Starstruck Coast

by BigDiesel
created May 22
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This is our team's map for the fourth week of the Dustforce Custom League! Go Broomers!

(I'm writing the rest of this map description after the event is over, so I'll give a bit of the backstory on how we ended up making this map.) Our team had our mapmaking break during week 2, meaning we didn't have to make a  map for week 3 and could spend two whole weeks on our team's final map for the event. Since we didn't know what the theme for week 4's maps would be, I got to work on a scripting idea I had thought up: a day-night cycle inside of a level.

The script ending up as two parts: one script to adjust the fog trigger, and another to move the sun and moon sprites around the sky. For the sprites, we originally set them up to travel in a circle, and drew them onto layer 0, which we pushed back as far as we could with the layer controller script. This actually led to some issues with star density and whatnot (you'd be surprised how easily you can crash your game by messing with layer 0 stuff) but we eventually settled on a good distance. Later in the project, we adjusted the path of the sun and moon to follow a sine wave pattern instead of a circle, since it avoided issues with the sun being visible during night if the player was high up in the level.

For the fog trigger, I originally started by testing a script that would move certain fog triggers around over time, following the player's camera around as they played the level. However, we quickly figured out a better approach, which was to directly write the desired fog to the camera itself. As for the fog colors themselves, the approach we took was to have pre-set fog triggers for specific times of day, and to just blend between those over time. We implemented a basic linear interpolation for the RGB values in the fog, and then set up a bunch of different fog triggers to use for the day-night shift.

As for the map's gameplay, since our team won the mapmaking portion of week 2 with our map Subterranean Vane, we got to choose "Stars" as the theme for week 4. Personally, I was just happy we had a flexible enough theme that our map could be outdoors, or else all the script work might have gone to waste. :D The map itself went through a lot of iterations, with our first draft having lots of large eight-pointed stars and a more substantial platforming section through them near the end. You can actually play one of those early drafts here! As the week progressed and we figured out how to make more and smaller star shapes, we ended up replacing most those large stars with smaller ones in the sky and starry fragments along the ground.

Decoration Inspo:
Starting Area Trees - Snowy Ravine by Meark
Beach Sand - Sand cave by DustCreep
Lighthouse Top - Old Lighthouse by Giamma

A huge thanks to Skyhawk and fireball for their help on the map's scripts. I'm still a novice when it comes to scripting, and I would never have been able to achieve this result without their contributions. You can find the scripts we used for this map on Skyhawk's github at https://github.com/Skyhawk33/DustScripts/tree/main/map/starstruck_coast

Further shoutouts to Kau and fireball (again) for their help on the map itself, as well as the rest of the Broomers for their help brainstorming, testing, and tweaking the map to where it ended up. I'm really happy with how the map turned out and it was a lot of fun working alongside the rest of the Broomers to make maps during the event!
edited 1 day ago

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