What is it?
The game is called Missy, after its main character. You could simply describe it as a "metroidvania" where you play as a robot, but it's a bit more complex than that.
What sets it apart from games like it?
Missy has a fairly specific genre balance to it that I don't think many games have gone for. It's designed around a much less combative play style than you typically see in a "metroidvania" game. The game still has its "enemies", and it has a whole health/hazard/death system in place, but they're to be treated more as platforming mechanics than combat mechanics. At the same time, the game is not so much about platforming as it is about exploring and solving puzzles. Some of said puzzles may be related to discovering the least hazardous method of traversing any given area, but brute strength takes a back seat to agility which takes a back seat to sharp thinking.
Ultimately I've just been planning the game out under a simple philosophy: Enemies do not exist merely to be gotten rid of, upgrades do not exist merely to unlock doors, and Missy does not exist for combat.
Other than that, I've got a bunch of really interesting abilities for Missy in mind and really want to explore the possibilities.
What's it about?
Missy takes place in a modern-day setting with a sprinkling of fantasy/sci-fi here and there. The story primarily wrestles with two concepts: religious faith and self-identification. Don't expect to be met with anything very cinematic though; the story will just begin from a certain place in the timeline, and after the first series of dialogue boxes it's mostly just gameplay from then on.
To be more specific though, the game is about a robot girl who is found in a crater and awakened by a man of the cloth. The girl claims to not remember who she is despite retaining plenty of general knowledge about the Earth and its inhabitants. The priest's main concern is what might happen if the general public found out about her. The two of them agree it would be best to buy themselves some time to think by retreating to the most remote location they have available: A modest vacation home between lake and mountain, a property which the priest had inherited from his late father. Once they reach their destination, the events of the game ensue.
How's it look?
I call them nodes in this case because they are not limited to single colors; each palette node can be made to choose its color via calculation based on ever-changing variables. This means anything rendered using that node might cycle through colors, flash, flicker, and so on. (For instance: In the above screenshot, you can see four shades of red lined up on the third row. These four nodes actually cycle through 9 hues, but I would need an animated GIF to actually show that. )
*Palette node 5 still allows the white region of a tile/sprite to be rendered in black. But I'm probably only going to use that node for the rectangles used to draw text boxes and stuff.
With this in mind, most objects are rendered in a single color. The only exception I have made so far is the player character, which is actually 4 different sprites drawn in tandem. The different parts of Missy's frame change color according to the state of her acquired upgrades and remaining HP. The following image shows every theoretical possibility for the upgrades I have planned as of this writing:
I feel the need to preface this section with a bit of a disclaimer: Making this game's music is going to be a learning experience for me. I have no real prior experience composing music, nor am I looking for anyone to make it for me.
With that said, I'm using Bfxr for most sound effects like I tend to do. The game's music is being made with Little Sound Dj, a music workstation that produces authentic Game Boy sound by way of being a literal Game Boy application.
So far I have made two little tunes that may or may not make it into the actual game:
(SoundCloud won't loop these seamlessly, but the game will.)
Welp, I'm out of Big Bold Questions.
I will keep this thread posted with new developments and maybe some weird ramblings based on said developments.
AMA and stuff