One of the biggest factors in the success of our crowdfunding campaign in 2012 was allowing some of our backers to become the characters who would populate our game world. As part of our promise to communicate more with our community I’m posting at least 1 animated character portrait (cough, roughly, cough) every day! Each avatar has 4 animations (normal, angry, sad and happy). Enjoy the crazy characters! If you know you are a character in Moon Intern, then look forward to seeing your pixelated self here in the future!
Want to see more characters? Click below to see the rest!
Version 0.0.4 is now live on Humble for testers, hooray!
There’s a few new things in this build to look at, so let’s dive in…
First, here’s the controls so you know what you’re doing. There are some instructions during gameplay, however it doesn’t hurt to know what you’re getting into.
Arrow Keys and Enter are for navigating the main menu
Arrow Keys move the Intern in-game
Z – Jump
X – Fire Weapon
A – Swap Weapon Left
S – Swap Weapon Right
D – Interact
New Logo – It animates!
Better starry background
Simple Interactive Objects – We’ve littered examples of these objects throughout the Apartment scene. Pressing the Interact key (“D”) will toggle the objects between 2 states. We’ve already begun work on more complex interactive objects, but this is the foundation.
Terrain in Random Levels – The random levels are starting to look nicer. Right now the same terrain is used for each level. We have 2 terrain styles in the engine, but the generator only displays a single style at the moment. The next build should begin the address those sorts of visual things in the generator.
More pretty art – One of the scenes in the game flow, the apartment, has been pretty’d up with some bg art. The other scene, Command, will be pretty’d up this coming week for the next build. I will say though… these scenes are placeholder until we’re happy with the other systems in the game enough to begin building the final environments.
EP is pretty cool now – It drains when firing weapons, but regens fairly quickly. However if it’s completely depleted, a cooldown must be satisfied before regen-ing will resume.
The Robot Peons have been polished – There animation quirks were removed, and they’ve also been given a better behavior pattern.
Directional Aiming – The weapon sprite used to look funky when looking up/down as it wouldn’t align properly with the Intern. That should be fixed now.
Weapon polish – Weapon values have been adjusted to feel better. In addition, little “poofs” have been added to shots that expire without hitting anything.
If you want to discuss bugs or other issues, you can do it right here by commenting on this post. I’ll be active in responding, so check back often!
Now that 0.0.4 is out we can start focusing on the next test build. The next few builds should focus more on interaction and accomplishing goals in gameplay. Pop-ups, eTools, more enemies and more complex interactive objects are all being worked on this coming week.
Take care, y’all!
So I polished up the logo a bit earlier this week. Now have this which will be used on the main menu and our site…
In addition, today I have been working on some modular BG parts. This is another task mostly for polish, but it’s also helping to understand all the layering down for scenes. Here’s a photo of a showing a number of the pieces used for prototyping up levels at the moment…
That’s all for tonight! Tomorrow morning and evening we’ll be assembling a few things before submitting new builds to Humble.
Happy to announce the latest tester build, v0.0.3 is now live in your humble library (https://www.humblebundle.com/home/library)
Here’s the rundown of the main changes…
- THE GAME LOOP IS BACK : We had broken this in v0.0.2. Now, the build begins in the Intern’s apartment, then to moon command, then a random mission, back to moon command and finally ends back in the apartment again. The whole cycle then repeats infinitely with a new mission (random level) each time.
- IMPROVED LEVEL GENERATOR : It still lacks art, however it now generates structures with simple rooms.
- NEW WEAPONS : We now have Standard, Wave, Spread, and Burst weapons to cycle through using the ‘A’ and ‘S’ keys.
- ENEMY : A simple Baddie Bot can be found and fought.
- DISABLED TESTING GROUNDS, but it will be back in the next build most likely.
What are the controls?
- MOVE : Left/Right
- AIM UP : Up
- SPARROW JUMP : Down (Hold – then release)
- JUMP (DOUBLE JUMP) : Z
- ATTACK : X
- INTERACT : D
- WEAPON SWAP : A/D
What are the known issues?
- The Intern can still get stuck on corners. Mason is going to implement better collision for entities over the next couple build iterations.
- Weapon swapping displays wrong weapon, and also becomes a white box. This is the first thing we’re fixing in the next build.
