Lantern Development and Feedback
My team project is a 2-semester project where I am a UX Developer. We are now on our second semester in the Production phase. During this phase, I have a lot of work I need to do to make the project more fun and intuitive. The first thing I am doing is creating a lantern mechanic. The lantern mechanic is a single-use consumable that lets the player pick up the flame spirit and carry them around. When the lantern is dropped with the flame inside it will break and give the flame a little bit of health. We had this planned for the previous semester, but we wanted to focus on fixing game-breaking bugs before we added this mechanic. With the creation of this mechanic comes more feedback that I need to develop and polish in the coming semester.
The first step in creating the lantern was to redesign the pickup system. The system we had created only allowed for a single object, the Kindling, to be picked up. I created a system that would allow for a variety of objects to be picked up. If we choose to have more objects that the player should pick up in the future we can. In doing this I also fixed an issue that prevented the player from picking up a kindling after the flame had eaten the last one while the player was holding it. The system I developed turns off the colliders on the object that are picked up, so they don't register any collisions while being held.
With the base pickup system done I then needed to figure out how the lantern should work. It needed to show the flame inside of it, show when it was destroyed, and it needed to transition the flame to being "inside" it. The simplest way I could think of having the flame inside of the lantern was to parent the flame to the lantern and set it to be not active. Then I made the flame sprite that was attached to the lantern appear along with the outside glow giving the sense that the flame was now inside the lantern and still alive. The flame inside the lantern is more orange than the normal flame. I wanted to make it clear that this was a different state of the flame spirit and have it look a bit more like a real flame while in the lantern. To show that the lantern is destroyed I took the particles for burning the bush and had them engulf the lantern. The particles are smaller and the colors are a bit lighter to make it clear this fire won't damage the player and isn't as severe as the bush fire. The flame spirit then falls back to the ground with a bit more health. We are still working on implementation, but to get the flame in the lantern it will hop up into the lantern. For now, I've added smoke particles to hide the transition.