DevLog #6 New Side Project!

    I started a new side project that I hope will be smaller in scope and time requirements to finish than my main project. There are a few important skills I have yet to master before releasing a game. So far in all my projects I've really only worked on actual gameplay. I still have no idea how to do game saves and I’ve barely touched menus and scene transitions. I would also like to learn about localizations and controller support before releasing anything. If I can get efficient at these things I will be able to make a bunch of small games for mobile and hopefully make a few cents from mobile ads. It’s also important for me to be able to showcase completed projects to gain support and media attention in the future. 

    The new project will be a 2D platformer, one of my favorite genres. I’m going to get all my art and sound assets from and because I don’t want to be slowed down by needing to create my own assets. The point of this project is to see how quickly I can release a game that I am actually proud of, or at least not embarrassed by, so using royalty free assets will be a huge help here. 

    So far the project has been really fun to work on. I’ve implemented a few techniques that the pros use to make the game feel more responsive and satisfying to play. I might make a tutorial for them in the future.
Coyote Time: This is where you allow the player to jump a few frames after they have already left the edge of the platform. It’s just enough that it’s not noticeable to the untrained eye buy when you turn it off you will dearly miss it.

JumpBuffering: When the player presses jump a few frames before they are actually touching the ground the jump never happens and the player will probably be upset. “I pushed jump, just do the thing!” Jump buffering will cause the player to jump right as they touch the ground even if the player is a bit too fast. 

Variable jump Height: This one is obvious, just hold the jump button longer to jump higher. 

Variable Gravity: Trying to implement realistic physics in a 2D platformer usually ends up being less than optimal. It doesn’t feel satisfying. So in many platformers Gravity is turned down while the player is jumping upward and turned up when the player is falling. This causes the player to hang in the air at the top of their jump for a fraction of a second, giving them time to control their direction, before slamming down quickly onto the ground. It’s much more visually appealing as well as fun to play. 

    These techniques as well as some other cool platforming mechanics will make for a great feeling game. I’ve already got wall sliding to work pretty well. I want to implement double jumping and a mid air dash attack with cool trailing animations and sound effects. And some kind of ranged attack. I also want these to be unlocked when the player finds special artifacts in the ancient ruins. 

    My plan for the overall game design is pretty much all worked out. I want to keep it as simple as possible so I’m just going to use the one tileset with different effects and overlays to differentiate the different areas. I’ve already implemented an effect where the deeper you go the light dims and the fog becomes more visible. I can also change the background ambiance sounds and change the amount of reverb the player makes for smaller areas. I can add colored overlays and lights and different enemies as well. Hopefully that will add enough variety for a small game like this. I think I will have one big “main” map which connects to other smaller dungeon like levels. Maybe a boss fight at the end if I can find a royalty free one that fits the aesthetic.