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Nytro

3D platformer inspired by the original Spyro trilogy, featuring a robot cat. · By OhiraKyou

Questions Regarding Design of Nytro

A topic by Bifflestein created Oct 25, 2017 Views: 419 Replies: 24
Viewing posts 1 to 23
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hello!! I absolutely love what you're doing.

Now, it's clear that there's an inspiration coming from Spyro, but I do also want to acknowledge that it's super cool that you're creating something entirely new and unique. So, when I do draw comparisons in my questions I'm about to ask, I'm hoping you don't take it that I think this is just a Spyro clone, as it's clear that you are also bringing in a unique vision.

Anyways! Here's a few questions:

From a design standpoint, which Spyro game will you be taking the most inspiration from?

Will your game feature a very open feel, where players can battle bosses (if there will be any) before finishing any other levels and each world having different means of getting to the next world? Similar to Spyro 1? Or perhaps closer to Spyro 2, where you collect items from each level that are needed to reach the boss/next world? Or are you thinking of having each level unlock as you gather more gears/other collectibles?

Will the game be segmented by worlds, each world containing levels, like the early Spyro games, or would it be more akin to a game where parts of the world are unlocked as you collect, and each part contains some levels?

If there are bosses, how major will they be? Will they be just difficult enemies with a level devoted to them like in Spyro 1? Or would they have a greater presence like Spyro 2 and 3, with a health bar and arena etc.?

Lastly, are those freeze frames I'm seeing when you charge into barrels/other containers? I like the idea but I could see it seeming a bit jarring. Just wondering if you plan on keeping in that pausing effect in the full game or if you're entertaining the thought of removing it?

Those are all the questions I can think of right now. Hope you can find time to reply to this :) and I hope you put out another demo soon! I'm beyond stoked for your game! Again, thanks for coming up with something new and exciting while so far staying true to what made classic collectathons great

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Thanks for checking out the game!

Nytro takes inspiration more so from the first Spyro game (Spyro the Dragon), as I vastly prefer exploration to mini-games. I also prefer platformers to be very light on story, which is closer to the first Spyro. In addition, I take inspiration from Dark Souls, which tells much of its story through its environment rather than through dialogue.

The game will be divided into hub worlds, ideally with 3 levels, a boss, and possibly a flight in each.

Level unlocking isn't 100% nailed down yet, but the original idea is for levels to be unlocked by collectibles and bosses to be unlocked by mechanisms that activate after activating each level's end portal. Think fluids, electricity, and minecarts going through portals and into the hub. This would also unlock additional secrets in the hub, such as jumping on a minecart to reach a new location. Flights, if they are included, would possibly be unlocked by a separate collectible that would be distributed as a single item in each level.

Assuming they are included, bosses will likely be more platforming-focused than Spyro's bosses, as I've always disliked combat-heavy bosses in platforming games that otherwise do not emphasize combat.

The impact-exaggerating pauses will be enabled by default, likely with an option to disable it.

When the scrapyard level is complete, it will be added to the demo and accessible likely from the dumpster portal. It's coming along pretty well, with progress updates being posted to my Twitter. Meanwhile, second tier patrons can download some level WIP's early.

Thanks again for your interest!

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awesome! Just what I wanted to hear!! Haha while I love all three original (and the only true) Spyro's, the first has always been my favorite.

It's your game, and I don't want to try to tell you how to make it, but here's a request from a huge fan of the genre: I would request that all levels be accessible within each hub world from the start as opposed to needing to be unlocked one at a time, as it makes the game feel much less linear and allows players to tackle whichever levels they want in whatever order per hub :) bosses are fine having to be unlocked though in my opinion

Again, that's your choice to make, but I figured I'd put my opinion out there.

I do, however, really like the idea that each hub world can have secrets to unlock. Will the hub worlds be interconnected with each other, like Dark Souls to an extent, or more like classic games where the various hub worlds are separated by portals etc.?

Here's an idea for the flights: the robotic character could attach itself to a rocket/spaceship and go into space for each flight or something?

