Dev Blog 17: One Hungry Frog

This month, I continued my work on world building as well as various artwork tweaks.  With one exception, there wasn’t much time spent on actual coding.  The work mostly involved drawing additional art for the required scenery and touching up existing assets. 

I did go in and dabble slightly with the particle system in Unity.  It seems pretty robust and I was able to create what I wanted without too much difficulty.  The two uses I found were for a burning oil lamp and the effect you’d get when you see fireplace light shimmering out of frosted windows.  I also spent a bit more time like I planned, reworking the roof of that Tavern building.   One goofy thing that I haven’t yet figured out was how I will handle loading the player next to the Tavern windows.  Right now when the scene loads, the particles haven’t been emitted yet so the windows are dark and then shortly after that they fill in the space with the fireplace effect I was talking about.  It looks fine, but they should already be going by the time the player can see them.  The emitter will have to spit out faster at first or there will need to be some sort of way to get them emitting in the entire window from the first frame.  Perhaps it is something I can modify in the particle system.  It’s not a big deal for now.

I was pretty happy that I was able to produce a decent tree asset from scratch in one sitting.  The previous trees took me a couple days and I even had to do multiple variations until I was happy with them.  Either I got lucky or I’m getting slightly more efficient.  I also did some work on a rocky ground tile set and some cliff edges. I also extended more of my world by adding on a few more map chunks which are now connected into the rest of the world.  They, while still taking some time to make, weren’t that difficult because they reused mostly all the same assets that my other chunks required.  So right now I’ve got roughly eight or so different ones and having them all accessible and filled out makes the game feel like it is becoming a living world.

I was able to spend the remaining time working on a new bad guy I call a ‘Wibbit’.  This little guy is just a sad frog with an endless appetite.  I’m sure I’ll eventually have other enemies that cover the normal types of attacks you see in these sorts of games, but this time I wanted to make a creature with a unique attack.  So I made this guy, who can lash out his tongue and pull you into his mouth.  If you get eaten by him, you’ll disappear into his stomach for a second and then pop-out with some damage.  If you’re responsive enough, you can still hit him before getting swallowed and you’ll receive no damage.

 While building this, I had to deal with a new AI action and all the coding that would be required to make him animate correctly and do the things mentioned above.  This led me to making some nice improvements to the way I do animations and I was pretty happy with the overall result. 

While testing things out, I actually ran into some emergent behavior.  That means that my systems interacted in a combined way, which resulted in something unexpected.  You may recall my environmental birds that I showed off a few blogs back.  While testing the tongue functionality one of them happened to spawn and fly by, only to get snagged and eaten by the frog.  I found that pretty humorous because I never intended that to happen and only had planned for it to eat the player.  It inspired me to extend the behavior to allow the frog to eat really any creature that he can latch onto.  So if you’re tricky enough you could get him to eat your enemies or a Buffalo that happens to walk by.