What's up with AAC? #1

Now that Extreme Volleyball Infernal League is out, we're back with our full focus on Afteschool Adventurers Club! And we want to keep everyone in the loop on what we're doing to make it the best Action-RPG ever released for the Sega Master System console! So, we're creating the "What's up with AAC?" devlogs as a way to showcase our new features and discuss the reasoning behind our decisions.

What's in this first edition? Quite a lot, actually! The last few weeks were pretty busy: we settled on all of our needed features, designed all of our gameplay loops and made a new roadmap that splits everything into 3 clear milestones to achieve our Winter 2023 release target. The first of these milestones is to polish the Initiation Campaign (our tutorial campaign) and bring it to a point where it is fast, dynamic and, most of all, fun. We want all the elements of our core, the dungeon runs, to be challenging, exciting and rewarding so, with that in mind, we got 6 new main features out the door already!

1 - Breakable Projectiles

When in a tight spot, it was not possible to avoid projectiles, and getting hit in these circumstances, without any means of defense, felt cheap. Now that a skilled player can cancel projectiles with a well-timed attack of their own, it gives a lot more freedom in how you approach fights and position yourself.

2 - Enemy Waves

Moving forward, when the player enters a Monster Room, the doors lock and the game will spawn (with an all new smoke effect!) one or more waves of monsters that need to be defeated before proceding to the next room. Each wave contains up to 2 different types of enemies from the pool of available monsters. This makes combat a lot more varied and players will have to constantly adapt if they want to effeciently clear Monster Rooms.

3 - Healing Fountains

This new room type contains a fountain that replenishes all of the player's HP and Spells when interacted with. The room doors are unlocked, so, when found, the player can always decide to keep the fountain's healing properties available for later. In the initiation campaign, one Healing Fountain room is always present on a dungeon floor. Its appearance in other campaigns will be random, but the player will be able to influence the odds through Table Items bought at the School Shop.

4 - Fall Damage

Initially, falling down a hole would always instantly kill the player, ending the dungeon run and sending them back to the club. Given the randomness of the levels, the push-backs from attacks, etc. it felt too punishing. Instead, when the player falls, they now lose HP and are brought right back into the action in front of the door that was used to enter the room. Insta-death is not gone though, those who want a more difficult challenge will find that feature still active in the Hardcore Campaign.

5 - Better drop rates

We want to ensure players are able to try various combinations of weapons and tools as soon as possible and for each dungeon run to bring new opportunities to explore different play styles. As such, we updated the loot tables so the Dagger, Lance, Shield, Boomerang, and Fire Spell can also drop during the Initiation Campaign. We also adjusted their tier levels to ensure they drop more often.

6 - Dash move

Players no longer need to find a rare item and sacrifice one of their item slots to use the dash move! Dashing can now be executed by all characters simply by double-tapping a direction (or pressing a dedicated button if your controller has an extra one!).  This adds a lot of manoeuvrability to combat, and will come handy with all the monster updates we have planned!

Other minor tweaks

  • Colored all items in the inventory
  • Adjusted the long-sword hit-box so it matches more closely its visuals
  • Added a smoke sprite animation to the Dash move
  • Replaced the damage numbers by a hit sprite
  • Added a bunch of debug features for faster bug resolution

This is already a pretty long post, so let's end this here with a preview of one of the new features that will be  in "What's up with AAC?" #2: New Small (8x8) Melee and Ranged Monsters !

Hope you enjoy following our progress,


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