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A good week


So I built some boss behaviours, drew some guns, fixed a lot of bugs, and realised I'm about a boss away from having a finished first level.

That's quite nice, and good timing too because I started drawing out some more concrete ideas for the next level. This takes place in a large, underground lab and will really be the first "real" level. The city rooftops level I currently have has 5 sections, but it's all quite simple and functions more as a tutorial/intro. It's small compared to what I REALLY want to do, which is large levels with more substantial platforming sections between the arenas. But it's a good introduction to the concept of the game. I reckon that's the best way to get mechanics across -- games are toys, just let the player play with it. I really hate games that have boring tutorials, it's like they're presenting me with this amazing toy and saying "AH AH AH, you can't play with it yet! let me show you how to do it PROPERLY!". There's a video series on YouTube called If Doom was done today which, while being utterly hilarious, totally hits the mark and has a good point to make on this. I think if your mechanics are complicated and unintuitive enough to require the player to sit through 10 minutes of unskippable walls of text before they can actually DO something, you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out a better way to communicate those mechanics. The exception of course is if you're doing something totally innovative and off the beaten track, like Braid's time rewinding thingy. Okay, that's when you're allowed to explain something to me -- otherwise just let me figure out myself!

I've also realised this week that I don't like continuous rotation. It just looks and feels wrong to me in a 2D game, for reasons I just can't fathom. I have several enemies and graphics that rotate, and I think it looks much better if I rotate them in discrete amounts rather than continuously. So, for instance, I have a turret that rotates in increments of like 6 degrees, so if I want it to rotate by 90 degrees I'll have it rotate 6 degrees 15 times, rather than 1 degree 90 times. The turrets in the video below rotate in increments of 2 degrees. To me this just looks and feels better. There are plenty of games that do use continuous rotation, and it looks awesome, but there's just something in my mind that makes me think it looks weird and wrong with my art.

Oh well here have some short videos:

Side note: Check out those mad blue bullet avoidance skills. If this video had a dubstep soundtrack, that's where the drop would occur, the screen would zoom in and #SWAGG would appear.

Still some bugs to work out with those buzz saws!