Dev Update #1 - Mechanics are coming to life

The first ever 'Dev Update', as I'll dub them, will be short and sweet. The game has begun to take shape since the last time I shared footage. Here is some more footage containing some of these updates (I'd love to embed it, but alas, ManaKeep doesn't give me the ability to embed YouTube videos in the blogs).

The most noticeable change is going to be the additions and tweaks made to the prototype ARC to make it better reflect the end vision depicted in the concept art. This includes the addition of the three color 'nodes' and colorless ammo. Within these changes, some slight material tweaks were made to the ammo canister and the 'charge bar' to give it that emissive/glowing feel.

Apart from the slight aesthetic changes, there has been some functionality updates. Namely, the ability to switch between colors has been implemented and the ARCs visual appearance (as well as the crosshair) adapts to reflect that. Even cooler, the way I've set this up in code will allow for very seamless accessibility refactors for a color-blind friendly mode to be added in at a later phase of development.

As development progresses, the player movement and projectile physics components will likely undergo constant tweaks and balancing. It is very early in the process and how I begin to build test levels and prototype features is going to determine the final outcome of those core mechanics. Currently, I've upped the players base speed, running speed, and jump force. Additionally, I've increased the ARCs fire and recharge rate to allow for quicker shooting gameplay.

Lastly, the video gives a very early look at one of the game's primary puzzle implements - the Hoop. This power source can provide charge to doors, platforms, and other obstacles by firing a Luma through it. Like all power sources planned for Parabola, each has four states - 3 corresponding to the primary game colors and 1 'neutral' state. These states determine what Luma is required to provide charge, with the neutral (or white state) taking any color's charge. Any Luma that passes through with the wrong color is destroyed.

In closing, I will make note that the development process is going rather smooth. Smoother than I expected, perhaps - but we're only in the infant stages here. Some concerns are arising with regards to the high-speed collisions that take place in the game.

Concessions and design considerations are going to have to be made to make Parabola not only stable and optimized but a fun and predictably challenging gameplay experience. Any chance that a collision will be ignored or missed is a chance too many for gameplay that relies so heavily on physics. My only hope is that I can find a balance between difficulty and operability, as they can be at odds with one another.

In the coming weeks I am going to continue implementing the game's base mechanics - which will allow me to produce some prototype levels. These levels will be a part of some our first public builds so we can start to stress test movement and shooting mechanics as early as possible.

Take care!

Michael DeLally