Today I’ve been planning out and creating parts for the final level of Hanami which is essentially an extended “Boss Stage”. There are no more items to collect, simply a path to unlock to the final boss.
This morning I sketched out some ideas on how the building in this level differs from the buildings throughout the rest of the game. I’d already planned the scale of the building, which was already larger than anything else I’ve made so far. The building in level 4 is the abandoned home of the Zashiki Warashi spirit, so my main focus was on making it look run down. I scribbled over the top of my building plans to work out interesting vine and weed formations, and work out where there would be cracks and blemishes on the building.
The result makes the overall picture look a lot less messy due to the distortion of all my straight lines! In this case however I’m happy for the image to look a little rough… I haven’t really worked on the background or decided on a background colour yet, I’ve been concentrating on the foreground for now!
Inside, the building looks a lot less derelict, but it is much more empty that most of the other buildings in the game. Because there are no items to collect in this level and exploration could be pretty boring, I’m planning on having a locked door which can only be opened when a key is acquired. The key is in an upstairs room, behind a door that will only open if a certain amount of blossoms are found (as a placeholder door I’ve decided that the player should have 80 blossoms, but I’ll probably reduce this if I come to code for this part of the game). Inside the building there are three upstairs rooms. The first can be entered under all circumstances, the middle door can only be opened if the specified amount of blossoms are found and the final door is sealed.
As a teaser and to prompt the player to collect more flowers if they haven’t already, all of the upstairs rooms are part of the same space, so by entering one door you can see into all of the rooms. By entering the first door you can see that you must enter the second door to acquire the key in the third room, accessible by a hole in the top of the wall.
The locked door leads to the last area in the game, where the boss battle will commence! I’ve designed this to have a small flat stage where Za-chan runs around, and two “safe areas” either side where the player can temporarily avoid attacks. I’ve drawn up a couple of new assets for this level, including a new version of the Sakura Tree which I might now use as a background element for earlier levels. This is simply a re-vamp of one of my previous designs, where I’ve made the branches a little more curvy and reduced the size of the blossoms growing on it. It looks a lot less cluttered than my previous designs, and will hopefully fit in better one the proper background is in place.
The other two new assets are stone statues which guard the “safe areas” by dissolving attacks on collision. The first Guardian is a Tanuki statue, which is commonly seen around Japan in restaurants, temples and homes. The Tanuki is seen as a sign of good luck similar to the Maneki Neko Lucky Cat, and is generally loved for being tubby and smiley! Statues are often colourful and remind me a little of garden gnomes, like this:
My statue is a carved stone statue, and looks more like this:
The second guardian of the safe zone is a Kitsune statue, a fox which is believed to have supernatural powers and immense intelligence. Both the Tanuki and Kitsune were once believed to have shape-shifting powers, and were almost worshipped for the powers they possessed. Kitsune statues vary in style, but are usually a similar shape of a fox sat upright:
And my carved stone Kitsune statue:
The final change I have made is to Za-chan’s attack object, which was previously a piece of sushi. I’ve changed this to a small ball of light, however I’m not currently sure whether I’ll keep this or try to think of something more relevant later.