Late Edition

With one week left dedicated to level design, I’ll be wrapping up the last couple of loose ends I haven’t dealt with yet. This includes bosses, possibly a short epilogue level as mentioned in Tuesday’s video, a better implementation of narrative NPC rooms (better environments at the very least, even if the narrative elements are saved for later), and any more prefabs I feel are missing.

My goal is to include every boss and miniboss from Gunmetal Arcadia Zero in Gunmetal Arcadia, plus some additional ones. I’ve already shown a little bit of my work on the faction bosses, and there’s another “final final boss” or “true final boss” that I haven’t shown at all yet. Beyond those, I have the six bosses and minibosses from Zero to randomly distribute across the four-level sessions in this game. I’m building these in such a way that it would be potentially easy to add more in the future. Although I don’t currently have any plans for post-launch work, I want to leave the possibility open, and increasing the breadth of available content feels like it would be the most effective course of action in that case.

The epilogue level, if implemented as I’m imagining in my head, will only be one or two rooms long, and it will essentially just serve as a way to make one final choice that will directly affect the next session. This will also be the payoff for a hook I placed at the end of Gunmetal Arcadia Zero with no explanation at the time. (No spoilers if you haven’t played that one yet.) This might also be where the faction bosses end up landing, as a sort of unexpected twist right before the end.

The narrative NPC rooms are an extremely late addition to this game, and I’m still figuring out exactly what information these will convey. I’m imagining they could serve as a sort of status update on pending legacy events, in order to give the player a chance to pursue a specific goal to influence a future session. None of that exists at this time, however, and there are probably a number of technical hurdles standing in the way, so I don’t want to commit to anything specific yet.

My time may be divided among a couple other things next week (and the one after that, and so on), and I don’t yet know what shape the next video and blog will take, but what I do know is that by next Tuesday, I’ll be done with level design by necessity and I’ll be moving on to items. November is largely a big question mark right now, but I have at least a handful of specific tasks in mind to get me started. (First and foremost will be reworking the faction sigils to better represent some longstanding goals of this game.) And maybe I’ll try to find a way to cram the 80-hour weeks I need to be working into the 30-hour weeks I have.