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I actually do prefer having all basic levels unlocked from the start. Since I'd still like to give players a good, consistent reason for collecting bolts (something the first Spyro game didn't really have), what I might do instead is add something that can be activated in each level to obtain something else for collecting all of the level's bolts. Simply rewarding a golden gear, the way Super Mario 64 rewards the player for collecting 100 coins, may be enough.

Hubs will be separated into their own scenes, bridged by portals or other scene transitions. This is to facilitate hubs potentially being very different from one another without overcomplicating level design.

I quite like the space idea, if only for a single flight level. One of the hubs will be based around desolate biomes (icy caverns, a desert, and mountains), and I can't think of a more fitting desolate biome for a flight level than space. So, I've just added that to the design notebook!

Now's a good time to make suggestions like this, because very little is set in stone yet. A lot of things will naturally fall into place as I implement new things and playtest the game myself. After all, I'm simply making the game I want to play and will immediately know when it includes something I don't like. But, some decisions may be far too late to change if they aren't brought up early on. And, level themes certainly fall into that category.

Awesome! Glad to be of help! 

Hey if you ever want extra help, I'd love to offer my advice/assistance as a co-designer :) of course, it's your project, so I'd only give my input if asked. I feel like I could offer value to the project as I absolutely love the Spyro games, and have analyzed their design for years. I would love to play a part in the design of a game inspired by the games that defined my childhood, even if it's just a minor role. I'd get it if you want to fly solo of course.

Also, do you upload dev log videos on your patreon?

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You can drop suggestions any time as new levels are added to the demo. And, feel free to throw suggestions my way as I post updates on the development to my Twitter as well.

Although I haven't yet, I very well may upload dev log videos when I hit milestones that warrant some reflection and commentary (such as after adding new levels to the demo). The upcoming scrapyard level would be the first of those significant milestones.

Currently, my Patreon has a text/image post on Nytro's character design history and another text/image post on how I modeled and textured the scrapyard's nanomachine vortex, which is textured the same way as everything else in Nytro. In addition, there are currently 3 early WIP level demos (woods, crystal caverns, and scrapyard), which I generally post as soon as I have a coherent whole to show (which is to say very early in a level's development, before their unique gameplay elements are even added). Since these aren't deleted as they become obsolete, they also serve a role as playable historical records.

awesome! Will do.

Here's a couple more design questions:

-will each level be mandatory, like in Spyro 2 & 3, with mandatory items like talismans driving progression? Or will it be more open like Spyro 1, where each world has a different requirement for a certain collectible (i.e. 1,000 bolts / 40 gears / whatever else)? In Spyro 1, you can skip entire worlds if you so desire! I know Magic Crafters is able to be skipped for sure. Will your game follow Spyro 1's progression through worlds?

-how many collectible types will there be? In Spyro 1, you had gems, eggs, and dragons. In Croc (another classic I loved), you had crystals, colored gems, and Gobbos. Seems like 3 types is a good amount, but I've seen various collectathons go below/above this amount. So far, we've seen bolts and golden gears in Nytro. Just wondering if other collectibles are planned?

-will most of the enemies be of the same race, like Gnorcs dressed differently for each level but they're almost all still Gnorcs, or will each level have completely different cast of enemies totally unique to each level (zombies, dinosaurs, robots etc.)? I definitely like the Gnorc style better (where most enemies share the same race), because it makes the game feel more cohesive and connected. Plus, having the same race of enemies throughout the levels ties into the bosses better, such as Gnasty Gnorc being the big bad Gnorc leader. Though I can see the benefit of the other design, which makes the game feel less samey. Anyways, what way are you thinking?

Hope to see the next demo update soon :) good luck!

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Hubs will likely be unlocked via golden gears, with levels being little more than a means to that end. There will be enough gears hidden around that you could potentially skip levels and still progress. In the ideal scenario, players would be able to progress through the game by playing only the content they enjoy the most. Global collectibles serve this purpose, allowing the player to spend more time in levels they enjoy and less time in levels they don't while still progressing.

Croc was one of my favorites as well!

In addition to bolts and gears, there may be a token in each level (such as a power core). When the player has collected the token from each of the levels in a hub, the hub's flight level (assuming they are added) can be unlocked. Although, this may be rolled into level completion instead.

