DevLog #25 – Fixes and new synergies for the demo!

Hello everyone!

It has been ten days since the release of the demo of Skycliffs! First of all, thanks a lot to everyone who gave it a try and shared feedback so far! This helps me a lot to improve the game. I already uploaded a couple of patches since the release, so here is a devlog to detail a bit more some of the main changes.

Enemies tweaks

I reworked all the enemies of the first zone so that their behaviors feel more fair. I also introduced new sprites for Lumbricus, and a charging animation for Squibull. The latter makes it more obvious you should not stand in its way!

Squibull new charging animation

Mole is now weaker, but I added a stronger variation as a new enemy.

Mole and Godmole enemies

Finally, Pandoney is not static anymore, it can teleport away from the player. Also, the honey missiles now behave differently. They were too brutal and hard to dodge for the first zone of the game. They are now harmless but the honey puddle they produce summons a new enemy: Bombee. It is basically a kamikaze bee as you can see below. You’d better kill it before it reaches you!

Honey puddles summon bees

New synergies

Some items, when equipped together, trigger a synergy and activate some unique additional effects. The core system was already implemented at the time of the demo release, but they was only one synergy available. I’m working on drastically increasing this number. Last patches introduce 9 new synergies, for a total of 10 at the moment. Here is below one of them that looks really cool!

Piercing + boomerang bullets synergy. In reality, enemies are rarely static and aligned like this, but it still feels pretty strong, right?

Other improvements and fixes

Apart from this, I fixed a critical issue on Windows where the game would freeze on the generating screen. I also made some optimization to reduce lag spikes when first opening the game menu or when enemies die and drop their loot.

The UI got some improvements. It is now much easier to rebind controls (keys do not need to be available anymore, they auto swap if the new selected is already bound elsewhere).

Controls rebinding is now more practical

I added explicit close buttons to all menus as an alternative to pressing the Cancel key. I also made it clearer that some buttons are disabled because of not having enough money. In the status menu, I modified the lines in the background to emphasize that the last system controls the number of equipment slots available.

Status menu tweaks

Finally, I reworked the smash and jump animations of the player to have more frames. I reduced the base player gun spread since people found it too wide. Also, I added short invincibility frames at the end of a teleportation from the void. I hope this makes it easier to move away and not fall again right away because of some enemy!

You can read the complete patch notes of the demo here.

What is next?

Now I’m planning on making some tweaks to the enemies of the second zone to balance the difficulty and address potential frustrating aspects. In the meanwhile, I’m working on implementing more items and synergies. If you have any cool ideas that you’d like to see in the game, please share them in the comments!

Thanks for reading this devlog, and see you next time!
-Radiant Sloth