Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1412059 Posts in 69479 Topics- by 58506 Members - Latest Member: DuxziiProductions

July 14, 2024, 03:09:38 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRobopolis (a puzzle platformer)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Robopolis (a puzzle platformer)  (Read 9624 times)
Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« on: August 13, 2012, 12:39:23 PM »

After posting a test build of this game a few weeks/months back and having done more work on it since, I thought I should do a devlog.  Writing this first post has helped me spot something I may want to change at a later date, so writing about the game is a good way for me to think about what is going on and look at the bigger picture I guess.

Robopolis is a puzzle platformer.  It's heavily inspired by cinematic platformers, most notably Abe's Oddysee.  It also takes a bit of influence from Fetus/Sutef, but not in its atmosphere.  This is a very bright and cheery game!  The gameboy Donkey Kong game and Krusty's super fun house have a less notable influence but these are games I bore in mind when I started making this game (the influence may be more noticeable with progression of the game).

About the actual game
You play as a little robot guy who can manipulate (some but not all) other robots.  He has to use their abilities to help him reach the end of the level.  Some can push blocks, some can climb or destroy things... I'm sure you get the idea.  You can only possess robots within a few blocks of yourself, and your main actions are limited to walking, running, and jumping upward/climbing ledges.

CONTROLS:
Arrow keys - move
Space - enter scan mode / confirm possession of robot (when cursor turns green) / cancel possession of current robot
X key - perform robot action (not every robot has one - the main character included!)
      - also chooses the level on the select screen
Shift key - hold to run (this may change to the X key in the future)
R  - restart level
F4 - fullscreen/windowed
F5/F6 - quick save/load - this is a game maker function that I will remove in the final release.

The original post (and build) is here: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=26457.0
The newest build can be found at the bottom of this post.

Since then I've tried to take on board as much of the feedback as I could, and have since added:
-  level select & save system
-  begin run/stop run animations for the main robot guy
       - this includes the character moving an extra 'step' (or 8 pixels) while he comes to a halt, akin to cinematic platformers
-  new graphics for the main robot in his 'scan' mode and a new scanning cursor
-  new graphics for force fields
-  some new levels!  Including a few new enemies/hazards/possessable characters.
       (this also includes tutorial levels at the start)
-  screen transitions between levels

I've also:
-  Tweaked the contrast of some of the tiles a bit
-  Tried to condense the levels a bit (this is mostly/only the lab levels, as they're indoors)
-  Accommodated the running ability into the game design (before I wasn't sure whether to keep it, but moving about is painfully slow without it and)
       - there is still a level where you can omit the actual 'puzzle' and run through with a bit of timing, but for now I'm leaving this as-is

There's a few other things I've added or changed for polish too, but nothing really game-changing.

Here's two screengrabs (they're from the same levels as my original post, for comparison):




And here's some of the new levels:






The August '12 build can be found here:  http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?cmh1jiu6ig55e9w

There's a little industrial-factory-robot-arm tech demo thing I made earlier which I'll stick up soon too, as it uses trigonometry which is the closest I ever get to programming-genius, and the arm will feature in my game somehow.

(the incomplete) TODO list:
-  Tidy up the level select screen
-  Find a way to do the shadows section that doesn't cause slow down on my old timey laptop
       (I think I know how I'll do it, just need to get around to actually doing it)
-  Polish the carryman in the factory levels
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 04:09:51 PM by Oshikuru » Logged

Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 11:35:44 PM »

No one wants to try it/feedback?  There's like 30-odd levels to play through already, and it features some really smooth animations!  All of those pictures are in-game, not just concepts! Wah!
Logged

Laitch
Level 0
***


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 07:22:26 AM »

I played through a few levels (I got to level 15) and I thought it was quite fun. Was the way the robot moves inspired the Prince of Persia games? For some reason that game popped into my mind while playing this Smiley

I have a few suggestions as to what could be improved. First of all it's kind of sad that you have this nice pixel art but when you play in fullscreen it gets all blurry. Another (unrelated) thing is, if you press spacebar and there is only one selectable robot within reach then it's kind of annoying that I have to move the cursor over the robot and press space again, why not just auto select it? And finally (this is a small one) I felt like I needed purpose/story, even if it's just the classical "princess has been kidnapped" (mario style) or the "escape this crazy lab" (Portal style)
Logged
Ichigo Jam
Level 1
*



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 09:33:55 AM »

This is really nice, and the animations are lovely!

