Sunday, November 26, 2017

Why don't I do this more often?

(Hi all, the new build can be found HERE)

Remember when I said, three weeks ago, that I hoped I'd be updating the blog more frequently? I do too! How time makes fools of us all.

I have been working on the game though. I've been at a bit of a loss as to how to tell when I'm done with this game, and how to tell what levels are good or not, or when I've managed to create enough levels, but I think I've had a small breakthrough. The first third of the game should be teaching wrap walls (the blue ones), bounce walls (the purple ones), kill walls, switches, goals, enemies, and linked goals. It should also introduce the fact that these elements can sometimes move about the level on their own. This is the core of the game. Warp walls (the green ones), and boost plates get added on top of that in in the second third of the game, and the final third of the game stops teaching new concepts and focuses on finding new combinations of existing objects. There are a lot of combinations I haven't even gotten around to trying yet, like parenting a bounce wall to a rotating game object:

This level has two relatively easy puzzles to it, and both simply involve finding a good place to position yourself and then bounce yourself off of the bounce wall. The enemy can be killed with a simple bounce, but the linked goals require you to also travel through a warp wall. It feels good that the level forces you to move around it. Or, it would if moving objects interacted with players correctly. Currently walls won't affect you if you're standing still. I feel like I was going to investigate that long, long ago, but never did. Oh well. Attaching game objects to game objects is super basic, and I don't know why I haven't been doing it up until now. This is what I think the last third of the game could preoccupy itself with.

Oh, I also deleted some levels, and adjusted others. Last build, I had this:

Which was just, far too complicated. The warp walls attached to the center triangle moved back and forth even though you were turning the kill walls off, and not circumventing them. That got me thinking. What if the idea was you needed to circumvent those walls, instead of switching them off? I removed the switches, and I also removed the moving walls, as this level would be hard enough without them. Here's what I was left with:

Okay, it looks hardly different, but it plays a lot better.

I may not keep to the formula I laid out above, with the thirds and everything, but I'm starting to have ideas about what kind of mechanical arc I want the game to have. And yeah, the arc I'm describing is a totally obvious one, but it somehow feels more concrete in my mind now.

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

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