a lot easier. The next is a basic shooting attack where the bot shoots a set amount of shots across the stage, easily jumped over (or hit back in the future when we add a parry mechanic). The last is the most complicated, the bot goes beneath the platform, splashing up toxic slime at the player. The player can try to jump over it again, but it's difficult, or stab into the ground and avoid the wave of damage. He just goes through this loop: Pick an attack, do the attack, go into open position, go into closed position, pick an attack, so on and so forth. A very simple boss to start off with.