DevBlog 03 – First MiniBoss!

Quite a bit has been accomplished over the last few weeks, which is viewable in the video here. I’ll go over everything added along with what more we’ll be working on in the next few weeks.


Since the last DevBlog, there have been a LOT of changes as we’ve been building on what’s turning into a really solid foundation. Some small, some huge. Let me put up a detailed list of what’s been done:

  • New Menu – not much has been changed, but it’s worth mentioning that some work has been done to it. The buttons have been fixed and the UI in itself is finally scalable (earlier builds I noticed an issue where it doesn’t scale properly on resolution, now it does). I’m planning on adding some simple animations and some audio during polish, but for the most part this is functionally complete until we are out of the demo phase.
  • Opening Cinematic – I did a small teaser for this on my personal YouTube page (I’ll eventually create one for development, but until we start actually advertising that the game is a thing I think what we are doing is adequate) that showcased the beginning of this cinematic, but I’ve since completed it. Post-Demo I plan to remove some of those opening voice lines (some of which is obvious) but I want for this to be short and to the point. I could always add him actually at the bar and making the scene skippable entirely, but that’s not something I’m entirely sold on. I’m always open to input. If you pay close attention towards the end, you kind of hang there for a bit while the scene loads. That’s definitely something I need to address in the future.
  • UI Changes – I’ve made some pretty hefty changes to the UI by adding a minimap as well as consolidating where the player health bar is shown. I’ve thought about using something different than the hearts, but we’ve since decided on some items to be implementing in the future, so going from the hearts to a bar or something similar in the future I don’t think is going to happen. I am open to changing the hearts to something more Jack-esque if you will.
  • Changing Rooms – I’ve completely redone how you transition to different rooms, and I still have a few slight tweaks like Jack’s vector position when he makes the transitions so he doesn’t start off in the air in many cases. Either way, I’ve made the transitions much easier as rooms that are accessed horizontally you no longer use input to access them. Right now there’s still a text box for getting into rooms that are accessed vertically, which I’m considering a more subtle queue like perhaps light coming from that area so you know you can access it.
  • Dialogue System – I’ve programmed a small dialogue system to act as a form of mini-tutorial. I haven’t implemented it which is why you don’t see it in the video but it’s in there and functioning. What it does is it pops up a text box similar to the ones that pop up when you can change rooms but you have to click through it to get it to go away. I’ve got it turned off for now though as we are looking for less intrusive methods to direct the player to objectives (will possibly do more with the minimap for that one). I have a feeling that we’ll still need it for certain things (and am also considering changing to where it’s Lucious talking to the player instead of Jack) but want to use it as sparingly as possible so it’s helpful and not disruptive.
  • Proper Enemies – We’ve finally got some proper baddies to kill! So there is still a LOT of work to do here. Right now I’ve got this villager set up with one sprite, which I’ll eventually make the model carry several so that I can easily swap out different looking villagers plus give them an arsenal of different weapons (even though they will function the same). All he does now is stand there, and if Jack moves too close to him, he’ll swing at him and if Jack is in range he’ll take damage (as you can see from the video). I just got the assets for the tiki torches and some of the melee weapons, so that’s something else I’ll need to set up. I also need to program some pathfinding AI in there, although with this particular instance of the enemy all I think I’ll have him do is walk towards Jack so he’s at least somewhat aggressive. I’ll have future enemies patrol and even charge as well as throw those damned tiki torches to give Jack some fits.
  • Dining Room – This is the first room I’ve set up (so far!) where the environment is set up to be interactable, and is also a completely new room from the last DevBlog. Jack will be able to access this room immediately when the game starts, however, after completing certain objectives this room will become the first mini boss of the game! At the end of the opening demo video, you’ll see a white box charge at Jack and throw a chair at him, that’s only the beginning. I’m still getting assets together, but this will be an epic showdown between Jack and the Turkey he reanimated in the Turkey Day special!
  • Boring Under the Hood stuff – I’ve done a lot of small things as well, such as add more of Jacks voice lines, bug fixes, background music, ambience, as well as clean up the weird physics issues. I’ve cleared up a lot of the issues with the character controller as well.

Things to Come

  • Turkey Miniboss – So the major project that I’m actively working on is the turkey boss. The mechanics we’ve decided on is that he’ll jump off the table, throw a chair at Jack and then charge. If either the chair hits Jack it’s a hearts worth of damage but if Turkey touches Jack, that’s instant death. Jack can’t dodge him or jump over him, so what he’ll have to do is pick up one of the chairs himself and chuck it at Turkey. After Turkey takes a hit, he’ll jump up, take a pitstop on the chandelier and jump to the opposite side of the room and throw another chair (you can see which chairs he’s going to throw in the short video a little bit up) and charge again. Same scenario. This time, after Jack hits him and he jumps to the chandelier, the chandelier will break and fall down, crushing Jack if he’s in the center of the room. Next, Turkey will throw his last chair and Jack must hit him a third time. This time it will daze Turkey and give Jack the opportunity to hit him with the last chair, triggering a final animation. As you can see, I’m only about 1/4 the way done scripting the boss but it’s moving a long a lot faster than I expected (I was expecting this to be about a weeks worth of work alone). I still need to program in the damage components as well as the remainder of the fight, but I think it will be a fun fight for this genre of game. I think the biggest challenge we’ll face is topping it when we finally face the end boss, the Priest, and then future minibosses / end bosses in later levels!
  • Objective Scripting – We’ve mapped out everything that needs to be accomplished from the time Jack walks in the house to the time he fights the Turkey. I skipped ahead a bit as I felt that the Turkey itself would be the biggest challenge of everything that I have to do to get to the next point. So once I’m complete there I will backtrack and implement what’s missing.
  • Items! – Probably the biggest feature to add is the items / inventory. We’ve already decided on 5 different items that Jack can pick up and store and I’m sure several more to come. That in mind, the plans are to make 4 quick slots that Jack can have access to on the fly during his adventure as well as an inventory screen to that you can set up these quick slots as well as view what items you’ve collected.

More to come in the following weeks, as you can tell things are progressing fairly quickly.


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