Week in Review — Nov 16

You didn’t think I’d actually do it, did you? How does it feel to be WRONG — here’s what I did this week!

 

Interior Scenes

As planned, I worked on the layout and enemy placement for the first level! The level takes place in a city, not just the rooftops, so I had some interior scenes to put together.

You can also see some of the new enemy characters there! They’re the ground troops leading the assault on the city. Maybe I’ll do a whole post on them in the future, but for now I’ll say that I’m pretty proud of how they turned out. Like Wryn, they use a combination of skeletal animation and sprite animation, so I can mix and match different heads, bodies, weapons, etc. while using the same animations across all variations.

Of course, ones with different heads, items, etc. have slightly different abilities… although they all die pretty quick so if you’re good you might not even notice, haha. I tend to prefer minor enemies in Bleed as a palate cleanser more than anything else.

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Week in Review — Nov 9

I usually feel like blog posts have to be these big productions… and that mentality results in my making very few posts. I’m trying something new — short and simple, here’s what I worked on this week! I hope you find it somewhat interesting!

 Cinematics System

Some of Wryn’s sprites for the cinematic system.

There are going to be in-game cinematics in Bleed 2, but don’t worry!! They’re nothing more than a few seconds long, and mostly just level transitions… but they will be there, so I made a re-usable system for player cinematics! It uses a small number of animations that can be swapped out depending on the current player character, so the story will make sense no matter who you’re using or how many players are present. Co-op is only a thought right now, but I’m trying to anticipate problems like that ahead of time, so it should be fairly easy to put in when and if the time comes!

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Scene Construction

I’ve reached a point in development where I need to finish the environment art before I can continue (you’d be surprised how far you can get with no art! …heh…) Right now I’m working on the first environment of the game — a city. So far I’ve got the exterior done, which looks something like this.

I thought it might be interesting to break the scene down a bit in terms of how it’s constructed and displayed, so that’s what I’m gonna do! Warning, some sizeable gifs coming up. Continue reading

Being Kind To The Player

I really like designing games that stack the deck in the player’s favour. Not in an obvious or patronizing way, just enough that the player is allowed to make some minor mistakes or has small advantages that they hopefully aren’t even aware of. At the risk of ruining some of the magic, I thought I’d outline a handful of things like this that I put into Bleed or am implementing in the sequel.

 

Hitbox Bias

Wryn’s hitboxes in Bleed and Bleed 2.

I do my best to ensure that every object and enemy in Bleed has a fair and accurate hitbox… except for Wryn. In Bleed they’re a bit smaller than you might expect, and in Bleed 2 they’re much more so. The idea is to let Wryn dodge through super narrow gaps and be more stylish and daring with her actions! Taking damage also feels more fair when there’s such a large margin for error.

 

Hidden Damage Volumes

The hidden volumes only last a split-second and do less damage than bullets, so it’s always better to play properly.

Wryn holds her arms straight out to fire her weapons, so the bullets spawn a fair distance away from her body. This can lead to situations where she won’t actually be able to hit enemies standing right in front of her — which is accurate as far as the game is concerned, but is moronic to look at and play through. Most weapons in the game have invisible damage volumes that are spawned between Wryn and the muzzle every time she fires to cover the empty space.

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What’s New In Bleed 2

Hi! Welcome to the new site! (Or if you’re reading this in the future, welcome to… the site.)

So, Bleed 2 is a thing! It’s a work-in-progress, big time (I don’t even know if it’ll be called Bleed 2 when it’s done. It’s just easier than always saying “the new Bleed” or “the Bleed sequel”.) I’ve been working on it for a long time, and would like to start sharing some of the reasons I’m excited for it!

 

Better graphics!

The game will feature a more clean, colourful and exaggerated art style, along with smoother animations and particles. I don’t have any complete environment art in place yet, but here’s a comparison between some of Wryn’s sprites from the first game and the second.

artStyle

 

Better weapons!

The starting weapon this time is a pistols/katana combo — the initial attack is a katana slash, followed almost immediately by the pistols (it’s a delay of 100 milliseconds, or 6 frames, right now.) You can also select them separately and switch between them if you dislike the combo weapon.
pistolsKatanaYou’ll be able to carry as many weapons as you like at a time, and I’m working to make sure each one is fun, powerful and unique. This may result in a few less weapons overall, but each one will actually be useful and viable in a variety of situations.

 

Better gameplay!

Having constant access to the katana allows bullet reflecting to be a core mechanic. Now any purple-coloured attack can be reflected, and not just bullets — enemies’ physical attacks can be parried and turned against them, too.
bossFightExpanding on bullet reflecting in this way adds¬†more options to combat, lends a certain rhythm to gameplay, and allows boss fights to be more exciting and varied! I think it’s a big deal.

 

More more more!

Finally, Bleed 2 will have about twice as many boss fights as the original. Just sayin’. I also have plans for all kinds of new modes, powerups and other extras, but I’ll keep those vague until I know I actually have time to make them (the core game comes first!)

I hope this has got you a bit excited for the new game. I look forward to posting more about it as the weeks pass and development progresses!