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1402163 Posts in 68045 Topics- by 61639 Members - Latest Member: pevogames

August 18, 2022, 06:08:25 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsLeilani's Island
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Author Topic: Leilani's Island  (Read 312888 times)
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« Reply #1320 on: August 02, 2022, 11:53:29 PM »

Love it, the menu has such a high quality feel to it. Great job!

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« Reply #1321 on: August 04, 2022, 01:46:21 PM »

Fantastic! Love being able to use J and K for my action buttons.

Maybe the binding swaps should be more visually apparent? I dunno if this is an actual problem, though.
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« Reply #1322 on: August 06, 2022, 11:55:23 PM »

Thank you for the nice replies!

Maybe the binding swaps should be more visually apparent? I dunno if this is an actual problem, though.

I did consider this, it could be nice to have the button icons visually swap between the two inputs in the UI. I think I also have a comment in the code about maybe doing a different sound when a swap happens. I don't know if I'll ever get around to it though, I do want to keep development momentum going and not get stuck on this screen any longer at the moment.

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« Reply #1323 on: August 07, 2022, 05:18:49 PM »

In this post I talked about how the game's collectable shells would be used.


I've been thinking more about what the point of the collectable shells is. Since the game doesn't have lives, I can't just hand out an extra life for every 100 shells.

Previously on this devlog I mentioned that I wanted to avoid situations where the player could replay levels just to grind for shells. But I've changed my mind on that CoffeeHand Thumbs Up Right My plan is:

  • Shells are collected during gameplay. Dying maybe incurs a small shell penalty? But doesn't remove all the shells you collected since the checkpoint.
  • At the end of the level, shells are added to your global total.
  • Shells can be spent on the world map to open up additional paths. Also can be spent to buy powerups. Note that in the gif above the vine path contains a new level - but probably most of the time I would use it to unlock optional shortcuts around the world, and little things like that.

My reasoning for these mechanics are:

  • In some levels the player can smash loads of blocks to collect some shells, which is fun, but suddenly feels pointless if you die and lose all those shells. I would prefer players to always feel incentivised to keep collecting.
  • Computer chips collected since the last checkpoint are lost if you die, so it seems harsh to also take all the shells away.
  • Growing plants on the map reinforces the theme of recovering the island, and working with nature! (Leilani likes plants even if she regularly beats up the island's animals)
  • I think being able to grind for shells is preferable to imposing harsh restrictions, such as "you collected 100 shells, but last time you played this level you collected 90, so I'm only adding 10 to your total"

This has all remained the same since then. Shells are collected in levels, and can be spent on the world map to unlock new paths or buy powerups.

Unfortunately buying powerups on the world map turned out to be a bit lame. The hope behind this system was to allow players to spend shells to make the game a bit easier if needed, or to give some flexibility to buy a specific powerup that the player might want to use. But, buying a single powerup on the world map doesn't really achieve this.
  • You have to know before going into the level which powerup you want
  • Often when starting a level there's a powerup nearby anyway
  • It doesn't help against situations such as bosses where you probably want the powerup against the boss, not at the start of the level
It is supported to quit the level, go and buy another powerup, and return to the level, which will continue you from the most recent checkpoint you hit - but this is unintuitive and still cumbersome.

I've had a better system on my mind for a long time and finally got around to implementing it.

Milk caps / POGs / tokens

I've added a new collectable, which are tokens that can be used to apply powerups to Leilani. The visuals are based on Milk caps / POGs which was a massive playground game when I was a kid and originated in Hawaii. Here are some old ones that I own Smiley

Fun fact: the collectable computer chips in Leilani were milk caps at one point very early on (here's a mockup that shows that). So I've been wanting to include them in the game for a long time.

I'm not sure on the exact naming that I'll give them in the game, since "milk caps" doesn't make much sense in the context of Leilani's world, and could be weird for players unfamiliar with the game. I'll just use "token" for this post as it's quicker to write.

I'll first go over how the mechanic works and then try and justify all the feature creep after.


Placeholder art: the tokens are just recoloured but should actually have different designs on them.

Tokens will be found in levels (but quite rarely, and probably in hidden places) either in blocks or just floating in the world.

Collecting duplicate/unneeded powerups will also turn them into tokens of the relevant type.

I haven't implemented it yet but I'm considering that defeating a number of enemies while invincible should also award a token.

Hitting the top of the tower at the end of the level (rather than one of the lower parts of the tower) also now awards a token. The token is randomly selected, certain tokens are more likely than others but it also is more likely to give you one you have fewer of.


Placeholder art: the yellow square is a pointer, and the green square represents some kind of fancy animation that will happen where the powerup appears and moves over to Leilani.

You can open the inventory during gameplay and apply a powerup.

Currently you need 5 tokens for one powerup and can carry up to 10 tokens of each type. These numbers are subject to change depending on how I feel the balancing works best.

Note that invincibility also has tokens, meaning you could apply it anywhere. This will no doubt introduce some interesting situations that I have to deal with such as being able to use it during a boss fight.


Placeholder art: the plants you see are the ones that you used to buy powerups from. But these will be replaced with something else - perhaps an animal selling tokens? Not sure yet.

On the world map there will now be 'shops' where you can buy tokens rather than buying powerups directly.

I didn't want to make UI for selecting how many tokens to buy, so I automated it. It'll sell you the number of tokens you need to reach the next powerup (you need 5 for a powerup, so if you currently have 3 tokens, you can buy 2 tokens).

You can also open the inventory and apply powerups while on the world map. (Though you can't apply invincibility here).


Finally here's the token inventory button added to the control screen. This was a secret additional incentive for my recent revamp of the controls screen.

Rather than adding a new input for this, I was tempted to have the inventory be accessed via the pause menu, but that seemed clunky.


A big part of the inspiration for this system was the powerup inventory in Bowser's Fury. Mario games have had basic powerup reserve systems that often let you swap between two powerups. Bowser's Fury's system was more generous, holding lots of powerups, which was more suitable to its open world style gameplay. The system I've made here is similar to Bowser's Fury but basically modified to be much less generous due to the conversion of tokens to powerups - the player has to work harder to build up their inventory.


The positive effects I'm hoping for from this new system:

  • Make shells more valuable and worth collecting, because there's more to spend them on.
  • Better rewards during gameplay - not always just giving the player more shells.
  • More ways for a novice player to make the game easier for themselves by using powerups at the time they need it.
  • More options for skilled players to play how they want - e.g. factoring the collection and usage of tokens into a speedrun could be interesting.

There's plenty of polish to do on the visual and audio side, but I'm waiting to see how I like this whole system first. I doubt I would scrap it entirely but I may end up making changes.

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« Reply #1324 on: August 08, 2022, 04:16:45 AM »

Placeholder art: the plants you see are the ones that you used to buy powerups from. But these will be replaced with something else - perhaps an animal selling tokens? Not sure yet.
A grumpy lost sea otter who needs the shells to buy his ticket out of here?

(I tried looking for whether or not sea otters were native to Hawaii or not. As far as I can tell they're note but if you ask google it says yes because, get this, a game set in the future wrote a "fake history" blog posted here that claims sea otters came to Hawaii on April 7th 2050)
Hayden Scott-Baron
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« Reply #1325 on: August 08, 2022, 11:58:34 PM »

Great to see the milk caps in the game, Craig! I remember you talking about those a long time ago!
It'll be interesting to see how the currency system goes. Balancing that type of thing can be a lot of fun, but also pretty tricky.

twitter: @docky
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