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Foxland: A 30 Minute Platformer Blog

Its 8 days in and chances are that’s the most amount of time I can devote at this time.
Here is a feature list:
 – Almost 30 minutes of speed running
 – Puzzle levers (pull a lever to make bridges, blocks or turn bridges and blocks hollow)
 – Super stomp (to use enemies as springboards or drive through large crates)
 – Mixture of levels from labyrinths to straight forward combat focused
 – 10 enemy types, basic, but effective
 – Secret walls
 – Doors!
I have worked a lot with art asset packs to further my engine when my artists are busy. The engine has made many games, so the struggle becomes finding different mechanics to make a game feel different from the last while using the same engine. Foxland is the latest art (and music) asset game.

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Cake Kills Candy (week 3 of development)

WHERE WE LEFT OFF

The previous week was challenging having to break apart objects and remove tiles, but it resulted in a cool effect that can be used later. The boss is constructed, but there are still three major, game breaking bugs.

UPDATE 16: BEATABLE BOSS

It may have taken more than a week of production, but the boss can finally be defeated! The challenge here was the fact when the boss goes low enough it destroys the entire floor. With that in mind, the player still needs to lure the boss into punching itself. After that a platform, key and door spawn.

UPDATE 17: NEW BOSS ART + FIXING THE GAME BREAKERS

New art was made. The three game breakers were a long process to fix, which is why they were neglected. The first game breaker was if the player fell off screen, there was no solid surface for the player to spawn on, so the player was thrown out. If the player died, it was the same issue, no solid surface, so the player lost a life and again was thrown out of the pit. As for the third game breaker, now that its 5 weeks in, I can’t even remember what it was. Here you see the debugger displaying the triggers.

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Cake Kills Candy (week 2 of development)

I am back again to murder your 56 Kbps modems!

WHERE WE LEFT OFF

The week long game jam was over, the game had a bit of bugs that would get fixed over the next few days. To make the game look and feel different for the trailer, a bunch of new tilesets were made. From there it was time to look up at the Titan Boss Jam.

UPDATE 11: THE VERTICAL LEVELS

Like the horizontal levels, the vertical ones were made from chunks which is always a bad idea when it comes to being traversal. The first level generation resulted in some difficult to navigate areas. We wanted the boss to be huge or at least tall for the Titan Boss jam. A look up and down function was added even if it felt unnecessary due to the player being centered on a screen without a HUD. Speaking of HUDs, the ammunition and health gauge were both enhanced.

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Cake Kills Candy (development recap from week 1)

Cake Kills Candy is a procedural level platform shooter that was made for a 1 week game jam where the theme was cake. We were lucky enough to find a second concurrent one week game jam where the theme was candy and we just so happened to have a candy world with candy enemies. After that we decided to enter into two more game jams that we complied with the rules. The titan boss jam where you had to make a big boss and a controller jam where you had to have controller compatibility.

UPDATE 1: THE QUICKLY BUILT PLATFORMER

We started by quickly making a platformer engine. The assets in this video / gif show off assets that had been made previous to the jam, but would be removed for the jam. What you see here is indeed a procedural level, but its generated as the game starts with no way to generate new levels on the fly. The artist had come up with a cheese cake character to be the hero. The song is from a previous jam and made by https://twitter.com/Replay_50101.

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Time Lapse Backgrounds from Balloon Popping Pigs

I have made a few backgrounds for Balloon Popping Pigs over the past few weeks. At the risk of losing them into the shuffle of a growing 500+ videos on my Youtube, here is a specific page dedicated to four background time lapse videos.

The Jungle

The Beach

Pink Lemonade Beach

Crumble Canyon

OctorSpace: The Level Editor Meets Procedural Level Generation

Invasion from OctorSpace has an amazing level editor and it should be, because I dislike most pack in level editors. Its a joy to just see the levels without having to play the levels. With this in mind, I wanted to see more levels and play more levels without making more levels. So to fill this need, I forged something to generate levels for me to marvel at.

The first method system was level generation based on building a level from mini levels. Mini levels are any size, 1 phase, 3 phases, 82 phases. Users can make and save their own mini levels as let’s say “shuffle-1-1” “shuffle-1-2” so then the system picks up level 1, mini level 1, mini level 2. Then when the game makes levels it will take 5 or 6 mini levels and make a level from them.This method is similar to AquaNimble. The only difference is AquaNimble has a bit of variety of enemies and placement when using level chunks to make random levels.

Because it was so similar to AquaNimble, I went a step further and came up with a random wave generator. The second system would come up with rows of enemies and make symmetrical patterns. If the game placed a tough enemy, it would stop adding to the row and push back the next row far back so the game so players can deal with the tough enemies before they get overloaded.

Playing the game with this new method felt great! I enjoyed it and it never needed any tweaks beyond the tough enemies finishing the row of enemies and pushing the next row back further. Its playable and enjoyable. The problem is that there was no art to it since its just all random.

Continue reading “OctorSpace: The Level Editor Meets Procedural Level Generation”

Balloon Popping Pigs Update 1.3 The Players Asked for It

Here are the short details:
– Added a new background, crumble canyon.
– Added quick presses move character selects faster than holding down.
– Added the ability to back out of pick a pig and return to the title screen.
– Added purple parrot to replace the top parrots. Purple parrots will fly up to become top parrots. If you are quick enough you can pop their balloon.
– Added a new pick a pig select screen to replace the old one. This is better for two players and readability.
– Modified pig unlocks from 75 coins to 50 coins. New players will now start with 40 coins rather than 50 coins.
– Modified player balloons to shift when they are popped so balloons on the far side will become centered.
– Modified mouse / touch select for pick a pig. You now select the pig before you confirm it with a second click.
– Modified point text popup colors to aqua and lime when leveling up and when being given double points from consecutive balloon pops without jumping.
– Fixed daily and weekly leaderboards.

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Balloon Popping Pigs and the Background Jam

A few days ago I made a jungle background pixel art for Balloon Popping Pigs. It was a time consuming process and could stand more work and detail added to it. The problem with adding such a new and elaborate background is the previous background system is cumbersome.

a3f6ztu-imgur

The background system has been done at least twice. The first time it was rushed and the second time it felt just as rushed. It works, it loops, but in terms of how it functions is a bunch of different moving objects which makes it difficult to change in any way. One of the major issues with having different objects for different parts of the backgrounds is the depth can become problematic and turns into a juggling act. To make things more complex,  as time went on, frills were added into the background, such as changing the color and manipulating it with pigs such as Unipig and Hippiggy.

With what I consider a failure of a background system in mind, I had a background jam today where I just focused on the background and hammered out some elegant code that is all contained in one object. It is getting to the point where drawing the background in layers in that one object is so much easier to keep track of.

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OctorSpace Power-Ups for Players and Enemies

Someone asked me yesterday what the progression and upgrade system will be for OctorSpace and well its a game where people can make levels themselves. Introducing upgrades suddenly turns into a whole other beast as then the game gets more challenging to test. Rather than dropping in and testing a level you need to incorporate giving upgrades to anyone making their own levels.

To compensate for this and to again make it different from AquaNimble there are now power-ups in OctorSpace. Players can hold one power-up at a time and taking damage will lose the power-up. When you have a power up your vessel has an aura around it indicating what you have. This could be a temporary visual solution. What you picked up also pops up in the corner. Having the pop up should solve AquaNimble’s problem of no one understanding what they just collected even when they’re marked with letters.

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