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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsThe Sun And Moon
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Author Topic: The Sun And Moon  (Read 5160 times)
Daniel Linssen
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« on: July 02, 2014, 09:08:38 pm »

The Sun And Moon is a 2D platformer I initially made for Ludum Dare 29. The reception to the game was fantastic so I've begun developing it into a full commercial release. The game features a relatively unique mechanic: the player can dive into the ground, and while underground the player is pushed upwards. This ability forms the basis behind most of the gameplay.


The game will be broken up into a huge number of levels that range from easy to punching-yourself-in-the-face-with-a-brick difficult. I absolutely love level design so The Sun And Moon will be packed with as many unique and challenging levels as possible. The game will feature a non-linear level unlock system which lets the player pick and choose how they want to work their way through the game, and each level will have time goals (bronze, silver and gold) to beat so that even the easiest levels have heaps of added replayability.


I'm aiming to post updates at least once a week, well hopefully much more often, but that all depends on progress.

If you'd like a better idea of how the game feels please check out the Ludum Dare version. I wrote a post mortem for the Ludum Dare version, which covers the initial development.

If you want you can follow me on twitter, and for more of my games please see my website.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 10:26:36 pm by Daniel Linssen » Logged
Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 09:41:29 pm »

Currently working on: UI and interface.



Or, alternatively, I could use symbols in place of text.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 09:56:47 pm by Daniel Linssen » Logged
jgrams
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 02:24:55 am »

Yay! Loved the LD version, so it's awesome to see you taking it further.

I like the non-linear map idea. A bunch of the LD levels were almost too "punching-yourself-in-the-face-with-a-brick difficult" for me...

I prefer text: it's unambiguous and you don't have to guess what these icons might mean. But that may be a personal foible...
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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 02:40:57 am »

Thanks jgrams! I feel like the game really needs to give the player plenty of options. Getting stuck on one tough level and not being able to make any progress because of it really sucks.

I'll leave it as text for now, since the symbols need a bit of work and I can always swap them out later on.
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Maliii
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 02:55:11 am »

I love this game. I'm awful at it (like a lot of games). But its really fun. I also prefer text instead of symbols. Can't wait to see more. Smiley
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Ludipe
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 05:14:59 am »

I loved the LD version, really glad you are developing a full game. Good luck!
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Slader16
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 05:46:02 am »

The LD version was my favorite entry out of them all, so I can't wait to see what you do with it!
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Zack Bell
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 08:12:16 am »

This is neat. The mechanic is original and the art style is fitting.
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Christian
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 12:36:56 pm »

You made Javel-ein!! I love that game. Can't wait to see how you expand on Sun & Moon
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Christian
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 03:46:09 pm »

How about a mix of symbols and text? Because I like the minimalist look of symbols.
So something like this:
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 03:56:19 pm by Christian » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 03:50:26 pm »

That looks bad, if you want both have both displayed at the same time (icons to the left of the text for example)
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Slader16
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 08:37:44 pm »

What if it looks like a symbol until it's selected, then turn it into the text?
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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2014, 06:52:15 am »

Update 1: UI and map editor

Firstly I've finished writing some relatively flexible code to deal with menus, and hopefully I can use this code all throughout the game where necessary. For the menus, I'm sticking with text (rather than symbols) for the time being because it's easier for me and more intuitive for the player. The options menu is mostly done but I need to add a few more things such as keyboard and gamepad configuration. It looks pretty boring so I'll try to spice it up when I go back to working on visuals, but that won't be for a while.



I also made a map editor for my own use. The map editor shows me each level's internal name (dark green), internal index (light green) and external number (white). I can left click to move the levels around, right click to give the levels their external number and middle click to preview a level. The plan is to use this to easily manage an increasingly large number of levels and organize them all into one huge map.

The level editor currently looks like this:



Eventually it will generate a map which looks something like this (this is only a rough mockup):



I'll go into more detail about how the map will tie into the game later on.
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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 07:02:17 am »

Oh and thanks everyone for the positive comments! They're encouraging me to work faster and to post more updates.

You made Javel-ein!! I love that game. Can't wait to see how you expand on Sun & Moon

Hey I recognize your avatar from the NeoGAF indie games thread! I've been lurking there for a few months now, it's been a great way to keep up to date with other indie games. Thanks for the kind words, I'm actually super excited that you recognized me by another game I've made.
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Christian
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2014, 07:32:46 am »

Ha, nice to see I'm known around these parts :p

Yeah, The Sun & Moon had been featured in the May thread, but that was a hectic month, kind of got lost in the shuffle. I realized you were the same guy who made Javel-ein after checking out your other games, so now I've been spreading the word over there. Having played the Jam version of Sun & Moon, I really like how you took a simple mechanic and crafted so many diverse and challenging levels around it. You did that really well in Javel-ein too. Can't wait to see more
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 07:38:24 am by Christian » Logged

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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2014, 12:20:28 am »

Update 2: More UI and map editor

I've been working on making the UI more consistent and relevant.



Firstly, the crosshair is just a placeholder. Moving between levels is going to be quite different to what it is currently. It'll hopefully be very snappy and more responsive.

All the levels shown have been beaten except for level 32 which is why it's only an outline. Hovering over a level shows the bronze, silver and gold times for that level, as well as your  best time, if you've beaten the level.



Again, there's a lot of stuff I still have to do here, but this more or less shows the user interface when selecting, playing and completing a level. On the left are the gold/silver/bronze time goals, in the middle is the current level number and on the right is the player's best time and current time. The middle also shows you which medal (if any) you've currently achieved. In the gif above I've already gotten the gold time for level 6 so it will permanently show the gold medal under the level number. In that particle run I achieve a bronze time.

I've also been playing around with particles. You might have noticed the "glitter" effect that follows the player while underground. That effect will either be reduced in intensity or removed completely, but I like the notion of the player leaving more of a trace on the world.

Tomorrow I'll try to get closer to finishing the map by adding in the connections between the different levels.
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Pamar
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2014, 04:14:59 am »

Wow, great "fluid" movement, I would be great to see some boss fights...
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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2014, 09:09:02 am »

Update 3: The Level Select Screen



Everything is now controlled entirely by keyboard or gamepad and all the levels are now actually connected to each other. Soon the levels not adjacent to a completed level will be either invisible completely or simply inaccessible.

Now to get back to working on the gameplay!
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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2014, 09:24:33 am »

Wow, great "fluid" movement, I would be great to see some boss fights...

I have a few ideas for some levels that should feel a bit like boss fights, even if they don't actually contain a boss.
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Daniel Linssen
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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2014, 06:34:22 am »

Update 4: Some level design and a website

Unfortunately I don't have too much to show for this week. A few small things:

1. I set up a website but it's very rudimentary at the moment. You can find it at www.daniellinssen.net. The content is ripped straight from this dev log but what's kinda neat is that the background has two layers of parallax scrolling, mimicking the game. I also have a press kit in the works, using the fantastic presskit() by Rami Ismail of Vlambeer.

2. I went to an IGDA meetup and met a few awesome people and got some really great feedback on the game in its current state.

3. I've been working on adding and fixing up levels. Here's a pretty tricky one:



The blinky blocks really need some effects shortly before and after they appear and disappear to make the player's timing a lot easier. Right now there's too much guesswork involved, which makes harder levels with these blocks pretty frustrating.
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