Flame Sword #23: Vehicles are Coming

There are a few spare scraps of art lying around and without too much to add, I evaluated what would be the most fun to add. Three taunts, a drop ship without animation that would spawn or take the player away, a slime enemy that launches explosive barrels, or a tumbler with Cherry riding in it. The vehicle sounded like it would add the most fun to the game to change up how levels are designed and the game is played.

The only vehicle currently in the game is the tumbler enemy. Driving the tumbler is faster, but it has a shallow jump compared to Cherry. The tumbler cannot wall jump or hang off things like Cherry can, but it can climb walls. This upward movement will change the flow of its levels .

Since Cherry drives the vehicle, she can’t use her flame sword, so instead you will just plow into and saw through enemies and objects. It’s effective, and one of the only weaknesses is getting shot. Cherry cannot deflect bullets while driving the tumbler, so bullets have to be avoided. Another obvious weakness is explosions, so plowing into explosive barrels will detonate them, so you’ll want to avoid that.

The tumbler is just a prototype and needs more work and art to feel like a complete part of the game. Not to mention a method to jump in and out of a vehicle.

THE SECOND CRANE PASS

I spent the last few sessions working on the player controlled crane. There were a lot of minor issues with the cranes in general such as getting hit had the potential to drop the player off the crane’s handle, when the player should always stay on. This accidental drop off was a huge issue for a segment of level that let the player dive deep while hanging onto the crane handle.

Perhaps the more glaring issue was the fact the player could scrape themselves off of a player controlled crane on a wall and be unable to reach the crane again. This was far more common. Effort was put into fixing this and the previous issue. Now the player controlled crane cannot scrape the player off on a while, while the automatic cranes will scrape the player off.

THE CRANE EXPRESSWAY

Since there were around four segments of a level to demonstrate cranes and hanging, I took the time to forge them into their own level. There are healthy safe segments between these four segments that give the player a place to rest and not focus on combat. With this being the Crane Expressway, the safe segments are probably less safe as you need to ride crane hooks over pits. Keep in mind the safe segments are places the player can save toward the end.

As much as I enjoy all these hanging segments, the first play through turned out to be over eight minutes. Sure I could get better and more efficient at running it, but the more I ran the level just to test it, the more annoying it was. I was able to shave two minutes off the level’s time, but even at more than six minutes. One of those segments and its complimentary safe zone was cut. Now I can speed run the level in a mere four minutes. It feels a lot better to go the full duration of the level and I’m hoping 4 minutes for me will mean 8 minutes for a new player.

When I cut a segment or safe zone, they’re never actually cut, they just get dumped into the next scrap level. The current scrap level is around 4 segments long and since a lot of it is from making segments to show off on Twitter, there’s no real cohesion to the levels, even if they’re great segments on their own.

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