There are also some secret, level-specific collectibles planned that don't affect progression but give the player something fun to play around with.

The current plan is for all creatures to be robotic. Some are native to their environment. Others are resource-mining invaders. But, they're all artificial. For example, the scrapyard contains nanomachine-infected zombie robots and pumpkin spider robots.

There should definitely be an update coming soon with the scrapyard level. My original goal was to get the scrapyard out before Halloween's end. There was a lot of AI foundation work to be done that significantly delayed that. But, even if I don't make the original target date, I'll try to get a rough draft into the demo as soon as the level design for the woods section is nailed down.

Awesome, awesome!

So on a technical side to things, you're using Unity? Are you modeling things in Blender?

I'm currently working on my own tech demo for a 2d platformer using GameMaker, but I've been looking to explore 3d for some personal projects. I also want to do low poly to satisfy my nostalgia, any tips for a beginner to 3d?

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Yep, I'm using Unity, modeling in Blender, and texturing in GIMP.

The first and most obvious tip when starting with 3D applies to pretty much any form of art: start with primitives and just shape and connect them until you have the complex shape you want. Need a pillar? Create a cube, add two edge loops, and scale those in. Bam, done! Need a robot? Jam some cylinders and spheres together and squish them around until it looks like a robot. In fact, if you push the concept of "primitives" into abstract territory, every single thing you do can be broken down into smaller parts, and those smaller parts are generally easier to manage. So, do it as much as possible.

Building on that, it's far more productive to just throw a bunch of primitive shapes around as quickly and sloppily as possible and then refine that later once you've settled on a final vision than it is to try building something piece by piece until it's finished. You waste far less time making stuff you'll just throw out when you change your mind, and your final product is much better as a result of the additional iterations it when through and the holistic vision it had before the refinement process.

Again, this applies to pretty much anything you could possible do creatively, be it modeling, writing, drawing, level design, or even planning. So it may not be new advice. But, it's always advice worth refreshing oneself on when starting new creative endeavors. Just get something tangible out there and worry about the details when the details actually matter.

The next best tip I have is to adopt an initial style that facilitates learning. Start with palette textures (images with nothing but solid squares of color). Just scale polygons down in the UV editor and stuff them into the squares to color them. This lets you focus on modeling first and nets you a nice and consistent cartoony style as a bonus.

Once you're comfortable with modeling, if you find that palette textures are too limiting, try using gradients instead. Just grab vertices and drag them around in the UV editor to change the color for that vertex. They combine the ease of definition and updating of palettes with the smoothness of vertex colors. To quickly project the mesh into UV space, select everything, press numpad 1 (front view) and 5 (orthographic), followed by space > type "project from view." The other numpad buttons can help you get other views.

If you use Blender, I strongly recommend learning the most common hotkeys and forcing yourself to use them as much as possible. Don't even use the transform widgets, since the hotkeys are faster, don't require holding a mouse button down (a huge plus for people like me with a faulty mouse), and also work in the UV editor. At first, it's a bit of a hassle to deal with hotkeys in Blender. But once you get used to them, the interface melts away.

Selecting all/nothing (A), Creating edge loops (ctrl/cmd+R in Blender) and extruding (E in Blender) are easily the most common actions outside of rotating (R), scaling (S), and what I refer to as grabbing (G) for easy memorization. Also, pressing X, Y, or Z limits actions to specific axes; shift plus X, Y, or Z is the inverse of that; and typing a minus at the end of a specific value is just as valid as typing one before. You can also press space and simply type whatever you're looking for into the search bar.

There are also a couple of preferences that make working with Blender easier. First, I suggest going into your preferences and swapping the right and left mouse button's actions. That inverted default is entirely ridiculous. Second, Blender defaults the z key to toggle between solid and wireframe mode. But I find that I'm much more likely to want to swap between material and wireframe mode. That can be changed by going into file > user preferences > input tab > 3D view > 3D view (global), scrolling down to the Context Toggle Values that are assigned to Z, expanding it, and changing the first value from solid to MATERIAL.

Finally, I recommend creating a clean startup file by deleting everything from the hierarchy and going to file > save startup file.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. If you have any specific questions, let me know!

