by Nick Carver
Apr 15, 2020
This past week I’ve been digging further into biomes in terms of gameplay possibilities and visual development.
I focused most of my efforts on a single biome called Acid Stacks, an archipelago-like region of tall islands and columns being swiftly eroded by acid seas below. Many precious materials and treasures are revealed at low tide, but the harsh acidity of the water (and its dangerous inhabitants) mean that only the brave should attempt to explore at, or close to sea level.
One of the special materials in this region is an ore that is impervious to the effects of the acid seas. It populates a little above ground in small quantities, and in large seams below the water level, if you are able to reach it. It can be used in recipes to fabricate items and gear that are resistant to acid damage.
This is an extension of the sentry enemy I created previously. This fish patrols just below the water’s surface and, when agro’ed, inflates itself and fires an arc of concentrated acid that causes damage to living targets and erodes voxels as well. The creature’s ‘acid gland’ can be harvested and used in recipes to create items such as an acid sprayer. Eventually I want to make it so the blocks get dissolved by acid, but the standard destruction works for now.
I also spent some time prototyping a grappling hook Players could of course explore this biome without one, but I imagine that a grappling hook would be a great way to navigate through the area at a safe elevation. It can also be used to pull items and smaller enemies etc. towards you. For now it’s just a rough prototype, but hopefully I will find some time soon to iterate on it and add art assets to make it feel more satisfying to use.
Here’s a video showing a number of the things mentioned above:
One thing I’ve been really keen to experiment with is placing procedural, modular structures (such as dungeons, castles etc.) within the world. I’m imagining that these features could be not only useful as areas to find valuable materials and items, but also could serve as alternative routes through the game world. So, this week I will be exploring this aspect by generating some simple dungeons that spawn underground. I will hopefully have time to populate them with some enemies, too!