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Journal Part 5
January 25, 2017
I implemented the first encounter as I planned, stamina is used as a resource and encourages the player to be more reserved, and not spam the dash. However I changed the frog's sprite, I found that during play testing it was hard for players to understand that the frog can get hurt from behind, but the player gets hurt from the front. The original sprite did not communicate this very well. So now the frog has a red mouth, creating a connection with the lava from before as red is now understood as representing danger. The back of the frog is also marked by a plaster, suggesting that this is the frog's weakpoint. After having people play the game again I found that this was a much more effective way to communicate the enemies design.
The behaviour of enemies is also important, the frog hops up and turns around at random intervals, making it feel like it has it's own mind. A fair amount of time was spent making the hits from both sides feel impactful enough, I decided flickering the sprite, launching the player and playing a sound effect were simple but eeffective ways to do this. The combat can often boil down into situations where the player can choose to either use stamina to dash underneath the frog when it jumps, or just jump over the frog but risk colliding with it as it too jumps up. I am proud of the design as simple as it is for this small situation that plays out, it's deeper than just shooting an enemy or jumping on it's head. The player waits for an opportunity to attack, maneuvers their way around and then targets the enemies weakpoint.
Sound was also something I decided to implement, I wanted to try and make the sound effects and music fit with the visual style of the game. I am aiming for a calm but somewhat somber atmosphere, so the music is not too overwhelming and reminds me of the music in the Zelda games. The music and sound effects were all used from royalty free, free-use sound sites, mainly Freesound.org.
I never appreciated how vital sound effects were in conveying impact or motion until implementing them myself, the jump sound effect for example works alongside the dust particle effect to make the motion much more lively.
What I hope to do in the future is give the player certain power-ups, such as a double jump gained from defeating the frogs. This would make sense as the player sees the frog jumping higher than the player can, so there is a link between what the enemy does and what the player can gain from it.