Published: December 28, 2022
Happy holidays, everyone! I've got another new level to show off today, but before we get into that, I'd like to celebrate the awesome milestone of hitting 10,000 wishlists on Steam!
I'm really astounded by how much traction the game and demo have gotten so far (despite being admittedly mediocre at effective promotion). Of course, Steam is not the only platform that matters to me (iOS, Android, Switch, itch.io), but it's the one with the most defined marketing metrics, so it's a nice way of getting a pulse on interest.
As a celebration and thank you for hitting 10,000 wishlists, I'm planning to add one more level in the Rhythm Quest Demo soon -- probably something like level 3-4 that involves the multi-hit ghost enemies. That would bring the demo content to 9 levels in total. There are 30 levels in the game, so that is actually quite a fair bit, but I don't think I mind too much. I will have to figure out how to make the demo work with including levels 3-1 and 3-4 but not the levels in-between (ick...) so that might take a little bit, but I'll try to work on it at some point.
Aaand back to your regularly-scheduled update. here's the last level in world 5, tentatively titled "Moonlit Mesa":
As usual for the final level in each world, there are no new patterns here -- just a mix of everything else that's appeared earlier. In this case, that means vanilla water columns, water columns with spike enemies, water columns with triple flying enemies, and syncopated air jump patterns in water. I do have a little bit of new experimentation with ghost enemies + spike enemies + water columns at the same time in this level, though:
I don't go too crazy with that here since I haven't done a lot of offbeat ghost enemies in previous levels, but it's a minor curveball that makes these sections a little bit more challenging.
Backdrop-wise, I was having a bit of trouble at first deciding what to draw for this level, but eventually settled on a night-time water background with the reflection of a moon/planet. As usual for this world, the translucent clouds really do a lot of the heavy lifting in making things look nice. These have been a staple, so I'm not sure how I'm going to change things up for world 5.
This level probably takes the record in terms of backdrop layer count -- there are 26 separate backdrop layers! A lot of these are used for the subtle moving "shimmer" lighting effects at the edge of the water, which is just a bunch of transparent scattered lines that move at varying rates.
There isn't quite as much freedom with dark night sky palettes since the base color needs to be pretty dark and not too warm-colored to avoid looking strange and cloudy. As usual, the palettes alternate between 4 colors and 8 colors depending on the section of music, although it often looks like more due to the transparent layers. I decided to use lighter colors for the night sky for tame sections and then transition to black for more contrast in the higher-intensity sections:
Last month I transitioned the community localization efforts for Rhythm Quest over to the Crowdin platform. Thanks to the hard work of the community, the Rhythm Quest demo is now available in 14 different languages!
There's still a lot of bugfixes and polish to tackle for localization: word wrap/padding issues, missing glyphs, and the fact that the screenreader accessibility plugin really doesn't like unicode characters...but I'm pleased at the state of things right now moving forward.
That's going to do it for this update! I hope everyone is enjoying the winter / holiday season and taking it easy. Hopefully by this time next year Rhythm Quest will be released on at least one platform (ha ha ha ha...).
As always, things are going to progress steadily but slowly here. I've got another Ludum Dare event coming up in a week, plus some hopefully-well-deserved holiday rest coming up. I'll see you all next year!