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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsApple and Worm: Patching Holes In Spacetime
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Author Topic: Apple and Worm: Patching Holes In Spacetime  (Read 30576 times)
ClockworkWolf
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2013, 05:21:47 AM »

The OP gives me nostalgia - memories of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! The stage rotation is really cool. Great job!
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2013, 07:36:18 AM »

Wow! This looks absolutely lovely!
My only nitpick is that the sun reads as foreground for me.

It does look like a floating orb, I agree. I'm not sure what to think about those light stripes. But I'm enjoying experimenting.

What's really bothering me is that so far it looks very empty. Most games would have a landscape, and I'm missing something like that. I'll have to come up with something.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2013, 02:45:04 PM »

Aaaaand I don't think ragepixel is going to work with this project at all. I'm looking for another free 2d solution for unity. Suggestions?

edit: Actually, considering unity 4.3 is about to be released any time this year, it might be a good idea to wait for it.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 04:43:23 PM by diegzumillo » Logged

ericmbernier
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2013, 06:25:54 PM »

If the wait for 4.3 becomes too long, I hear good things about 2D ToolKit

If a more 'code-centric' approach is something you'd appreciate there is also Futile.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2013, 08:46:09 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions :D I'll take a look at Futile. I also heard good things about 2D Toolkit but it's beyond my budget of zero dollars. But I read somewhere the next unity should come out "this fall", which is my spring, which is any moment now. I'm not exactly holding the project for that but I am tweaking the todo list to push visual things for later.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2013, 02:01:47 PM »

Ramblings about level structure and story

For a brief moment I thought I was actually going to have the full week free to work on the game, but the week quickly shrinked to a day. The day was used to work on boring engine stuff and to think about structure of levels and story.

When I say structure of levels I don't mean the actual level design but how all levels of the game are perceived by the player. For example, all levels from Sonic (and most old platformers) are connected linearly and are independent from each other. The player beats an act and goes to play the next one, until the game runs out of levels. A more casual arrangement is to present all levels as a list and the player unlocks the levels as he beats them. The difference in these two examples is just cosmetic though (unless the player is able to unlock 3 or 4 levels and skip some) but presented as a list feels more casual.

My first idea: Something on the lines of Sonic with a fake metroidvania feel to it. The motivation for that is the story I'm coming up with. Apple and worm (they're pals) divide a tree house, each has its own room and stuff, and as they go for a walk a branch breaks making their home unaccessible. In order to access their home again they have to go down into several levels, and in each level the objective is to find 'the exit'. The exit is just the way home! the player will eventually return to home but in the wrong orientation, the house is sideways now. So they enter a new hole near the house (in a different direction and orientation now) and that would be the second set of levels, they can have a different look, like ice or fire, different objects to interact etc. And the player would eventually return to their home yet again facing a different direction and still unable to access their home. Some levels could be re-encountered by the player from a different orientation, just like the tree house. This is why I say it's a fake metroidvania, because it feels like backtracking but it's really a linear path.

So it really is a linear structure but it's neatly connected to the story and the world. I could present the levels already beaten in a list from the main menu too.

Possible difficulty: levels have to be defined in a way that the player can't simply shortcut his way back. Because he actually can't come back to the previous level (the "objective flag" is hand placed at the point where I want him to reach) it breaks the magic if he can actually find a loop back that would solve the whole game and is unable to walk through the door.

Second idea: actually making it a metroidvania game, making the player navigate through the rooms/levels and coming out from the doors with the right orientation until reaching home the right way. This would be great if if could be done but it seems very very very difficult. Basically because of the problem mentioned above, everything has to be just right so the player doesn't shortcut his way back home by some combination of loops I didn't predict.

I'm more inclined to the first method. Thoughts? Smiley
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2013, 02:14:04 PM »

A third alternative, that would prevent those problems mentioned: item collection! Instead of the game being a big navigation challenge of returning home going through a series of connected rooms/levels, I could make it about collecting things. This way there's no risk of the player finding an unexpected path back, he has to take the item.