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thanks! Super in depth, which is perfect! Looking forward to throwing together my first test project :)

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Hello again! So I've been keeping up on your twitter and checking back here every once in a while to see if the Scrapyard update is up :P haha I just need more Nytro in my life, it's very fun!

I'm looking forward to learning more about Blender and 3D modeling, but as of right now I'm still trying to get my tech demo, a 2D platformer, released, so I haven't been able to utilize the great info and tips you've given me just yet.

So I hope development is going well for you and looking forward to any updates. 

Oh! Also, I had my girlfriend playtest Nytro, and she enjoyed it! With only one complaint, the camera movement while swimming made her feel nauseous, like motion sickness. 

My only diagnosis as to why the camera did that while swimming is possibly the slow turning of the camera while being able to freely move in the 3D space, much more than while on land. Though I'm not sure. I've been playing through the original Spyro trilogy with her and she stated that swimming in the Spyro games never made her feel that way. She had no problem with the camera in Nytro while on land.

So perhaps you could look into how the Spyro games handled the camera while swimming a little more and try to emulate its movement closer? I only ask because I would love to play through Nytro with her when more is released, but not if it makes her sick. I totally understand that cameras are a pain to get right, so no worries, but I hope that it can be improved :)

PS: I never found a problem with the camera while swimming personally, so you're on the right track!

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She's not alone in finding the underwater camera a bit hard to stomach. It's times like this when I almost wish I wasn't immune to simulator sickness (with the exception of low FPS VR); it would certainly help with debugging perceptual problems like that. My guess is that it may be due to the camera being farther away when looking/swimming down (a side effect of the way orbits are setup in the camera plugin I use), causing a sort of roller coaster effect while swimming down. I'd be interested in hearing if swimming purely horizontal—without going up or down—is easier to take. If so, I could possibly fix it by interpolating to a more uniformly spherical orbit while underwater. This would be possible to disable in the settings menu, because I personally quite like the pull back while diving down.

The good news is that the scrapyard doesn't have swimmable water. So, there's time to test ways to mitigate underwater sickness before I get into adding proper underwater content.

That aside, development's been going reasonably well. I started down the GUI rabbit hole, since I definitely want a functional menu system before the scrapyard update. And, I may push that into the demo before the scrapyard itself, given its importance.

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Hello again!! Finally got the chance to try out the new demo and got 100% level completion. Absolutely loved it!!!!

The direction you're taking the game is very promising! Honestly, I could ramble for a long time about how great it is. Definitely going to spread the word that Nytro is a must-play for anyone looking to get ahold of a new 3D platformer :)

Now while I could totally spend forever talking about the things you are doing perfectly, that wouldn't be the most helpful, so instead I'm going to throw some constructive criticism your way. So I don't want you to get discouraged by any means, know that you're doing most things wonderfully!

On to my analysis of the current demo's gameplay:

-Being able to change the camera settings is very helpful, though I don't think you've nailed the camera movements quite yet. I know that in the dev log you mentioned probable camera choppiness, which did occur during my playthrough, but that's okay because I know you're looking to fix that. I think my biggest issue is with the camera movement and seemingly loose controls. I'm not really a camera expert or anything, so I can't really tell you how I would fix it. but I do know that it's just not quite there yet. There were times with the active camera, which, generally speaking, should be behind me, where I would turn and the camera would just sit there much more like a passive camera. This led to one particularly frustrating bit of platforming where I expected the camera to follow behind me when I went to go make a jump but it didn't. That threw me off and I missed the platform and fell all the way back down. It's definitely been improved, but I still think there's work to be done :) Wish I could be more helpful and actually help you fix the camera, but alas I can do nothing but tell you it's not done :(

-On to the controls. I love the controls layout, on the controller at least, as I haven't played with keyboard and mouse. So I'm not talking about the actual button layouts, but rather how Nytro controls in the world. One thing I did notice is that the controls seemed too loose. Now, this feels great when charging, but I feel like I should have more control when simply walking. It took me a while to even walk a straight line without wobbling left and right (which contributed to a bit of queasiness from the camera swaying back and forth). I think I may have found the main problem I have with this though. While completely stationary, try to barely budge Nytro left or right. You'll notice that he turns very sharply, making it difficult to have precise turning and it's not very smooth. Again, I think the sharp turning works wonders while charging, but I feel differently about walking or at least barely moving. I'm thinking back to Spyro, I don't think that I ever had a problem with being precise with my turning, because Spyro wouldn't jump to a new position nearly as much as Nytro does.

