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May 21, 2018, 06:28:59 pm

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRed Magus
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Author Topic: Red Magus  (Read 3267 times)
Lowbit
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« on: February 15, 2018, 05:30:45 am »




























Red Magus is four years deep in development. Optimistically, two years of development are left to go.
I’d like to spend that time posting small updates here. Level design, mostly; plus art, story, mechanics, and how they’ve evolved.

No code, though. I'll spare you from staring into that particular mouth of madness.




(Table of Contents will eventually go right here.)
 - DevLog #1: Monster Party -
 - DevLog #2: Shatterhand -
 - DevLog #3: Adventures of Lolo -





This dumb game is being developed with Unity.
Art assets are created with GIMP and Aseprite.


Meet the team at:
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jg.camarasa
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 05:33:07 am »

This is looking awesome. Those animations are sweeeet. Following this!
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litHermit
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 08:00:29 am »

Nice animation and mood.
But... who or what is Red Magus? I can't connect the logo and the bird-head dude with the gifs
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 08:15:28 am by litHermit » Logged

Words
Ark
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 01:20:47 pm »

Wow! Who, Me? That looks like one of the best games ever. Grin Can you tell a thing or two about the story? Who is Red Magus? A villain?
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Lugalias
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 02:02:12 pm »

MORE MORE MORE  Hand Any Key Hand Any Key Hand Any Key CODE FASTER

Seriously gorgeous work! Can't wait to hear (and see, mostly see) more!
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MEAD✿W LARK - Metal Deity - That Sea of Neon
Lowbit
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2018, 02:53:25 am »

Quote from: Ark
Can you tell a thing or two about the story? Who is Red Magus? A villain?
Quote from: litHermit
But... who or what is Red Magus?

Bird dude is an antagonist, and he's also (sort of) the Red Magus. I'll have a proper post on story in the near future. Mostly, I want to yap about the different ways you can tell a story inside of a platformer, but there'll be exposition and stuff, too.


Thanks for the comments. Now that a fire's been lit under my ass I am compelled to update on a steady schedule.



Mouthcat - Drops from the forest canopy to ambush their prey.
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stonecompass
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2018, 03:25:09 am »

Looking absolutely stunning! Gonna follow this!
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StoneTide
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 03:49:00 am »

Nice animations!
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Lowbit
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 09:09:24 am »

Basic Level Geometry


This block is the atom of Red Magus.

Relative to the average sprite resolution, it's 32x32 pixels.

It is the indivisible collider that all level geometry adheres to.

While this limits the types of rooms I can build, it also makes the acrobatics math stupid easy to write.
Being an artist by choice and a programmer by necessity, this was my path of least resistance
for coding reliable gymnastic maneuvers.


Snap!




Because these blocks are nice and big, it’s very easy to predict
where Lynn’s (the player character’s) hands/feet/body are touching.






And the collision checks for these actions are simple, too.
I run about half a trillion little checks per frame, with
single points seeing whether or not they’re inside of a collider.





It’s an unoptimized ball of yarn, but it runs perfectly, so I still haven’t bothered cleaning it up.


Every time I look at this I wonder why I still have the BrownMarker in there.
Then I collapse the tree and forget it ever existed.





Stupid confession time.

I really wanted the player’s collider to be a sharp rectangle.
The problem is that I also wanted to take advantage of Unity’s physics system,
and rectangle colliders have a habit of catching on seams.




I'm holding forward, but the player collider is dropping low enough to catch on the corner, which is better than it used to be.
On older versions of Unity the player collider would catch on a seam just by walking over it.






Round edges would solve this problem entirely, but that’d make the controls feel
just a teensy bit different, and I really wanted those sharp edges.










My solution to this? No seams.



Unless you count ceilings, there are zero seams in the level geometry of the entire game.






I know there's an expression that, "if it works, it's not stupid,"
but I'm pretty sure this still counts as stupid.



"If it works, it's not stupid," is going to be
the name of the Red Magus postmortem.

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joey4track
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 09:22:52 am »

Getting some Out Of This World vibes! Very nice!
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Lowbit
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 01:00:09 am »

World Maps are Awesome



I’m a sucker for world maps.




The kind where you get to walk around like a big, dumb kaiju.
Lots of empty space. Nothing to interact with.
Super fun.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Final Fantasy 7,
Zelda 2, Lolo 3, Startropics





Functionally, a level select
screen is better.


Ducktales


It's fast and direct. No fluff.




But world maps aren’t about functionality. They’re about perspective.
They're a promise of things to come. They set the tone and scale
of the adventure.

Most importantly, they impart freedom,
or at least the illusion of freedom.
That whole, "It's not the destination,
it's the journey" bit is the
essence of world maps.















Crests are the core gating
mechanic of the game.








Got enough crests?
Come on in!








Short on crests?
Come back later!