Maybe change the spider controls so that 'up' sends your rope upwards rather than X, and X always breaks any rope you have out? I got stuck for a while because I didn't realise you could hold down to drop off.

Also: more harder puzzles, please! Just as it started getting a little harder, I'd get to a new area and be back to easy levels introducing a new robot.

I look forward to seeing more!

Logged
EliminateWho
Guest
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 10:16:59 AM »

Played to level 5... very decent! I'll play more after work. Everything feels pretty tight.
Logged
Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 03:45:04 AM »

Yes Liatch, well, sort of.  It was inspired by 'cinematic platformers' in general.  I've not really played very much of Prince of Persia to be honest!  But stuff like Flashback, Blackthorn, Abe's Oddysee and Heart of Darkness.

The blurryness is a problem with Game Maker I think, it does this on my laptop too (mine is pretty old) but with newer ones I think I think it's scaled up more cleanly.  The way to fix it in Game Maker is to use 'surfaces' or something, but I had to use an old version just to get it to run properly on this laptop, which doesn't have that function.  If I can ever afford a better system before I finish the game I'll try and fix that.

If I add a story it'll just be done in splash screens I think.  My intention with this game was to just keep it small and not worry so much about a story so that I'd actually get around to finishing it.

Quite a few people have their own niggles about the controls!  I'll have a think about them and maybe change some stuff around for the next build.

@Ichigo I get what you mean about the difficulty reverting.  When introducing a new robot in a level I'd rather keep that level quite simple so the player has a chance to experiment with the controls for it.  I'll bear what you've said in mind though.
Logged

Ichigo Jam
Level 1
*



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 06:49:33 AM »

When introducing a new robot in a level I'd rather keep that level quite simple so the player has a chance to experiment with the controls for it.

In case it wasn't clear from what I said before: I think this is a good idea, and works well. I just felt like there could be one or two more (harder) rooms before getting to a new robot type. (N.B. I'm asking for harder puzzles rather than harder dodging/timing stuff, but that's just my preference)

Random idea:
1) Add optional side-rooms with harder puzzles. Maybe using robot combinations which don't otherwise exist (e.g. spider & block pushing robot on the same level)
or 2) Have the final part of the game reuse all the previous robot types with more devious puzzles
Logged
Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 01:50:53 PM »

I do intend to include secret levels, for sure! That's something to do once I've finalised all the mandatory levels though. As for more challenging puzzles, that's also something I do intend to work on too. It's my first go at this sort of game so I'm inexperienced at making a 'good' or really challenging puzzle. If you know of any good resources for puzzle design I'd be all over that!
Logged

lasttea999
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 09:52:34 PM »

I only played a few levels, but the game seems NICE. The pixel art is charming, and the animations seem smooth!

Issues I had:

1) Controls are kinda slow, even with the running. I'd like it if the main character reacted quickly to my button-pressing.

2) Also, I had difficulty understanding the main character's "snapping" movement. Does he move in steps of 8 pixels?

3) Blurry Game Maker graphics. There is a solution with surfaces, but I think this problem no longer exists with newer versions of GM (8.1?), so you might want to look into that.

4) I feel like I've seen the red and green button sprites before.

5) I would enjoy an auto-selecting feature for the robots, as Laitch said.

6) Also, I think it'd be nice if the player didn't have to press any key to exit levels, that is, if all the player had to do was to collide with the door object. I would often try to exit, only to have the player jump.

7) Perhaps you could add a dark outline to your wall and floor tiles? It seems to me that everything else that the main character can interact with (the robots, the buttons, etc.) has dark outlines, so it seems a little inconsistent that the floors have no outline. And my guess is that this'll make the tiles look better Wink
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 10:04:17 PM by lasttea999 » Logged

Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 03:44:22 AM »

The main character's movements are intentionally like that.  As I mentioned, the gameplay is based on cinematic platformers, which have a different feel to standard platformers.  It also allows for such smooth animations! ^__^ And yeah, the character moves in steps of 8 pixels for the same reason, and that it also helps with precise movements, particularly grabbing ledges where the character doesn't have a wall next to him to stop his movement.