-The hover seems just a little too pathetic. Just like a 50% or even 25% height increase from what it currently is could make all the difference and be a lot more forgiving to newer players. Again, I'll point to Spyro's hover. I could be wrong, but the hover just seemed to be more forgiving in that game because it would launch Spyro just a tad higher than it does in your game. I would highly recommend improving this because you don't want hover to feel useless. I can't count the number of times that I tried to hover either for fun or to save myself from a bad glide and it actually screwed me up more or just didn't help at all. Oh and if the triangle button (Y on xbox) isn't being used, please let me hover with it like how you can alternatively charge and shock with L1 and R1 as well as the face buttons. My brain is trained by Spyro to hover with triangle haha

-Damn, the snail is hard to catch! Fun! But really tough! Hahaha maybe if this is the starting area, make him just a teeny tiny tad bit easier? I love a challenge, but maybe a snail that tough or tougher can be found later in the game? Idk, I'd honestly be fine with it if you kept the snail as is. But I know for a fact that my girlfriend would probably just give up in frustration haha but it's up to you! (I really love the speedy snail idea btw!)

-Also how can I wipe my save data for the demo? I want to show people, but I want them to be able to collect stuff too, not just run around in an empty world, which is much less entertaining :( So please either have a wipe data option or please let me know how to manually erase the save file

-I think swimming feels better, but I honestly don't know as I didn't have a problem with the swimming, but my girlfriend did.

AND NOW ON TO SOME PRAISE :)

-Collecting things is fantastic and super satisfying!!! Congrats! That can be hard to get right

-I love those cute little robo-rabbits!

-Crystal cave was, while disorienting at first, absolutely beautiful!

-Had fun searching for the key and trying to find a way to get to the crystal ledge. Made me feel like how I did when I first played Spyro for 120% completion, a sense of discovery and exploration.

-The environment in general is really awesome, love the grass, flowers, windmill and whatnot!

-Nice snowman (stoneman?) haha though I think I had to kill myself to get back haha

-Oh and fantastic sounds and music!

-Will there be a headbutt equivalent ability? And will there be a first person mode like in Spyro, where you hold triangle to look around?

I think that just about wraps up my little makeshift review. Anyways, I'm definitely invested in this project and I can't wait to see more! Hope this is successful for you!

Overall, the active camera mode is a legacy mode that I generally don't recommend using unless you experience issues using other modes. The wobbliness is sort of an inherent quality of such an aggressive camera mode, and the answer that the problem manifested as the lazy camera mode. Active mode was also coded to not recenter when the player is moving directly toward the camera, as to allow looking at something while moving the opposite direction. Although, this functionality might no longer be necessary now that the lazy follow mode is available. So, I might strip that behavior out or add an extra checkbox in the settings to disable it.

The glide jump distance, like in Spyro, is based on how long you've been gliding before initiating the jump. This prevents players from using it as an unintended double jump, allowing them to reach places higher than a single jump would normally allow. This is the case in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, which doesn't scale the hover strength with flight time or distance and consequently has a bunch of sequence-breaking skips. And, the max hover force is unlikely change, because it's already too easy to make it to very distant platforms with it.

I've gone back and forth with the snail's speed a lot. But, this may be its final speed. The intent is for players to give up, play some levels, and then come back to the snail after becoming more skilled with the controls. This provides a sense of progress as a player that is otherwise difficult to achieve. Numbers can tell you how far you've progressed in a game, but nothing compares with feeling improvement as a player first-hand. Of course, that doesn't come across very well when there aren't any other levels to play :P But, I try not to design content intended to exist within a larger context in a bubble. I'll probably revisit the snail's balancing after there are more levels in the demo and I've accumulated a lot of feedback on it.

