Sunday, November 27, 2016

Level reconfigurations

This week's new build is up here

After two weeks off, I'm trying to get back into revising some of these levels using some of what I learned in the last few builds. I was unhappy with how I introduced bounce walls and unhappy with how I introduced switches, so I created, deleted, and/or edited several of the levels having to do with those concepts.

Here's the new level which introduces bounce walls. The old level immediately combined bounce walls with wrap walls, and I wanted to start simpler than that. I was at first afraid of using more than two linked goal nodes, but then I realized that more goal nodes doesn't always make a level more difficult. In this case, they actually call out what the player is supposed to be doing.

I apply the same idea here. This used to be the first level with bounce walls, now it's the second. I added the northern and southern linked goal node to again call out to the player what it is they're supposed to be doing. It also prevents you from simply moving to the western node, hitting it, and moving around the bounce wall to hit the eastern node.

This is the new introductory level for switches. It really looks insane, but the idea is that only one switch is available at any time, and hitting each switch closes off the part of the level you're done with and shoves you on to the next part. It ends with a switch that turns off the kill walls surrounding the central goal item. I believe I got too fancy by adding the enemy and the warp walls. I may just delete them to make this a bit more reasonable.

All in all, I think these are good changes. These levels are also a lot more aesthetically pleasing than some of the levels they're replacing. Ideally, I want every level in the game to follow the example set by this level:

It's dynamic, it has good aesthetic and mechanical composition, and it uses all or most of the space without creating clutter or overly complex structures. I think if I can have 25-35 levels that do that, I'll be satisfied with calling this game "done."

Charging-up sound effect, as always, is by Javier Zumer. I'm using it and modifying it under this license.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

No post this week either

Whoops, I made plans to keep updating this blog through Thanksgiving, but I messed those up. I'll try to have a post for next week for sure.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Four walls and a roof

So I set out to re-redesign that level I talked about in my last post, and the results were really great. I continued to explore what it is that I like about those three diamond-shaped kill walls in the center of the level, and I found that they just break up the level really nicely. They also add an amount of danger to just moving about the level - the player arrow is quite floaty still, so it's not impossible to accidentally run straight into them and die. More than that, I really like what begins to happen when you start putting walls between each of the diamonds:

Earlier in the project, I wanted to be able to add "rooms" to levels. The idea would be that you could add sequentiality to puzzles by forcing people to do one puzzle before another. I actually did this already in the first Warp Wall level:

You have to figure out how to get to the bottom-left chamber before heading out and attacking the enemy. You get to experience the mechanic that the level is about before being quizzed at the end about the correct way to use it. I never figured out until now that, with switches, I can just divide normal-sized levels into digestible chunks. So the image I posted up top can turn into this:

And then this:

Before you know it, you've solved four puzzles in one level without even clearing a goal. So far, this game has had very few secondary goals. Sometimes there was a level with multiple primary goals (clearing linked nodes, killing enemies, etc), but you could complete them all in whatever order you wished. So I'm really happy to have a level that works in a completely different way.

Also, as a side note, the little red arrows that are attached to enemies and shoot projectiles are their own prefab. I've been waiting a while to find a level that they really needed to be used on.

As always, the charge-up noise I use was made by Javier Zumer. I use and modify it under this license.