I am apparently still working on Raider! Firstly, here's a link to the test version thing, which I've been updating often and will continue to update regularly until I say otherwise: [LINK]
I'm still tweaking basic mechanics and animations to 'perfection' before moving on to things like levels and so on, but included in these basic mechanics should be the various skills that Arkus will acquire throughout the game, which I should decide on first in order to design optional/secret areas of levels properly as I go along instead of just adding them on later.
These skills and abilities will be sort of like the things in 'Metroidvania' or Zelda games; either athletic enhancements to movement (wall jumping, double jump, etc) or tools to navigate the environment or open certain passages ('Hookshot', ghost-destroying blaster, etc).
Originally I was going to have various weapons and armour like in any RPG, or like in Raider Zero, where every sword is just a slightly stronger version than the last, or things like that. However, I may now decide to only have two or three versions of the sword or blaster, each as separate 'tools' with different abilities. Sort of like how in Zelda games, you just have the basic sword, the Master Sword and maybe another more powerful one which is either secret or has some drawbacks... This is because damage output isn't as 'important' as in a game with levels and visual number displays and so on.
Also, there are five zones, so I should make it so that each zone has a special tool or ability that you acquire somewhere in it, like how you get a special tool in Zelda dungeons which is required to beat that dungeon and its boss. However, other abilities or tools would require you to leave the zone and fly around to shops or asteroids or whatever to find it so then you could come back and beat the level that you got stuck at in that zone.
Oh, and I was thinking of making each zone boss either drop a tool or a 'magic spell' which you could use offensively or for puzzles... Basically it'd be sort of like acquiring the boss's attack, as in Megaman.
It's difficult to decide which abilities to have though and which to NOT have. I don't want to have too many, but I do want there to be interesting variety.
Here are some that I've planned, based on comments on the last article and my own preferences. I want to do things that are *easy for me to code* and which could be comfortably controlled; a grappling hook based on mouse control would be a bad choice, for example, because I want the game to be keyboard only AND it would be a pain to code right.
(Oh, and if you press 'F' in the test version thing, you can see what it'd be like to have no acquired abilities; you'd start the game like this...)
1. Sword, and
2. Blaster: If I went with the approach of making the weapons tools in themselves, I could do what Zelda games tend to do and give you no weapons to start with; you have to find them. This doesn't fit too well though with the character; it'd be just ridiculous for Arkus to travel around with no way to defend himself, so I'd either have to have him *lose* his weapons or I could even write a different start to the story, where Arkus is a drifter rather than a combatant, lured into a life he's unprepared for by promises of glory... or something like that. I don't know. It'd make for a good introduction to acquirable skills early in the game, and could make for some early puzzles (distant switches that you need to acquire the blaster to hit, or blocks that only the sword can smash).
3. Jump Boost
I coded jumps to be rather high, which a few people mentioned was TOO high... So what I decided to do is reduce the jump height BUT make it so that that higher jump was an acquired ability. This could be acquired early, again to show how abilities are gradually found.
4. Double Jump
(These aren't necessarily in the order you'd acquire them...)
This one shouldn't really require explanation... right?
5. Wall Cling/Jump
Yes, this would be an acquired ability. You can run by holding SHIFT in the test version, and you do have to hold shift because this will be an ability in itself rather than just the way in which Arkus generally moves. It'd be a nice and rewarding ability to 'earn', and could make for some easy puzzle ideas, either by having large chasms or doors that shut too fast to walk under them.
This was mentioned by a few people. I could remove ducking (it serves no purpose, as it doesn't decrease your hitbox size at all; though Arkus is taller than a tile, he only counts as one tile high, technically) and instead have the down key used for a shield (the 'sword and shield' type rather than the 'shields at 24%!' type). I could even make a reflective sort of shield later for defeating certain enemies or solving puzzles...
There could be puzzles based around this which include something like a huge laser spanning a corridor that the shield blocks...
8. 'Ghost Buster'
A form of blaster that can harm ghosts. You'd need it to defeat the Wraith, for example, and some other 'ghosts' could serve as obstacles (like... ghostly-looking faces that are one block in size and immobile, which would hurt you if touched).
9. Improved Sword ('Energy Blade' or something?)
The Sword could destroy certain 'cracked blocks' or something, and this improved one could destroy stronger blocks... maybe.
10. Oxygen Tanks
When swimming in water, you'd have a limited oxygen supply. However, you could get an upgrade that doubled your allowed time, and another that removed the oxygen bar entirely.
11. Space Suit
I've mentioned before that some optional levels would take place on asteroids, where you'd be able to find various treasures. These asteroids would count as bonus levels (usually one 'room' each), and might have interesting things like lowered gravity. However, there'd be no atmosphere on them, so Arkus would need this space suit to travel out on them.
Some people mentioned a grappling-hook-like thing... and probably had in mind something that you could fire in any direction to cling onto distant obstacles. Unfortunately, I don't want to code such a thing, so something more basic like a hook that just shoots straight forward, attaches to a wall, and drags you to its target, might be more within my interests and abilities. It might be a bit boring though, but I could make rooms where there's a long chasm with a low roof which you can't jump over, so you'd need this?
Maybe it's not worth the effort though?
13. Hover Boots
Or something like them... These would basically allow you to 'glide' (or maybe it should be something other than 'hover boots' if this is the case), slowing your descent and allowing you to reach distant platforms. But is it necessary? HMM...
14. Spell: Electric Orb
This is what the Wraith uses: a ball of electricity that fires forwards and sends shockwaves up the wall it hits. It could be used offensively to defeat enemies only susceptible to lightning, or it could be used for puzzles where, for example, a generator needs powering, or there's a switch up high on a wall or something.
15: Spell: Fireballs
This is what the Fire Guardian (or whatever I called it) uses... sort of. It would shoot eight fireballs, basically in a 'circle' from Arkus' centre point, hitting N, NE, E, SE, etc. They could also melt certain ice blocks?
16. Spell: Icicle Shot
I've yet to design the third boss, but the zone will be an icy one. Perhaps this ability could freeze enemies so that you could stand on them, or put out fires, or something?
I know that I already asked for and received suggestions on the last article, but I sort of am again, this time giving you something to 'work with' to give you an idea of the sort of skills I'll include.
Are there any that I didn't mention that you really think I should include? Or any of those that seem worthless, etc?