Ok I'm back
I think it's been like over a month since I've done any updates. I've been busy with other projects, but now I'm back. After all, I promised myself that I would finish this game eventually.
This means I'll have to tighten the game's scope. Initially I was aiming for a desktop/web release, but I made a mobile build of Peasant Knight, and the difference is like night and day. The controls feel much better on mobile. So I'm making it a mobile game for now, I can always work on a more tailored desktop/web release later. For the mobile version I won't be making an in-game level editor. I also won't be adding a shield thrust mechanic because even after like a month of thought I still can't see how it would be a meaningful action, not just quick-time event. The puzzles I can make with jumping and stopping are clever enough anyways. This is getting pretty grim, onto the new stuff:
I worked on the menus and HUD and I'm pretty satisfied with how it all comes together. Levels are now unlocked in groups of three, so if one particular level is driving you nuts you can prioritize the two other ones instead. I first encountered this design in Super Smash Bros. Melee's challenge mode, it made it a lot less tedious, and I think it's brilliant.
I also finally came up with an incentive for the player to go fast. My first, and very flawed solution, was to award a gem for every completed level, and an extra gem for every level completed under a certain amount of time. To unlock new levels you would need an amount of gems that forced you to "master" every level before you could move on. If this sounds confusing to you, it's because it is. I scrapped it. The current way of making the player hurry is much better. You get hit by a lightning if you tarry too long. This gets rid of the crappy gem system, and gives very immediate feedback to the player. There's nothing better than zapping the player with lightning to tell him that he screwed up.
The level unlock and the "gotta go fast" design problems had been nagging me for a very long time, so I'm glad they're out of the way now. I can concentrate on building traps and enemies again, it feels really liberating. So the new future plans are: make interesting traps and enemies, make around 32 levels, release on mobile, make some more levels after a short break, then maybe work on a more grandiose version for desktop/web with local coop, an in-game lvl editor, and lvl sharing (Steam workshop - why not?).