So, I just sent in my game to the ladies over at Pixelles. I have an essay to write and I can do no more! So I figured that it was best to ship it off and then take a quick break to write to you about the past week’s experiences.
This week, I implemented a larger level in the game and tried to make the rules work towards an at least slightly challenging gameplay experience. What I found this week were bugs, bugs, bugs! There were events that contradicted each other and a lot of interdependencies where if I changed one thing, I had to change a whole lot more. My biggest problem is timing: I realized that my character was invincible for a small margin of time and so wasn’t getting damaged the way that they were supposed to. When I removed the invincibility, all of a sudden the player’s life was depleted in seconds! I had to entirely change the type of event that I used to create my decreasing air bar.
I also ran into a problem where, in the screen with the larger level, I couldn’t just tell the actors not to go off of the screen width. I needed the characters to be able to move around in a larger scrolling level – but not just a scrolling level, one where you had to exit back from where you came from.
It also took me a long time to tweak the level score to make sure that achieving the high score was doable, but not too easy. I don’t know if I’ve quite got it perfect, but I keep having to remind myself that the project was, in around 4 hours a week, for six weeks, to make a basic game. It’s short, but it’s got basically all of the elements that I wanted to include except for multiple levels and a couple of the more challenging conditions of diving such as currents, dangerous objects like fishing line, etc. I also had a weird bug where if the player got caught between two other actors, the game would freeze. I hope I’ve fixed that by making one of the actors a sensor that the player can pass through.
So, while it’s not the most challenging or sophisticated game yet, I did make it all myself. That feels good. And I feel like people seeing it for the first time might feel differently than I do about it, since I know every detail and objective and a new player will have to discover it for themselves.
If you want to play the final product, come to the game showcase on March 9th! I’ll see about finding it a home on the internet after that.
I couldn’t leave you with nothing, though! Here’s the background of my one working level: