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October 24, 2014, 04:34:36 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsBen Haunted
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enaiel
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« on: March 21, 2013, 07:56:11 AM »

In 2007 I started working on a platformer for J2ME enabled mobile phones during my spare time. My goal was to write a complete game from scratch doing programming, graphics, sound effects, music and game design all by myself. The game never went beyond the prototype stage. This screenshot and youtube video from 2008 shows how far I got:



Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrIEzCDFJmY.

While I succeeded in the technical act of making a game, the reason why I got stuck was because the game wasn't that much, er, fun. I have since ported the code to LibGDX so that it runs on Desktops and Android phones. But I need your help to make the game more interesting and fun.

Concept:
Ben is trapped in a Haunted Castle. With no weapons and only his wits about him, he must jump around obstacles and spooky monsters. Treasure abounds, but so does danger. Can Ben make it out of the castle safely?

Here are some of my own thoughts on making the game more fun:
  • Instead of collecting generic coins Ben needs to collect a certain percent of all crystals in the level to unlock the exit, forcing the player to explore the entire level. Similar to Coolspot (One of my favourite platformers!).
  • Add moving platforms and doors (maybe even locked ones).
  • More monsters.

I'm creating this Devlog to try and motivate me to finally finish this game. Please give me your suggestions. I really need them.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 06:08:20 PM by enaiel » Logged

meek
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 08:21:03 AM »

Hey, just checked out the video. My main concern is the speed of the game. I think perhaps he needs to be a little faster when jumping? It's like he's on the moon at the moment. Forgive me if this is what you were going for!

The graphics are quite nice, and I like the paralax with the sky and the castle tiles etc.
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enaiel
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 08:54:49 AM »

Thanks for your kind comments. The slow speed and floaty jumping was due to crappy J2ME implementations on most phones due to which I had to restrict the speed of the game. The movement and jumping is much faster now thanks to LibGDX.
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meek
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 03:09:18 AM »

Ah, that's rad. I've tried my hand at programming in that environment before, and I couldn't get on with it, so I commend you for that. Are you planning to release it for money or for free?
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enaiel
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »

Hoping to release it on as many platforms as possible for a nominal amount of money. LibGDX is actually pretty easy to work with and the folks on the badlogic forums were super helpful whenever I did get stuck. The hardest part for me is level design.
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enaiel
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 06:07:05 PM »

Decided to start working on the graphics first. Created two new themes with a slightly different visual style.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 05:37:18 PM by enaiel » Logged

enaiel
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 05:40:36 PM »

Did another theme.

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psyguy
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 06:59:01 AM »

I think I like the green one the best.  I think it might be neat if the solid-fill background behind the level was black instead of a darkened green, kind of like games where you enter a cave and all you see is the level itself, kind of like a spotlight effect.

Here's an idea I'll throw out there, just because you happened to ask.  Smiley  What if when you started the level, certain parts of it were in the dark... the crystals would be the source of light.  You would have to collect some crystals, then "throw" them into the dark to reveal what lies ahead (dangerous pits, spikes, bad guys, etc...).  Just a thought!
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enaiel
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 11:59:25 AM »

I am planning on messing around with 2D lighting, also plan to darken and blur the backgrounds when rendering them. The problem with the spotlight idea is that it would be too similar to these games:

Schein
Candlelight

I was thinking that maybe taking a crystal changes the level - it causes a trap/monster to appear, or a door to open, or an elevator to start moving. You can decide how to play the game by choosing how many crystals to take, and in what order. And maybe hitting a monster once causes you to lose a crystal (it goes back to where you took it from), reverting the level to the state it was before you took the crystal. But implementing these rules is going to make level design (and play testing them) a nightmare!
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enaiel
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 05:54:28 PM »

Updated the original theme from the J2ME game.
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meek
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 11:05:30 AM »

love the little stars. My only suggestion would be to make the moon a crescent. I think that'll work really well.
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 04:16:12 PM »

Yep, that's cool.  Do the stars move along like a moving starfield, by any chance?  Wink
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enaiel
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 09:59:52 AM »

@meek
I tried a crescent moon. Not so sure about it as a full moon night should be spookier. What do you think?



@psyguy
Wasn't planning on a starfield but similar parallax scrolling as the original version.
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meek
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 09:56:29 AM »

I agree there shouldn't be a starfield. Unless the castle is zipping through space faster than the speed of light.

Love the crescent from an aesthetics point of view, but it might be spookier to have it as a full moon. I'd recommend some clouds infront of it though, which would make it even spookier.

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enaiel
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 03:50:27 AM »

Thanks for the suggestion! I added some moonlit clouds.The clouds will scroll at a different speed and so block the moon at times.

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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 10:30:21 AM »

yeah, I think that's a really awesome addition. Good work!
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enaiel
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2013, 04:03:05 PM »

And finally the final boss theme:



This took 2 weeks of my train commute time...
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