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nickd3000
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« on: July 23, 2015, 02:33:50 AM »


Mos Speedrun 2 is the follow up to our original speed running platform game Mos Speedrun.  We are planning to release the game in a few months on PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone and Android.

You control Mos, who now has the added ability of wall-jumping, try to complete each of the 30 levels as quickly as you can.  There are spikes and traps and monsters trying to prevent you from doing this however, and there are a lot of new types of obstacle to negotiate this time around.


New Abilities and obstacle types
  • Wall jumping
  • Rope swinging
  • Buttons
  • Moving platforms
  • Jelly (player sinks in and can swim in it)
  • Improved water
  • Poisoned gas
  • Pushable blocks


This time around we have upgraded the costume system.  You can unlock various items of clothing by completing challenges, and then combine them in any way you like to make your character as ridiculous as you want.  There are 5 types of costume element: Base costume, clothes, accessory, hat and mask.


We have brought back the level progression system from the first game, which we really liked.  Basically, to progress to the next level (each level has 6 stages), you need to earn a certain number of badges.  Badges are earned by completing certain challenges during the stages, each of these gets you one badge:
  • Complete the level.
  • Finish under a certain time.
  • Collect every coin in the stage.
  • Collect the golden skull.

We have taken this idea even further than the first game, and the coin collection and skull challenges are quite distinct aspects of each level.  For example, each level has a secret, hidden, golden skull.  These are hidden in what we nicknamed the “skull areas”.  A skull area represents a relatively large area in the level that is more challenging than the base level.  To get a skull, the player must search the level for the hidden entrance, then negotiate through this difficult skull area, get the skull and make it back out alive.


We don’t force players to get every badge in the game, and this allows players to chose their preferred style of gameplay.  Novice players will be able to finish the game without completing too many of the harder challenges. Completionists might want to try collecting every coin in the levels, and those up for more of a challenge will want to go for all of the skulls. We also have a new badge this time that we call a “day charm”, but I’ll talk about that in another update.

I have some more updates planned over the next few weeks, thanks for reading!

Nick
@nickd3000
http://www.physmo.com

PS. We have a mailing list set up on http://www.mosspeedrun.com if you’d like one email when the game is released!


A couple of Gifs of the action



I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone has, or even suggestions on elements of the game to cover in this Devlog, thanks!

Nick
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 01:28:47 PM by nickd3000 » Logged

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nickd3000
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 06:42:15 AM »

Update 2 - Camera

In Mos 1, one of the things I was never really happy with was the camera.  It was pretty primitive and I think it was something players weren't too impressed with either.  There were two main problems with that camera.
  • It tracked the Y position of the player exactly.  Mos has to jump around a lot, and with every jump the camera would bounce around and keep her exactly in the centre of the screen, this made for a lot of fast camera motion and looked way too frantic.
  • The look-ahead algorithm was too extreme.  Having look ahead in a platform game can be really useful if done properly, but this was too sensitive and quick, simply changing the character direction would make the screen swing to favour the direction the character was facing.

We spent a lot of time refining the new camera, solved some old problems and added some new features too.
First off, we fixed the vertical following algorithm, now the camera only tracks mos on the Y axis if she gets too close to the top or bottom of the screen, or if she has changed Y position and has landed on something solid.  This has greatly reduced unnecessary motion and is less confusing for the player.
Next we fixed the look-ahead system. The camera now only pans to look ahead if it detects Mos is running in a new direction and has exceeded a small bounding box in the centre of the screen.  The panning speed has been reduced too, both these changes have really improved the camera motion.

The first new feature we added was an offset zone.  In the level editor I can define a trigger area along with a 2D vector.  When the character enters this zone, the camera pans according to the offset in the trigger.  I played through each level and found areas where there was some hazard or object of interest that was either just offscreen or should be more prominent, and added the appropriate triggers.  It really helps, especially in fast areas where there is a hazard ahead that we can pan the camera towards so the player gets more time to react.

The second major new feature is what I’d call “blocking regions”.  In the editor I can define a rectangular trigger that effectively blocks the camera from moving in to it.  The main use for these is in parts of the level where Mos has to run towards a wall, then jump up or down and double back the way she came.  There are two benefits to this: The camera doesn't waste time overshooting the place where Mos is going to go to next, and the camera doesn't bother highlighting boring solid areas of the level that would otherwise take up half the screen.

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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 09:14:50 AM »

Update 3 - Hazard Warnings

One of our pet hates in platform games is dying unfairly.  If the player dies in Mos 2, we want it to be their fault, and not because of unfair level design or lack of visibility of hazards.  The idea we came up with to help with this is what we've loosely termed "Hazard warnings".

Basically, if there is an enemy or other dangerous object (Like a spike or a pool of lava), underneath the player but offscreen, we draw an unobtrusive red marker (We tried a few types of shape and settled on this one).

In the screenshot you can see along the bottom of the screen on the left, the markers are being displayed because there is a row of spikes down below.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 01:03:41 AM by nickd3000 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2015, 05:41:31 AM »

Here is a short (30 seconds) preview video of Mos 2 in it's current state, showing a few of Mos's new abilities and some music from the game.  Currently we are working on testing the game and smoothing off any rough corners we find, but everything is looking pretty good.

I don;t hink I can embed Youtube videos in a post so here is a link to the video:



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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 01:28:27 PM »

We have a tool that can output a huge image file from each level, it's really useful for checking each level for graphical errors, although it doesn't include enemies and dynamic objects.  This picture is a scaled down image from the tool (Scaled down so as to not reveal too much!)
The red blurred out area is one of the secret areas we have hidden on each level, they take up quite a large part of each map!


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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2015, 02:04:31 PM »

Cool, played a bit of the first. Looking forward to the new one.
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 06:49:29 AM »

Secrets are goood
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nickd3000
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2015, 07:37:19 AM »

I found a pretty good windows app for grabbing animated gifs, it's called GifCam and it allows you to drag a window over your game in order to record, and also offers some limited editing and output options.  It's a lot better than what I had to do for the earlier gifs, which was to record a video in fraps, then import all the frames to photoshop and crop, then export as a gif.  it was really tedious otherwise I'd have posted a lot more animations here already!

Anyway, I'm pleased to have some new gifs today hanks to that tool!


This is an example of our secret area shader - it's basically a simple shader we use on the tile layer we have that is used to get to secret rooms.  It's non collidable but looks just like normal foreground tiles.  We pass the shader the position of the player and anything within a certain radius isn't drawn.


This is our "jelly" substance in Mos 2, you can walk and jump on it as you would a normal solid block, but you will sink in to it if you are stationary on top of the jelly. When inside you can swim around but be careful as your oxygen supply is limited.  We've used this in a few puzzle areas throughout the game.


This is something fun that we just added a few days ago.  Previously when Mos died her sprite didn't rotate to match the gradient of the ground, I think this looks a lot better, at the expense of more collision detection!


The game is nearing release date on Steam - September 3rd - but we are still fixing minor graphical things right up until it goes live, what could possibly go wrong???

Nick
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 07:49:02 AM »

The game looks really good! I feel like you have put a lot of detail in everything and it looks nice :D
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 08:00:26 AM »

Thanks! We have tried hard to make it the best we can, hopefully people will find all the little secrets we have added too Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2015, 03:27:12 AM »

I've got another couple of GIFs today!


This one shows the falling blocks that Mos can use to her advantage, as shown here.  It's all too easy to get squished though.


This is just a small one showing some drips and the impact effect.

We released the game on Steam yesterday, you can check it out on the steam store: http://store.steampowered.com/app/333290/
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