How to fit that with the story? the item could be a portal. A tiny black hole! "Look Apple! a tiny black hole came out of nowhere and is messing up physics again. We have to investigate!" and they enter the first worm-hole they find, leading to another place. And they do that until they find the source of the space-time disturbance. Then they come back home. Yeah, that sounds simpler to implement in every way. I can make levels that are completely open ended, the player can fall in every direction and I can just kill him, there's no possibility of that path being a shortcut or anything.
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2013, 05:27:31 PM »

A third alternative, that would prevent those problems mentioned: item collection! Instead of the game being a big navigation challenge of returning home going through a series of connected rooms/levels, I could make it about collecting things. This way there's no risk of the player finding an unexpected path back, he has to take the item.

No,no,no,no,no! I hate games where you have to backtrack to get items! That's just so annoying!
I prefer the navigation challenge, because it rewards the player for it's abilities and prior knowledge. A newcomer may struggle to understand the puzzles, but once he does, it's easy as pie.
Well, my favorite is pretty much the Metroidvania alternative, because I love metroidvanias, and they're great in rewarding the player for his knowledge.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2013, 05:51:20 PM »

Don't worry, there's no backtracking involved! :D It's still a navigation challenge locally, that is, each level is about going from A to B (where at B there is an item). I realize now it's difficult to explain what I mean without drawings.

What I'm discussing here is how the levels will be structured, how they relate to each other. The fake metroidvania I was considering makes them all glued together to sell to the player that he's circling around the world to return home: level 1 leads to level 2, to level 3... level N leads back home. But that has the contextual problems I mentioned. What if level 2 has a way of solving that the player recognizes as a shortcut home, a loop that gives should allow him to return? not being able to do that would ruin the immersion. So instead each level will be about finding the wormhole. That's what I meant by item collection.

And a true metroidvania style would bring a whole can of worms (these last posts are so rich in puns). You'll notice how most, if not all, metroidvania games are in closed space levels, and I want more freedom to design the levels. But we'll see. I'll keep this idea in mind Wink
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ZeppelinCaptain
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2013, 10:36:30 AM »

My first idea: Something on the lines of Sonic with a fake metroidvania feel to it. The motivation for that is the story I'm coming up with. Apple and worm (they're pals) divide a tree house, each has its own room and stuff, and as they go for a walk a branch breaks making their home unaccessible. In order to access their home again they have to go down into several levels, and in each level the objective is to find 'the exit'. The exit is just the way home! the player will eventually return to home but in the wrong orientation, the house is sideways now. So they enter a new hole near the house (in a different direction and orientation now) and that would be the second set of levels, they can have a different look, like ice or fire, different objects to interact etc. And the player would eventually return to their home yet again facing a different direction and still unable to access their home. Some levels could be re-encountered by the player from a different orientation, just like the tree house. This is why I say it's a fake metroidvania, because it feels like backtracking but it's really a linear path.

So it really is a linear structure but it's neatly connected to the story and the world. I could present the levels already beaten in a list from the main menu too.

Possible difficulty: levels have to be defined in a way that the player can't simply shortcut his way back. Because he actually can't come back to the previous level (the "objective flag" is hand placed at the point where I want him to reach) it breaks the magic if he can actually find a loop back that would solve the whole game and is unable to walk through the door.

This sounds really great! I personally love it when it feels like there's sense or meaning in the way that you proceed the levels, and the returning home four times sounds like a great idea.

Couldn't the possible difficulty be worked around by just isolating the levels a bit more than what it seems that you have in mind? Instead of making it one big connected, you should just have the illusion of that, so that although you can fall down everywhere, there is only one point where you can fall down and proceed (if falling down a hole is how you'd proceed).

A third alternative, that would prevent those problems mentioned: item collection! Instead of the game being a big navigation challenge of returning home going through a series of connected rooms/levels, I could make it about collecting things. This way there's no risk of the player finding an unexpected path back, he has to take the item.

How to fit that with the story? the item could be a portal. A tiny black hole! "Look Apple! a tiny black hole came out of nowhere and is messing up physics again. We have to investigate!" and they enter the first worm-hole they find, leading to another place. And they do that until they find the source of the space-time disturbance. Then they come back home. Yeah, that sounds simpler to implement in every way. I can make levels that are completely open ended, the player can fall in every direction and I can just kill him, there's no possibility of that path being a shortcut or anything.

This sounds like how you described the Sonic levels though? You complete one and you are then teleported to a completely unrelated place (unlike your first idea), just like in Sonic. This might easier to design, but it just doesn't sound as fun, and it doesn't create as much a feeling of a connected game.


