Dev blog for September 2019

More Than a Sloth's Pace

Progress continues. Now at around 17 levels, this is starting to feel like a real adventure game. There are two playable boss levels, one of which is essentially finished. We've added swimming to the sloth's list of abilities with two levels set underwater. The sloth also gets his first tool: the snake grapple. This mechanical claw extension just about triples the sloths reach. It's like carrying around a short vine all the time.

sloth quest snake king boss
The Snake King boss

We've storyboarded an opening sequence to introduce the sloth's story. It seems he has a self-appointed rival in his desire to be an astronaut hero. So enter the monkey. The monkey was the final boss in the first Sloth Quest game and we decided to keep it that way. We're using all the characters from the first game and adding many more.

Since we're planning to release on mobile as well as PC, we've spent some time getting an iOS build working. It's quite a bit more trouble than building for Android, which Unity can do with one command. Apple demands many more steps, including things like creating certificates that control who can run the app and on exactly which devices. This got a bit more complicated as our only Macbook is from around 2009 and while still very capable, Apple chose not to support it with the latest OS and development tools. The workaround consumed a lot of time and hair pulling.

Under Control

sloth quest mariachi outfit
Sloth as Mariachi player

The mobile version will be a different play experience because of the controls. I guess I never mentioned the controls, but the game is really centered around the unusual control scheme. You control the sloths arms separately, tapping a key to raise an arm and holding the same key to grab something. This give a basic mobility, but to truly get around you must also swing the sloths legs. The legs swing in unison and there is a key for right and one for left. So to move, you tap an arm key, wait until it's near a vine then hold it to grab. You cannot let go of the key or the sloth will release his grip. While holding on, you alternately press the right and left leg keys to build up a swing, just like kids do on a swingset. When the time is right, you grab a new object with the empty hand and release the old vine. Repeat to move through the world.

Of course, there are more than just vines to grab. Tree limbs, ropes, spider webs, chains, snakes, and zip lines are all currently featured with more planned. The game also features collectible items to find as well as many outfits and other wearables. You'll be able to outfit your sloth with any combination of fun gear. So far we've got five complete outfits: a track suit, a ninja suit, an astronaut suit, a mariachi costume and a complete medieval suit of armor. The head, arms, legs and body are all separately selectable, so if you want a ninja astronaut with armored legs, you got it!