In general, I would say that Nytro is intended to be a more difficult game than Spyro. It is partially inspired by Dark Souls. So, it will likely be more merciless and require more skill and deliberate action than Spyro, even for equivalent jumps or glides. Although, despite that, I also wanted the controls to be smoother than Spyro's, as is evident from the lack of knockback when charging or gliding into surfaces, the ability to transition from glide jumping to charging, the lack of a falling state that prevents charging, and inertia not preventing instantaneous turns.

Save data can be cleared by deleting the save file in these platform-specific locations:

Windows: %UserProfile%\AppData\LocalLow\OhiraKyou\Nytro
Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/OhiraKyou/Nytro
Linux: $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/unity3d/OhiraKyou/Nytro

Spyro's looking around feature is something I might add very late in development. As it is made mostly obsolete by Nytro's extra camera freedom, it is of very low priority.

I named that rock snowman "Rockman" in the scene hierarchy, and now I'm thinking maybe I should give it a mega buster and blue helmet :P

I do have a page in my notes devoted to headbash. I've always thought it would be cool for Nytro to use her jet pack to create the force. But, it's such a niche ability that I would currently say it's unlikely to make an appearance, for the sake narrowing the scope.

Thanks for the feedback! Very detailed and useful. Even the bits I may disagree on now have the potential to ultimately change my mind, if I see them come up enough.

Ahh gotcha. Makes sense. 

Again, I personally don't mind the snail's speed, I like a good challenge! I totally love the souls games and love that concept of simply getting better at the game, returning and overcoming the challenge that you previously couldn't. I was just highlighting potential concern for the snail difficulty on behalf of my girlfriend, who enjoys more of a casual experience like the Spyro games (though she loves Bloodborne and is playing Dark Souls 3). Honestly I personally wouldn't mind you keeping the snail's speed, as the speed isn't really the most challenging aspect to them, but the area they run around. So if you're planning on having more of them, I totally get keeping the speed and just making the location more perilous or more simple to adjust difficulty.

Yeah the controls are smooth, and I like that (though I think I would like some knockback when ramming straight into a wall, maybe with some controller rumble :P). Perhaps I didn't express my concern with them well enough, as my thoughts might not have translated into text very well. What I meant is that if I'm trying to barely turn left or right to line up for a jump, it seems as though Nytro can overshoot the direction I want to face, which might be important to look into if the platforming is meant to be more challenging than Spyro's? I don't know. Honestly, I personally think that they are fine and I got used to it, I'm just expressing concern that people might have a problem with it, since for some people, tight controls are very important, especially in 3D platformers.

Awesome, I was checking Local, not LocalLow

The first person camera as a low priority makes sense too

Lack of headbash is kind of what I expected which isn't a bad thing, though it would be cool if it did get added, because I have faith that you'd implement it more than Spyro did, maybe in puzzles or something? Though I am absolutely fine without it, sometimes there's more beauty in simplistic design than complex design. That's part of the reason Spyro 1 is my favorite in the trilogy, it's not bogged down by too much :)

You're welcome! I try to give detailed feedback to be helpful haha but ultimately, you're the dev and I'm just a fan, so you can make whatever decisions you want! Anyways, I enjoyed the demo a lot and can't wait for more

Anyways, I don't want to seem too harsh or anything, because I honestly do love this game! You just keep working on the game however you want to make it. The potential issues I brought up are honestly pretty minor and wouldn't stop me from playing through the game 100% haha

I think you're doing a wonderful job!! And I have faith that this game will turn into something fantastic.

But I will say two more super tiny things that have no real affect on the game, but I thought kind of seemed weird:

-I thought having the waterfall effect on the top of the waterfall looked a bit weird. The bottom looked great, but I don't know if that same effect should be used on the top too

-Will the bolts (screws?) remain a number like 230? I personally like it when it rounds out to the hundreds, like a flat 200 or 300. Maybe that's a bit of OCD or something, I don't know haha

Take my thoughts for what you will, all I ask is that you take them into consideration :) Keep up the good work!

The particles at the top of the waterfall basically just hide the seam where the waterfall (and thus texture panning) starts. Although, I was originally going to remove it once I made the transition less noticeable, I found that I actually preferred the spray at the top as well.

