Monday, 11 July 2016

63 day of development and mushrooms

For two weeks I didn’t do anything for my game because of Uni! Assignment! Deadlines! Work! And life in general. But this week I returned to development, and as always after a break — decided to change stuff.
Test imagery

One of the main changes concerns dialogues. The more I tested my game, the clearer it became that simple static dialogue, even if there’s some animation in the background, doesn’t work for me. Overall my EndlessRun is, of course, about running. Unending movement forward, like an engine, pushing and pushing towards the end of the story. Static dialogues just stop that. So what are my options?

  1.  Voiceover. It would be nice to voiceover the game, so the player doesn’t need to move her eyes from the moving character, but I don’t think that’s possible for me. My accent makes people think about Russian mafia, and though it might be usable in some game voiceovers, it doesn’t work here. And I don’t have money to hire actors.
  2.  Text on the screen. Logically the only way for me to convey some additional information about the story and the world is through reading. And read and at the same time control a running character is not an easy task. Because of that, I can’t just have a character running while the player reads through the dialogues.

I sketched some ideas about how to this problem and next week I’ll try to work on that.
The second thing I worked on last week is the level parsing — loading and displaying level map. I am not even half way there — even though it works for now, in a simulated environment, I didn’t test how heavy this process is, and that’s the task for another time.

Still test imagery, but this blue guy is super cute!

At this point, the flow is like this.
Gameplay loads related act data. From that data, we find related level maps (CSV) and images. Then we load and parse all the files.
Full data loading flow is like this:

1. Load images for platforms and static enemies.
2. Load physics for platforms (long thin objects).
3. Load objects that kill a character on collision — like static enemies and sides of platforms.
4. Load collectable objects and point of interests that trigger dialogues.

Platforms and dangerous objects

Now my character can run into mushrooms and it makes her sad so she falls and cries. Also the elemental power of the mushroom is randomised, so sometimes it has air effect or fire effect and so on.

The next step is to familiarise myself with magical corona’s “isBullet” feature and try to implement obstacles destruction.
And a video proof:

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