The Hundred Ghost Tree

Most of yesterday and this morning I worked on an area I'm calling the Hundred Ghost Tree. It's another area that was kind of grown organically, I know that I wanted to have the second room to the left of your starting room was going to contain the door to the final level. I always liked games where you could see the ending from the start, but you just couldn't reach it just yet, and I wanted to do the same thing. In most platformers players always go right, so I thought it would be a fun reward for players who wanted to go left at the start of the game.

What it would look like, I wasn't sure. I didn't have a name for it yet or any idea other than it's the final door. After messing around with some ideas, I realized one of the more interesting things would be like this giant twisty, knotted, brambly tree that rose up through several levels. I was thinking of the tree platforming sections in the original Wizards & Warriors, and how tricky, and yet fun those were. I decided to make it another vertical platforming level like that (I really enjoy verticality in platformers, ever since Wizards and Warriors, which were kind of the OG vertical platforming games).

These areas (the massive vertical platformers) do take a bit more work, though. I have to keep tweaking the platformers- I want them to post a challange, but be surmountable. In the other heavily platforming areas I also have a decent level of enemies floating about or falling down on the player, adding steeper and steeper levels of difficulty. This area, I decided I wanted more of an empty, melancholy feeling. So instead I'm just going to leave it be, without many enemies. Just the platforming, the tree, the skull, and the ominous door. It took a bit to come up with the name for this area, I wanted to invoke a specific melancholy feeling in the player, and after playing around with some word combinations eventually settled on the Hundred Ghost Tree, which I like a lot.

Some of the attached images show the tree during a thunderstorm, at night.

This also means I'm about 1/2 way done. I've already worked on all of the right areas, I just need to add the bosses. Now I need to add all the left areas, the bosses, and the two secret areas that only appear when conditions are exactly right (but give the player some powerful item).

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