Halloween Forever Dev Blog: Ultra Mega Update

I wanted to call this “The Dev Blog to End All Dev Blogs” but that wouldn’t be true since I still have more work to do on Halloween Forever. Anyway, here goes! It’s been weeks since I published my last update but lucky for me I have been getting work done at a regular pace. Where to begin?

Blue Demon Boss is done!

Blue Demon Boss is in very good shape. He’s going to be a late game boss and I have his boss room decked out in the purple tiles I’m saving for the last world of the game. He won’t be the final boss though…
halloweenforever_boss_bluedemon
From either corner of the room he will either spit moths or do a jump attack (and grab you if he hits you). The trigger spikes and fall away platforms make this the most dynamic boss room in Halloween Forever yet.

Climbable Ladders!

After some research in tutorials and some good refactoring of the player state machine I should have done a year ago, I was able to get climbable ladders in and working.
halloweenforever_levels_ladders
With ladders plus drop down platforms and fall away platforms it’s feeling like I have a lot more tools to make some interesting level design come together. Even something simple like this long ladder with the fireball spitters feels super fresh to me.
halloweenforever_ladder_duckjump
I’d still like to add a couple more platform types if I can swing it. Maybe a conveyor belt (if it makes sense in the context of a world), or moving floating platforms. There may be another trick or two up my sleeve yet.

Frog King Boss

Frog King is the boss of World 4, the Spooky Church. He’s the biggest and fattest of all the frogs that have overrun this swampy abandoned place.
halloweenforever_frogking_tongue
Here’s a small glimpse of some animation process. I sketched out some keyframes for the Frog King’s tongue whip attack. Keeping it loose and dynamic.
halloweenforever_boss_frogking_tongue
After some animation and timing we have the tongue whip attack plus effects ready to go in the game.

Screenshake

This came together pretty quickly. Now I can cause some screenshake to happen thanks to some added flexibility in my camera controller code.
halloweenforever_effects_screenshake_better
I don’t think my screenshake will work in very small rooms (rooms where there isn’t any margin outside of the navigable level layout) but this seems acceptable to me.

New Spooky Boss Doors

This was another small addition that is going to add a lot. Now doors leading into boss rooms will look more like a setpiece, giving players a heads up that they are about to enter somewhere dangerous!
halloweenforever_boss_door
It’s not shown here, but I’m also in the process of adding checkpoints before boss rooms (similar to something like Mega Man), so if you die at a boss after traveling through what will now be a longer level you don’t need to start over from the beginning. This may change some things but I think it will let me add more real difficulty and challenge to the path that leads to a boss rather than having to restart over as sort of an arbitrary difficulty rule.

What’s coming up?

Next I am going to button up the Frog King boss and try to get the Spooky Church levels closer to final. This means probably adding a few new enemies and also working on another boss (miniboss!) for the Spooky Church. Once Spooky Church is done it can serve as the measure for filling out existing world content (Worlds 1, 2, and 3).

Hope you enjoyed checking out the updates! Check out Halloween Forever on Steam! store.steampowered.com/app/425650
Also come join me on Twitch when I’m streaming gamedev or playing games! twitch.tv/imaginarymonsters