Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sound Designers and Shader Tutorials

This week I got in touch with a friend of mine who was interested in providing sound effects for the game. I'm going to provide them with a list of sound effects that need to be either created or replaced. At the top of that list is going to be the sound effect I keep having to cite each week. Sheesh.

I also continued my slow progress with learning shaders.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

No update this week, but shader things!

I unfortunately don't have an update, but I will share that I decided to look into learning how to do some basic things with shaders this week. I was intimidated at first, but of course as soon as I started watching tutorials it became a lot more approachable... Because that's the function of a tutorial.

I'm not sure in what capacity I want to use shaders for this game, but I know that I do want to keep things aesthetically minimalist, staying to simple geometric shapes and more-or-less solid colors. Learning a bit about shaders could really expand my options for look and feel while staying within those parameters. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

NYE Is the Deadline!

(This week's (and I guess this year's) build is up right HERE!)

This week I did some tinkering. I realized that the reason why moving objects are passing right through the player if the player is not moving is because, duh, the moving object itself doesn't have a rigidbody attached to it. It's really only conspicuous in one level, so I only added a rigidbody there. It's possible that that decision comes back to bite me, but it's also the only place in the game where you are advantaged by letting a moving object try to move through you.


But that got me wondering about colliders, which got me wondering about the problem I've been trying to solve for a long, long time - the issue of the player mysteriously losing a ton of momentum after interacting with walls mid-charge. I'd played around with different colliders and things in the past, but I couldn't remember if I'd tried just making the player's collider into a trigger. There would obviously be certain things that would break, but would it solve the issue of momentum loss?

As it turns out, the game runs pretty well even when the player's collider is just a trigger. Most of the logic keeping the player from going through stuff is done with raycasts. And lo and behold, I experienced no loss of momentum on several playthroughs of the game. I won't say that the issue is fixed, because I've been wrong about this before, but it's promising. Of course, I can't just keep the player a trigger all the time, so I just have the player's collider turn into a trigger during charges. It actually works out great that way, since the speed at which the player moves during charges is the whole reason I needed to write the raycasting logic in the first place. As to what was the cause of the issue in the first place, I guess that under certain conditions, when interacting with a bounce wall, the player would turn in such a way that a corner of the player's collider would intersect with the wall's collider, Unity's physics system would then try to stop the player from moving... I think.

We'll see if this solution causes any other issues, but for now all I need to do is to solve some cosmetic bugs caused by this. On an unrelated note, I also need to make boost plates play a sound effect when you go over them. I can't believe I didn't do that yet.

As always, the charging-up noise is by Javier Zumer. I'm using it under this license.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Xmas Eve is the Deadline

(This week's build is here!)

This week's progress is really simple: I added a new level and I made a slight change to the logic of linked goal nodes.

Here's the new level:


As you can see, it's pretty hectic. That being said, there's only one trick to learn in this level, and that's how to navigate the spinning red wall. The other elements of the level are pretty tame. All except the moving boost plates. However, I'm confident that those will be less intimidating to the player because they've already seen that trick before in this level:


I'm not sure what levels are going to end up making up this final third of the game, the part of the game where I want to have a conversation with the player about what all of these mechanics can accomplish in unison, but I'm enjoying finding new ways to combine movement, wall types, goal types, and extra obstacles like boost plates and switches.

As always, the charge-up noise is by Javier Zumer, and I use and modify this asset under this license.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Back next Sunday!

Sorry, no post this week! I had some other things I needed to handle which took priority.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

More level tweaking

(This week's build can be found here)

I didn't have much time to work on the game this week, but I did change two levels. One level asked the player to go through some bounce/wrap walls to hit four linked nodes, then hit a switch to be able to do the thing all over again. The switch was totally unnecessary, so I removed it. I might also remove that level entirely later, since I don't really ever ask the player to hit linked nodes more than once in a row in later levels of the game.

However, speaking of using linked nodes that require multiple hits per node, the next level does now use them. Here's what it looks like:


Here's what the level used to look like:


The preceding levels use 45 degree diagonal bounce walls. I thought using two at once would feel like a natural progression, but the solution to this level is uninteresting. There's really only one solution and the level itself isn't that fun to move around in. The level I replaced it with is a lot more fun to move about in. There is a "best way" to solve the puzzle of hitting both linked nodes twice, but there are a bunch of other ways to do it too. If you're fast enough, I believe you can clear this level without even needing to use the bounce wall. My one worry is that it doesn't quite explain what the "trick" of the level is, so maybe it'll be frustrating when people try it.

"Charging up" sound effect is by Javier Zumer. I use and modify it under this license.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Three Red Diamonds

(This week's new build is up here!)

This week was more about level deletion than level creation. I feel like the more levels I design, the better I have an idea for what levels I'd like to cut. I cut the last level of the game easily, because I'd been meaning to cut it for a while, but I also cut two later levels that didn't show off Warp Walls in quite the light I wished they did, along with two earlier levels that were maybe a little novel but not actually pushing the player to do that many cool things. One of those levels might come back, because I still like it.

And then I made this new level, right at the end:


I mentioned this way back when, but I really like starting these later levels with three kill walls arranged as diamonds in the center of the screen. They break the level up in a really cool way, and I can have walls running off of them in what feels like natural directions to further constrain the player while keeping the level aesthetically pleasing.

As always, the charge-up noise is by Javier Zumer and I use and modify that noise under this license.