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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why change something that isn't broken, right? :]
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, not anymore... I had to fix a couple of other hard-to-track bugs related to not resetting, for instance, the slight delay variable on map load. I finally have it all ready to go, though. And I'm pretty glad I have it done.

I separated my todo list into code / content / miscellaneous yesterday. Right now the code section is empty. I fixed some easy but tedious things like making the scrollbar on the menu screens (e.g. level select scrollbar) render exactly right (instead of "almost right").

I also finished some back-end work for the DLC system. I needed to add a column to track the challenge data for each level and have the script append it to the levels when you download them. I also added in a "#download_complete#" marker at the end of the file so that I can be reasonably sure that the level downloaded properly. Everything looks good there presently.

Now I can finally start to shift my focus back to working on content. I'll be working primarily on the darkslide levels for a little while. Those are a little more fun to make because they lean more toward "action" than "puzzle," but at the same time they take longer to pretty up because they span several screens.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Level-building is such a time sink in puzzle games. When I was fed up making levels in Zep I would just paint randomness in my editor and then craft a level out of that. Surprisingly, many of the really difficult levels were created that way.

Any chances of having an infinite mode for Darkslide that is procedurally generated? That would be awesome. "Boss rush" ;]
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've thought about it, but I wouldn't bet on it. If I can think of a way to make it work, though, I'll certainly give it a shot.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been doing some work on the level editor today. I made a new darkslide level, but then I decided that I needed to make the creation process a little easier for the sake of my sanity.

I added the option to select more than one tile at once. I will mostly only use this for the little bridge railings (which span 2 tiles), but that's enough for me.

Also you can now "clone" existing objects. This way, if I want to create 5 spikes aligned to the right, I can simply create one, align it tot he right, and then clone it; subsequently any new spikes I create will automatically align to the right.

Until now I was using a simple scrolled list for displaying all of the objects. This worked okay, but it wasn't optimal. I decided to move it into a "selection wheel" so that you can see all of hte objects at once. Mousing over an object will display its description in the center of the screen. Here's a look:


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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that looks really awesome, actually. Definitely cooler than a list.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made one small additional addition to the level editor. When you're selecting a tile, you can press any letter key on the keyboard to "hotkey" that tile. I use a lot of "corner" tiles when I'm prettying the maps up; going back to the tilesheet for every difference corner was somewhat annoying. (I previously had set right-click to "copy tile" but it just wasn't enough.) I don't know why I didn't think of doing this until now.

I just finished off the 9th darkslide level. These levels are really cool. I have to spend a fair amount of time playtesting each one; I put all of these stars on the map during design thinking, "that's a cool little puzzle" only to find out that the player just doesn't have enough time to get the star.

I will likely continue to mostly focus on creating more darkslide levels for the next few days. Give me some time and I'll show off one of the other neat tricks in the game.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I made one small additional addition to the level editor. When you're selecting a tile, you can press any letter key on the keyboard to "hotkey" that tile. I use a lot of "corner" tiles when I'm prettying the maps up; going back to the tilesheet for every difference corner was somewhat annoying. (I previously had set right-click to "copy tile" but it just wasn't enough.) I don't know why I didn't think of doing this until now.

Wish I thought of that for my editor. That would have been a real time-saver. For the next game, I suppose. :]
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're up to 18 darkslide levels at this point, keeping in line with my target pace of 3 per day still. These levels are really cool. Sadly I need to fix an annoying bug (that I thought I had previously fixed) before I can fully test level 17, and I need to edit level 18 for impossibility.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing to see here. Except that one thing.



In case I didn't steal the youtube embed code properly:

21 levels, on pace.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VERY nice.
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BadMrBox
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed :)
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

World rotation, ZOMG. I also like the "all the blocks jiggle" when the player gets slammed into oblivion.

