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[DEVLOG] Guiding Sprites - A Magical Puzzle-Adventure!

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Welcome to the Guiding Sprites development blog!

We present to you GUIDING SPRITES, our newest game!

A puzzle-adventure game where you take control of a young girl called Olive who in a moment of fear and sadness has accidentally summoned two sprites,** Bernard** and Walter. The sprites agree to help Olive through her ordeal and the three embark on a journey through a harsh and mystical world.

  1. Switch between the characters freely to solve environmental puzzles using the elemental powers of the sprites in unique and surprising ways.
  2. Explore a magical world, full of surreal creatures and mysterious landscapes.
  3. Bernard is a fire sprite! Use him to set objects on fire, heat up water, power machinery and more!
  4. Walter is a water sprite! Use him to squish through tight spaces, travel through pipes, travel across water, among other things.
  5. Olive can also help out in various ways, the sprites protect her and she in turn can protect the sprites from certain dangers.
  6. Work together! Help Olive find her way, uncover the mystery behind the mystical sprites and enjoy the world of Guiding Sprites!

Development

Guiding Sprites was initially conceived at the beginning of 2016 as a student final major project for De Montfort University Game Art. Myself and Amber (who worked on the original) have always wanted to revisit the concept and continue it as a full game as we believe it has potential but we didn’t have the resources available to us before, now we have managed to get together a team to help us work on the game so we can move forward and hopefully make something interesting.

The Team
[INDENT=4]AMBER - 3D Arty Farty Person
JAMES - Tech Artist, UE4 Scripting/Gameplay, also does arty farty things.
MATT Composer/Sound Design
LEON - Programmer/UE4 Scripting/Game Designer
DOM - Programmer/UE4 Scripting
GEORGE - Animator/3D Artist.[/INDENT]
The plan is to rebuild the game from scratch, utilizing the ideas and concepts from the original prototype but refining them and changing them to make them 10x more interesting. Below is a taster of the original prototype created in UE4 though, linked here for a hint of the creative direction of the project:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Cy_ud2AIDUw


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Development updates will be coming soon! If you have any questions about the project, feedback or constructive criticism then please let us know. :slight_smile:

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Hello!

Just a quick run through of what we have been working on very recently. Myself, Dom and Leon have been prototyping various mechanics for each of the Sprites. Bernard is a fire sprite, so all of his abilities revolve around setting things on fire (he’s a little pyromaniac) Whereas Walter is a water sprite, so he can put out fires, conduct electricity, squish into water pipes among other things.

The main bulk of the gameplay is based around protecting each other. Olive is the one being ‘guided’ somewhere by the sprites, although she can also help protect them through different means like using an Umbrella in the rain to protect Burnard or putting Walter inside a water bottle in certain situations. It’s the interactions between the characters that will give the player the means to progress through the various puzzles.

So here is a bunch of random mechanics we have been working on, keep in mind these are extremely early and are likely to change quite drastically still! :slight_smile:

Extremely early gameplay showing Walter’s Crouch, Bernards respawn, character switching and the lighting and extinguishing of torch fires.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ghgR51aBJZU

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7Rdfz8De4o0

WALTER - Pipe Movement

We want a pipe system for Walter to be able to move through, so I was working on a system that would allow me to set up splines and junctions and then allow me to move along the splines. I got it working automatically at first, before I worked on the manual movement which we wanted.

The junctions are the hardest part and I’m currently having an issue with the construction script resetting for no reason, so once I figure that out I should be done on this mechanics, at least on a basic level.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0mP8E-9wCs

https://youtube.com/watch?v=RKo1ph2fG9Q

https://youtube.com/watch?v=TcTefROm4o8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK2M8-nF32o

This looks like it’ll be a very fun game! I’ve always enjoyed platformers, especially those with puzzle elements.

**UPDATE! **Forgot to upload some of the videos of other mechanics we have been working on. Below are videos of some of Bernards (The fire character, geddit?) main mechanics, just getting the main things out of the way so we can begin putting together some puzzles.

