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Let’s Make a Game: Reorganization April 27, 2014

Posted by eric22222 in Game Development, General.
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Before I started blogging about this project, I had already made some significant progress into it. The posts have nearly caught up with my actual progress (the circuits took much longer than I’d like to admit), so my blogging schedule may slow down a little.

At this point I’ve been adding a handful of features, but I’ve mostly been spending time tackling old TO-DO comments and cleaning up some of the functions that were just barely held together. A quick summary of unblogged accomplishments:

  • Enemies: I’ve got three very different enemies in place, all on a sort of garden theme for an early-game level. The snail wanders back and forth, the angry sunflower (sunglower?) throws its petals at you, and the bumblebee wanders around aimlessly until you get too close. The nice thing about these is that I’ve got most of the movement functions in their own little file, each parameterized so I can reuse them with other enemies. For instance, I could have another enemy that moves like the snail, but at a different speed.
  • Mouse control: I’ve gone back on my previous decision to stick with keyboard-only controls. It’s not very intuitive to be moving and aiming at the same time. I may revisit keyboard control for the bow as an option, but the mouse is so much more intuitive.
  • Weaponry: I’ve updated the player code so that weapons can be cycled through with the scroll wheel. When unarmed, the player can wall-jump, flutter-jump, and run a little faster. I’ve also added a slingshot that fires green peas as a second weapon (another fun idea from my wife).
  • Centralized stats: player and weapon statistics are now held in one file instead of being hard-coded. I can now make in-game adjustments to jump height, running speed, weapon damage, and just about anything else.

I’ll be happy to go into more details on any of these by request. For now, the big thing I’m going to need to figure out is exactly how I want the game to play. I’ve got lots of things to hammer out that I really haven’t needed to worry about until now. But I’m going to have to actually start making levels soon, and I’m still not exactly sure how that will play out. Will it be totally open-world exploration a la Metroid? Single exit per level but multiple path level-select like Super Mario Bros 3? I really like, um… “level encapsulation” (?), but I’m not sure how to… hm. There’s lots of different ways that just completing a level works, and I don’t know any official terms to describe it. I guess I’ll spend some time thinking about these things before going into level design:

  • How will the level-select structure work? (Must all levels be completed? Are there branching paths from some levels?)
  • How does a single level work? (Do you just get to the end to complete it? Are there required collectibles?)
  • How does ammo/combat work? (Do I have to conserve items? How viable in combat am I when unarmed?)
  • How are boss battles going to work? (No clue.)

So that’s where we stand right now. There are a lot of ways that the project could go at this point, and it’ll depend on the conclusions I reach while trying to figure this out. This project hasn’t really been difficult at this point, it’s just taken some solid work and a little math. This is the point where I’m no longer thinking about how the inertia physics work or how many pixels per second squared is reasonable for a gravity constant. This is the point where I’m actually designing the game.

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