Friday, July 10, 2015

Bloody Glade Update

The Bloody Glade is a side-scrolling hack-'n-slash / light RPG targeting mobile devices (primarily iPad and iPhones right now). I started work on it at the start of the year and have devoted a lot of time to it.

It's larger in scope than some of my previous personal projects, but I tried to keep the scope of the game at least manageable. I was inspired to create it when playing through the original Golden Axe (I have it as part of a retro Sega game pack for PS3). I spent a lot of time in the dingy arcade section in a shop down the road from my childhood home playing it when I was about 9 years old, so it brought back fond memories.

I could complete Golden Axe in about 20 minutes, and I liked the idea of a fairly short session where you could actually get through a game, even if it is fairly mindless and straight-forward button-mashing (though I've tried to add a bit more strategy into The Bloody Glade).

A few nights back I spent a lot of time creating a new world map (I wasn't satisfied with what I had before). I wanted to give the player the option to choose between various routes to give some incentive to replay the game once completed. Getting the map to have the feel I wanted was quite frustrating and time-consuming, but I'm happy with the end-result.

At the moment I am planning on making 3 playable characters: the wizard, the enchantress and the abomination. I have around 8 enemy character types so far. Getting enough content in is a concern (the moment a game starts visually resembling the larger, professional games people are used to, they start to expect more overall), but I'll deal with that later.

The spells I've implemented so far are a fireball, an ice orb, hailstorm (reminiscent of the ice blizzard in Warcraft 2), earth shatter (pretty much an earthquake) and lightning storm (which at the moment is a bit over-the-top, but fun). I have another one where a dragon swoops down partially implemented, though it looks pretty cheesy at the moment (a friend laughed when he saw it, that bastard).

The game has a few RPG elements, including a very basic inventory system and leveling
system. These have been deliberately keep very simple though, since I want to target a broader, more casual audience than the typical RPG player, and avoid overly complex game mechanics. At the moment, most of the game mechanics revolve around:
  • selecting which characters to attack
  • choosing when to consume health and mana potions
  • deciding when to cast spells (some of which require quick-time events to be cast successfully) and who to target
  • choosing which spells to learn when leveling up
  • choosing a route to follow in the world map
I have a few plans for adding to this a bit (I want it simple, but not too simple, I don't want it to feel like a brainless exercise in simply tapping on bad guys). So far it actually feels fun so I'm feeling optimistic.

Below are a few of the items that have a chance of being spawned by slain enemies. Each item gives you a perk / buff. When you die there is a resurrection penalty (i.e. you can continue the game, but at a cost). One of the potential penalties is removing items you have collected.