I can't run anything higher than GM 6.1 on this laptop :/ so as I mentioned before, the blurryness will have to stay for a while, unless I find a load of cash for a better computer!

The buttons I made myself, along with all the other graphics!  Admittedly they are very generic looking though.

You're probably right about the level-exiting.  There's a few elements of the controls that I'm going to tweak I think based on all my feedback.

I'm not going to change the tiles. I like how the backgrounds are a little differentiated from the game objects.  I might add outlines to push/movable blocks though, to indicate that they are interactive.
Logged

lasttea999
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 06:24:08 PM »

The main character's movements are intentionally like that.

Couldn't the controls be a little more responsive, though?

Quote
I'm not going to change the tiles.

Couldn't you try it? Like this (except, I didn't take into account the shading):

Logged

verticalvertex
Level 1
*



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 11:20:44 PM »

Liked the style alot, but it is a little slow.
Logged

It's all good.
Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 05:26:49 AM »

I still much prefer the wall tiles sans outlines!  Thanks for taking it upon yourself to do a mock up of it, but if anything it's kind of set me further in the position that I'm going to leave it as they are.  If you think about cartoons, backgrounds and such generally don't have outlines unless they're animated in the scene (like crumbling cliffs or something).

Cinematic platformers are quite slow and clunky to control, that's the style I've chosen for this game.  They're more puzzle solving and timing based rather than reaction based like a traditional platformer, and feature much better animation.  This affords/requires a bit less of a responsive and slower paced play style than typical platformers.  I might omit the turning animation when changing direction during running, but other than that I think the pace is going to stay as-is.  I'll see how people react when the game is a bit closer to completion.

I'm not trying to be dismissive of criticism or suggestions - the differences between the newer build and the last one are pretty much all based on the first wave of feedback I received.  But changing certain things would kind of change the nature of what I'm doing with this game.
Logged

mbel
Level 0
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 05:32:11 AM »

I've played a couple of levels (up to 20 with some exceptions). It looks quite nice, fortunately I didn't have any blurriness issues and could enjoy your pixel art :D Levels are pleasantly easy (so far), by this I mean most of them can be passed without taping 'R', but still they give this rewarding feeling of accomplishing something. However, there are two levels -- 5 and 9 -- which, I must admit, I failed to pass (something I'm going to return to).

I might have missed something but there seems to be no other way than by reseting game to return to level picking screen, it's quite annoying (also ESC as quit is kinda tricky, as I was sure it's going to bring some kind of in-game menu). I would also gladly see some kind of background story, as Laitch suggested, static pictures with few lines of text should be just enough.

Oh and I really, really loved the spider bot.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 05:38:23 AM by mbel » Logged

Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 06:42:36 AM »

Nah you're right mbel, there's not really a way to get back to the main screen without beating the last level (of the demo like) or just reopening the game.  Clearly this is something I'll rectify by the final release - if not by the next build, it's not as if it should be difficult!

To be honest, the title and level select I just slapped together for the first build so that it didn't just chuck you into the actual game right away.

And thanks about the spider!  I was really pleased with him Smiley  Though I might tweak the controls a bit, and I think he's a bit reluctant to fall down a 16px wide gap (he'll cling to a wall automatically).  But yeah he's a lot of fun!
Logged

Laitch
Level 0
***


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 07:17:25 AM »

The blurryness is a problem with Game Maker I think, it does this on my laptop too (mine is pretty old) but with newer ones I think I think it's scaled up more cleanly.

My computer is relatively new so I don't think it has anything to do with the age of the computer. I must admit that it's been a few years since I last used gamemaker but I seem to remember that there was ways to get pixel perfect fullscreen by using views or something? Or maybe you could change the resolution of the screen when going into fullscreen? Smiley
Logged
Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2012, 10:19:53 AM »

I'll try the resolution thing, I tried it before but dismissed it as laptop can't do anything less than 800x600. It'd be useful for me to bear in mind that most other people will have better computers ^__^;

Anyway, I've made a *bit* of progress today.  I've added another level, and also messed about with the behaviours for the security robots.  Now they don't pause after every step but just when they can't walk any further in the same direction (either because of a wall blocking the way, they reach the end of the floor or they hit an invisible marker), so that should go some way towards making game play a bit quicker.

