Week 8 – March 15th, 2024

Work Preparation:

To showcase our game effectively during GDC, we added a bunch of amazing new features and polished many existing elements. Mites, candles, Hum upgrades, animations, particle effects, and level goals have all been incorporated into the game. Please read ahead for more information!

Playtest Night March 12, 2024:

In this build, we implemented some major changes, including adding the player goal into the level, polishing the new layout, and introducing mites and candles. Players can now light up candles and refill their light.

We were pleased to see that players enjoyed this version of the build and provided positive feedback. Here are some useful insights we received from the playtesters:

  • Big triumph when finally solve the shadow puzzle
  • Had trouble with the valve, slipped off 
  • Still think that you should light up all the lights. Strange obelisk, got confused turning off the lights
  • Really enjoyed disconnecting Hum to light candles
  • Used light stun to combo enemies
  • “Art is really cool, so is the light mechanic! Please dig into that more.”
  • NEED a mini map
  • Enemies are not very threatening, very easy to beat
  • Never felt the light running out, don’t feel the sense of danger, but still needs to be aware of how flash could cost too much light
  • Perspective looks funny
  • Steam from the pipe looks like its on already
  • Mites not interfering
  • The direction of the pipes is confusing
  • Glowing mushrooms: hard to tell whether they are enemies
  • Need sound for the mites
  • Not a lot of enemies in this level
  • The entrance to another furnace valve is a little bit hard to find
  • Ambient environmental assets: fireflies, dust

Level Goal – Valve Implemented:

This week, we implemented valves into our game – the first actual goal for players. The goal for the current version of the level is to open two valves and activate the furnace. Once activated, players can return to the furnace and light it with Hum.

We added the physical system to the valves, allowing players to activate them by pushing the handle all the way to the right. Additionally, a particle effect was included to show steam coming from the pipes, indicating the player’s success.

Mites in the Darkness:

When we pivoted away from running out of light being an instant game-over, it was incumbent upon us to have a definite reason for the player to want to keep Hum fueled. Enter the Mite. The Mites are swarming, legion creatures of pure shadow. They abhor the light – but will quickly overwhelm the player if they enter pure darkness. The Mites are designed to float at the edge of the player’s vision, with glowing eyes to evoke a sense of being hunted or observed. We found the Mites to be an interesting solution to creating a sense of danger and urgency in the player.

Light Up Candles and Hum Upgrade System:

Candles have been introduced in this version of the build! Players can now light them up to refill their light meter near the candles. Additionally, candles serve as the currency used in the Hum upgrade system.

For GDC, we implemented the charge Hum feature, allowing players to hold to charge Hum’s flash ability. This results in a longer activation time compared to instant activation, but the flash now stuns enemies for a longer duration. Another upgrade we implemented is an increased range for the flash.

The goal behind these upgrades is to reward players for exploration and discovering candles. This system also offers them choices regarding the abilities they want to enhance for Hum, their travel, and combat companion.

UI Assets:

Artists finished the first version of the dialogue text box and fire spirit’s skill tree UI. The overall art direction for this UI design set is torn parchment with hand-drawn strokes. On the other hand, taking from faculties’ suggestions, artists also redesigned the furnace in order to get a more believable look. There will also be some adjustments on the color of the fire within the furnace in order to create a sense of environment temperature difference after the player finished the goal of lighting up the furnace. In adherence to the theme which sets the stage in an interior space, window lights are added to one corner of the map. For next week, the team will join GDC and receive more art feedback from attendees and game professionals. This will help the team to discover more problems and solutions until the final deliverable.

Progress Report:

  • Made a build for the Tuesday Playtest Night
  • Candles implemented
  • Bullcap(mushroom enemy) behaviors + animation plugged in
  • Enchatrelle(ranged enemy) animation finished
  • Valve asse + software implemented
  • Level art pass + added colliders
  • Flash cost
  • Light candles with Hum + upgrade system
  • Puzzle assets implemented 
  • Reacted to the playtest night feedback
  • Weekly blogs

Plan for next week:

  • Team going to GDC and solicit feedback from playtesters


  • Need to explore the design possibilities and get feedback from playtesters
  • Need to prioritize the feedback we get from GDC playtesters
  • Need to make sure systems are in scope
  • Need to think about creative ways to implement light and shadow into mechanics