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1370232 Posts in 64449 Topics- by 56500 Members - Latest Member: zulaisaias

December 09, 2019, 06:28:35 AM

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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 37905 times)
JobLeonard
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« Reply #360 on: August 05, 2019, 03:11:52 AM »

So exciting to see things finally coming together and working!! Kiss Kiss

Yeee I'm getting all giggly!

Here's another wall of text with no planning whatsoever. Just getting stuff out of my system! In fact I am writing this paragraph after I wrote the text below and, whew! it goes round and round this one. Starts off confusing and ends slightly less confusing.

Here's what I've been thinking about for the past two days. Level structure and story. Previously the game was going to be a linear set of levels. Reach spacetime hole, jump to next level, repeat. Simple! which makes it even more ideal now that I am desperately trying to push this thing out of my life. And it matched the half-assed story I had in mind for the game, easily summarized as follows:

Apple and worm are chilling at home wishing for adventures. Interdimensional beings appear nearby, and they seem to be having fun researching and cataloging everything. Apple and worm watch enviously. Then assholecat (temporary name) would break their ship by pushing a rock on it, like cats do. Asshole cat is not evil, by the way, it's just a giant cat. Then apple and worm rush to help the aliens but don't reach them in time, whom casually go back to their ship and travel away in their now broken ship, which leaves holes behind now. The objective of the game is to follow the trail of holes to catch up to them and help fix their ship.

It all changed when I introduced the scale mechanic with the new implementation. Because now I can make entire sections of the game to be inside a grain of rice, and then you can leave the grain of rice and scale yourself to be the size of the galaxy, which turned out to be another grain of rice. You know what I mean? I have an artistic obligation to make use of this in the narrative! And I have a super cool idea for how to end the game which I'm going to keep to myself for now, but suffice to say it's making my life harder, both in coming up with a story that leads to it and a level progression that is simple and makes sense with it.

My plan is to first come up with a level progression that is simple, because the priority is to finish the game. Then come up with a narrative that works with it and with how I want to end the game. So (and this is me thinking while I write) it is possible to use the same story, with minor tweaks to how it progresses in order to reach the new intended ending. Which means I get to use the same level structure. Yeah... it is possible. See? this is why I write this devlog. The past two days I have this thing giving me anxiety, and writing it made it clearer.

Another thing I wanted to add to the level structure is a drop of backtracking. Not full metroidvania, because that would be like an anchor in this already slow project. However, the game could be linear even if it involves backtracking. I always felt this gameplay lends itself well for backtracking. I could have a fast travel system with a map that lets you revisit levels in orientation and scales you have already visited before to maybe find different paths. Oh wait. Branching levels? that's not linear. I'm getting anxious again  Crazy

But ok I don't have to think so hard at this stage. What I know by the end of this wall of text: same story, different ending, levels connected by the same old holes as before. I can work with that for now. The stuff in the previous paragraph requires this much to be working already anyway.

Here's my list of things to work on next but in no particular order:
  • Levels. Maybe even a demo. Exploring interesting mechanics, like the rotating block of the demo.
  • Bring back the Apple
  • Make art!

Notice how I'm pushing technical stuff for later like polishing player controller and fixing bugs. I feel like I need to bring the rest of the game up to pace.

Cheers yall  Coffee
A story worthy of awards! I don't know what it is, but time travel and shrinking were always my two favourite story tropes and I can't wait to see what you do with the rice grain mechanic!!
What Prinsessa said!
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #361 on: August 10, 2019, 06:37:46 PM »

Thanks yall Smiley

I was aiming at having a little more by now. I wanted the player controller to be done and playable in a decent tiny level. The only hiccup is that I think I might need to put more effort in the tile collider. More than the 5 minutes I put, that is. Because everything else seems nice but the player collider keeps detecting collisions that wasn't suppose to happen. In the ground it's unnoticeable but the walls are the problem. That was more or less expected but I was secretly hoping it would just work as is.

But still good progress! I brought the apple back. I remade my favorite level from the old demo, the single curve linear level.



The camera farts are still present as well, but I already started fixing it.
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #362 on: August 10, 2019, 08:25:14 PM »

I hate it when somebody rips me a new space hole

I love watching this tech in motion. I feel like the camera is sluggish enough to get disorienting though. I mean, I know it's always going to be disorienting to some level but being snappier would help I think. unless this is something of a solution to the camera problems you've mentioned
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #363 on: August 11, 2019, 02:42:25 AM »

How come you weren't using the apple for a while?
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #364 on: August 11, 2019, 03:18:31 AM »

I hate it when somebody rips me a new space hole

I love watching this tech in motion. I feel like the camera is sluggish enough to get disorienting though. I mean, I know it's always going to be disorienting to some level but being snappier would help I think. unless this is something of a solution to the camera problems you've mentioned

I totally agree with you, I didn't really try to polish the camera as I'm still coding the system. Having said that, an ideal camera system would have some more sophisticated features I'm not even planning to have, like instead of lagging behind the player it would move slightly ahead of movement direction. I want to keep things extra simple. But the lerp is pretty slow now in my opinion as well.

How come you weren't using the apple for a while?
I was kinda tired of looking at it. So I told myself I would only bring it back when the project reached the stage where it would be required to have the main character up and running again.

This also serves to mitigate the creative blindness one gets for staring at the work for too long. I honestly have difficulty doing more artwork in the same style as the original apple at this point, because it's hard to judge the results.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #365 on: August 11, 2019, 01:42:00 PM »

Quote
This also serves to mitigate the creative blindness one gets for staring at the work for too long. I honestly have difficulty doing more artwork in the same style as the original apple at this point, because it's hard to judge the results.

