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September 19, 2020, 01:21:07 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsUnnamed Grid Platformer with stealth etc (alive again)
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Author Topic: Unnamed Grid Platformer with stealth etc (alive again)  (Read 3374 times)
diegzumillo
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« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2020, 05:24:46 PM »

It's easy to fall for that! Beginner devs usually worry about the latest graphics tricks and features and which engine is more realistic. And even non beginners sometimes! Apparently Duke Nukem forever suffered from this.

This project is particular because I set out to make a game for the mega drive specifically. So it's not like UDK vs unity or anything like that. Coding for the mega drive has be done either directly in ASM (if you are insane) or in C using a devkit called SGDK (if you are slightly less insane). Since both are extremely cumbersome to work with, I decided to design the game in Unity first because it is great for rapid prototyping. My dilemma is not which engine to use but how far should I prototype my design in Unity before diving back into the project.

And it's a super boring looking prototype. I didn't want to waste time with animations, so it looks like some weird stealth chess. I mean, which would you be looking forward to work in, this:

or this


But patience is important and pays off in the end.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2020, 08:19:29 PM »

OK so I know I'm spamming this topic too much but I just wanted to share an obvious bit of knowledge. It's super obvious! But I keep forgetting so it's worth sharing.

When prototyping, you don't actually have to implement stuff. You can rely on your imagination to some extent. For example, in a platformer you might want to implement decent physics and collisions, but you don't need to implement fail states, you know that touching an enemy would be death so you can experiment and use your imagination a little.

In my case I realized I spent some unnecessary amount of time with checks to see where the character can walk, where there is a wall, where he can jump etc. In a grid based movement none of this is necessary!

Anyway, that's it. When prototyping don't waste time with things you know how should behave and can safely rely on your imagination Tongue
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #62 on: September 12, 2020, 03:09:31 AM »

It's almost always a good idea to protoype without any fancy graphics, but I think it's especially valid here because it makes more sense to worry about that when you implement the actual megadrive version and have to budget your available CPU cycles and whatnot to decide what to include or not.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #63 on: September 14, 2020, 10:08:08 PM »

It's almost always a good idea to protoype without any fancy graphics, but I think it's especially valid here because it makes more sense to worry about that when you implement the actual megadrive version and have to budget your available CPU cycles and whatnot to decide what to include or not.
Yes!

So, reiterating my current plan: It follows Art of Theft in the level layout style. Small, self contained, requiring non-linear navigation. I intend on not having any sort of upgrade system for replayability, so my plan to make it an engaging experience is to lean strongly on more complexity and depth. This requires level design with more moving parts and more gameplay mechanics, which I'm supplying with the two playable characters.

That is the plan so far. Not sure I like my experiments so far.

Spent some time playing with mostly my imagination in the prototype. I had an interesting idea to add to the mix and break some of the linearity of grid 2D space. One of the characters can move between specific locations like a teleport. AoT achieved the same thing with doors. But I like the idea of restricting this ability to one of the characters. I also added camera, which I'm leaning towards making it part of a category that only the clunky one can dispatch with. Who can kill what is still a mystery to me though. Maybe I should remove killing altogether.



The way I imagine this level to be is that you need to reach that high office at the top left. The red door can be opened by clunky but it's inaccessible at first. The blue lines were my attempt at defining some teleport points. I played around with having clunky disabling the camera at the top floor so stealthy can access the office from the right (picking lock takes too long to do it with that camera watching). But it's kind of trivial with that teleport line as is.

My attempts at creating an interesting challenge led me to think I need more combined abilities! I thought about noise making, so one can help the other cross some guarded section.

My honest impression at this point is that there is a good game in here somewhere! For real. The next step would be to move some of these things from my imagination to a crude implementation. However, for whatever reason, I'm not that hyped by what I'm seeing. I guess it's steering too far from that first image in my mind that got me interested in this in the first place. I would definitely play it if someone else made it, but I don't know if I'm excited enough to make it myself.

I want to take a step back test other ideas before tossing this project in the bin again.

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #64 on: September 14, 2020, 11:40:52 PM »

Does the megadrive have a "sprite limit per scan line" thing? Or was that more of a NES era problem? Because that might be a relevant technical limitation of your game design plan here Wink
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2020, 09:59:39 AM »

It does have the limitation. But it's much higher than the NES and going over the limit isn't the end of the world depending on the game, it causes some flickering. I think it's hard to reach this limit unless for bullet hell games!
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