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Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Dev Diaries: Dreams of spring



Good Friday y'all! The spring is here, and summer is coming. Here in Finland the weather has been really strange lately. Week ago the sun was shining, and people were wearing shorts. This morning there was snow in Southern Finland.

There is this thing here called the "backwinter", which means that once all the snow from the winter has already melted in Finland, and you think that summer is finally coming, the weather decides to give us a full doze of hailstones and sleet. It's always a surprise and keeps people on their feet, especially folks that have to use a car daily.




Of course weather like this is perfect for game development if you don't have to leave your home. With all this social distancing it is important to take care of your mental and physical health though. For me, hiking and walking are some of the things that I enjoy doing, and I put in so many hours of screen time a day that a balance is kind of hard to achieve.

The only thing I'm really missing is seeing my friends freely, and being able to socialize normally. For a person who does a lot of monkish work with writing and game development I'm used to abnormal life style though.

When I need motivation for my work, I go for a walk, do some cooking or baking, or cleaning. Anything besides staring at a screen gives you new things to think about.





And speaking of game development; there is a lot that has happened with the Kalaban sequel project. It's taken huge leaps forward, and there are a ton of new features in the game now. I have programmed ten different weapons into the game, and finally pulled some of the maps together. Most of the work has been on gameplay, and there are lot of different bits and pieces but no full structure yet.

There are now deadly traps like mines, lasers and spinning wheels of blades in the levels. I've also added wooden crates containing random loot, and tons of other details. There is thunder, rain and environmental hazards like fire and glowing green fungus which hurt you. The game is really shaping up to be a real experience, with lots of fun things thrown in.

This time I've done things completely differently than in original Kalaban. Back then we started with story and scripting for it. Gameplay was programmed while working on the story structure and level design. And now gameplay has been first, and story will be implemented later on, once we have the maps together. The budget we have by that time will decide what capacity the storytelling will be implemented.







From the gifs above you can see the spinning wheels of death, and new plant topside map with lightning, rain and creepy monster tentacles. There are also stationary enemies like the body of a tentacle monster, which spins around and tries to hurl its projectile at you.

We are also updating the Area 51 Defense game currently on Steam. There's going to be major performance fixes, and a few nice gameplay fixes. Looking forward to getting people playing the new version.

Have a nice weekend you all, and stay safe!


- Harri J.