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!
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.
Howdy, good people!
So another Full Moon is here. What’s the deal with us? Well we’re still working on Moon Intern of course. Here we go with the update!
The majority of work done this past month was heavy on expanding the design of upcoming features. This includes puzzle ui, the relationship with Amor, and most of all the actual game flow itself. The new puzzle interface is pretty sweet, and we’ve talked through several user stories to make sure it can handle the bunches of puzzle types and gameplay scenarios we want to throw at it. We’re still working on the new mockups for those puzzles, but trust me when I say the interface is going to be pretty sweet.
We’ve also been working on generating the level flow, as in getting buildings generating, both exterior and interior and making sure the doors all connect right. The buildings also have to work with whatever the mission objective is, as well as offering up many of the diversions and non-linearity offered in the gameplay. Buildings are filling with rooms and connecting their doors now, but we’re still working on properly managing placement of the object at the other end of the door as enemies and npcs are able to use doors and not all those characters are the same height. Little things. Once we can finish rooms in a meaningful way (art, yay!), we’ll be able to release another test build.
Almost all of our weapon shot types have been implemented other than the lob shot now. So besides your standard straight shot we also have spread shot, wave shot, boomerang shot, and lob shot as mentioned above. We still have other modifiers like rapid-fire and charge to implement, but we’re getting there.
So this past weekend we got together and jammed. Jam went great, though we had to break some stuff that had been working, so we still need to get fixed this week. That’s good news though; The stuff that is broken is mainly collision based issues, as Pete is beginning to implement multiple physics layers to accommodate different classes of objects such as enemies, npcs, friendly fire, enemy fire, etc to work with our standard collision, as well as collision which will be pass through (allow you to jump up through, or double tap down to fall through). Additionally doors got some work and later this week they will be ready for us to start using. We have a couple spaces right now that we want to test out the doors, and one of those spaces is the testing grounds scene from the current test build.
We also made some progress on hud functionality, trying to get the health points and energy points bars up to the functionality we need for weapons and enemies. We also have a wave shot weapon now, which looks GREAT on screen! The boomerang shot is also about half-implemented, so we’re moving right along in that area. We also worked on some key locations, like “starting areas” for random levels.
Overall we slowed down a bit early to catch the Nintendo World Championship, which was really fun to watch, cheer and jeer. We’re all working hard this week to get the build back up the functionality, and then we’ll be on a mission to get bare versions of the gameplay loop showing off what our ideas are for Moon Intern. When you play the next test build (not going to give hints about any dates, haha) you’re going to see for the first time our ideas start to flourish.