Permanent ability bonuses and more!
Let's first say I'm extremely happy with the progress so far. A lot of work has been done, and things went smoothly so far!
As a core Metroidvania mechanic, the player starts extremely weak. Your movement palette is limited to walking, jumping and swimming. This enables new players to learn the controls and core game mechanics before the game delves into the deeper, more complicated stuff.
Those little shining orbs you see in the screenshot above are called "Ability spheres". When the player finds one, either a new ability will be learned or an existing ability will become greatly empowered. Think of powers such as increased movement speed, higher jumping, the ability to dash, etc.
The goal is to make the player actually feel they became stronger and become excited to test out those new powers. New powers usually get accompanied by the ability to reach certain places which were previously unreachable, opening a whole lot of new area's with each obtained ability.
If you are underwater for too long, you will eventually get a flashing warning in screen, alerting you that you should surface soon. When you have 10 seconds or less remaining, a countdown number starts, indicating how much seconds you have left.
With this feature, I hope that players don't forget their breath when they are swimming underwater, and remind them they should get fresh breath soon.
Of course, players can see their remaining breath anytime by looking at the breath bar at the bottom of the screen.
Background for the beach level
The beach level now shows a sea and some islands in the background. This small change should make the level look a little prettier!
Checkpoints, saving and loading
As you see in the above screenshot, I've changed the checkpoints to look like a glowing orb on a pedestal. This magical orb represents a checkpoint where the player can save their game, and respawn to if they were to die. I will be generous with checkpoint placement in the levels, so you should not worry about having to replay large sections of the world too much. A checkpoint can be activated by standing next to one and pressing the interact button. This will automatically save the game.
It's important to use a checkpoint to save and close the game. This is to prevent cheating, where the player quickly quits the game before dying to prevent losing a life. Therefore, if you quit the game without saving at a checkpoint, you will find yourself with 1 less life when you load the game again.
My purpose with this is that I want everyone to play the game fairly. The game will have difficulity settings, so if you want to beat the game with next to zero challenge, you can select "Easy" as difficulty.