This seems like it's going to be hard.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll definitely be a challenging game. Every level will have a video hint for players who get totally stuck; I think that should help. The challenge system I put in the game also allows me to make levels that are easy and hard at the same time. The darkslide levels are good examples. You can play it "normally" and just focus on getting a few stars along the way, or you can try to complete the challenge of collecting all of the stars in the level. You still beat the level if you don't get all of the stars, but you of course don't complete the challenge. The checkpoint feature has the same easy/hard amalgam; you can rely on the checkpoints to help you beat the level, but can you complete the challenge of beating the levels without needing to use a checkpoint? It's kind of casual mode versus hardcore mode, in a way. I'm excited about it.

I'm going to keep focusing on designing darkslide level for a couple of more days. Once I have 30 or so of them, I'll probably shift my focus to some of the scripting work on the levels. After that, my level of inspiration will probably dictate how many more levels I make for release. At least with the DLC system in place, II'll have the luxury of releasing additional levels after release instead of worrying about having "enough" in the initial release.
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that's insanely cool.

How is the rotation going to affect recorded ghost copies of players?

Will they be affected by the changed gravitation vector or will they continue on their way as they were recorded? (in the latter, it would be fun to abuse them as elevators (walking up a wall(floor before rotation)) or as a moving platform (bridging a gap(falling down before rotation)).
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recorded copies actually always obey gravity in real-time, so you won't be able to abuse them quite as you mentioned, but there are other ways... ;)
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



All this delicious progress recently among board members.... really makes me want to...

Sit on my ass and play old RPGs all day long.


That didn't come out right.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After taking a weekend off from the project for the Super Bowl among other things, I got 4 more darkslide levels designed today. I still need to pretty up 3 of them (I always start by using a generic block for design purposes) and do some testing on a couple of them. The newest one, level 28, has a lot of stars that are pretty hard to get (while staying ahead of the slide), so testing it has taken a bit of time.

I'll probably finish off the aforementioned revisions alongside a couple of new levels tomorrow to reach my general target of 30 darkslide levels. That will be somewhat relieving.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bah. I made level 30 too long and I wasted a bunch of time trying to optimize it. It's a work in progress. I have a couple of other sliding level bugs to take care of, such as the recorder block dudes not appearing for some reason when the recording ends. I'm incredibly eager to take a look at those bugs. I don't want to do everything fun right away, though, so I'm going to put those off for a little while. Instead I can spend a little of that time getting some more of the stars in Mario 64. What? Don't act so surprised. I had to find something to play once I found out the new Deus Ex game got delayed.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh! I did yet another rewrite of the object rotation positioning code. It wasn't working right with non-square objects (primarily this meant the invisible rectangle areas I define for challenges and checkpoints and the like). It looks like it's working a lot better now. Unfortunately the delay meant I only got a couple levels' worth of challenges scripted instead of the 10 - 20 I had aimed for. It's progressing well now that I"ve got that bug fixed, at least.

I'm at the point in development now where I kind of expect things to typically work properly. When things don't work, it's more frustrating than usual because, in general, things do work properly.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though you were set back it sounds like you're still making some pretty sweet progress. That's great.

How many levels of each are you aiming to have when you complete? (Did you already mention this..?)
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plan on going with the 30 sliding levels I have completed. I'm currently sitting on 90 - 95 puzzle levels; I'll put a handful more together at some point for the round number of 100. It'll be pretty loaded.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

100 sounds like a good sweet spot. Since you have easy DLC you can always just add more on later. My only suggestion is to stop somewhere good so you don't get totally burnt out. That's the worst, especially with puzzle games.

On an unrelated note: is this version going to have music?
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. I have a few rough loops in the game at the moment. I'm optimistic about that, but a little less so about the sound effects (mainly because my sound effect search process principally entails typing "free sound effects" into google and then sifting through a bunch of stuff that doesn't work for my game at all).
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With some somewhat determined effort I managed to script the challenges all the way through level 60 today. That puts me in pretty good position. I'm hoping I can do about 10 levels a day during the week; that would let me finish the puzzle levels' challenges by the end of the week. I'll still have the sliding levels after that, but those should go a bit faster.
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