Once upon a time, Chromatic Hue was going to be called Hue Adventure, and the second world was going to be Secondary Sea. That second world would end up being the most difficult of all 6 areas for me to conceptualize, and it actually started from a relatively grounded idea - a beach level.
Eventually I got tired of the beach theme and opted to turn the area into Neon Nights, a theme park that was originally going to be world 3, before I decided on a cave theme for that world.
After awhile, though, the idea of Neon Nights got murky, and I opted to go back to Secondary Sea, which I was now calling Sepia Sea. I made a beach town, added some NPCs, built a sunken ship area... But it never felt right.
Fast forward to about a month ago, and it hit me - an underwater aquarium, with different exhibits making up the explorable world. One month later, I'm happy to say that Alan Kongle's Magical Marine Museum feels both entirely unique and yet oh so familiar in the world of Chromatic Hue.
Inspired by places I've visited in other games like Mimi's Manor from Super Paper Mario, the aquarium (er, museum) is going to have a strong narrative structure. It will be much less free-form than other levels, but throw Hue into new situations, challenge the player to solve the mystery of Alan Kongle, and even see Hue change into a brand new form - a submarine!
Alan Kongle's... Say what now?
Alan Kongle is going to be front and center in this world - The owner of a fantastical, if a bit eccentric, underwater aquarium featuring such exhibits as "ICE - Like Water, But Different!" and "THE BEACH - Nature's Tourist Trap!". Hue will explore above the waves and below the sea, meeting new friends and foes along the way. But who IS Alan Kongle, and is everything at the park as wonderful as it seems? (The fact that I'm asking that means, no, it definitely isn't)
How much more 'til it's done?
Good question - I was able to get most of the sprites drawn up and I programmed some of the harder things - there's a lot of cleanup left to do. A lot of the environments still don't have textures and, for instance, while the game knows when to turn Hue into a submarine, there's no transformation animation. Things like that will probably eat up the bulk of my dev time this week.
Then there's the fact that I don't yet have a working mid-boss or boss battle for this world. If I can get all of that done by next weekend, I should be able to start working on the dialogue in the area, and then... I think world 2's pretty much good to go.
If I can finish world 2, then, roughly, the game is 30% complete. Of course, even when I finish everything, I'm going to want to make changes to lots of things - I have a lot of work to do at the end to make the game presentable for an audience. But finishing all of the nitty gritty work is a great first step.
Make the game playable first, make it pretty after that.