On a different note: are the worm and apple going to have distinct personalities? Your gif in the gif thread creates an obvious possibility for a classic split between brain and brawl, with the clever worm and the stup...happy apple!
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2013, 11:25:13 AM »

Thanks :D Yeah, teleporting to some another place is definitely less elegant. But it allows for a more flexible level design. But I'm keeping that idea in mind for the future Smiley

The worm really is smarter and generally more worried with everything, but they are completely independent beings lol The hitch hiking is a way to visually communicate that. And because it's very practical Tongue
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2013, 11:43:46 AM »

Hello again!
After a long time busy with life I'm returning to work on this game. I had already started migrating to the new unity 2d when they released the new version.

I am working on the level creation workflow. That test level in the video and the demo was made entirely in 3ds max. I model the geometry and import to unity. I knew this workflow was terrible because it depends on big softwares to do small things, it's a bazooka to kill a bug. And now that I migrated the project to the 2d physics I am forced to change that because it no longer works with 3d colliders, so it's a good thing.

The workflow is now done with the aid of an editor extension, made by myself, to generate polygons of any shape with 2d colliders, it's simple but works perfectly. I might sell this tool on the unity asset store, after polishing it up a bit.

Just to leave something more interesting than "blah blah colliders yadda yadda quaternions" here's an interesting application of physics in the game.

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« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2013, 11:53:33 AM »

The sprite animation i like it, reminds me of the old 80's cartoon like Yogi Bear.
About the game I would like to see more.

----------------

Como por el nick me pareces de lengua castellana, te lo digo tambien en español.

La animacion del sprite me gusta, me recuerda a los viejos dibujos de los 80 como el oso yogui.
Sobre el juego me gustaria ver mas.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2013, 12:02:56 PM »

Thanks. Good eye on the name, I'm Diego, (the gzumillo part is completely made up) but I speak portuguese (Brazil). Mi español es terrible!

My next update will hopefully show a complete visual scene! I'm striving for that for a long time but there's always something on the way that keeps me from doing it.
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Thecoolestnerdguy
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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2013, 04:48:16 AM »

it's a bazooka to kill a bug.

Haha, you could just had said "overkill", but that's too mainstream, right?
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2013, 07:04:02 AM »

I can't put into words how much I like the concept. It's also amazing how much character you manage to put into such a simple design by juicy animation, and the controls seem really responsive. Best of luck to you!
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2013, 04:52:11 PM »

Quote
Haha, you could just had said "overkill", but that's too mainstream, right?
I used overkill before it was cool! I'm diegzuhipster.

Quote
I can't put into words how much I like the concept. It's also amazing how much character you manage to put into such a simple design by juicy animation, and the controls seem really responsive. Best of luck to you!

such kind words! Thank you Smiley hopefully it will not disappoint as the game develops.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2013, 12:53:48 PM »

RISE OF THE CURVED PIXELS  Evil

I just reached a milestone. The complete transition to 2d pipeline (with one exception but that's not worth mentioning) including custom tools to create level geometry.

Things are much clearer in my head now. I still don't know if 'pixel art' will work without it being 'pixel perfect', but I feel safer about what I'm doing. One of the tools I made is a polygon stripe creator, and it does exactly what it implies: creates stripes of polygons. The idea is to be able to create sprites that follow a curve, like the grass on the gif below: (Horrible quality. Sorry.)

It also helps with the issue of communicating visually to the player what regions are curved.

Again, I don't know if the game will look like crap, but I do feel more confident because I have a better defined direction.

With things in place I'll focus on creating more sprites to make levels in this sunny field  environment.
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Thecoolestnerdguy
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« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2013, 04:03:41 AM »



Shocked

Dat pixels! They look so pretty!  Tears of Joy
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2014, 11:05:00 PM »

Hello again Smiley
I started working on an alpha demo last december, then personal stuff happened and I'm resuming the apha demo now. A few weeks ago, actually.

There are two levels done (it doesn't sound like a lot but every item I put in the level requires tweaking or even days of rewriting code) and I'm aiming at 5 levels, give or take. The movement is much more polished, the tools to make levels are improved, there are more sprites etc. Here's Isaac Newton having an idea:


I don't want to show all the new stuff now, the alpha demo will be done soon enough Smiley

Also, MUSIC! it has music! I'm not going to show it now but I think it's really great, it fits the game perfectly. It is being made by Raoul Hamilton, you can hear his work at https://soundcloud.com/raoulhamilton/themes-app-showcase
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