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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Development Log - Nubs' Adventure [IT'S DONE!] Reply with quote

Hi, what's up, I'm back! :)

I wanna do a platformer again! I think that with my last game (Rico), I made many mistakes that I want to remedy with this game:

  • Movement wasn't the best. I think I've done some things right, but also some things wrong. The main thing that bugs me is that you can't move just a little bit with your character. Especially in later levels, I demanded some very precise positionings that are just hard because of the bad controls.
  • The whole mechanic of collecting coins to weaken the bosses was not as fun as I wanted it to be. Especially the replaying of levels was only fun for completionists, but not for the average gamer. Mostly, redoing levels to collect additional coins was harder than just beating the boss with a couple more hitpoints.
  • My "engine" didn't support slopes. So the only way to traverse ascents was by jumping, which is clunky.
  • Level design was lackluster. Due to my level editor being pretty bare-bones and not support vital things like moving objects/areas, I often took the lazy route when designing levels. Instead of redesigning a bad part from the ground up, I just made it work somehow. Also, my levels are just a sequence of challenges rather than a properly designed level.
  • The jetpack sections were great and players liked them a lot. I should have made that a more essential part of the game, rather than just a gimmick.


I want to remedy these things (among others) in my next game. And while it's a platformer, I have some pretty good ideas about how to spice it up. I want to incorporate three different "control schemes" into the game. What I mean by that is that the player will be controlling different entities that move a lot different from each other.

For now, here's a "mockup" I'm dabbling with to get a feeling for how it should look:


Edited by IMakeGames on Wed May 27, 2015 10:17 am; edited 5 times
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PoV
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to mention that getting slopes right without some background in Vector Math can be hard. Where as a lot of stuff just makes more sense when you do understand Vector Math. And the funny thing, if you've made a platformer, you already know some of the basics of Vector Math and physics, you just may not use the same terms.

I highly recommend this book (a used copy if you want to save $$):

http://www.amazon.com/Primer-Graphics-Development-Wordware-Library/dp/1556229119

or the 2nd edition (which is hardcover and costs more)

http://www.amazon.com/Math-Primer-Graphics-Development-Edition/dp/1568817231/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

You will not find a more straightforward book on the subject of Vector Math (I've tried).

Seriously, fighting Vector Math without knowing Vector Math just isn't worth it. Also (y,-x) and (-y,x) are awesome (i.e. what you want in 2D instead of cross product).
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's not really straightforward! But I've already implemented something with slopes years ago and it worked fairly good in the end.
The main "issue" I had to learn about is that for a platformer, proper physics should NOT be your goal. For Rico, I used Box2D as a physics library. But for the movement, I had to set the friction and gravity to zero when your guy was on the ground and move him around manually by setting the velocity vector each frame. Similar for jumping as it's impossible to get a good jump movement with proper physics... at least not how I envisioned it.

I'm pretty sure my math background is strong enough, given my university education is basically math with some CS sprinkled on top. :)
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PoV
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes there's a tendency to go floatyness to responsiveness when using proper physics in a platformer, except as you've seen it doesn't work that well. I like to use the term Megaman Physics, which means solving collision versus the static scenery (meaning only you move), but only detecting then causing state change (hurt) for all actual collisions. In general this feels really good, and you're not worried about the character falling over.

It's encouraging to hear you did Rico with Box2D, as that does require some more physics/math knowledge. Still, I need to nudge nudge on reading more about Vector math. Practical vector math in games and what they teach in school are 2 different things. I'm insistent because I only seriously learned vector math about 10 years ago, after shipping 6 or so commercial games. I know so many wonderful tricks and neat things now that I wish I knew decades ago. It's the one math that keeps on giving.

Also 0 to 1 and -1 to +1 stuff. I don't know of any official name for this math (Scalar Math?), but it's everywhere, and by far one of the most practically useful things I've come across. Interpolation, smoothing, signal processing, holy hell. Learning nifty new things here can be applied so many places.


Ahem... sorry, geeking out here. I actually did terrible at Math in school, since I hated to just 'use something' without understanding it. I'm going to stop here 'cause the topic of teaching math is a can of worms for me. ;)
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Also 0 to 1 and -1 to +1 stuff. I don't know of any official name for this math (Scalar Math?), but it's everywhere, and by far one of the most practically useful things I've come across.


