Sunday, October 25, 2015

Disappearing walls: Not so exciting

(This week's build can be found here!)

I was somewhat busy this week, so I didn't work as much as I ought to have on the game. I did implement the disappearing walls, and I did make two levels out of them, but that was maybe 45 minutes of work, tops.

The consensus? Walls that don't do anything but block the player just feel... like normal walls. Even if they're sometimes not there. They're not that interesting, and I can hope that when combined with other elements they become more engaging, but I think I'll probably end up scrapping the appears-only-when-charging walls. Walls that appear and disappear on a timer might make more sense...

Charge-up noise by Javier Zumer under this license.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Just some small improvements

(The new build is up here!)

This week I added a particle and sound for when you collide with a bounce-wall, ditto for when a goal or linked goal resets its numbers back to zero. I also added an 8th level (Which is getting really very easy to do - level 8 is novel enough that it seems worthwhile, but only took about 5 minutes to create).

In thinking about the three features I brainstormed last week (Walls you can push, Walls that teleport you specific places, and either walls which only exist while you are charging or walls which only exist while NOT charging) I think walls existing only while charging make the most sense to develop. First, I already have the code I need to make them work. Second, I like walls existing only while charging over the opposite due to the fact that a) Charging is very strong, and I predict restricting it will lead to more creative puzzle solving and b) It's much easier, visually, to illustrate that something is going to appear than it is to illustrate that something is going to disappear.

Ideally, I would have had a level with that working in it today, but if I'm honest, I got a little lazy this weekend. Let's hear it for lazy weekends!

The charge-up noise is, again, courtesy of Javier Zumer, and is being used under this license.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Adversaries

(This week's build is up here!)

The pace I've been building this game is, obviously, incredibly slow. I've been working on this for about nine whole weeks! Some of those weeks, I added almost nothing to the game, maybe a few particle effects, some audio, and that's it. Or maybe I added a single level, and that's it. So it feels really good to say that this week I added something a bit more substantial: enemies.

One of the benefits to stretching work out this long is that you can let an idea sit for a week and a half before you implement it, and when you implement it, everything just sort of works the way you thought it might, maybe even a little better. I knew it would be a good idea to have an enemy which shoots out projectiles that interact with warp and bounce walls the same way the player does. It reuses mechanics, which is like reusing a theme or shape in a book or a painting. It's more aesthetically pleasing and makes things feel a little more balanced to the player. It's also practical. I know what these things are going to do because I already have something doing the same thing.

I gave the enemies a bounce wall to spawn as a shield whenever the player charges because a) Again, reusing mechanics and b) An idea I had from the very start was an enemy that had to be struck from behind to be killed. It also had an unpredicted effect of c) Making the enemies seem actually quite clever. If you charge them head on, you'll hit a shield which doesn't just stop you, it bounces you away. The harder you attack them in this way, the harder they rebuff you, like tiny little kung-fu masters.

Feature-wise, I could create a few more levels, (10-15 total) and then polish this up and call it a game, or I could create some other features (walls that teleport you specifically to other walls, walls that can be pushed, Walls that disappear or appear only when you are charging) and keep fiddling with things for a few more weeks... I guess we'll see...

And again, the charging-up noise is by Javier Zumer, and is being used under this license.

P.S. "The Adversaries" would make a great band name

P.P.S. I never noticed that the pluralization of Adversary contains the word "Aries"

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Put a little bounce in it

(This week's build is up here)

I got that new goal type up and working... I think the disparity between bounce walls and warp walls is still large. Bounce walls... are just a little useless, and it's very hard to bounce off them accurately. I thought about having the player always bounce such that they end perpendicular to the surface they collided with, but I don't like that so much... It could be interesting though...

I've also been kicking around ideas for enemy AI. So far I'm thinking about an enemy that knows when the player begins charging, and puts a bounce wall shield up to block any direct charges. The idea being that the player must find a way to strike this enemy's back by warping or bouncing around the level. Meanwhile, the enemy automatically shoots out projectiles which interact with bounce and warp walls the same way the player does (these "bullets" are essentially always charging). It could work.

Still settling down into my new routine in my new apartment and in my new job... This post has had a lot of ellipses in it...

Just as always, the charge-up noise is by Javier Zumer, and is being used under this license.