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[COMPLETED] Puzzle RPG - Spirit Guardians: Dalvanie

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For the competition I'm going to create a puzzle RPG. I've done one before so I'm pretty confident I can figure out how to make the puzzles, so as an added challenge to myself, I'm going to figure out how to implement an achievements system.

I mostly learned how to use the editor by trial and error, but it's been a while since I've done anything soooooo this will be fun.

My plan is to make a single player game, where the adventurer has to find pieces of equipment by completing puzzles, and then use said equipment to defeat a final boss. I also plan to have several extras and, of course, my achievements system.


Main Story: each dominion will have a bonfire that will light up when completed. Player will not be able to leave the area until they have completed the challenge, unless they die, in which case they respawn at the doors and the puzzle is reset.

1st Dominion: Fight some monsters

Reward: Guardian Armor


2nd Dominion: Switch puzzle

Reward: Guardian Armor Pants


3rd Dominion: Find and light all the torches within a given time

Reward: Guardian Armor Boots


4th Dominion: Jumping Puzzle

Reward: Propeller Pack


5th Dominion: Gather ingredients and repair Mythical Sword

Reward: Mythical Sword


Final Boss: 3-phase Golem

Can only be hurt by Mythical Sword

Situated on island floating in the sky - can only be reached with propeller pack.



-Revenge scheme (don't kill my NPCs please)

-some love story probably between NPCs but if I could put romance interests I would

-NPC that wants dead golem remains

-a hobbit hole

-a mine

-a village

-a bakery


-fortune teller

-probably something underwater



20 total, and I want to add a secret ending if they're all completed.

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This sounds really cool and the Achivement system would be pretty neat ? Looking forward to it ? If you release some first DEMO (first puzzle or something), would love to try it out on one of our streams ?

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thanks for the encouragements! I'm keeping a notebook with a bunch of notes, maps and planning, but here's some of that good progress report.


I have a confession, I... don't super love building in the editor. I wish I could build using the character mode. Or at least furnish in character mode. Anyway. I like to have most of everything built in an empty terrain then import my compositions in the map later. I wanted to use only buildings I had built so I looked at what I already had made I could use:

-A bakery

-3 small houses

-A small fortress

-4 custom houses meant to be in mountains

-A whole ranch that's way too big

-An elevator that I could repurpose into a mine shaft

-A chapel

-A stable

-A fisherman shack

-A tavern

-A workshop

-A small town center

-A treehouse

I honestly didn't remember I had that much stuff, but with some small tweaks and a couple more houses and stores, my village was looking more complete than I had thought. Which left me with the following to build:

-Starter Temple

-Guardian Hall

-Puzzle Arena

-A whole castle (dear god)

-a couple more houses

-Fortune teller house

-Hobbit hole


-Cemetery with mausoleum


...wow that's a lot still.

The starter Temple, the Guardian Hall and the Puzzle Arenas went well. I knew what I wanted, clean marble buildings with columns, statues and a golden rooftop. I wanted the arenas to be closed off so the players would feel transported somewhere else (and of course, prevent them from leaving or cheating), similar to the temples in Breath of the Wild or Genshin Impact, but I wanted the temples to be open and airy. The insides of the arenas will be furnished when I'm building and coding the actual puzzles.

I then moved on to the castle. I don't know why. I could have done houses, or the cemetery, or basically anything else??? I guess I figured after the gigantic castle I was planning, anything else would be a piece of cake. My first few tries were useless, I didn't even bother taking screenshots. I decided to keep the towers I built (you can see them in some screenshots), but in all honesty I'm probably going to move them to the ruins because they don't vibe. I decided to go on a research spree, because obviously the symmetrical, disney-esque castle wasn't working for me. I looked at the public compositions, at the playlands castle, at some public games, and honestly some look amazing but nothing was speaking to my soul. I turned to real life and started researching actual castles, and I found the solution: the Predjama Castle. It's a very cubic, simple looking castle stuck in a cave. I loved it immediately. It doesn't really look pre-planned, and that was speaking more to the feeling I wanted for my castle: a great hall that, over the years, had had more and more buildings and towers tacked on.