It comes across as odd for a programmer, since your natural inclination will be using 0-255 for short-range values. I only used it once in Moai (specifying points between two colors for gradients, I think?), but most of the data I was working with was already natively in 0-255 format so converting it didn't make sense.

Works great for vectors, though.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PoV wrote:
Also 0 to 1 and -1 to +1 stuff. I don't know of any official name for this math (Scalar Math?), but it's everywhere, and by far one of the most practically useful things I've come across.


This X11! Shader programming turned me on to this and now I use it everywhere possible. It's one of those things where you wonder why the hell you struggled for so long doing things any other way.

-Bean
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay, did some development! I wanna make more screenshots as I develop the game, so when (and if) the game gets finished, the whole process is visible. :)




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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, it looks like a macabre version of Neverfall. I love the tunnel snakes with the gaping maws. I'm interested in seeing how you animate them.
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still working on the game, but a dreaded exam is slowing me down. But here's a screenie of what it looks like:

I'm just debugging the "rails"-system which is a term I coined that makes the player behave as he should when walking on platforms (especially slopes). I wanted to have the most control over it, so when the player's on the ground and moves (presses left or right), the player's character will run along the rails shown in red. That makes it possible that he doesn't leave the ground when running over a bump (for example, running up then straight to the left). Many (velocity-based) platformers make the character airborn in these cases. I didn't want that at all.

Other noteworthy things: crates you can push around, pressure plates that you can step on (or place a crate on) to open otherwise shut doors, more flexible tile-system, particle effects,... oh and the ability to change to a fairy or a GIANT SNAKE AND FUCK SHIT UP! :D
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds fun. The snake thing. I want to do this.
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video time! I've just finished putting together all the bits and pieces to create a small "puzzle" section:


The game's starting to take shape! :)
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive. Are you still using Box2D for your physics?
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Alex
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's looking pretty solid.
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weighted Companion Cube! <3
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! :) Yeah, still rocking Box2D which helps tremendously. Only when I need "non-physical" behaviour it can get tricky to make Box2D do what I want. It sometimes involves some little hacks like manually setting velocity, impulses and gravity. But overall, it's just great!
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started logging the times I work on the game. Maybe it helps me keep my motivation up when I see what I have already implemented. And also, if the game should get finished, I have detailed information about how long it actually takes to make a game! :D Too bad I didn't do that from the beginning... I think I'm about 50 hours in prior to starting the log.

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Adam C. Clifton
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks cool. I have a text file that i keep all my current tasks in. Feels good to be able to scroll down and see all the things that were finished, it's easy to forget about all the little wins you've had getting to where you are in a project and that helps keep the feeling of progress.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive video :)

I started using a whiteboard a couple years ago. I like that it's always there in my face. now if only it were bigger..

-Bean
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love showing stuff in form of videos, so here's a show reel of what can be done as of now:

Many things are still lacking (backgrounds, gimmicks) or completely missing (sound, music, ...) but it's starting to take shape. Not sure if I'm going to far with the particle effects but they're fun!

Watch me run through my test map! :)

BTW, the video is sometimes a little choppy but that's just because the encoder is running hot and not the game...
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Alex
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks cool dude.. that snake tunneling through the ground is pretty neat. should be interesting the kinds of puzzles that you come up with.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The snake bit was memorizing! I think the amount of particles is fine. I don't think you can ever really have too many hehe
Also the game's looking very polished. It's like Mario meets Lemmings :)


-Bean
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoo... the snake turned out way better than I was expecting :)

And like you said, particles are too fun to not abuse now and then.
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HOLYSHITLANDEELS!
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BadMrBox
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks brilliant!
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Jonge
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This actually looks too good! Really impressive engine so far.

One thing I hope to see in your next platformer, a bit more variety in how the the worlds/levels look(when it comes to tiles). I'm not saying your tiles looks bad, I just felt, when playing Rico, that all the levels sort of had the same look/feel.

Ps. Love the rolling body parts =)
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