Sniffling and coding and level design (yes, again)

Posted on February 29, 2012 | 3 minute read

Coding at an airportI am sitting at the Perth international airport, sniffling. I hope I’m not getting a cold. And I haven’t even gotten to the cold place yet!

Anyway, I’m attempting to sleepily work on Gwen in the only seat that seems to be near a power point over here. Here’s what I did today (or rather yesterday and early this morning) so far:

Today’s work

Completely change follower movement mechanic

A while ago I wrote about having to set a range to make sure followers are able to hit the target nodes. Today I realized that this entire way of moving the followers was completely unnecessary and inefficient. I’m not sure how it took me so long to get this, but I scrapped that code and just used the check() method instead (this is different from collisions in Impact). I’m using this same thing to check other entities against each other, the most obvious being the pointer (which checks against everything). Much more accurate. This does mean that movement is a lot more uniform, which is not a good thing, but I can play around with adding a bit of randomisation in there later.

Refined path selection rules

I’ve now made it so that if the destination entity is the last element in the path array, the player is not able to select any other adjacent nodes (as the destination is the goal itself). They are able to deselect nodes and move the path by clicking backwards along their selected path, but not able to select any new nodes until they deselect the destination.

Added a new type of base

The idea is to have different types of bases spawning different entities. So today I started experimenting with a new base, playing around with node positioning, follower speeds, etc.

Level design will be the big challenge

I’m now feeling more confident about figuring out how to build the functionality I need (for now, anyway). The challenge at this stage is - again - level design. This is also the part I’m possibly the most excited about as I’m pretty sure I know how I want to approach it despite it being a challenge. I know what I want the gameplay to consist of, but tweaking the values of follower speeds, base positioning, number of followers per base, how long each level lasts, etc to make the levels challenging and fun is going to be an exciting challenge. I’m trying to create a sense of urgency in the player and just have to figure out how to structure each level to achieve this. Like I said, I have a plan.

I’m now doubly glad that I chose level design for my second-day GDC tutorial. I am going to need all the knowledge and ideas that I can absorb. Which is usually a lot.




Categories:game dev dev games
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