It would be a mess to make and a mess to explore, but it would be something I'd have fun to make. I started planning it out: great hall in the center, barracks at the front and right, a kitchen in the back, some towers for the nobles, and of course, an even bigger tower for the royal quarters. I wanted to add a treasury, an armory, servants quarters, and an observatory, so I raised up the walls accordingly. My outer shell was complete and I love it so much. I alternated which side of bricks I'd been using and changed up the building style to mimic the fact that some parts had been built with decades in between. I kept the great hall lower so I could add a statue garden on top. The noble quarters would have a receiving room, a bedroom and a manservant room, whereas the royal quarters would also have a dressing room. Of course the King's quarter would be at the very top, and it would be bigger and better than anyone else's. The kitchen area would be separated to add a pantry. I'd put an office above the small dining room and a war room above the armory. I'd have two levels of servants quarters - lower level would be shared rooms and top level would be single rooms. I'd use different doors depending on if it was meant for nobles or servants. ...Tough I didn't plan for restrooms but heh I'll stick a couple of latrines in weird corners.

Is it realistic? I don't know and I don't care. Am I having fun? Heck yes.




castle outsides.png

Castle planning.png

giant-er door.png

Guardian Hall.png

Starter temple.png

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Good news! The castle is completed, and fully furnished. Featuring 3 royal suites, an armory, a bunch of latrines, something like 14 noble quarters, 16 servants quarters, a kitchen, a pantry, a storage room, what I'm choosing to call an observatory, a treasure room, barracks, a war room, some offices, and a beautiful cat statue garden, this baby can fit so many people.

I also made my graveyard and a mausoleum, housing an invincibility potion (lasts 15 seconds). Where are the graves, you ask? That's a secret revealed when I implement Revenge Scheme and I spook it up!

(I went back and made the carpets non-pickable.)

That's the main bulk of my building finished!





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Now that building is done, it’s time to do some scripting!

I started soft, with the intro part: light a brazier and the player gets the quest.

Then I moved on to the Dominions and worked on the common script for all five: player can’t enter if they didn’t get the starting quests, and they get locked in until they finish the puzzle and light the bonfire. Then a chest spawns and they get their reward and also they get to leave. I played around with the respawn points as well, so if a player dies inside, they get respawned right outside.

I also added some flint inside so they always have something to light the bonfire, because one thing I know is: players WILL find a way to block themselves.

I started on the first puzzle: defeating some monsters. Although all in all straightforward, I hit a snag trying to despawn the enemies if the player died, but finally found a workaround after a good night's sleep.

The second puzzle was easier, a bunch of buttons to hit in the right order. Of course, something outside the dominion will tell the player the right order, but the audio cues and the fact that it resets once a wrong button is hit makes it pretty easy to defeat.

The third puzzle is a maze, in which I got lost in testing it out, so I guess it works fine. I might add a timed element to it later but for now I like it without.

After a fruitful weekend, it’s now time to get back to my actual job and slower progress :(







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ALRIGHT the main quests are mostly done!

The fourth puzzle is a jumping puzzle so it was just a matter of animating some blocks! It gives the propeller pack to the player.

For the fifth and last puzzle I wanted to somewhat combine the four previous puzzles. Although theoretically they should have done the four ones before, I wanted to be sure if they skipped any they could still do this one. I created an altar in the middle of the room, and four small chambers. The altar holds a broken sword. Players have to go through a jumping puzzle to get to the top of the chambers (or use the propeller pack) and push a button, unlocking the door of that chamber. When entering the chambers, they must defeat the golem in there. Repeat until all the chambers are finished and a crystal will appear above the sword. Players have to grab it and interact with the sword to obtain the mythical sword.

There are some things I want to refine - adding a camera showing the crystal when it spawns, for example - but the main parts of it were done, so I isolated it, added a sword an a pizza just in case (in the full game players would have the full world to explore for resources) exported it and asked my friends to try it out! And now you can try it out too! Look for (DEMO) Spirit Guardians!