- Holding ‘up’ while switching weapons causes weapon orientation to be wrong when ‘up’ is released.
- Projectiles collide with doors.
What do we want you to test?
- DOES IT RUN? If not, what are your system specs?
- DOES IT PLAY OK?, or does it feel sluggish or anything?
- CAN YOU BREAK IT? Falling off the world in the random level advances you to the next scene, that’s working as currently intended. But is there anything else?
What is coming in the next build?
- Fixes to the above known issues.
- Art for terrain and structures.
- Enemies spawning during missions.
- A “sandbox” scene placed into the game loop.
- EP hooked up to weapons.
- Simple interactive objects.
- A pass on polishing up projectiles.
- Another pass on doors.
When is the next build?
- Soon! As in next week or maybe this weekend. The builds are absolutely going to drop much more regularly now.
What’s soon after that?
- Additional sandbox scenes accessed from inside the game loop as well as main menu.
- A big round of testing to finalize how the Intern will move and collide with the world.
- Puzzle interface as well as several puzzles.
- More enemies and enemy variations.
- Chaining interactions with reactions (allows more interactive and unique game objects).
- Next pass on game loop (Random “commute” scenes).
We’re looking forward to keeping the ball rolling with you testers. The day is soon approaching where we have characters, dialog, inventory, objectives and cutscenes back in. The groundwork for much of those features does exist now and things like reactions, collision and puzzles will allow us to make much faster headway. Anywho, have a good week and we hope you enjoy v0.0.3, folks!
Howdy, Lunar friends!
So for this blog entry on this full moon we are focusing on test builds. First off, we’re happy to announce we are on schedule to release a brand new tester build this coming week. We are aiming to submit that build to our humble store before this coming wednesday evening and hope it goes live within a day or two. We’ll let you know the moment it drops!
Our goal with this tester build is to kickoff a new phase of development where we release 2-3 more test builds per month. The idea is to create a stable build we can iterate and polish. We hope that after a few iterations we will have a nice abstraction of our gameplay, and will be able to add content and renew more interest in Moon Intern, and most importantly, help restore your faith in us. So after this week — for the first time — you can begin to expect regular test builds! Yay! It’s finally happening!
In the next few test builds we will focus on gameflow (transitioning between scenes) and a round of Intern physics testing. We are at a point where we can only design the spaces and levels so much without knowing exactly how fast our Intern moves, exactly how high they jump and how floaty the whole thing should feel. We’re messing with these values constantly, but we want the final values and we want to share that experience with you. Once we have a couple of these test builds under our belt (so a few weeks or so from now) we will release more of a road map for these test builds, but for now let’s worry about just releasing this one.
Blue Moon! Update time!
So one of the biggest things we’ve been talking about the last few months is the level generator. We’re proud to say that it’s finally reaching a solid alpha state. Just recently the level generator has had its seed feature implemented allowing us to recreate the same random level over and over again. That might not sound like much, but when creating random levels this is huge to help make each of the zones and distinct places on the moon feel unique. Tracking the seeds that create fun spaces, and the ones that prohibit them will be an important part of testing in the future. Right now we can make short levels, long levels, flat levels, rocky levels or any combination of that with or without buildings, for example a long flat level with a small rocky middle. Or a medium sized level that starts rocky and gradually gets flat and full of structures. We have a lot more to do with the generator in the future, but we’re all pretty happy about it’s progress over the last week. Next up is implementing art to go along with it.
Much of the last few weeks has been spent writing story, dialog and mission treatments. The character-a-day feature on MoonIntern.com has even been briefly paused in favor of using that time on much needed story instead. One of our goals with the story has always been to write in all our unique characters from our crowdfunding campaign. That’s a difficult task when there are so many characters to implement. Luckily the “serialized” structure of our narrative benefits from the vast pool of characters we have. The surveys many of you have sent in for your character have been hugely helpful when writing dialog and finding the best places to put each character. Though many of the characters only appear briefly in the narrative, all the characters are deeply interactable and are found in the game world. If you remember last full moon we talked about the day cycle of the story, you’ll know there are plenty of activities allowing room for every character to appear in a unique way. It’s a fun and exciting task, but also very overwhelming.