Merrak's Isometric Adventures -- Alpha Release 1

merrak

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  • Posts: 2261
This will be time spend well. It is so important to find the right balance between showing enough features and also not overwhelm the player. Pinpointing the player towards features and design without making her/him feel stupid. Having those important aha-moments which create fun and make your game unique.

I build the levels always with a first gut feeling of course. I have a huge spreadsheet which shows which feature (for example the bomb which lest you blow up walls) is introduces and where it is active to find the right balance. Afterwards i test thje level myself until i have all the crashes and bugs out followed by user tests who dont know the level at all. This is always the most crucial part. Letting someone play and sitting next to her/him to take notes. I always ask to think out loud everything and that they cant hamr my feelings.

Cheers!

That's a good point. One thing that will give me some control over when features are introduced is the experience system. The player earns experience points by completing various objectives, and can spend them to read books to gain new skills.

Jumping is a good example. I was thinking about how I could redesign the central "hub" area to introduce jumping. But I realized I don't necessarily need to do this. There are a few areas that are inaccessible without the ability to jump. But they also happen to block off harder sections of the maps. By making jumping a learned skill, I can introduce the mechanic at a more appropriate time and also give the game more of a 'metroidvania' feel.

The only thing I dislike about the 'metroidvania' game is the amount of backtracking these games can have.

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is a good example of a Gameboy style metroidvania where there's some good things to learn from. Overall I think AdventureIslands did a good job opening up new areas at a pace that kept the game engaging, but not overwhelming. But I did find fighting my way through the same corridors tedious once I've made a few passes through them. The map helps a lot.

I think my "hub area" may suffer from the opposite problem. There are four main stages in the game: four towers with two to three levels each, all connected by a hub area. Once the player kills an NPC, it stays dead. So once the hub is cleared, it is boring to keep traveling through.

One remedy I thought of is to add new corridors to the branch maps that will drop the player directly into another branch map. I'll need to re-think the order skills are obtained in so that there's a logical progression.

I'm working on a dark zone right now. While there's nothing prevent the player from exploring in the dark, it's hard to get very far without a light. If I put the light in another zone, then I need to have a passage from the room with the lamp to the dark zone.

Speaking of lamps--I now have dynamic lights working. So finally you can see in those dark rooms!


mdotedot

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  • Posts: 1511
Quote
Jumping is a good example. I was thinking about how I could redesign the central "hub" area to introduce jumping. But I realized I don't necessarily need to do this. There are a few areas that are inaccessible without the ability to jump. But they also happen to block off harder sections of the maps. By making jumping a learned skill, I can introduce the mechanic at a more appropriate time and also give the game more of a 'metroidvania' feel.

Oh that would be nice. Jumping is a bit weird now and it would help if the player 'learns' it rather than present the default action at game-start.

Dynamic Lighting :  A W E S O M E

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Bombini

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  • Posts: 1150
Wow, the new gif looks awesome!