Dare Academy 2019 Play-Party Changes


Recently we met our prototype development deadline for the Dare Academy 2019 Play Party, where we showed off our first pre-alpha version of Spellcasters. Since the demo we've received a lot of useful feedback and are doing some redesign work from the ground up.

Our next development deadline is October 17th, when we'll be taking Spellcasters to display at EGX in London. Here's what we're thinking about changing before then:

- Redesigned platforming: Currently Spellcasters uses a multi-layered platforming system similar to Little Big Planet's, and while it can be used to create some appealing exploratory platforming, it can make the combat visually ambiguous and difficult to physically understand. We're going to remove the multiple layers and create a more visually clear platformer.

- Redesigned spellcasting: One of the more frustrating restrictions currently in the spellcasting system would be the inability to aim or time casting. Given aim and timing are crucial to creating a satisfying combat mechanic, we're adjusting the spellcasting to allow aiming spells in any direction and giving the caster the ability to time their spellcasts as opposed to casting on the beat.

- Spellchaining: Removing the design constraint that spells are immediately cast upon their button combo being entered means that we need to redesign the mechanic for chaining together spells. We've designed a new spell system where players can prepare a list of spells to fire off in quick succession in any direction & at any time they'd like. The new chain system should be more intuitive and easier to balance.

- Movement: Currently the movement mechanics offer a platformer beginner level skill floor and practically no skill ceiling, with a new platforming system we're hoping to include some movement mechanics that will be more satisfying to pull off and can offer some advantage to those who put in the effort to learn them.

- UI: Given a new spellcasting system we'll need a new UI/HUD as well, one that better emphasises spells available in the combo bar and one that better fits with the game's pixel art aesthetics.

Let us know what you think of the demo in its current state, what you think about our current changes, and what you think we should look to improve!

- Andrew

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