Here's an example of that. Last time I did art for the world 1 was literally years ago and I never liked it. So I'm experimenting with color palettes now and it's really hard.



Any opinions? Don't mind the lazy pixel work, I'm testing visuals and colors. First one is an attempt at a more cheerful, saturated look. Too saturated? Second is the other way around. I'm toning down saturation and darkening colors, as well as using different combinations. Third one is a correction of second becauseI felt the platforms were hard to see.

Art is hard. I think I'll throw this in one of those pixel criticisms threads around here.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #366 on: August 11, 2019, 01:47:09 PM »

Given the whole travelling across all space and time, maybe all of them depending on where you are? Cheesy
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #367 on: August 11, 2019, 01:59:35 PM »

If there was an easy way to swap palette it would be a cool idea! :D

I just noticed the actual apple sprite uses some dark tones that don't really match with the style of the first image. The darkest color of the world is much brighter than apple's darkest color. And I'm not changing apple, so that settles that.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #368 on: August 11, 2019, 04:23:13 PM »

I think I'm getting better at making decisions. This is the look of world 1:



I kinda like it. I'll make a bunch of sprites and tiles in this style now.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #369 on: August 12, 2019, 03:29:45 AM »

I like it!
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #370 on: August 12, 2019, 10:54:00 AM »

Here is the current state of affairs in my level building process (after design, which at the moment is mostly on paper). I model the mesh in a 3D editing software. Each room is a separate mesh because they need separate materials, each material receives render to texture from a different camera. Imported to Unity, I then connect each room to their respective parts of the mesh. The problem is that while in the 3D editor I have no way of knowing if the mesh is oriented the right way, so I wrote a tiny a function that rotates the UVs. So once in Unity and with every mesh connected to every room, I rotate the UVs of the rooms that are incorrect. So far so good.

Then I noticed something odd. I could have sworn I had already rotated the UVs on this level. Maybe I forgot to save? Nope. When editing an imported mesh the changes are not permanent. But it took a few hours and the help of an user from Unity forums to figure out. I tried all the tricks, like setdirty this, Undo.Savewhateverprefabbla etc. Reloading the scene resets to original values, always. After a while banging my head against the wall it seems like the solution is to not work with the imported meshes directly but create copies of it from script, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place, because creating and editing meshes in Unity is a painful ordeal. "Use sharedmesh while in edit mode", "don't use sharemesh, that will cause leaks of meshes on the scene" "use sharedmeshes in play but only when saturn is aligned with pluto", "with this version of unity it's all inverted now"  Crazy

But I found a new solution. It's shit but better than rotate uvs in 3d editor -> export -> import again -> check uvs -> repeat maybe. The solution is to use the new ProBuilder tools. If it were just for UVs this would be an overkill solution but I might make more use of it to tweak the mesh, so it's all right. Now I tweak the UVs, reload the scene and it's still good :D

OK, back to sprite making.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #371 on: August 12, 2019, 05:58:17 PM »

Did a quick (hopefully temporary) solution to show the underlying space curvature. Basically, I duplicated the level mesh and put a wireframe shader on it. Now it's less confusing for the uninitiated to the concept of the game I hope (I made this specifically for a couple of friends)

Oh, I almost got completely rid of the camera farts! Almost.



I don't know how to show the curvature in a more elegant way though. I thought about showing the wireframe locally with a radius around the player and is activated when you jump or something like that. Might just keep this half ass solution too, why the hell not.
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Superb Joe
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« Reply #372 on: August 13, 2019, 12:51:52 AM »

you could make it so when you push a button the leaf lets off a little pulse and you reveal a certain amount of the underlying mesh. then you can do the level design brain master thing of hiding space distortions in plain sight and conditioning players to intuitively understand where they are, then fucking with their expectations. you could also not do that.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #373 on: August 13, 2019, 12:55:21 AM »

apple's facial expression makes me so happy
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #374 on: August 13, 2019, 01:11:30 AM »

Superb Joe's solution of a space-time distortion sonar sounds super-cool to me!

Also, you can make the first level/first part of the first level be inside something that naturally exposes a frame. It could be something industrial, like the skeleton of a crashed zeppelin, or a bridge that weirdly curves upwards:




The bridge might be a bit on the nose. Also reminds me of those ridiculous highway levels of Sonic Adventure 2





(who the hell would ever drive on that?)

Playing the association game, I came up with Apple & Worm -> Isaac Newton -> 17th century -> Gothic Architecture -> Giovanni Piranesi's The Prisons:






Actually not that bad of a setting for a space-time distorted maze to escape from, right?

Of course, the mood of these etchings is totally different than your pixel art, so in that sense it wouldn't fit...
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #375 on: August 13, 2019, 01:13:00 AM »

Apple and the Wormbra Dinn? Shocked
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #376 on: August 13, 2019, 01:21:05 AM »

Carillon-focused soundtrack intensifies

EDIT: Screw it, I'm gonna link it because it's still one of the best OSTs in gaming ever



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diegzumillo
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« Reply #377 on: August 13, 2019, 07:31:42 AM »

The sonar thing is a fun idea. It's why I was fighting with shaders a few days ago! I wanted to get a ripple effect around the player that showed the wireframe.

That different art style makes me want to polish this engine a little more and release it for other people to make other types of games with it. Or maybe just a fancy level editor and make some kind of mario maker. With a Greek electrician named Markos as generic platformer protagonist.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #378 on: August 13, 2019, 08:18:58 AM »

Hyper Markos Cheesy
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #379 on: August 13, 2019, 09:05:20 AM »

It is I, Markos!
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