Here at Canalside Studios, we’ve been busy working on a puzzle-platformer, currently titled “Attraction”. Although the game is still in the Pre-Alpha stage, we feel it’s time to start showing you what we’ve been doing for the last few months.
Each fortnight, we’ll give you a quick roundup of what everyone has been working on. As it’s still early days, please remember that much of the game is subject to change and is not representative of the final product.
Here’s what the Canalside Studios team have been working on in the last two weeks:
I’ve been re-skinning the game’s menu system and UI to better fit the visual style. I’ve also been implementing additional functionality to the menus and testing the interfaces at different aspect ratios.
Over the last two weeks, I have been working on the Level Editor. I created a new bug tracking system using Google Forms for other members of the team to report bugs and request features. I’ve overhauled the User Interface of the Level Editor to the specifications I was given and built a standalone version of the editor to make it portable and usable outside of Unity. I also completed a new path finding system and added a new robot hazard which will hunt down and kill the player. I’ve now started work on a new system within the Level Editor to allow people to configure cameras and simplify the process, hopefully streamlining the level development pipeline.
I worked on a rag-doll effect for the lights which hang from the ceiling. This is currently a prototype which needs texturing and some minor tweaks. I’ve also started creating an AI system to make the game look like it’s lived in. The AI are given a course that they have to complete, but they don’t all behave equally. Some are faster, some jump higher, and some forget to jump and fall… who knows where they end up?
Last week I started programming a mechanic which allows the player to change the polarity of the magnets and magnetic objects by passing through a field. Using this mechanic, magnets will be able to repel each other in order to make larger jumps. At the moment I’m creating a level to test the new mechanic. This will help me to understand the type of puzzles we can make using it and also allows me to spot any bugs.
For the past two weeks I have mostly been working on my submission for the Rising Star competition. However, once this was finished I began building assets for Attraction, before passing them to the other designers so they could use them to decorate the existing levels. Assets that I built include a modular pipe and rail system, crane pieces, valves, support beams and various other decorations.
I’ve been working on the aesthetics of the first fifteen levels in order to reach to a more polished stage. This consists of placing objects and animations in the background and foreground to give the game more depth. I have also created a few signs in Adobe Illustrator that can go in the background as 2D sprites.
In the past two weeks I have mainly been building levels. After the previous merge, there were some levels that needed fixing.but once I finished with them I continued making new levels based on the plan we have. While making new levels I always keep in mind that I need to ramp up difficulty exponentially. This increase happens by adding more challenging puzzles and testing the players level of knowledge on the mechanics of the game, or even adding new mechanics. It is a hard but engaging process as each puzzle needs to be different from the others and most importantly, fun. That is why usually after I finish a puzzle, our lead designer, Sam, plays it and if the level is approved it goes to Harry who builds the environment around and behind it. After I send the level for polishing, I begin another one.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been developing and iterating a series of levels that will be found within the second chapter of the project. The first five of these levels focus on introducing new concepts such as magnetised moving platforms as well bringing a more logic based approach to figuring out puzzles, as I’ve been actively avoiding focusing too heavily on platforming.
During this time, we have also seen a few iterations in regards to how the characters directly interact and react to each other’s polarity, thanks in no small part to one of our programmers Reuben. As a result, the next 5 levels have started to explore this and how it may affect moving about the environment in new unique ways
I’ve also taken a break from developing levels to create a few background assets to be added to each level during the polish stage, as what is shown above is only currently prototype levels.
That’s it for this Devblog. Check out the video below to see some of our work in action.