Firstly, Happy new year to everyone! I hope you all have a great 2014.
So some of you may be wondering why everything has been very quiet over the last few months and although I don’t have a satisfactory reason to give you for being essentially offline, I’m deeply sorry for doing so. I want to correct this but I feel making a new year resolution to show more updates isn’t a great idea as, let’s be honest, who really sticks to new year resolutions past the first few weeks 🙂
With this in mind however, it is wholly unfair for you guys to be left in the dark only to think the project has died or something. So I will dedicate more time to producing regular updates starting with this one and a video update as soon as a few new changes are in a presentable state.
Development has been slower than it should be at the moment but a few macro features which had been troubling me for a while are finally fully planned out. Stuff like how collectables will play into the overall game and what kind of fun and challenging elements to add for the completionists among you to carry on enjoying the game well past the final boss level. This is not only to add longevity but also because I personally love games which can be beat without seeing all the levels or things on offer.
I have a much better sense of how the map screen will work now because I always wanted Double JUMP to have the fast back to back levels style that Super Meat Boy has but with a map screen that’s a bit more interesting than the linear set up SMB has. The problem I faced however was if the levels are played back to back without ever going to the map screen after each one, then the map screen is basically just a glorified level select with no real interaction. On the other hand I can’t really have the game going to the map screen after every level since the levels are so short. So while thinking on how to make a more interesting map screen that’s relevant and doesn’t break gameplay too much I
came up with the idea decided to make the levels longer.
At first I was skeptical of making bigger levels because this would cause more frustration when dying but by adding checkpoints this problem is now controllable. Also to help levels have more variation I decided to overhaul the level loading system so that levels can now have doors/holes/exits/etc… to other levels with a fraction of a second pause between them. I’m really excited about this feature because it allows me to have little underground secret rooms, off shoot areas for optional challenges to earn collectables and it would allow for some interesting interconnected level design. If I wanted to as well I could slightly modify this feature so that the entire adventure takes place within the game world but an open world adventure platform game this is not no matter how fun it would be to design 🙂
Other changes include a new art style that’s practically the same as before but does away with the darkened edges on everything. This greatly improves the look but I have yet to go through all the previous art assets to fit. Most of the art is in vector format so this won’t take as long as it would seem but I will be redesigning some of them because they just don’t look right anyway. The gif animation below doesn’t show a true comparison with the old style but you can see the difference in the world tiles.