Progress on Labyrinth has been a little slower than I'd prefer, but I've gotten a little progress done recently, primarily some map-related stuff. Nothing super exciting yet, but I laid the framework so I should be able to create some neat content near in the future. Update 5:
Until recently, rooms generated in a hard-coded, repeating pattern only useful for testing some features. There was a string of rooms that would repeat left and right, from an initial room through some basic obstacles through a stage for a boss fight. In order to give the game's map the mazelike quality intended, there will have to be a wide variety of rooms with various types of connections. Part of the challenge of the game is supposed to be the navigation: on occasion some situations will require you to travel between several locations spread across the map, possibly requiring some creative manuevering around obstacles and barriers that you are not (or at least not at the time) able to pass. Also, there will be "depth" to the map: a separate layer of rooms will contain a network of tunnels that act as shortcuts between certain places. I'm not sure exactly what I want the function of these tunnels to be yet, so I'm experimenting with some different ideas. One possibility is that tunnels could be used as a strategically placed shortcut by players: using some tool, a player could create a tunnel between two rooms for faster and safer travel. Whatever the use of tunnels, they'll probably be quite difficult to gain access to, with entrances perhaps being hidden in areas locked by keys obtained by beating certain bosses. As I mentioned from the beginning, earthquakes are going to occasionally alter the map, changing some rooms to connect in different ways to make navigation more challenging. I'm not to the point where I can start working on that quite yet, but I'm thinking about how that might work.
This is a very, very unrefined concept of what tunnels might be like in Labyrinth. Actual tunnels will probably have turns, connecting rooms vertically and having more smooth geometry than that example, as well as being thinner and more... 'scenic'?
You probably noticed the small door accessible by a vine that was ignored: that connects to a room that's a layer deeper 'in' relative to the tunnels as opposed to the core maze which is a layer 'out'. I'm considering having a boss nested deep within the tunnel system, so I was testing how I might differentiate between layers if there are a decent (3-6?) number of them - I made the scene progressively darker with each layer 'in', so the interior of that room looks like this:
All of that being said, any suggestions, constructive criticism, or really any input, even if it's just "that's a good idea" or "that's a bad idea" without any rationale, on the game mechanics and designs that I've proposed so far would be much appreciated.