Nymn is Tanglewood’s protagonist, a shy creature from a family-oriented species called the Djun race, who survive in packs, live underground, and only emerge during daylight. Night time is dangerous for Nymn and his fellow Djun, since many of Tanglewood’s less desirable characters emerge after dark to chase, intimidate, hunt and eat any strays who should have retreated underground.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation Nymn has found himself in. Lost, alone and missing his family, Nymn is desperate to find a way to get back to his underground pack before nightfall sets in and he becomes the victim of a sadistic hunting game, which will almost certainly end in his demise.
The small teaser video from last week showed Nymn walking through the world for a small glimpse of the environment, but the gameplay itself will be faster paced; Nymn is a quick and nimble creature who can walk on two legs, and scurry along quickly on all four. The platforming experience of Tanglewood is one that I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting – it’s important to me that Nymn’s controls and physical behaviours are accessible and familiar to fans of both legacy Mega Drive titles and the modern platforming games by which Tanglewood was inspired. Since my initial platform code demos in January I’ve added a whole suite of movement features, and spent many hours tweaking and perfecting movement behaviour and response.
There are a lot of variables at play here – walk acceleration, run acceleration, max walk velocity, max run velocity, floor drag, in-air drag, gravity, critical mass, walk-to-run transition speed, forced deceleration, jump impulse, step heights, multiple jump ground heights… you get the idea. There’s a few bits left to do, too, such as a separate acceleration value for controlling Nymn’s left/right movement whilst in air; a practice that has dwindled in favour of physical realism, but was synonymous with platforming games at the time and would be sorely missed.
Nymn’s animations are something that we are very proud of. The character design has been through several iterations, and endured many tiny tweaks in order for it to appear as smooth as the hardware allows, and we hope it shows. There’s still a lot of work left to do to iron out some of the creases, but we’re getting there.
I’ll leave you with a small sample of Nymn’s basic movements:
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