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Space Pirate (June 2017 demo available)

fillergames

  • Posts: 701
Excellent work. Love the revamp graphics so far, too. The new blob sprite shows some massive improvement.

One thing I've learnt from game design is that no game stays the same from start to finish. What you make in the game will usually always change, and usually for the better. Things will be polished up, gameplay elements might be changed, and even the type of game genre itself will change.

I've felt that some ideas I wrote on a document didn't translate well when playtesting the games I make themselves, I kept changing them until I felt happy with what I made.

Anyways. Just wanted to mention that change is something that should be expected from designing a game.

merrak

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  • Posts: 1558
I think I'll miss "old blob", but the new one is definitely an improvement and feels more appropriate to the rest of the game. So far your timeline seems similar  to mine, but you're much further ahead because I'm still not on the real content yet.

Looking forward to the release!

One thing I've learnt from game design is that no game stays the same from start to finish. What you make in the game will usually always change, and usually for the better.

The same idea holds for many large-scale endeavors: novels, movie scripts, etc. One of the nice things about working independently, or in a small team, is that you can freely experiment with ideas and let something evolve. Unfortunately, that comes with the burden of having to reign in that impulse from time to time. Something can always be changed, but after a while it will need to be time to finish and move on anyway.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 10:24:29 am by merrak »

Irock

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  • Posts: 2834
Digging the new blob. Your pixel skills have definitely improved

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
Thanks for the input guys!

It is nice to be in the position to making the last call but it is also very dangerous to get stuck in the "if have to make it better" mode as you mentioned.
Time boxing and budgeting is crucial and it works for huge teams as well as for indie devs or even hobby game developers.
I always ask myself how much cash & time i can invest for how long. Obviously for milestones as well as for the whole game.

I deduct it from my budget (time&cash) when i use it or work on it.
I will move on when i used my budget and may comeback to it later when i think its necessary.
This allows me to have progress and there for motivation.

Cheers!

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
One question i have for you guys in regards of level design:
I usually do a rough layout/design with point of interest and a start a and goal area/s. I adjust this layout over time. Some level grow a lot, some dont. I rather work with gut feeling and on the fly design. I totally struggle with having a super clear idea before i start.

How do you do it?

« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 01:45:35 am by Bombini »

fillergames

  • Posts: 701
For me, I usually think:

"What's the purpose of this room. Does it store a powerup? Does it provide  story element? Is it used for combat?" (I've found that rooms that serve no purpose tend to confuse players, as they'd search around for what's in there)

"What landmarks should the level have so the player knows where they are? " As I've found myself. Levels that have no sense of where they are tend to be the worst. (The maze like levels of the original  Wolfenstien 3D are a great example of what not to do. Though, that game's issue was more because of limitations than bad design)

"What's this level's gameplay theme? Action, puzzles, story?" I've found that it's the best to mix up those choices to give the player a breather from one of each. For example, maybe put some action, and then a puzzle so the player has time to relax and think, or they could enjoy a cutscene as a reward for action. It should be mixing and matching. Half Life 2, and the Zelda games do this really well)

"What does each enemy in the level do?" (Enemies should be placed in such a manner that it works with the map. Maybe the enemy can hide behind pillars, and sneak and rush the player. So then the room would have objects to hide around so the enemy AI fits the level design scenario. You could also add different enemies/obstacles to  similar scenario to make it seem different, the Mario games tend to do this. As they start off with a simple level gimmick with an enemy or object, and then they add more to evolve it over time to make the player react to different scenarios, without adding to much into a single level )

"What's the mood I'm setting?" (Is the level dark and gloomy, or is the level somewhat empty to give a feeling of isolation? The level design should match some sort of theme)

"What are the limitations to my engine?" (Can you make small rooms, or should there be large rooms with ton of enemies? It's better to think about how the levels should be optimized so that they run well. As I doubt anyone likes games that run badly)

"How does it relate to the story?" (Usually, level design should have purpose in the game's story. Maybe it shows how one event in the story happens to the next)

I only design levels after I'm done writing the game, as I then tweak them up over time to match anything new I add. This allows for a structured, clean approach.

merrak

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  • Posts: 1558
One question i have for you guys in regards of level design:
I usually do a rough layout/design with point of interest and a start a and goal area/s. I adjust this layout over time. Some level grow a lot, some dont. I rather work with gut feeling and on the fly design. I totally struggle with having a super clear idea befoire i start.

How do you do it?

My level design skills have been something I've been working on for a while. Before I got caught up in rebuilding my game engine, I had done quite a bit of research into it. Interestingly enough, there seem to be quite a few parallels between level design and how (US) teachers are taught to design lessons. Lesson planning always begins by defining SLO's (student learning objectives--what should the student know after the lesson?) I found a couple of videos on YouTube that described level design very similarly. What does the player need to know, and how do they learn it? The favorite example seems to be World 1-1 of SMB.

When I started building my design document for Idosra, I found a template that had some good questions to fill in for every level. The first few levels in particular have to teach the player how to play the game. But even late in the game there should be something new to learn, so that it doesn't get stale.

1. What are the goals of the level?
2. What are the obstacles the player must overcome to achieve the goal(s)?
3. What tactics should the player employ to overcome the obstacles?
4. What should the player's expectations be?
5. What mechanics are explicitly learned?
6. What mechanics are explicitly taught?

I've been trying to put a few teasers in the early rooms to catch the player's interest. I actually still remember playing E1M4 of DOOM for the first time and spending forever trying to figure out what "that blue thing" in the window was and how to get it.


Just something to catch the player's eye and encourage them to explore.

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
Sorry for my late reply but i was offline for a couple of days!
Thanks a lot for the input those are all very good points and super well summed up.
I also like the idea of teasers. I also try to incorporate those as much as i can.

One note on mood and storytelling: I also try to have a plan for objects which strengthen the visual storytelling of the level.
Making the player wonder what happened ort what could happen.

Cheers guys!

Bombini

  • Posts: 799


Have a great day!

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
Hola Space Pirateros!
I am through half of the levels and the plan to be ready by end of the year is still on.
I am testing currently huge lasers which "battle between" sections of the level.
The levels look fun after a while ;)



Cheers!

« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 11:16:23 pm by Bombini »

domagojbulat

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  • Posts: 141
Looks so nice and fun! Keep up the good work! I am looking forward to playing it as soon as it is out!

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
Thanks a lot!
I try to put some unique items in every level. Thats why its taking so long.


merrak

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  • Posts: 1558
I try to put some unique items in every level. Thats why its taking so long.

Looks great, though! I like all the little touches.

NickamonPoppytail

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  • Posts: 154
Game looks fabulous! Great job, Bombini!

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
Thanks guys!
I appreciate it :)