Skip to main content

Sliding and regressions

Well, as it usually goes, I didn't get much done on the game during the holidays. Although I did a little more than I feared.

Mainly, I finished the first of Robo-Ninja's powerups: the slide ability. He can now slide through narrow passages.  This forced me to flesh out my implementation of ability powerups, but my rough design was pretty close to what it needed to be, so this was pretty straight-forward. I ran into one hiccup where if you switched from "slide" mode to "jump" mode while still sliding, you'd never stop sliding, and could jump around while still sliding.  That was amusing.

The harder part was making the sliding not look stupid. I figured I'd do like mega-man and have a single-frame animation for sliding, and have him slide along the ground. Unfortunately, unlike mega-man, it looked ridiculous. So I'm playing with it to hopefully make it look a little better.
Mega-man makes this look awesome. Robo-Ninja makes it look ridiculous.

The other thing I'm running into is regressions of earlier bugs. My work on code for abilities suddenly threw off my jumping physics that I spent forever tweaking. Turns out I was now properly calling an update function that I had forgotten to ever call before. And that update function had left-over code that borked my jumping. Oops.

And I had originally added a delay that forced you to see the "new item acquired" screen before accidentally tapping and dismissing it as soon as it appeared. But somehow that stopped working as well. (The problem with it was that my delay timer was declared as an int, but I kept adding fractional (float) seconds to it. Which of course, got rounded away every time, so it never really incremented.) I fixed it now, but I'm not really sure how it actually ever worked right.

So now my son will be happy -- he bugs me every day or two to hurry up and add more abilities to the game. Really, he just wants me to add the "jet-pack" item that you won't get until the very end of the game. That way he can fly over spikes and never die. Maybe I'll have to do that one next....


b love said…
Have you given any thought to the all-important backstory? Is the protagonist a ninja who became a robot, or a robot who trained as a ninja? And what does Robo-Ninja hope to achieve?

A game like this which is focused on action doesn't require much story. But I actually think it's worth thinking about, at least a little bit. It might generate some ideas about what upgrades make sense for the character, or what challenges you'd expect to encounter in the game.

This occurred to me when you mentioned the jet-pack item. I can't imagine a ninja or a robot strapping on a jet-pack. Instead, a robot might be upgraded with thrusters on its feet, or a ninja might take advanced training to learn to defy gravity.
Nathan Tolbert said…
Good question. Yeah, I've got a story in mind. I was about to go into more detail, but I guess I'll make it a new blog post. Hopefully I'll get time tonight to post it.

As far as the the jet-pack...yeah, it's more of a jet booster upgrade than an actual jet-pack. I just have my "in-brain" names for things that I use during development until I get the specifics ironed out.

Anyway, I appreciate you asking! I'll try to post the story and setting soon!

Popular posts from this blog

Retrospex 32 Review

RetrospexInternational recently sent me a couple units of their new handheld device, the Retrospex 32, a new dedicated GameboyAdvance emulator handheld.  To make the unit playable out of the box, they pre-loaded a handful of homebrew games, including Anguna, which is why they were kind enough to send me 2 of the units to play with.  I was pretty excited to get my hands on the device and try it (I loved my old GBA micro with a good flash cart!), and see Anguna running on it. So here's my thoughts after playing with it.

Their website lists the Retrospex 32 for £59.99, which is around $100 USD. It seems like it's marketed toward people into retro-gaming (which makes sense for a dedicated GBA emulator device). At that price, with that target market, and such a limited set of functionality (why not make it a multi-machine emulator, and emulate all the old consoles?), it would hopefully do a really good job of it.

The short version of my review: it doesn't. It has one job (emula…

Making the game fun

The real trick for Spacey McRacey (as I'm calling it now) is going to be making it fun.  And that's what I'm rather unsure about at this point.

I have a game design that basically works. The technical issues are mostly sorted out, I just need to get a few more implemented before I can seriously play test it.

But fun? It's hard to know if it's actually going to be any fun to play.  With a 4-player party-style game, it's seems like it might be hard to hit that fine line where everyone is close and competing, where everything feels exciting and tense, as opposed to tedious and boring.  And despite envisioning my game as fun, it might just be boring to play.

Some of that comes down to tweaking it. Tweaking the speeds, difficulties, etc, will make a difference. (If it's too easy to shoot people from behind, then it will be nearly impossible to hold a lead for very long, which could ruin it and make it no fun. If it's too hard to kill the guy in front, it wil…

Killer Queen

So at PRGE, I played an arcade game that just left me amazed.  Killer Queen.

It's a 10-player game. You have 2 cabinets linked together, and 5 players huddled on each one. Each one is a team of 5 people, working together to play a simple one-screen 2d platformer.  But what made it work was the high quality game design.

First, the game is relatively simple, yet there is a lot going on at once.  One player plays the queen, the most important and powerful character on the team. The others start as workers, but can become warriors who can fly around and attack in a very joust-like flappy contest of height.  The real trick is that there are three completely different ways to win: either collect a bunch of berries and bring them back to your base, or ride a REALLY SLOW snail across the screen (while other people try to kill you, and you hope your team protects you), or kill the enemy queen 3 times.  There's some other things going on as well (using berries to upgrade, capturing upgr…