The bolt counts for levels will be more uneven than Spyro's, because bolts are always worth 1, and I won't be adding or removing many bolts to reach arbitrary totals. Someone made a spreadsheet of how many individual gem items there are in Spyro, and it's even more uneven, like 78, 59, and 107, to name a few.

gotcha, those both make sense. I figured it was to hide the water seam. Hm, I still think it looks strange, but as long as you prefer it, that's all that really matters, since it's your project! So that's totally fine

I imagine a new demo with a level or two is still a ways out, but do you have any estimate on when that'll be available?

Also, since you said this game will have some Souls inspiration, I'm curious: will this game feature any mechanical similarities? Like bonfire Styled checkpoints or dropping bolts on dying? Or are the inspirations limited to only the "difficulty overcome by practice" philosophy?

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I basically make stuff up as I go along, making it hard to know how much there is left to do in the Scrapyard until it's finished. So, I can't estimate remaining time with any real accuracy. But, it is quite far along in development and wouldn't need much to be technically complete (albeit not fully polished). I would say that the early Patreon version of the Scrapyard is actually pretty fun to explore, even in its current state. As it is intended to be an exploration-focused level, I'd say that's a good sign. After I get the save management and inventory menu fully implemented in the demo, I'll be returning to the scrapyard to finish it up.

When I think of Dark Souls, I mostly think of level design, such as the way shortcuts, side paths, and secrets are implemented. The scrapyard has a lot of that sort of thing going on. Spyro-style checkpoints will likely be placed in central locations linked to multiple shortcuts, similar to Dark Souls bonfires. And, the companion's health will be changed to drain 1 health point (not max health) per death. The original intent was for this to be a max health change, with Nytro leaving a spark of life similar to Dark Souls' bloodstains on death. But, I ultimately decided to not go quite that far for the base difficulty and instead limit the penalty to simply loosing a single point of non-max health. Although, I may implement the original idea as a difficulty setting later in development.

ahh yes of course the level design, I don't know how I even failed to mention that, I guess because I just assume anything inspired by it will have souls-like level design haha

But very cool stuff to hear! One last thing that I'm curious about as of right now, which is: what is the main goal? Like what is Nytro trying to accomplish by collecting bolts and gears, and by beating the various levels?

Thanks for being so open about the development of your game, it's always fun to be able to talk to the dev and see what their vision is, opinions on things, and where the project is at currently. So thanks!! :)

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The player starts in a scrapyard in the final hub, moments after Nytro's creation, behind a gate flanked by two other hub world portals that are locked behind gear totals. The final boss door will also be locked behind a gear total. The story will be told implicitly (never explicitly stated). So, the player's introduction to the story is basically a world that seemingly sucks, a bunch of other worlds that illustrate the process worlds take as they transition to that state, and what seems to be the source of it all locked behind a gate.

The game is separated into 3 story arcs and their respective hub worlds. The first depicts nature as something worth protecting and invader robots as threats to nature. The second shows what happens when the invaders establish themselves in a world and change it to suit their needs. In the third and final act, the player arrives in the enemy's territory and discovers why the invaders wanted to leave their home in the first place.

And, no problem! It's cool to talk about. And, doing so helps with coalescing the otherwise jumbled up ideas I have.

That sounds awesome! Love it! That description almost sounds like Hyper Light Drifter's kind of post apocalyptic world and how it tells the story through the environment and enemies, super cool. I honestly believe that you've got a gem on your hands. I'm very excited to see where you take this

I totally get how just talking to someone can really help solidify ideas. When I'm working on design stuff, I can sometimes get what is essentially designer's block, but that usually can be fixed by just bouncing ideas off my friends

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I've got a new request: can we see some visual feedback that we got the key? Like if I press select, maybe a key icon could show up in the bottom left? Because I feel like it wouldn't hurt to remind players that they already got it or to tell them that they forgot it if the icon doesn't show up

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Yeah, although it's been relatively low-priority, I do want to add a key indicator to the UI. I'll probably roll it into a general purpose system for level-specific indicators. So, it will take a bit longer to implement than simply adding an indicator for just the key, but it could then be used for any arbitrary level indicator or counter.