This first one is Leon testing the burning objects mechanic. Areas could be gated off with wooden planks that could be burnt down by Bernard’s powers.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=TPAI98tmIHU

Bernard can also zip across ropes and clothes lines, going to try and add a fire effect on the rope afterwards almost like the flaming tire trails from Back To The Future.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=wMXwAyef_H0

Dom has been working on this simple ice melting mechanic:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=DPf85vxVsP0

This last video demonstrates a simple furnace in action! Just get Bernard to sit all cosy-like inside so connected pieces of machinery can be powered up.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=z_9M_NSLLbo

Also, updated the logo a bit so it’s a bit more clean and fits the game theme more, will go back over it again at some point. The old version with the black splodge in the background to separate it from the forum background colour just did not work.

A lot of this is very simple at the moment, but it’s still early days. Also 4 of us (including myself) have just finished up work for the summer (we are game design lecturers) so development should speed up a little bit over the next couple of weeks!

Hello again, just another quick update.

I had to fix up the pipes a little bit because the connections between the segments and the junctions kept breaking, meaning that Walter couldn’t travel through properly. So I fixed the issue (something to do with the array on the junctions not storing the linked pipe segments properly) then created a slightly better video showing me testing out the pipe movement mechanic.

A few more tweaks and this should hopefully feel very nice to use, this will also feel a lot better when the on rails camera is implemented, as that will mean the player wouldn’t have to control the camera whilst moving through the pipes. :slight_smile:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=lqX8M__pHP0

Will post more implemented mechanics later in the week, and maybe some design sketches for fun! :smiley:

Hello!

We are busy at work with trying to get a solid level prototype working by the end of the week, just thought I’d share a little mechanic update that our programmer has been working on:

Need to get to a high area? Get Burnard to help Walter out by heating up a Cauldron and putting Walter inside. This will turn Walter into a little rain cloud which you can move about! Use the fans to boost yourself and pass through small grating. :slight_smile:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=NRePRPna6H8

More at the end of the week once we have a working level up and running. :slight_smile:

Hi! We have been at work on creating a proper test level for the game as well as messing around with prototyping new abilities for Olive herself. Below is a collection of GIFs and images of recent stuff!

Firstly we have been plotting out the test level, going from some simple design sketches we had, this is just a first pass of possible puzzles, just so we can get an idea on how some of the game mechanics we have work in context.

UMBRELLA ABILITIES

Since we have got pretty far with the Sprite abilities so far we have switched focus to prototyping Olive’s abilities: This includes the use of an Umbrella item she can pickup during the game.

The Umbrella will allow her to do a few things: She can protect the sprites from light weather if they huddle underneath it, the Umbrella can also be used as a makeshift platform for the Sprites and the Umbrella can be used to give Olive a tiny bit of a glide ability when the player has the Umbrella up.

Umbrella Platform Ability - I’m still working on the glide ability and the other aspects of the Umbrella!

Sprites can stay protected under the Umbrella! (The Animations/Model for Olive have to be updated, that’s why she isn’t holding the Umbrella yet and it just magically floats)

To test the Umbrella I have also been working on a new weather system BP that when place in the level allows the designer to control the weather direction, type and intensity for each area in the game. The weather can be manipulated through the use of Weather Modifier volumes, which update the Weather system BP when the player overlaps them.

The weather system harms any pawn weak to the currently selected weather type. Rain is only implemented so far so only Bernard takes damage. The weather can only damage the player though if they aren’t under cover, using the weather direction vector from the weather system we can use that to create a line trace down towards the sprites, if there is any object obstructing it then they don’t get damaged!

The damage rate also changes depending on the intensity of the weather. At the moment we have Light, Heavy and Intense rain with the Intense rain killing Bernard almost instantly. I have also worked in a quick visual indication of damage by changing the scale of the character mesh, works pretty well! You can also see in the GIF below that Bernard also starts to recuperate his health over time when in cover!

BONUS BUG:

I encountered some weird collision issues whilst trying to setup the Umbrella platform…

More updates soon!

Hello!

We have been working on little bits and pieces over the last few weeks but it’s been a bit slow because of numerous reasons, we do have some videos from the test level though of simple little puzzles we have been trying out.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=FGsrLyWNPNc

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ikpCa5OqNBU

https://youtube.com/watch?v=4ea7npkoH3U

Currently Leon is working on rewriting core functionality in C++, once that is done we will continue to iterate on Olive’s mechanics and start to make her and the sprites feel a bit better.

We are just about to start working our day jobs again (lecturers), but work on Guiding Sprites should speed up a bit over the next few weeks regardless. :slight_smile: