3.30.2018 - PROTOTYPING THE PULVERIZER
Hey Viralites! This week, we address the burning question: What's the BEST way to crush your enemies and drive them before you?
This week we're working on the mighty Pulverizer prototype - a giant hammer that lets you throw up enemies into the air, smash those thrown enemies so hard they fly through rocks, or smash the ground and unleash rocks falling from above. Cool, right? Well we'll see. That's what prototyping is all about. Let's dig in a little bit.
The Pulverizer with AOE attack, lob/wallop combo, and raining missiles from the sky
What's a weapon imply for us? Well, good question. We're all about combinatorial goodness, as witnessed in our past bloggoriffic posts. That is the art of making sure that when you pick up a cool mutation, it's very likely to change your gameplay.
You most often see combinatorialness blossom in "passive" items - ones that don't give you a new attack button to hit, but rather ones that layer on additional behavior to the attacks you already possess. But what determines those attacks?
For us, the answer lies in your weapon. Each weapon determines your basic primary and secondary attack (left and right button on your mouse if you're playing with a mouse).
For your starting sword, that's a basic wallop and a harpoon. For a rocket launcher, primary fires a missile and secondary reloads (while knocking enemies back a little for breathing room). Other weapons do radically different things. The Pulverizer hammer does an AOE hit on a primary attack, while the secondary attack lobs lighter enemies up in the air. Enemies that are flailing about in the air become extra vulnerable to your other attacks.
Powering up attacks is also possible. Holding down the primary attack button generally lets you charge up for a megawallop that hits much farther than your standard wallop. For the Pulverizer, it additionally unleashes a shock wave that drops rocks from the ceiling which you can knock around with your melee attacks into enemies - this replaces more standard projectiles.
Because of that whole combinatorial thing, each of these can be, well, mutated by mutations you pick up, which tend to affect weapon attacks in different but still related ways. The Bomber mutation makes your sword harpoons into bombs normally - but for the Pulverizer it makes bombs rain from the sky instead of rocks.
Orbit's effects on various weapon attacks
We try to have lots of interesting effects for a given mutation - Orbit makes your missile launcher shoot in circles (run!), makes walloped enemies loop around, and makes the Pulverizer force wave spin around and give you a nice close cluster of rocks to wallop at your enemies. That's a good example of a single mutation having a good or bad effects depending on your other choices during a run.
Stats matter too - they affect all these different attacks in different ways as well across the weapons. Stats increase or decrease melee range, the speed projectiles, shockwaves, or walloped enemies travel at, how much damage happens, and many other things. There's lots to consider on each run as your character develops.
We get asked sometimes - what kind of game is Gone Viral, anyways? Well, with the right weapon, it's kind of a twin stick shooter. With another weapon, it's almost a pure melee game (well, you might still be flinging enemies around like projectiles, but what the heck genre is that?)
So you got us. But the goal is simple: Have fun through intelligible variety, and hopefully each run can have interesting* synergies over time.
Progress this week includes:
- Work on prototyping the Pulverizer
- Design work on our available bosses for Early Access
- New level generation algorithms for some unique level maps
- Projectile type stacking (i.e. Does Bomber have precedence in changing your projectiles to bombs or does Spikeballs take precedence in making them spiky? Or does something else happen?)
Check out our weekly dev streams for more examples in action! We stream Thursdays at 5pm PST, or check out our YouTube channel for the previous weeks' shows. You'll see a weekly play-through, some showing off of recent progress, and then we'll generally do some implementation or go off on a bug hunt. Join us!
* "interesting" does imply that some of these may kill you. Hopefully in hilarious ways.