This Game Still Needs a Name, the Sentinel Boss, and Other Stuff

Just released another build with some fixes for the flying skull enemy and internal changes, but other than that there are no major changes.

For the last few weeks I have been working on a "boss" that has taken most of my development time. For now I am calling the boss the sentinel. It is a drone-like floating head that searches the level for the player. You must avoid the sentinel, and hide when it is near, since you do not have the firepower to destroy it. At the end of the demo you have a showdown with the sentinel in its lair, a 3D labyrinthine structure.

Originally the game was less like a retro FPS, and had more stealth elements. It evolved into an FPS since I am most familiar with that genre. I was worried that if I tried something else I would be unable to make it fun. With this new feature the game will begin to diverge from the retro FPS paradigm into something more complex.

Users have reported that they prefer the bow to the guns. I will be modifying the guns so that they involve more physical interaction. For example, I will change the weapon I call the "power arm cannon" so that it inflicts substantial damage but takes a physical interaction to reload. I am also considering moving away from the attached arm cannon model which was inspired by some of my favorite games. I felt like having the gun be the hand would work well in VR since interaction with the fingers is limited in VR right now and is not the focus of this game anyway. However, now I feel that showing the hand gripping the gun makes the game slightly more immersive.

I still do not have a name for this project. Initially I called the project "Monster Test" because you were supposed to fight one powerful, intelligent adversary. With the addition of the sentinel, the game is moving closer to this original vision, but it won't get any closer. There will still be many weaker enemies throughout the world. If I ever decide to implement my original idea of one intelligent enemy then it will be a different project. The game was featured on SideQuest this week and that made me really wish I had a better name.

Besides the name, the tutorial is the weakest part of the demo. It presents too much information to the user in a short time, and the text display is clunky. Many users finish the tutorial but are tired by that time and stop playing. I made this tutorial in July 2021 before showing the project to some friends. It was a few days of work. Eventually I will probably integrate the tutorial into the game when I have the bandwidth to do so.

I am trying to release a paid "early access" version of this game by July. The level in the game will not be the same as the one in the free demo that is out now, and the sentinel boss will not be in the free demo. The artist for the game, TheO, currently working on improving the programmer art aesthetic that is a consequence of me having built the levels myself. I am concerned about the replayability of the first paid version of the game, so I might implement two modes, one handcrafted and one randomly generated (the randomly generated levels are already implemented for the most part). That might be the subject of another developer log.


Monster Test Pre-Alpha 5-27-22.apk 983 MB
May 28, 2022

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