platforming games

So I want to share a little bit of reasoning/game design about that because removing the jump was not an easy decision to make and it might not even be final.

My game has a central theme and I want the theme to be reflected through gameplay, story, and music. The hand holding stuff is one of the central mechanics that really work in that respect. Jumping/platforming simply is not an extension of the theme, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be present in the game as a navigation tool. However, I can’t half-ass it, I don’t want to put a jump in because “it is expected of a game to have a jump button”. Having a single jump button is not enough to justify a platforming game. I need more depth, things like a high jump, a double jump, a wall jump, a long jump; anything really, as long as it gives something to the player so that they can master it.

The big problem with that is that this doesn’t really work well with the hand holding mechanic. To be more precise, I don’t feel like I could make it work because it is out of my league. Having multiple jump options would mean that they must work in tandem with the hand holding, meaning that both characters would behave logically when jumping together. This means that if I want the jump to be reactive, I can’t spare time for the second character to reposition herself. Since platforming is simply skill-based navigation, this case means that precise jumping would simply not work.

There are a few solutions to this. First, I could simply make it so most jumps are only available when the characters are played alone. Right away, this goes against the theme since I want the characters to have more options when they are together, not less. The other solution would be to transform this game into something more similar to Banjo-Tooie, where you can have the characters be alone or together, and they have more abilities together. To be honest, this is kind of my fallback option. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I set out to make a Zelda clone with humanoid characters and the Banjo-Tooie playstyle would not work with humanoid characters.

In the end, I’m really making a Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask clone, maybe to a fault. Platforming is a tool of navigation, not a gameplay goal, so this is why I opted to make jumping contextual. It’s still slightly skill-based, the same way it was in OoT/MM: you need to orient yourself correctly and time your jump (okay, not the most skill-based, but it is still possible to fail compared to a simple button prompt). This won’t be the only navigation tool, there will (hopefully) be items to find that will create both environment interactions and character interactions. With this design in mind, it feels more realistic to me to make most interactions contextual so that I can properly position both characters before such actions.

This is kind of an open letter to you dev people. If you have ideas or opinions about my current design, feel free to let me know.

anonymous asked:

I think one of the dumbest complaints is that Sonic "punishes you for going fast" and that it's only a real Sonic game if he's constantly going fast. I dunno about you but I was not going fast 24/7 in any of the Genesis Era games or even the Boost Era. It's not just speed, it's a platformer. If ya wanna go fast, memorize the levels and prepare for what's ahead. Don't run blindy into it without at least rolling or boosting. How "Punishing" is it when you can just pick ur rings back up?

I agree, anon! I can understand the frustration of having your flow of speed disrupted by a sudden spike or something, and maybe having to take a different path because of that…. but like, to me that’s just the challenge of the game? Having to think fast and react quickly. These are speed-based platformers, not endless runners.

What’s hilarious is that when Sega tries to introduce games that allow you to go fast with less ‘punishment’, suddenly we get complaints of “BOOST TO WIN!!11″

So it’s either

“Sonic punishes you for going fast!” (this game is too hard, I want to go faster)

or

“Ugh this is just BOOST TO WIN!!” (this game is too easy, I want to go slower)

Let’s Remake Everything!

More than once (and specially on a looong project), as one grows and develops better and more efficient ways to make things (an evolving artstyle, a cleaner way to program, new approaches to world and level design…), it becomes reaallly tempting to just go back and re-do the whole thing.

During the 2+ year development cycle of Dinomelt, this has happened more than once: The protagonist, Gwrep, had a complete sprite-re-drawing halfway through the project. Also, recently, plenty of the main background assets and platfoms got a color, line and overal polish update, so that most aspects of the game had a more consistant line.

As an example, take a look at this gif from version 0.4 (late 2015!)

It was looking and working fine, but the animations on the protagonist, Grwep, weren’t the most convincing, they were stiff, and the ‘run’ was a bit off… Months later I went over its whole group of animations to make them smoother with stronger poses, and a better sense of weight (specially on the runcycle).


In that sense, my current goal is to get this release DONE before I get the ‘itch’ of remaking everything again, otherwise, you may expect the game to take another year or even more!!

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