I recently (about a week or two ago, I think?) wrote a fancy new lighting system for the game. The previous system just rendered a rectangle over the whole screen to represent darkness. This system was used for the day/night cycle (which is just for looks).
However, I had a flash of insight, and decided to try something new. There are now actual light sources in the game, most of which make sense. For example, the purple energy that is fired from Hubert’s stun gun gives off a slight purple glow. Hubert himself gives off light, but that’s because otherwise you would be unable to see where you are going! Aside from the world map, the whole day/night cycle is off by default, but it does really make the levels look fancier.
Here’s a video of the new lighting in action.
The new lighting system works by rendering a series of tiles over the screen, blending light from various sources in with the ambient light of the level. You can change the smoothness of the light by making these tiles smaller (prettier but more performance-eating!) or larger (anything larger than the default of 32×32 doesn’t really work).
Here is a screenshot of the lighting with default smoothness. This runs pretty well even on weaker machines running in software mode.
And here is a screenshot of the lighting with 4 times the smoothness. Much prettier, but also very performance-intensive.
The game is essentially finished. It is currently in the “release candidate” phase, meaning I am calling it done, but testing it further to look for any final bugs. I am also working on a final trailer for the game. I plan on having a release date sometime early this week, and the game should be out before the end of January. I have found myself to be incredibly bad at setting release dates/time frames, although lately I have had some increased success with scheduling things internally. Regardless, I cannot imagine anything preventing the game from being out in January at this point.
Some other things I have been working on recently:
-Additional characters (of which there are two: Sketch and Slime-O)
-A tips system to help out new players. At this point, that is pretty much everybody :-)
-Some hints for special item locations.
-Screenshots are now saved as compressed .pngs instead of massive .bmps.
-Many, many bug fixes/tweaks and level fixes.