Also fixed the spider not falling through gaps and sticking to the sides when he falls, as well as getting him to change his facing direction in corners (eg. if you're right-ways-up, hold right arrow key and hit a wall, he'll shift onto to the wall and face up).

I won't put up a new build of right now, I'd rather do it once I get more of the actual game done.  I'm away for the next week so I don't think I'll be able to reply to anything but if I can take my pens and some paper away with me then I'll hopefully find some time to come up with s'more puzzles (hopefully some trickier ones!) so I can hit the ground running when I get back.

In the mean time, here's a link for that factory-arm thing I mention in at the start of the devlog.  It could probably do with a bit more polish before it goes in the game, but really I just wanted to show it off because I used some trig to get the elbow right ^__^  You use the arrows to move the 'head' or 'hand' or however you want to call it around.  I chose this over using the arrow keys to move the joints separately (like QWOP) so that I could keep that 8x8 style of movement that I've gone with so far.  

http://www.mediafire.com/?42heo35u2gxpxpv

I'm not really sure what to do with the arm exactly - maybe a claw for picking up boxes, but I've already got two box-mover style robots already so I don't want to flog a dead horse with it.  The attachment on there now is a laser, not that it works.  It could even be used as some sort of cherry-picker, though that might get a bit out of my depth to code once it comes to carrying blocks with robots stood on top (the elevators in the factory levels were a bit problematic for this, I got around some of it just by getting the elevator to not work once things are piled so high on it).   I'll happily take suggestions and ideas on what it can be used for!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 10:43:31 AM by Oshikuru » Logged

Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2012, 07:10:10 PM »

Back from holiday!  Made this guy today (with some luck it's the right one, I kept misplacing the limbs so they looked wrong in animation but fixed it eventually!)



It's going to be a block that other robots can stand on, like the beetles from GB Donkey Kong.  It can walk around by himself around a surface similar to the spider (but slower initially to make moving other robots around easier).  He can turn corners buts he can't move to face a wall opposite to him like the spider, so to move to another bit of the level you'll have to move a block or activate/deactivate a force field to alter its path.  It'll be tricky for other characters on top of this guy with the 8x8 movement thing but I'll have a play around and figure out what works best... maybe that 8x8 snap can move along with the beetle whilst a character is riding on it.
Logged

Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2012, 03:59:28 PM »

I think I finally got my bug character to work.  Moving-platform mechanics are an effing nightmare!

Since my last post I think I've added some new levels.  Also managed to sort out GM6 so I can use 'surface' - so now it looks more lovely and not blurry when enlarged for anyone!  It also means I can use pxTone music instead of midi that GM refuses to loop properly.  It's led to me just redoing the music to some areas so let me know what you think of that in the next build I release.

I've been working on the story too.  I've really wanted to just avoid it all together as trying to figure out the character's reason to do stuff tends to be the point where my games come to a halt.  However, I've pretty much sussed where I'm going with this game and managed to come up with a story I'm happy enough about.  I figure I'll present it just with splash screens, it'd be nice to showcase my hand-drawing.

To the end of coming up with a story, I've sprited some human characters.  They haven't made it into the game just yet, but I'll post some pictures when I've got a bit more time.

Still not used the little mechanical arm thingy I demo'd two posts ago.  It's probably a no goer for this game, but I'll definitely hang onto it for something in the future.  The legs of a giant crab perhaps.
Logged

Jandy
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 05:34:46 PM »

It's been a while since I last updated!  Since my last post I've been redoing or painstakingly copying the music from midi to pxtone format, but I think I'm finally past that for the time being.  I've recently been adding animated background elements, sci-fi brite-lite computer-panels, AC fans, computers... mostly just for the lab section so far but I'll add more background tiles (animated too!)...

*thinkiiing, thinkiiinnNNGG!*  I've changed one of the lab levels, there was one that started as a practice level for the rabbit character but I've got that in the legitimate tutorial levels now, so I've replaced it with more of a puzzling level.

I've started a mockup for some city levels, it's still incomplete though.  I'll show it off once it's in a state where I'll want to use bits of it in game.

Just now I'm messing about with the forcefields, so that players can tell where they are if they start of deactivated.
Logged

Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic