Echolite - Update #14 - Game Customization, Splash Screen
Table of contents
No headings in the article.
This update we wrap up the remaining items for our main menu! Specifically, the game needs a special stamp representing Sparkful Studios, plus some customization options for new saves. Without further ado, let’s do this!
What better way to build a game than to have players do it themselves? Everyone plays games differently, and while I would like to have an “intended” experience, there's going to be more engagement and replayability with multiple game options.
So, what are some of the basic options to include when creating new file saves? I got you!
- Character selector
- World generation seed
- Game difficulty
Using a simple background panel like other GUI elements, we can have a new page to hold these options like so:
In terms of the character selector, I only have the two original designs for now. While I did consider a character creator where you swap individual parts and colors, I still wanted to keep it a bit restricted. With a game that relies heavily on lighting, having too much character customization could jeopardize the experience. In future devlogs you’ll get to see more new character looks :)
In regard to the world seed, this goes back to the procedural generation we did several devlogs back. For testing purposes, a default string was used, but now the player will be able to enter their own! To make it easier as well, I added in a randomize button in case the player wants to jump into the game more quickly. My hope with this seed field is that players will be able to share cool world layouts they discover with one another.
The game difficulty is stored as a selected value, but as with most development items, this will come more into play with future gameplay elements. It does influence gameplay a little though already, mainly in how frequently resources generate in the world and how quickly the player’s energy bar drains.
While this work seems pretty straight-forward, it did require a bit more time than anticipated. Essentially, the saved values of a world are located in a filesave, but until it’s created, where do those initial customization values go? This prompted a rework of loading and saving in the game. Now, a “Save Connector” script is used as a manager of sorts. Values outside of gameplay like the game difficulty configure the correct pathing in the Save Connector, which is then referenced once the actual save is run. It’s a bit confusing because it crosses so many different parts of the game, but it’s certainly a lot cleaner now!
This feature is something that is likely only exciting to me, but of course I still love sharing all the steps of development with all of you! Sparkful Studios as a concept has been floating around in my head for awhile, but after lots of planning and prep work, you finally got to see actual content at the beginning of this year (2022 for future readers). Now that half of the year has already passed (and super quickly at that!), it seems fitting to add in a splash screen as a way to reflect on the game's progress thus far.
Using one of my favorite nodes in Godot - the magical tween - I opted for some “snapping” and "fade" animations on both the logo and lettering. A splash screen wouldn’t be complete without a jingle though! The jingle itself is just a small amount of notes, but I think it nails the right tone. This sound did get cut out of the gif, but trust me, it's amazing! Here’s the final look:
First, a good ‘ole thank you to everyone who has continued to follow Echolite’s development! I always love showing flashy content, so showing off a bit of the “boring” work can be difficult. It’s certainly necessary work though, plus it means that the game is nearing a playable state!
With that said, we are now stepping away from the main menu and diving into more of the actual gameplay! Crafting has become a major part of the game, and with so many new items coming up in future devlogs, some better management is needed for organizing recipes. Additionally, we will be going all the way back to one of the earliest developed pieces of the game - the tents! They look great on the outside, but what exactly could the insides hold?