Hello all! It’s been over two months since the last blog, which means I am legally bound to give you new information about how the development of Mirama is going. Rejoice!
Today’s update will focus on four topics:
The Current State of Things
Momentum has been good since last August! No change here is revolutionary by itself, but it adds up to something that feels substantially less of a proof of concept than two months ago.
1: The layout of the Hub world’s starting area really took shape. It used to be a single big room with the chapter select books, but take a look at it now:
A lot of different interactive objects were added as well, giving some flavor to the world. I was aiming for a messy look, something that feels like the lair of a has-been that struggles with their past.
By the way, almost every sprite you can see in the new Hub was done by DAKU, who you should check out on Twitter! She’s great!
2: Screen shaking and death animations were added
3: Survival Rooms have been added as well! They have a trigger when started (like locking you in), and another trigger if you survive until time runs out.
4: The game now features working checkpoints! They do what you’d expect, letting you reappear at the location of the last one you touched, in the state you were in when you last touched it.
5: Added some sprites and attack names to the Costagonian boss, on top of new bullet patterns
6: I rounded the corners of the main characters’ collision box so that running into a wall like an idiot happens less often
Plus a lot more little things that really aren’t worth mentioning here, but are necessary for progress!
The level design of Costagona isn’t doing it for me yet, so I was thinking that my next objective should be to find some good learning resources for that. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you more from that chapter soon!
What’s this about a Classic Mode?
I understand where your question is coming from. After all, one of the highest risks to indie game development is scope creep, pushing the eventual release date further and further away.
But have no fear! These different modes are just two ways of packaging the same core Mirama experience, to appeal to different players.
In Classic Mode, you would go straight from one chapter of Alexis and Beatrice’s story to the next, with no interruption and no ability to replay previous chapters. It’s like a run of the original Miracles and Magic, or of games like Touhou or Super Mario Bros. 5 chapters, each culminating in a boss, then when it’s all done, a report of your final time and death count. That’s it. Perfect for speedrunners, or people looking for an old-school experience. This will probably end up being a replayable 2-3 hours experience.
Story Mode is meant to be a longer experience, bound to a save file. From a Hub based on the real world, you’ll be able to return to chapters you’ve already played, as well as do some tasks to unlock the next chapter. Every bit of content from Classic Mode will be playable, but the pacing will be slower with the new storyline the Hub comes with. This mode will also reward exploration, inside and outside of the storybook chapters, by unlocking content that would not be available in Classic. The playtime will depend on how hard you’ll try to perfect each stage, but I expect 5+ hours.
I expect both to bring something worthwhile to the table while giving me barely any additional work to do. Story Mode is the game I would have otherwise made, after all. I tend to find it easier to replay games built like Classic Mode from start to finish, while I really appreciate my first go with games built like Story Mode.
So, what you do think? Based on these descriptions, what would you choose for your first playthrough?
Tell me more about the Hub
This story is set in a little fictional village in Québec, called “Saint-Joël-de-Nulpart”. Specifically, Story Mode’s real-world sections will take place on Main Street. As mentioned before, the Storyteller’s house is where you’ll find the various chapters you can jump to.
So, we’ve got a house with replayable story chapters, that’s cool and all… But what else can you expect to do here?
Well, there’s got to be something interesting beyond these locked doors in the back, right? And outside, you’ll be able to meet many other residents, including some familiar faces.
Saint-Joël-de-Nulpart is a land of misfits, of people who are down on their luck. There will be lots of personal stories for Mélodie to dig into there.
Try it Out Yourself!
Wanna check it out? Give it a try here. It’s a prototype that includes the current version of the Storyteller’s house, and a sample boss fight for you to fight. Simply interact with the second open book to access it.
It’s extremely early stuff, so it’s a great time to let me know about anything that feels weird to you! Whether it’s the controls, the environment, or anything else. I welcome any and all criticism.
EXCEPT I already know about these two things so try your best to focus on the rest: