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Blog Post #12: Art & Slime World

Hello everyone,
   I am Yincheng, one of new members of slime and I am glad to talk about how things going on since the last post. This week we discussed building a slime world and also the art direction. We are working on a new cartoony style for textures to replace the textures in our demo. These are samples we created:

Blog_12_Texture.png

For the slime world, we have discussed the themes and progressions of different levels. Also, we are designing the way to gain abilities through the exploration of the world.
With regards to brand new mechanics ‘slime gun,’ last week we presented our second demo and we received some feedback. In this demo, the pacing slowed a little bit to fit the ‘shooting slimes’ idea. Totally altering to multi-objective puzzle solving is good so we will continue work on the mechanics and begin to design the art and story.
At last,  here is our plan for next week: we are planning on the game art, story and structure of slime world. For the game art, we are going to design some grass textures and a Slime Grate. And some levels of volcano & grass world will also be done.

Thank you!

                                                                                                              ——Yincheng Qiu
Artist & Designer of Slime
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Blog Post #11: Making the Switch

Welcome back, Slime People!

Over the past week, we’ve been making progress on our new method of letting the player access their abilities. Now, rather than seeing a bouncy texture and knowing they need to bounce, or a sticky wall and knowing it’s time to climb the wall, the player sees a wall they can’t jump over, and it’s up to them how they solve the problem.

How?

Pasted image at 2017_04_14 05_45 PM

By spitting out slime of the type you want to create that surface in the world. We were struggling to figure out what scenario a slime would find itself where a pool of lava was perfectly coexisting next to a sheet of ice, or next to a trampoline or super springy mushroom. Our goal is to unify the themes of the levels while still incorporating the environmental features that built the platforming elements of Slime.

This week, we’re gearing up for another demo and getting the game ready to show off for that. We’re figuring out how to best use our new mechanic and get Slime rolling again! We still need to answer the question of how we make nonlinear levels and incorporate our slime trail and backtracking in a positive, engaging way. It’s a work in progress, but I’m confident that we can do it.

-Nicholas Navarro

Producer of Slime

Blog Post #10: Switching things up

Hey everyone! Welcome to the newest blog post about the development of our game, Slime! Last week, we talked about getting ready for a demo, and what kind of work we were putting in to give a good showing! This post will be about us taking the feedback we got from the demo, and moving forward with it!


The Feedback

So, a lot of the feedback that stuck with us is that we need to make this idea more unique. We need to do more with the idea of playing as a slime, and move away from being so similar to other 3D platformers. We need to look at our core mechanics again, and decide how we want to change them to present a fresh Unique Selling Point.


The Solutions

Quickly after hearing the feedback we got from our demo, the team got together and held a 2~ hour long design meeting, to rework our USP’s, and to get us thinking about how we want this game to pivot in order to become the interesting and fresh idea that we all have in our heads.

The first solution: resolve what this trail that the slime leaves behind itself is supposed to do. This was a rough one to go over right off the bat, as the team all felt that adding positive backtracking to a platformer is something that nobody has really done before. Unfortunately, having this trail be a permanent thing that the player leaves behind ended up being incredibly detrimental to our level design. How were we supposed to incorporate backtracking into every single level? So we are testing ideas out this week to see how we can turn this trail into a mechanic that the player can control, and seeing what we can do with that.

The second solution; and probably biggest problem we were struggling with, was how we are going to make gameplay and level design feel interesting and match thematically with Slime. We decided to try and move away from these set spots that are textured differently, and make it more up to the player to decide which locations are ‘bouncy’ or ‘sticky’. To explain in more detail, imagine the slime that you are playing as can change colors, and when it changes to, say, the color red; it can shoot out slime from its self. Sort of like how Mario shoots water from the F.L.U.D.D. or how a character shoots paint in Splatoon. And this slime that we are secreting stays on the map, with this red hue. This red slime will have a bouncy interaction to it. Therefore, the player can then use their own life-source (Slime) to spit out bouncy slime, and progress through the level. We think this is a much more thematic and fun way to handle progressing through a level, and will give more details in our following posts!

These are just two of the many solutions we came up with during this 2 hour meeting, and we are looking forward to testing out all of these intriguing ideas over the next week!


 

This next week will be full of trying new things and testing them quickly in order to create a more interesting and thematically intriguing game! I hope that you all will continue to be as excited as we are moving forward with this project, and we will see you all next week with another blog post!

Blog Post #9: Preparing to show off

Welcome back to the SmileBoiz Post, for your weekly update on all things Slime-ish. We ran into bugs while testing out new levels and new mechanics, which will be explained more below.

Purpose for this week

We delegated tasks out to each of our members with the end goal as, “Having a lot to show off for the live demo”. So our sprint was as follows;

  • 30+ hours dedicated to cranking out about 30 new levels
  • 10 hours to debugging a few issues we’ve found during our last playtest and to creating new mechanics such as;
    • Double Jump
    • Glider/Parachute
    • Lava Platform
    • Shrinking player
  • And a few hours for User Interface design, Concept art, and texture modeling

Levels

We really made this the number One priority for this sprint, because our game is heavily level based and shines through the unique interactions that can occur.  All the levels that were cranked out by myself and our programmers were made to test out specific aspects of the game to see if it can be fun and how that aspect adds the the overall feel of the game. By honing in on these specific qualities we can get clear answers from playtesters and get a more clear idea of how the game will.

Mechanics

The Slime Hook we were testing caused many problems to the fundamental “dash” mechanic we have, so we did away with the hook and in place of it placed a Slime arm. We believe this arm will solve the depth issue many 3D platformers have. With this arm the player can tell the direction they would head in if they chose to dash in that moment, as well as how far away from a wall the player is.

To play around with the amorphous main character we have, we are testing out new “forms” such as;

  • Shrinking
  • Parachute / Glide

Bugs

With new mechanics and multiple parts working together for the first time, there are bound to be a few kinks. Here is what we discovered over the week;

  • The breaking platforms caused a bug that allowed the player to jump infinitely. So in addition to fixing that issue, we made platforms with the ability to break, to be more visually faded.

Thank you for following Slime! Please continue to support us.

             – Dewayne White

Blog Post #8: New Members and New Levels

What Have We Been Up To

Hello and welcome to SlimeBlog! We’ve been behind with our update due to a mix of GDC and Spring Break, but fear not because we are back and ready to go! During our time away, we lost our team member, Cole Johnson, but gain to new members, Yincheng Qiu and Sam Moore from the recently discontinued game Skate Squad.

What Is To Come

We started a sprint this week with many goals in mind:

  • 20 levels focusing on 5 different boolean adjustments (esp. increased gravity, jump on ice, etc)
  • Adding 4 new mechanics:
    • Lava Platform
    • Parachute/Glide
    • Double Jumping
    • Shrinking Player Collider
  • 8 levels focusing on these 4 new mechanics
  • Creating new 2D textures
  • 3D Model for Final Metal Piece
  • Changes to Slime Bar UI

We have a lot of work ahead of us for the next week but we are looking forward to the results!

-Sam Moore