In Spectra there is a creature known as the ‘Poppy’. It’s a sentient, magic-capable entity.
Spectra’s first king sought to protect these creatures against the mage-cults who would poach their fur for its magic-conduction properties.
They did not take kindly to their new home… Poppy Sanctum follows one escapee from this prison.
Follow along at patreon.
Below are snippets, updates, and dev logs from the game.
Designing magic is hard. In the world of Spectra there are sentient animals that are capable of conducting magic themselves. One such creature is the Poppy, an analog of Red Pandas. Poppy are capable of using magic, it is one of the tools that the player will use in Poppy Sanctum to solve puzzles. One aspect of the process behind developing such an adaptation of evolution is designing how it works and looks. One rule of thumb I’ve created with this world is that when the physical plane interacts with the ethereal plane, there is a visual associated. It looks like iridescent sparks.
So with each magic, there is a particle system that indicates magic is being used. But visualizing just that for each particle becomes redundant and boring. So I created a Shader in unity to apply a dithered-iridescent look to magic systems. I think the combination of the two is really striking and simple enough that it doesn’t obstruct the player’s view.
The other aspect of designing magic is the actual mechanic of how it works. With gravity magic, I will have varying degrees of gravitational pull towards the player. My initial concept thus far is a ball that rolls around the stage absorbing objects into is gravitational field but stopping a certain distance from the player, so sort of a doughnut-shaped gravity field.
With the fire magic system I want chaos to be at the center of its identity. So I’ve created a propagation system that is somewhat random and chaotic. This won’t be the final result, but it’s visually close to what I have in my head.
This experimentation has lead me to developing the map of the full-game, currently what I’ve built is more of a prototype stage that I plan on putting up on www.itch.io at some point.
The full game will be short but I think there is room in it to have fun and be chaotic, a sort of MGS5-esque sandbox to play with physics/mechanics of the AI and three types of magic.
Here’s an article about the game in a red panda blog/zine: https://redpandazine.com/2022/01/29/run-poppy-run-jack-blooms-magical-red-panda-game/
Visuals are coming along. One element I’m having trouble balancing is the amount of dithering I’m using on certain shaders. Currently it feels very noisy, so I need to tone that down.
First Poppy t-shirt has come in and it looks great! Printful does a great job with printing.
On another note, here’s a transition from early visuals to a more recent style: https://i.imgur.com/n8GRyOk.mp4
Day/night cycle is coming along.
Got a script online that essentially moves the world directional light around along with changing the light-source color, I modified it to also adjust the lighting system’s ambient color.
The result is a pretty nice transition of colors that can be altered for seasons and other gameplay aspects.
Also, it just looks dope.
One problem I’ve had a ton of trouble with is sprite billboards allowing for casting shadows at all time. I found an angle for the directional camera that allows for this, but I wish I could also rotate around the Y-axis… or the quaternion z? I’m not sure, axi are still tripping me up.
I recently built a tree-leaf generator using a particle system. It looks so much more appropriate than static-low poly meshes.
Then I turned it into magic!
Welcome to the first dev log for Poppy Sanctum. I’ve been working on this game for around a year, so these logs are a bit late.
Most dev logs will probably be simple and to the point, either concept art or a gif of some new feature.
The engine I’m using is Unity, I’ll probably remain with it for a while. It’s made developing Poppy Sanctum a lot easier than I anticipated.
Most of the ease has been through a very supportive community, so thank goodness for all you awesome game devs!
On another note, Poppy Sanctum is coming along, nicely. I’m especially satisfied with where it’s at visually.
Also, you can buy that sticker in the store, check it out!
Thanks for looking at this devlog!