It still feels like it'd kinda be a shame to go for an overhead view on my Mode 7 levels, so I'm experimenting with having the gameplay not grid aligned again. With acceleration it seems to work out well I think?

If I do this I'll have to try and design levels around allowing for wider turns. Also actually implement wall collision that takes unaligned movement into account.

Particles make blowing things up really enjoyable. I love that the SNES's sprite limits are high enough that I can put in pretty much all the particles I'd ever want.

I think I'm gonna dive back into working on Nova 2 as my primary thing again and just put my side projects on the side. I've been away from it for far too long and it brings me a lot of joy.

I implemented the bomb ability, and made it act more like bombs in Kirby Super Star so they're faster.

You can still place bombs in the air like in Pocket Bomberman, for the same sort of tricks. I tried having it where the bombs got placed directly underneath you but that was vastly overpowered. But maybe overpowered (but fun!) mechanics call for being made into temporary powerups!

Also the throwing animation needs replaced, but at this point every animation does.

I implemented something that draws sprites onto the Mode 7 layer in software by copying the graphics underneath them and pasting the sprite on top. I tried making them move more smoothly but that didn't quite work out, because that meant re-rendering every sprite every frame and that added up to too much.

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Been working on trying to get my mode 7 levels actually in a game-like state so I can actually have some real puzzles. I entered Nova the Squirrel 2 into SAGE 2020 and I want to make a strong impression there.

I implemented blocks that can have their solidity toggled with switches. They have different symbols on them so they're not only differentiated by color.

They required me to support blocks that are only conditionally solid in the engine, which was solved by letting blocks call a routine when their solidity is checked. Nova 1 solved it by just putting block attributes like solidity in a table in RAM.

I combined the fade and iris effect, and now I've got the door transition effect I'd been hoping for!

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I implemented doors, and I played around with adding screen transition effects. A fade looks good, and I dunno how a fade+mosaic effect looks, though it looked fine when Super Mario World did it.

I also played with doing a circle "iris" effect, like Kirby's Dream Land 3 does, and I've got that working after a lot of trial and error. I can reuse that circle code for other effects too.

I added some improved flowers that use their own palette instead of trying to use the always-available palette. I also made it so that grass animates slightly when stepped on.

Here's some boulders that fall, and fake being solid by putting invisible walls behind themselves. They also save where they moved to by modifying the list that's used to determine what actors to spawn in while scrolling.

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I implemented the arrow blocks (inspired by a Neopets game) from Nova the Squirrel 1 into its sequel. I'm going to have a lot of fun with these because they were one of my favorite game mechanics.

Decided to play around with HDMA, and the gradient and parallax makes the simple background look cooler for sure. I found out I actually had a lot of the infrastructure already set up for per-background effects, so that was less work for me.

Here's where my glass level stuff ended up going. Having areas where the glass would go in front of the player didn't work out die to layering problems, so I ended up just using flat looking blocks for all of the glass, which I think improves it a lot.

I also ended up going with just adding the foreground to a mostly black background. I wish I could do what RollerCoaster Tycoon seems to do and force the thing behind the glass to a specific hue.

I've got my inventory screen mostly implemented! It's got a grid of item icons, the ability to swap item slots and a description, though I still have to write actual descriptions.

Big improvement from the first game that just had names and simple icons.

Definitely feel like I need to add more particle effects, but I've got keys and locks working! I think there's a lot of potential fun to be had in using locks as flooring, and maybe having situations where you *don't* want to touch keys.

Not necessarily new content, but I went and did a recording of me flying through part of level 3 to show off going really fast, and I wanted to share it. You can go through Nova the Squirrel 2 at any pace you want, but I want it to be fun to go through it fast.

Tried mocking up a new type of platform that should look more sturdy than what I'd been doing before, and that can actually hang off the edge of things without looking off.

I'll probably tweak enemy behavior/appearance from here, but I actually had to use the same sprite priority trick that Super Mario Bros. 3 relies on to make powerups come out of blocks and I wanted to show that off.

I've got my cutscene engine to the point where I can display a scene with a background, foreground and characters, display text boxes, and display portraits for who's talking.

I've still got some work to do, like writing some tools to convert the dialog script from a friendlier format, but I'll do that later. I also want to put a speech bubble above whoever is currently talking.

Playing around with enemy behavior ideas. In this case I was trying to make something that felt sort of creature-like, but still had some fairness to it. Like you can always jump over this enemy safely, and shooting takes some time instead of happening immediately.

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