@KRSplat & Franklins: Thanks.
So as I'm continuing this devlog, I may as well elaborate on some recent design decisions...
When I finished the prototype I thought I'd covered most of the key gameplay elements and the rest of the game would mostly be level and enemy design, even though I knew in the back of my mind certain elements of the stories I wanted to cover would require new mechanics if I was going to stay more or less true to the source material. It turns out that some of these new elements are trickier to design and implement than I thought (welcome to game development
). Case in point: moving platforms
Another such problem was the carrying of objects
The hero, Herakles, does quite a lot of lifting things and it's also somewhat of a recurring visual theme
in Greek art. Being able to lift and throw objects was always going to be something the game would need.
Question was, how to add this in a way that fit elegantly with existing controls?
The game is most fun when the player is moving around so it was important to avoid limiting mobility too much, but also to keep the system similar to spears so as not to be confusing.Contstraints:
- don't pick up objects when intending sword attack
- want to be able to pick up things quickly and easily without having to stop
- avoid adding new buttons if possible (needs to work on gamepad + less confusing)
- should be intuitive/consistentOption one:
Make them exactly like spears where pressing ATTACK near any heavy object will lift it, but this would mean accidentally picking up nearby stones when you want to attack...Option two:
DOWN + ATTACK, like Spelunky
, but since duck/block brings everything to a halt this conflicts with the aim of keeping the player mobile. Also prevents sword attack from blocking near liftable objects.Option three:
I considered HELD ATTACK to lift but such a delay would also effectively mean stopping the player, preventing mobility.
Another question: should I even allow picking up objects while you are standing on them, Super Mario Bros 2
style? My initial thought was no
and while this made logical sense, it felt unintuitive having to first step down to grab an object and broke the flow of movement.Option four:
A separate button for grabbing objects, but I didn't want to do that since it would be confusing when you grab spears with ATTACK, plus the game is already bordering on too many buttons.My solution
(as seen in v23) was to create separate armed
states which the player could switch between with DROP/CANCEL so that they can put away their sword and then simply press ATTACK, same as spears, to pick up any heavy object. Also allows for the possibility of using ATTACK as a contextual action or talk button when unarmed, which may be useful later.
Fairly happy with how it's working now.