Charged Hammer: Energy


Here is our latest progress update on Tiny Thor:

Charged Hammer: Energy
This week we found the final piece to the puzzle of Thor’s new toy. As shown in previous updates Tiny Thor has two different hammer attacks. A simple, fast one for enemies close by, that lets the hammer fly like a boomerang and the charged attack, that requires the player to hold the fire button down to aim into any direction. On release Tiny will throw the hammer and it will bounce off of enemies and walls.

While this is a very intriguing mechanic it also invalidates enemies in certain level passages as the player can just kill them from around the corner without putting himself in the line of danger.

To address this problem we redesigned some enemies to counter Thors new-found powers (like the guard in the previous week). While this alleviates the issue, we needed something that solves it and we found just that in an energy mechanic.

The charged hammer now drains energy while flying and automatically returns to the player when the pool is emptied. The player now has to manage this resource.

The energy of the hammer refills when it hits enemies or destroyable blocks. This is true for both attack types, so if the player is out of energy, he can just fight a few enemies to refill the bar. Or if he plans his charged shots carefully he can hit enemies multiple times and the hammer refills itself even while flying.

This results in a very nice game flow because the player has to constantly switch between clever trick shots and intense close combats.

Here is an example how it can be used, to destroy dozens of enemies at once while the hammer is refueling itself:

Here is another example, but the distance between the hits is getting too far, so finally the hammer ran out of energy:

When out of energy, the player can attack the enemies with regular attacks to refill it:

Another benefit of this resource is that we can now tie other systems to it. Previously red gems were just rare score objects (three in each level, often hidden behind secrets or tough platforming). Now each one of them will add an extra point to the energy pool of the hammer. Now exploration will be rewarded mechanically, enabling the player to do more awesome shots.

Mushrooms...
Steffen (one of our two Game- and Level-Designers) requested a feature that he can rotate the mushrooms (basically jump pads) freely in all eight directions. He created lots of cool passages with the new set, like this one for example:

...and Secrets
He also reworked / improved the level design of the first world to go along with the new charged hammer and level elements (and will continue with this the coming week):

He also ensured that there are always small hints of some sort for the numerous secrets we have in the game. So if you watch carefully the player should be able to identify them.

Here are some small branches looking through the rocks. Following them will guide Tiny Thor to a red gem.

Hmmm... this mushroom doesn't make much sense, right? Wrong!

It’s raining snakes! Tiny probably should have a closer look, after he defeated them:

Besides small bug fixes we did speed up the games respawn sequence so hard passages feel less frustrating and get you right into the action again.

As Chris and Fabian are working like crazy on the Music, I've also implemented a small Debug Audio Menu where we can switch between the different Music Tracks / Ideas and feel them in game. We really love the first drafts Chris composed for Tiny Thor and can't wait to share them with you :)

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