Now that my fan game engine is as good as I'm going to get it, I started legitimate work on my project while I was in Athens. (Currently back in Ringgold for Thanksgiving, and stuffed to bursting with food!) After over two years of off and on work on this engine, it's great being at a point I can do stuff with it. I can't believe I started this thing in the summer of 2013! It feels like yesterday.
I'll have to hold off further progress until I complete the Compass Test very soon; a very important test that defines what college courses I'll be eligible to take. After that, I can work on this whenever I have free time. If LakeFepard could finish 4 Sonic fan games during his time in college, me working on one Shantae fan game shouldn't be impossible as long as I don't go into a feature-panic that kills most game projects in general.
In the meantime, I seriously wanted to show off the revamped equipment screen and rearranged HUD. Since this will be a short fan game with three temples to explore, I removed the Dance Screen entirely and merged the contents of both screens together. That required changing the 4x3 item grid to 3x4, removing Fireflies, etc.
To compensate for the length, there will be plenty of new features and side quests to discover for repeated replay value; maybe a new game plus option too. Hopefully a teeny bit more content than Risky's Revenge offered so other fans don't get mad at me.
Trust me, I have an evil grin from all the crazy fourth-wall ideas I wrote down for this project.
I also added working item descriptions because I wanted to! They really do scroll horizontally and detail what each item does. The only thing that's absent on the HUD is that I want to add elemental hair dyes to the game. (Easily done thanks to a palette changing shader!)
Proposed dyes so far are: Fire Red, Icy Blue, and Electrifying Yellow. A nature-themed green color that spawns plant-based attacks might be possible too. This is a call-back to Mr. Bozon's idea from his original Shantae pitch for the PS1/PC to include moveset-based hairstyles in Shantae, so her hairstyle changes how she attacks.
And as you can see, the possible dance transformations, as well as places to teleport, are reduced. The Monkey and Mermaid forms are present, as well as the Harpy in later sections. I really had no idea how to implement the Spider and Elephant forms in a way that wasn't in a shameless, contrived "Let's use this because we can!" kind of way.
The HUD was given a position flip like what you see in LoZ: Oracle of Ages or Seasons compared to Link's Awakening. I want this to be a different Shantae experience that clearly sets itself apart from the official games, so lots of little changes will be made. (I may even ask around the FamiTracker scene to help give it a different sub-genre of music from the first Shantae. I think it was Arabian Disco House?)
The story itself will stay as true to the characters as I possibly can, though. I'm holding back details about the story in Rising Tempest, but I will say that it takes place in "Spangle Land", another word for Sequin! It's a self-contained GBC-styled sequel squeezed between the events of the first Shantae and Risky's Revenge. It won't pretend to foreshadow events in the series, or toy with what is officially known about the series' canon.
I'm placing it in a general eastern direction of Sequin Land, so expect some oriental inspirations in architecture or landscapes. The general themes of the game are "Mermaids, Old Magical Relics, Eastern Settings".
It should make for an interesting ride, and celebrate Shantae's first published game on the Gameboy Color in a whole new way! If anyone is interested in being an Alpha tester for Rising Tempest in the future, let me know so I can make a Skype group to organize play testing or critique. That's where most, if not all future updates of this project would go until its release.