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GH Monthly Devlog 10/2016 - Slow But Steady

After some rest, here we are again with a new DevLog for Glitch_Heaven, small changes that bring some fresh air to the gameplay. Includes rant.

Greetings Everybody, here we are again with a new DevLog for my game in development, there haven't been huge, but after a good rest I think I'm ready to get back to develop this piece of Software for the next weeks, in the little free time I'll have.

These are the updates that happened since the last devlog

  • Lever Wrapping has kinda been fixed: All levels that use this technique will need a very careful design to avoid getting warped inside a wall or floor
  • Started Implementing Vector-based movement: This should allow for quicker calculations and more readable code
  • Started implementing new physics: Now players should be able to steer in air when bounced away by a yellow pad correctly, instead of completely losing control of the character, this opens the door for new platforming mechanics.
  • New Debug keys: This is mostly for me, now it's possible to show the collision rectangle on screen and force a checkpoint save.
  • Fixed some Collision Detection Regressions: while trying to shorten the code I made some mistakes, in the trial of optimizing. That was a bad idea, as it completely flipped the collision detection on its head.
  • The Game now runs at 60Fps: Earlier the game was running at only 30Fps so not to weigh much on the system's performance, but now the code is pretty light on the CPU and the switch to 60Fps makes a difference in handling collision detection too. Plus the whole thing looks a lot smoother now xP
  • Fixed a library error: The TMX library has been object of my testing because of jittering at low accelerations and gravity values, this testing has somehow never been stashed and some edits to the library have been committed to the master branch, making collision detection less reliable
  • Fixed Jittering at low accelerations once and for all: I finally found the issue that caused the character to jitter at low accelerations/speeds and high FPS count. All because of floating point numbers smaller than 1 in absolute values x-x
  • Started porting the new tiles in-game: The new tileset that I'm drawing has been now included in the code and will replace the current tilemap in the included maps, which should give the game a smoother feeling. This is also a great chance for me to check what elements I still have to draw.
  • Some other minor fixes that I can't really remember: I made the animations a little slower, made the gravity a little lower and tinkering with some physical parameters.

In the next page of this DevLog: The Rant Corner™ where I analyze and comment some random stuff around the game

The Rant Corner - Rage Games

As every recent devlog i wrote, here we are at the rant corner, where I mindlessly complain about stuff going around the videogame world and especially around my game, which is Glitch_Heaven.

Let me be clear on this, I don't like Rage Games. Yet still I've been told by many players that GH is a rage game.

Objectively, this completely depends on one person's definition of rage game.

My personal definition of rage game is:

A game that purposedly induces anger in a person, through the usage of objectively unfair means, such as: - Invisible blocks placed in strategic spots, so to kill the player - Disguise a threat, for instance having a Goomba change into a Spiny as soon as you jump on it. (Talking in a Mario-esque language) - Changing the mechanics of the game without a reason other than to make the player die. - No checkpoints, or checkpoints painfully far from one another, right from the first stage.

This obviously is not a complete definition, and will surely fire some complaints, as Glitch_Heaven is breaking these rules, more or less.

The difference in Glitch_Heaven, compared to all rage games, is consistency. When you found what mechanic was changed, it will be like that for the whole stage (or set of stages) unless you take a "Glitch Orb".

If you died on a Yellow Bounce Pad, you can be sure that you'll die on all the bouncepads on that stage (unless you're playing a custom map made by an evil being).

This last example breaks the "Don't Disguise a threat" rule, but it's something that you learn after a couple trials, like in Default Dan where Coins kill you and spikes bounce you upwards.

In the next releases, I'll add a messaging feature that will allow the player to be aware if there is a glitch they never met before, or something that is known.

I'll try to put just the right number of checkpoints so that the game is challenging without being painful or instead just too easy.

I'll never put invisible blocks, but that doesn't take away that I might some day code some megaman-style disappearing blocks, or blocks that disappear after a bit you're touching them.

In conclusion I don't consider Glitch_Heaven a rage game by any means. My objective is creating a very challenging game, with a somewhat interesting storyline and somehow innovative gameplay.

If instead your definition "rage game" is:

A game that makes you angry, either by being unfair or challenging

Well... I don't know how to argue against that. And I'm almost a professional in arguing.

Ok people, this more or less wraps up everything of this month's DevLog, thank you everybody for reading.

See you at the next DevLog!