2022/05/29

Goblin and Coins II DEMO in Steam Next Fest in June 2022

Development has been slow these past few months, mainly due to my day-job obligations and everything else that's been going around for everyone these past two years. But, it has not stop and I'm working on new levels all the time, be it drawing on paper, brainstorming new enemies and traps, backgrounds, drawing sprites or tiles and animated details... And of course, actually doing level design. It's been specially fun re-introducing old enemies from GnC1, as to keep the continuity, but reimagined and redrawn from scratch up. I'll try to keep the spoilers to the minimum, but maybe you've been following GnC YouTube channel and already know some of it.  

There's another Steam NEXT Fest coming up, this time June 22 edition, and I've decided "alpha demo" is good enough to be publicly shown (not counting the sort of semi-public playtest last year) and potentially gather some new followers and future fans of the series. I'm looking forward to any potential feedback and comments from the Steam users whom dedicate some of their time and try out Goblin and Coins II DEMO in June. I don't know if it needs to be said, but this build is still work in progress and many things might change in the future (actually, some things have already changed as the build for this demo is from November 2021), before and maybe even after the release. 


What can you expect to see in this DEMO during the Steam Next Fest? You'll be able to access the entire first quarter of the map, which includes the intro level, shop (in game coins exchanged for upgrades, no mtx!), six regular levels and an easy boss fight... and a "secret" underworld level where you end up only if you lose all lives and continues. To make things easier, "shrinky in a blinky" upgrade, which enables the player to shrink and crawl through crawlspaces between areas is already unlocked, and you're able to "purchase" double-jump upgrade for free, even if that turnes your total amount of coins into a negative number. Of course, this won't be like this in the full game, it's just so you'd be able to see more and try out more things in a short period of time during the demoFest.

If you decide to try the demo, be sure to tell me what your thoughts were, I'm listening.

2021/10/22

Music and game file size

I've added music to menus and existing levels, and with that, the total game size surpassed 17 Mb of the original Goblin and Coins. My goal is still to keep it under 100 Mb if possible and so far seems very doable. 
 Can't say I predicted SteamDeck back in 2015 when I was working on GnC1, but I did know of 2in1 tablets using Windows and wanted people to be able to download GnC1 and play it while on commute or whatever... and those things had their storage in the form of 32-64 GB eMMC cards most of the time, as SSD's were still expensive for mainstream notebooks, with Windows itself taking a huge chunk. So 17 Mb was amazingly small and convenient download size. 
 It would be a bit crazy to plan for GnC2 blowing up and being super-mega-ultra-popular, of course, but that doesn't mean that some of the people playing it won't have SteamDeck or a similar device... and why not try to keep the game size down to a minimum if it can be done, for them and in general. That way you can squeeze GnC2 in between some larger games and have it with you all the time. 
 Oh, also, hoping to make another playtest this winter. If you've already participated you'll automatically get access again, everyone else will be able to apply through store page during the test itself.

2021/08/19

First quarter of the map done... for now.

 I'm proud to say, with the implementation of the "Downhill" level and a "Cpt. Greenbeard" boss fight, the first quarter of the map/campaign is done. There's an into level, store, 5 regular levels, 1 boss fight and "the underground", so the game is finally shaping into something solid. The plan was never to fill all four quarters at release but only three - some 25 to 30 levels total - the last peace of the map was always meant for additional content some time later, like bonus missions, seasonal content and so on, maybe even an unrelated mini-story. To be decided later. 



Easy boss fight: Cpt. Greenbeard - Indie DB

So, at minimum, I have to make another 19 levels and 5 secret levels to finish the game, not counting further boss fights. In theory, if my day job doesn't get me too busy, I could finish by the next summer... or autumn. Otherwise, hard to say.

2021/05/13

Steam playtest May 15th to 30th, everyone is invited

 The first ever public playtest for Goblin and Coins II will happen between May 15th and 30th of this year on Steam. It's completely free for you to participate, just request access on the store page at any time during (or before) this period and you'll get notified when you can download and test the game.


Participate in a steam-playtest for Goblin and Coins II - Indie DB

More info on what is available in the current build for you to see, try out and provide feedback, how to do it, where to write of your experience and all of that cam be found if you click here.

2021/04/17

Using the same tile-set several times

This April I've finally managed to take some time away from my day job and create a new tile-set: beach. Sand, dunes, palm trees moving slowly in the wind. As with other tile-sets, this one will be used for several levels and not just one, but this is a good example to showcase that levels using the same tile-set won't be the same, as the tiles used are just the base to build further.

In the video above you can see a basic "beach" level. There are tile-set based platforms, some small details, animated background (not too animated, don't want it to be distracting), enemies and a "trampoline" in the form of a turtle. Don't jump on real turtles please! Anyway, that's the "Sunny beach" medium sized level, there's some verticality to it but it's not large.

Next, let's take a look at the starting location for the "Fisherman's village" level, which is a small (short) linear level that connects the "Sunny beach" and the next level, which will be the first large level in the game. I'm not promising a maze but I'll try my best to give the player an interesting experience. Anyway...

fishermans village

If you look down, that's the exactly same tile-set that makes the platform Goblin is standing on, the parallax backgrounds are the same (at least for now, I might remove one layer to optimize the level) BUT the additional assets created just for this level make the difference. Here in the picture you can see a fisherman's shack and some nets drying in the sun. There's more of these assets that make this level unique visually and story-telling wise, but you'll have to wait to see them, I can't reveal everything upfront.

2021/01/06

A brand new level and how it progressed

 It's been a while and mostly due to my day job being crazy because of covid. Had some time off lately so I've managed to start crafting the first "variation" tileset and that's snow/ice, and with it, the first snowy level - "Snowy Pass". It's a mountain pass between two peaks, which leads from the first quarter of the map to the second. Easy and short level, specially compared to what's planned with this tileset for the remaining 4 snowy levels.

Initial preview videos show it as a very simple tileset, no variations, details... There's one enemy type, a winter-coat pirate that chases after the goblin after it notices it. There's also an icicle trap that can be triggered by the player to hurt the enemy... or goblin, if not careful.

What I've added now is some... life to this little area. First of all, there are snowflakes falling down slowly. They aren't actually touching the ground, if you look carefully, but that's the intended effect, I want them to pop-out of dark background and not actually go through the ground. Maybe it will look better otherwise but so far I like this. Second, I've added a moving platform. Just because it's the first snowy level you'll encounter in the game, doesn't mean there should be only the most basic platforms hanging in the air. And in the end, I've created 2 animated tiles. There's a bunny hole with blinking eyes inside and... a snow hare, showing up behind the platform edge. Now that I'm looking at the video, I realize it lacks some depth. No worries, I'll fix that with some shading soon.

And with this, the level is mostly done. The way the game has been built from ground up allows me to easily update graphics later if needed or even change the levels without too much hassle about compiling & building future versions.

Next, to the caves and underground mines!