Combat, shields, stuns, & my approach

Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for all the kind words about the announcement last week. It’s been a lot of fun to see everyone’s reaction after working on this for over a year, in secret. Now I am back into the “grind” of making the game (which I enjoy).

I plan on using this blog in a casual way, to write about what I’m up to and to share tidbits about Haunted Chocolatier. I probably won’t stick to any defined schedule, but instead just post things when it feels right.

One thing I want to mention is the combat.

Haunted Chocolatier has a greater focus on combat, so it needs to be very fun, satisfying, and engaging, while also appropriately fitting into the big picture. You can rest assured that I’m not “copying and pasting” Stardew’s combat. On the contrary, almost everything in Haunted Chocolatier, including the combat, is completely coded (and drawn) from scratch.

Here’s an example (unmute if you want to hear the sound):

You may have noticed this from the earlier video footage, but there are shields in this game. Many attacks can be blocked with a shield, and in most cases, blocking an attack causes the enemy to become “stunned”. While an enemy is stunned, you can attack them much faster, as seen above.

The shield/stun mechanic rewards more cautious, patient players who wait for a window of opportunity. But you don’t have to play like this, you could just as well charge in aggressively, and if you can pull it off, you’ll defeat enemies more quickly that way. There will be other off-hand items besides shields that will compliment different play styles.

You might also notice that the sword swing animation looks different than it did in the original footage. That’s because I’m still working on everything, and it’s all a work in progress. Everything seen so far could still change before the game is finished. If you followed the development of Stardew Valley, this will be familiar.

Also, if you followed Stardew’s development, you might know that I like to keep my cards close to my chest. I prefer to leave many things to be discovered by players. I think it’s more fun that way. I want to surprise and delight people. But if they already know everything in the game, that takes a certain element out of the final experience.

The bottom line, is that I won’t rest, or release this game, until I am personally satisfied that it’s very fun and compelling, in every aspect. If it never gets there, I’ll just never release it. But don’t worry, I have 100% faith that I’ll get it there. Everything is on the right track so far, I have the complete vision for the game in my head, and it’s just a matter of “grinding it out”, which is what I’m doing every day! Thanks for reading all this.

alright, I’m going back to work

-Ape