Monday, March 5, 2012

World 2 mechanics

Hey folks, Cody here. Sorry I haven't been posting a whole lot, but I'll be spending the next 4 days in San Francisco for Game Developers Conference! This of course means things may not progress too much this week, but I figured I'd drop in and talk about a few of the mechanics I'm working on for world 2.

The first, and most complex thing being added is the new power! As you may have seen in the previous post, world 2 will feature a robot power that allows the player to fire bullets. However, Robot Shadow will be unable to jump! This allows us to focus more on puzzles going into world 2. The robot power is actually being drawn with two separate bitmaps: one for the body and one for the arm. This lets me move shadow around on screen while independently rotating his arm to face whichever direction he's aiming. I'll be adding controls to let the player touch a position on screen to aim shadows arm, then press the fire button (which replaces Shadow's jump button) to shoot! Bullets will both kill certain enemies and hit buttons, which leads into the next mechanic I'm working on.

Buttons! World 2 will introduce buttons and shutters which are closed until the buttons are hit with a bullet. We will be using this to design puzzles in which the player needs to find a robot power and reach the button with it's limited mobility to proceed. The tricky aspect here is that in the past, all collidable objects have been a part of the level. The introduction of shutters means editing the tile map itself, which should be much more efficient than things like the light gates which utilize an independent object which must be updated. My current plan is to iterate through the tile map matrix when the button is pushed, looking for shutter tiles and replacing them with open tiles.

Finally, if all goes well, world 2 will have moving platforms. These are a must for moving robot shadow across gaps, and Marty has been pushing for them since world 1. Since these platforms will need to be animated, it's not really practical to make them a part of the tile map. That means they will be the first collidable object, which means checking their position when they are present. I'll also need to add some code to be sure the player moves with the platform if they are standing on it, so that should be fun!

That's all for now, look forward to all these fun things as soon as world 2 is finished!

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