August 27, 2014

Sunchasers Developer Diary #5

So there's a new build today, but I don't think that there's been a lot of changes on account of me being completely unproductive during wisdom-teeth recovery.

I tried like to hell to summon the energy to work on Sunchasers this week, but everytime I sat down to create something my head just refused to get in to it. Eventually I gave up and retreated to the makeshift recovery fortress that Leily built for me in the upstairs loft.

There, I ate mostly apple sauce and pudding. I watched half a season of the Pokémon cartoon followed by some bad made-for-grocery-store b-movies, and I made a full run-through of the Diablo 3 expansion and my reliable old Chrono Trigger SNES cartridge before finally passing out.

Writing about it now, that sounds like an awesome time. It's what 12-year-old me wanted to do every day, minus the vicious son-of-a-bitchery that was my bruised, swollen jaw and the semi-hourly salt water rinses required to fight off infection.

Hey, other teeth: you owe me.

Back to this week's build: I regret to inform you that the player is still completely unclothed. Pixel art is still a new skill to me, and the patience required to paint a new character was evicted by oxycodone, I think. Next week's goal is to put clothes on her.

What's that, I (assume) you asked? Her? Yes, the lead character is going to be female! The original plan was to have a character-select screen where you could choose either a male or female character, but for reasons I'll talk about next week (not laziness, I swear!) I have stowed that ambition and decided to have just a single spritesheet for the player.

Why a woman and not a man? Because I couldn't think of a single reason not to. There's been a lot of horrible, misogynistic nonsense that's been leaking out of the worst part of gaming culture this past week, and the very very very least I can do when I have the option is make a female lead in my game. A decisive, crushing blow for gender-equality it isn't, but it's a start, and hopefully it'll annoy someone who genuinely believes that all people don't deserve equality.

Anyway, let's take a look at the changes that actually did happen between this week's and last week's builds:

  • The player and washrooms got some sound effects from the Unity Asset Store thanks to a kind donation from my Mom as a get-well gift (thanks, ma!). The sound levels haven't been normalized yet, so my apologies to your ears.
  • The chairs are more aligned with the player's movement grid, so laying down looks more correct.
  • There's a level-start countdown with a neat-o camera zoom out from the player to the full map.
    • This was my quick-and-dirty way of establishing which character you control and allowing a bit of tension to build at the start of the level.
  • The fonts and font colours have all been replaced. <boxquote>Now with 100% less migraine-inducing rainbow text</boxquote>.
  • I fixed a long-standing (and super-annoying!) bug that prevented all the sprites from being rendered pixel-perfect in Unity.

Honestly, that's a much longer list than I expected when I started writing this, but most of those changes were quick and / or not significant. Still, I guess it's enough to warrant a build:

Wanna give the this weeks' release a try? Click here to play the 2014-08-27 build of Sunchasers.

The code for this release has, as usual, been tagged on GitHub, too.

Leave a message in the comments to let me know what you think, and dump any bugs / suggestions / ideas in the GitHub issue queue.