Every level possesses a single crest.



And every crest is guarded by a boss.





Get into a level. Get the crest. Access more levels. Repeat.
That’s the core loop.


















I originally had difficulty
communicating level locations.



In early versions you had to
rub up against a level in
order to know it was there.



My playtesters weren’t thrilled.




Next, I tried marking all of the
levels with simple shapes.



This made navigation easy,
but the sense of discovery
was absent.

(And my map was littered with circles.)




My latest permutation is a hybrid.



Level markers only appear within
a certain proximity.


I haven’t passed this version in front of
playtesters, but I’m optimistic.

I probably shouldn't be.
Playtesters feed on optimism.




(Counting Ducktales, this post has an impressive bird tally.)

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Claude_Ruelle
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2018, 02:33:57 am »

I really like the idea of the world map and the crest system. The latest version of the level marker looks fine to me, but why make it appear only within a certain proximity?
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litHermit
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2018, 03:21:59 am »

I like the sense of exploration in your latest markers version. However I would expect that once I discovered a place its marker remains on the map (does it?)

Also I love your solution to the level collisions, it's not stupid. You found a solution to a problem through limiting your design approach.
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Words
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2018, 04:05:05 am »

flames. animation and platforming looking SMOOTH. i think the hybrid map marker is a good compromise. keep grinding Hand Metal Right Hand Metal Right
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Lowbit
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2018, 12:58:34 am »

Quote from: litHermit
I like the sense of exploration in your latest markers version. However I would expect that once I discovered a place its marker remains on the map (does it?)


No, or at least that's not how it works at the moment. (Actually, that might be worth trying out.)
The map is only 2048x1024 viewed at 640x360, so it's small enough that
I'm not too worried about players losing track of things.









Quote from: Claude_Ruelle
The latest version of the level marker looks fine to me, but why make it appear only within a certain proximity?


So it looks a tiny bit more appealing. Less visual clutter.


Mockup. Not in-game.

Also, and this is just personal experience talking, when they're hidden it feels like
there are more possible locations than what actually exists.
And walking around feels more rewarding when a new location pops out.

Sorry. That's a little vague. I wanted to
say something more concrete than, "I like
how it felt," but I'm coming up short.

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Sundrop
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2018, 02:22:33 am »

Good lawd those jumps and spins! This is looking amazing!  Kiss Kiss Kiss
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Pixelologist
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2018, 05:47:50 am »

This looks great and all, but I've never heard of it. Do you post on #gamedev? What's your plan for exposure and hype? How long have you been marketing this since its been 4 years already? Why don't you have a demo? Your game can be as beautiful and innovative as all heck, but if it's not out there getting hype or exposure during it's development phases then come launch time very few people will buy it. I mean, right?

Today's indie scene is flooded with game releases that no one knows about because they don't have proper exposure.
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Lowbit
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2018, 01:17:56 pm »

Quote from: Pixelologist
Do you post on #gamedev? What's your plan for exposure and hype? How long have you been marketing this since its been 4 years already? Why don't you have a demo?

In all honesty, my original plan for exposure was to reach feature complete and then worry about all that marketing stuff.

But then some people (literally everyone) informed me that my plan was stupid, so I'm slowly starting to inch this game out of the shed.
You're right. This is the only place you'll find any information on Red Magus whatsoever, although I swear that's going to change. Soon. Eventually. In the near future.



Quote from: Pixelologist
if it's not out there getting hype or exposure during it's development phases then come launch time very few people will buy it. I mean, right?

Right!

I mean, if you told me this last year I'd just answer with a shrug and get back to my sprites, but I'm finally starting to accept that while exposure is a time sink, it's a necessary one.


A demo is a good idea.
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Lowbit
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2018, 12:34:38 am »

Macro Game Progression




What you're looking at is the entire game, front to back.



Every level can be revisited, with the exception of the intro levels.

The intro is designed to be charged through, not explored.

It's also designed to act as an introduction for the game's core mechanics.
A boot camp for important stuff, like running around.







After the introduction we get to the meat and potatoes of the game.



The world map, or at least a third of it. The other two thirds are gated.





Access to realm 2 is gated until the player acquires Mana Crash.







Access to realm 3 is gated until the
player acquires the Sea Monster.








Once the player reaches realm 3 they now have access to the final level.
A one-way dive to the credits.







Originally, I was going to divide the gated realms into separate maps, spread
it all out, but it ended up looking better with everything smooshed.

Better to have five waterfalls on one screen
than one waterfall on five screens.






This post is a little dry, so
here’s some dumb gifs of me trying to massage the land-to-sea transition code.












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Lowbit
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2018, 11:57:31 pm »

World Map WIPs





I originally planned on building a tileset for the world map, but then I got carried away.


I still haven't built the level for that big city in the center.
Really looking forward to that.



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