Although this month has been a busy one outside of Snacko, we had the ball rolling on a couple of new things!
🍑 Additional Weather
Last month we introduced the beginning of some new environmental changes, like snow! This month, we added fall sets of foliage and visual effects and rain.
Although cats aren’t especially fond of getting wet, the bright side is at least now you don’t have to water all your crops!
Fall is a big change from spring and summer. Gone are the lush green trees and grass, but the vibrant and cozy colours of autumn are just as beautiful. Since every outlying island is so diverse in weather, the main island is the only one with all four seasons. Enjoy the variety!
🍑 Puzzle Dungeons
We’ve always talked about how there will be puzzles and exploration in Snacko, but never had anything to show for it. Now that the farm and town are in an OK state, we’ve moved on to adding in basic mechanics to the other part of the game – combat, puzzles, and narrative elements. Obelisks are mysterious structures scattered across the islands that lead underground. Each Obelisk seems to have multiple levels with rooms requiring you to solve a puzzle to proceed. The purpose and origin of these Obelisks still seem to be unknown…
It started with recursive designing the levels (white boxing) in the engine and programming the components such as the switch and door, as well as power source and wires. We then played through them to get a rough feel of what the flow feels like, and if it fits the game difficulty wise. I then took some time to do some really rough concepts of what I thought they would look like, as well as refining our story and world to accommodate these environments and puzzles.
Although using filters and adjustments can result in some funny business in the drawings, it’s an easy way to get a quick feel of colour palettes. These drawings were made after recursive told me his rough idea of the first set of mechanics: a ball you control, switches that require weight to stay pressed, and both the ball and switches affecting wires carrying energy through the dungeons to open doors and power different components, such as moving platforms.
Once a rough colour palette was chosen (we went with #2), I started doing more research into the inspiration and references I’ve drawn from for our narrative. Creating an easy pattern to replicate through the Obelisk and the interiors of the dungeons was important to separate the more fantasy part of the game from the farm and town. I wanted the silhouettes and shape language to be different, so it would be distinct from the other architecture that the player would build and previous villagers have built within the town’s walls.
I started modelling these out and giving them rough colour passes to see how they all fit together in the level recursive has already made. Since I need to stay as close to the original level design as possible to retain the flow, many of the pieces were modelled to the size of the placeholder shapes he used.
I then went in and replaced parts of the level with my assets – most of which aren’t finished. Depending on what kind of environment I’m working on or how confident I am with the art direction, sometimes I prefer to finish all the modelling first with rough flat colours to get a feel to how everything fits together before I spend additional time refining and texturing the assets.
While I chip away at the Obelisk’s interior assets, recursive has started working on elements for the over world – mining and resource gathering points.
Different nodes will contain different ores and minerals for you to find! You can get a good guess of what you could get by looking at the colours embedded in the rocks. Larger nodes with larger minerals – and sometimes even gems – will look different from your common mining nodes. While each hit takes up stamina, if you hit it at the right time when the circle closes in, it won’t use any stamina at all! Time your hits carefully to make the most out of your day.
Trees are simple – the better your axe, the less hits it takes to decimate the mighty trees standing. Different types of trees will give you different wood, as well as taking a different number of hits before they hit the ground. Trees and other similar resource nodes spawn across the islands. The more places you explore, the more materials and crafting recipes you will unlock!
That’s all for this month!
Thank you to all the Snackie Guild members this month as always – your continued support allows us to make Snacko a reality. Momo and Mikan sends everyone lots of head boops and nose beeps 💕