Raise the Dead feature update! (v20230122-03)
I'm super excited to share the newest features in Raise the Dead! This update contains the first steps toward adding depth and strategy into the game.
Unlocks and Spells
Two things I really wanted to add into the game are the ability to modify and improve your board state while playing the game. This system will be used to make the game more flexible and interesting as development continues.
Thematically, I want to think of these unlocks as buildings you build on your graveyard. Expanding your power and ability to harvest more undead.
- Unlocks can be purchased with coins
- Spend coins to unlock blood and skull tiles
- Spend coins to unlock the "Bonearium" which will give you access to a spell
- Spells can be cast using mana
- Mana is collected automatically when making large matches
- Boost Army gives all your active monsters a 125% stat boost
- Empower Tile randomly makes a resource tile empowered so you can make more monsters
- Summon Skeleton (Unlocked with the Bonearium) makes a skeleton to fight for you
- "Bonearium" is probably a temporary name, but I thought it was funny 😅
New Tile Types
Now that things can be unlocked, I wanted to include a few new tiles to play with. Two new tile types have been added along with monsters to summon. The new monster's art was thrown together quickly. Honestly, I'm not worried as much about the visual presentation of the game yet.
- Blood tiles can be created by matching 5 flesh together at once
- Collecting four blood tiles summons a vampire who is fast and strong, but with low health
- Skull tiles can be created by matching 4 bones together at once
- Collecting four skull tiles summons a bone spirit, which is slow and very tanky
Be aware that I do not have logic in place yet for a locked board state, so if you have a big variety of tiles on your board without opening more grid tiles, you might soft lock your grid. I'm working on that.
I received a lot of feedback and great points of inspiration from people over the past few days. I did my best to implement things into this build of the game. Here are some of the highlights.
- The UI has grown from awkward text to awkward graphics! The health bars and resource indicators are now a bit more visually pleasing
- Flag/indicator that moves left and right across the battlefield to show where the combat is. Good to help determine quickly if you want to focus on summoning monsters or building resources and bigger combos (inspired by Typomagia!)
- Particle effects now shower the screen when you make matches! You also get a clearer visual indicator when you collect coins or mana
- Adjusted the grid hitboxes a little bit to better allow clicking and dragging. It's a tough balance because the larger you make the hitboxes, the more precise you need to be with dragging diagonally. Hopefully I found a good middle ground here
- Enemy "AI" also starts to summon vampires and bone spirits after a certain amount of time to help with escalating the battle
In the Next Update...
It will likely be a bit of a longer gap between this update and the next one. Now that I have the gameplay loop functioning, I need to take a step back and plan how to approach the larger game. Currently, I'm thinking of something similar to Slay the Spire or Monster Train where each battle is punctuated by events that allow you to upgrade your graveyard.
This requires me to write a story and make things a bit more thematic. I have something in mind, but it'll be a lot more effort than just coding in some mechanics.
There might be a small update here or there based off playtest feedback, though, so please let me know what you think!
- Add logic to check for locked board states
- Visual flash/shake when player takes damage
- Cleaning up the artwork for all parts of the game
I'm sure there will be more as time goes on. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy playing this iteration of Raise the Dead!
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