Game a Week: Week 23

PLAY HERE

Idea

I’ve been wanting to make a fun little shooter game for a while, so that’s what I wanted to focus on this week. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the idea of using your past selves to help you solve puzzles and/or complete the game (a la Super Time Force), as I love that concept a lot. So yeah, I ┬ámade a little shooter game where each loop through utilizes your former loop’s movements and attacks.

What went right

I really liked how the mechanic of your former selves continually looping through the game turned out. It was much easier from the technical side than I thought it would be (I literally just saved your position every [x] amount of seconds and on each loop through, I would place the game object at that location the appropriate time offsets), and it was a fun thing to play around with.

I also spent some time adding visual polish and a little bit of gameplay juiciness here and there, which made this feel a lot more like a complete game than my previous games.

What went wrong

The enemy movement is a little erratic. I made it so that they would jump after a semi-random interval, and then every time they touched the ground, it would randomly choose to move left or right. ┬áThis proved to be a little *too* random in a lot of circumstances and made the game more difficult than I wanted (and in a way that wasn’t fun).

I also had a really hard time getting the jump mechanic to feel right. In fact, I still don’t have the jumping behavior working in a way that I enjoy. Jumping is a big part of this game (since a lot of times the player relies on an accurate jump mechanic to avoid the enemies), and it just doesn’t feel great.

What I learned

Jumping is hard and erratic enemy movement really detracts from a game. There’s a fine line between something being frustratingly difficult in a fun way and just frustratingly difficult – having erratic and completely unpredictable enemy movements definitely seems to push things over into the bad kind of frustrating.

Big big thanks to Martijn Frazer who provided the super catchy tunes in this week’s game. And a continued thanks to Andrew Gleeson for making me a pixel character that I use in basically everything nowadays.

Also, I learned how to not make the desktop so blurry on my time lapse videos, but not for this week’s video. So, enjoy the last time lapse video that still includes a blurry desktop!

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