With that done, while my friends were getting lost in the maze, I recreated the REVENGE SCHEME. I first made it up because my brothers just plain murdered my NPCs in the first game I ever made without bothering to talk to them, and I wanted to punish them.

What it does is it counts the number of times a NPC is attacked or killed, and adds it to a little, hidden counter that the player has no clue about. If a NPC is killed, a tombstone is randomly spawned in the cemetery.

When the players enter the cemetery, it spawns zombies and mummies according to the amount they attacked or killed, and it repeats every time the player enters. In the final map, for added spookiness, I'll add some fog and some more ambiance.

And in the center of the cemetery is my invincibility buff potion :D  






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I spent the week getting comments from my tester friends, so I spent the week making adjustments, including:

-Refined jumping puzzle

-Simplified maze (made pathways larger)

-fixed some bugs

-added a final boss

I want to improve the fighting arena a bit still but I'm still thinking about what I want exactly.

However, I started figuring out the achievements system! As of this morning, the demo features 3 achievements that can be done. The UI for the achievements is not final though. I'm facing a snag for some of the planned achievements, if I can't find a satisfactory work around I'll have to change them up a bit :(

I also got started on some of the NPCs and their dialogues.





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Some good progress on scripting this week :D Surprisingly the achievements were not that difficult to put in place, so there is only one left to make, and another to test. I also created a bunch of NPCs, fixed some end of game stuff, created some portals, and built a store. A couple more things and it will be time to work on the final map O.O







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Thank you for playing my game on stream @Adam Snellgrove! I took notes of all your comments!!

The final achievement has been implemented!! Not available in the demo though :D

With that done, here is what I have left to do:

-Secret ending!

-Import in final map!

-Polish everything and add a couple  of sidequests


I got started on the map because I wanted a change of pace. What I did is screenshot the preview of the map, then screenshot individual areas of the generated map that I paste on top of the preview to have a more accurate representation of the map, and planned out on top what I wanted to put where (you can see the final results in the attached pictures). I did this a couple of times until I found one that finally felt right. Some terrain adjustments will need to be made to some parts but it's pretty good!

Now, in a perfect world, I'd redraw the map nicely and import that in game to use as a tool to direct the player towards the achievements and goals, with it being blank and stuff appearing on it as they explore the island, but I haven't found a way to import images. I might try to draw it using the sprites but I feel that that way lie tears and pain, and also a lot of effort. I don't know. My second idea to help players do the achievements was using the sprites as the hints but I'm not 100% satisfied with them either.

Sigh life is hard...




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Quick update! I ended up changing maps hahaha. I like the new one better. Some of the previous placement was bothering me. So here's the new map! I'll probably end up switching the button and jumping arenas because I want to direct the players to go South from the village and follow the coastline towards the East, and that would mean getting the jumping puzzle as the second arena and that's a bit too early for my taste. I might also switch the maze and the wolf puzzles. Of course nothing will stop the player from doing this in the order they want, that's fine too!

I've added some hints for the achievements requiring more than one step. Now, when they do the first step of an achievement, they get a hint telling them an Achievement has started and what they need to do to complete it. So the first time they pick up a pet rock, the system will tell them they need to find 10 pet rocks.

I've also added the secret ending for when the players completes the 20 achievements :)

I also tried to make my map in game. I'm not sure I like it, but it's the best I could come up with for now. Ideally, the map would start with only the starter temple and the village, but as the player travels or completes arenas, more point of interests would appear to help direct the players towards them. For example, the barmaid talks about an elven fortress to the South of the village - after that conversation, the marking for the fortress would appear.

But before I can actually implement the map, I need to move my assets to the map, which is the next Big Step. As of now, all of my assets have been grouped and named, and I just need to switch them over without breaking anything. 




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Been a while since my last update!

Everything is on the island now!

What's next is:

1st play-through to take note of all the changes and adjustments I want to do (cameras, timing, stuff like that)

Implementing the map system

More test runs


I'm a bit disappointed, adding a position animator to the castle as it is makes the game die a horrible framerate death, so I can't have it gloriously raise from the ground like I originally wanted :(






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