In Skytorn, the player is relatively tall. When we were first designing her, that didn’t seem like a big issue, but in a platforrmer that actually has a lot of interesting (and for us, unexpected) consequences. I thought I’d share one of the biggest issues with a tall player, and how we ended up fixing it.
Here’s an example where a tall player causes issues for jumping / ledge grabbing:
In this case, when jumping at a 3-tile high wall, the player will hit the top of the wall, and then have to wait a bunch of time before she slides down into the ledge-grab position, which feels super awkward. You’ll constantly do stuff like accidentally wall-jump off the wall when you mean to pull yourself over the ledge, because you’re not quite in the ledge-grab position yet.
So, how do you solve this? One thought is to immediately snap into the ledge-grab position, but the distance between the top of your jump and the ledge-grab is way too large, and feels really jarring. OK, so what if you quickly slide down into the ledge grab, over multiple frames? This is a bit better, but it ultimately still feels weird. The player suddenly looks like she’s falling really fast and it’s confusing.
So after talking with Matt a ton, and messing around with the other options, what Skytorn ultimately does is push the player up over the ledge, almost like a little wall-vault. It looks like this:
Interestingly, the original Zelda games have a similar feature, where the player will slide into a sub-grid position when you’re walking, so the player wont get caught on the edges of walls.
Anyway! I find that stuff super cool, so thought I’d share. It’s crazy how man little details, hacks, and tweaks you need to work out on a game.
(note: as Sean Barrett pointed out, the actual ratio between tile-size and player size isn’t what determines if this issue occurs or not, and I’ve updated this to reflect that).