Chibi Ninja Devlog #3

Posted December 12, 2022

Time for another devlog! Especially considering it’s been two months since the last one…

Last time we looked at the various movement options you had to navigate Demon Tower, so I thought that this time it would be fun to take a look at the tower itself. So let’s do that!

Okay, so, the game takes place in Demon Tower, which is called that because it’s a tower full of demons. You with me so far?

Legend has it that a treasure is hidden somewhere at the very top of the tower, and Shino-kun wants to find it, whatever it is. The tower is divided into five sections, each one comprised of multiple floors, and you’ll have to make your way through each and every one of them if you want to get to the top! Each section is basically a “world” in platformer terms, so each one has a unique theme and special gimmicks and obstacles. Let’s look at the first two sections of the tower to give you a taste of what awaits!

Section 1: The Dungeons

This being the lowest floor of the tower, it’s naturally also the darkest and dankest. Mushrooms and moss cover the floors, cells line the walls, chains hang lazily from the ceiling. Oh, and there are also traps, like big buzz saws.

Spinny, sharp, and not fun to touch.

For this section I tried to find a color palette that’s dungeon-y, but still somewhat colorful and pleasant to look at. Since this is the first section, it’s not too difficult, but it will teach you the basic skills and movements you’ll need to conquer the rest of the tower. I’m not a big fan of drawn-out tutorial sections, so these floors are designed to teach you these skills in a more interactive way, and since the game is supposed to be all about flow and movement, it’s important that players grasp what they can and can’t do within the game. I’ll no doubt have to return to adjust these levels and smoothen the difficulty curve later down the line, but I feel like the basic framework is already there.

Section 2: The Hot One

We go from dank to dry in the second section of the tower. It’s red, it’s hot, it’s the obligatory lava world! Pipes litter the walls, transporting lava, heat and who knows what else through the tower. The whole place glows with heat, and the steel doors would probably burn you if you touched them. And of course there are pools of bubbling lava, because otherwise it wouldn’t be a lava level.

And where there is lava, there is fire, and it comes in different forms on this floor.

Sometimes you get fireballs bouncing out of the lava pools:


Sometimes the fireballs are shot from one pipe to another, in some sort of OSHA-violating transport system:


And other laval balls fly through the air in an arc, as if they belonged in Sonic 2’s Chemical Plant Zone. Figuring out the physics for these was tricky, and funnily enough, I didn’t end up using any actual physics at all.


Oh yeah, and since this is a video game, you also get floating wheels of fireballs.


Combining these obstacles is gonna be fun. I tried to make the systems flexible, so that I could easy throw different elements together to create some gnarly obstacle courses. For example, I can easily change the diameter of the fire wheels, along with the number of fireballs and the size of the gap. And you’d better believe I’ll come up with some tricky sections.

Along with fire-specific obstacles, this section of the tower will also introduce more generic gimmicks that’ll show up for the rest of the game. One example are the presses, which can of course squash you, but which can also be used for walljumping, if you’re quick enough:


What Now?

And those were the first two sections of the tower! Both actually contain more than what I just showed you, but I don’t wanna spoil all surprises. However, I will spoil that the third section of the tower will be ice-themed and look something like this:


As you can see (and as you probably knew before even looking at the pic), this section will introduce slippery ice that’ll mess with your controls. Gotta have that in a platformer, right? However, the ice will not only cover the floor but also some walls, which will make wall-jumping a lot trickier. It’s gonna be cool.

I’ll be posting more updates as I go, and hopefully at a more regular pace than before. If you want to get notified about new posts, sign up for my mailing list below and/or follow me on Twitter and Mastodon.

See you next post, and be excellent to each other!

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