I’m making a run and jump game. There’s a lot of running and a lot of jumping! There will be some slashing, too. The concept is running around like Mario but killing things like Castlevania. This thread is here for me to track my progress and to have my favorite forum chime in. OK cool thanks
I’m making this in Unity. I’m using mechanim to control the animations and rigidbodies and 2D colliders to handle the collisions. I’ve had to do a few wonky things because of how physical I’m insisting on making it, but it’s working out pretty well despite.
Those two animations are both followthroughs after a generic jump startup. At the start they call a force to move the whole player object. The backflip allows for a little bit of aircontro by the player, but the diveroll does not.
I added in wall slides, and I’m tweaking walljumps right now. I want to add hanging on a ledge (and climbing from and dropping down to that ledge), but I’m not sure how I want to do it. We’ll see!
There’s nothing to damage the player yet so technically all frames are iframes, but for the actual real design I’m leaning towards as few iframes as possible. I might add iframes to the flips, but I’m not positive. In my head the defensive verbs I want to have are:
Blocking like Zelda 2 (high vs. low, I also have different angles, so I’m not sure how that’ll work)
Hop over low attacks
Dive roll over low projectiles
Big jump over 2m tall attacks (slow!)
Backflip over 2m tall attacks (this gives you a lot of backwards momentum tho)
Killing it good (aka first)
There are a lot of ways for players to avoid low attacks, so I’m hoping that introducing difficult attack timings and patterns will subvert that. Avoiding high attacks will be essentialy the same w/ less options. Blocking will probably be pretty powerful, but your face and/or feet will be vulnerable. You’ll probably be pretty far away if you have the gun, so melee will be fine, and it’s a gun, so… hopefully you kill things before they can throw too many projectiles
Unrelated to iframes or defense at all I need to add:
catching ledges and climbing up
50/50 on 1 way platforms (actually is this really necessary? I’m kinda serious)
While you could make a game today that didn’t have platforms you could jump up through I don’t know why you would really want to unless you were really shooting for pre-jump-through nostalgia or something.
I look at it like this: Having jump-through platforms allows you to be more creative with where and how you place platforms. You can create situations where something is chasing the player up through a level and being able to jump through the platforms allows you to be less rigid in where you’re placing them because you don’t have to worry about the platform itself being a physical object that could hinder the player’s movement. Unless that’s something you’re planning on doing anyway.
Also I guess it depends on how modern you want the game to feel. The first game to have them was Donkey Kong (I was wrong and now I can’t find their first appearance but they were in Super Mario Bros. 2 (US)), for reference. I am on Team One Way Platforms, personally.
The first Mario doesn’t have any one-way platforms, but SMB2 (not j) does, and SMB3 has 'em all over the place. Which Mario game are you thinking of? I think that would help inform this.
I’m ambivalent on 1-way platforms. I think they can be as icky as ladders if used improperly: stop below this thing, jump straight up, then continue. It can be a momentum killer. Also, if they’re placed improperly so as to appear like they are NOT 1 way platforms, you can end up in situations where players just walk straight through them expecting to be stopped.
On the other hand, they greatly increase the capability of vertical movement, and are much more forgiving than solid platforms when horizontal movement is important for the jump, since you don’t lose your horizontal momentum if you hit the side of them.
So I would say, if you’re going for highly acrobatic, do 1 way platforms. If you’re aiming more for precision, then I don’t think they are necessary.
If you’ve got ledge hanging and mantling, you probably don’t need to also have 1-way platforms. The physicality in your animation makes me think you’d be better off avoiding something quite this gamey.
Added ledge grabs. They really help soften the penalty curve for failed jumps. Unless you really biff your jump you just have slowed landings rather than a full drop. It’s still pretty stressful jumping around from up high, but at least I know that I can slow down and make it a little less so.
I think I should do wall jumps, and I have a bug that the hard landing cancels out too soon sometimes. Gotta figure that out, and then I’m onto weapons.
Re: 1 way platforms — gonna try to keep them out of the design for as long as I can. I might bring them in for boss fights, but we’ll see.
I fixed the bug for hardlands, and wall jumps seem weird, so I’m working on weapons
I have 3 weapons with their animations drawn out: Sword, Axe, and Whip. I don’t really want the game to be focused on combos or “good combat” in that way. I want it to have really chunky combat where most things die in a hit or two.
When I made this GIF I was thinking the animations needed tweaking, but looking at it now I think it’ll be hard to know until I get some basic enemies in there.
I was going to write a big long thing about “indie platformers” and the expected design language that people have and why it’s probably actually kinda western centric which is code for kinda racist, but like… I feel like I’ll only go into it if there are people that want me to hear it.
Anyways, while the game isn’t about racing or even going fast, I implemented time trials to see if you could if you wanted to. I think it’s especially pertinent because the game is about breaking those indie game platformer rules. If you’re interested in running the time trial footrace, DM me and I’ll send you a file. It’d be cool to see people run the courses.
I’m curious too, especially as I trace modern indie platformers back through Newgrounds & flash portals, a wave of kids trained on Nintendo, and distinct from the older Western platformer traditions of huge maze squares like Apogee and iD platformers (moving into Shiny platformers with that same disorganized vertical density) or cinematic platformers like Prince of Persia.
It’s not the specific designs, but the codification of best practices throughout English speaking interweb users vs. non English speaking interweb users. It’s coyote time and jump buffering and even the physics of “good gamefeel” being snappy. This has been happening since at least that time Phil Fish and that panel of “made it” indies said Japanese games sucked.
The most obvious thread of this (to me) starts with someone like M Thorson who genuinely makes a good game or even a good game thing into a thing. But then it continues with the small sphere of interconnected western indie game fans tweet and retweeting and agreeing that “oh right this is how you make a platformer” or “something’s off w/ this platformer, did you add that thing?”
I’ve been posting my stuff all around my usual forums, and inevitably I’ll get hit with that same tweet threads or articles further expounding on how to make a good platformer. They all say the same thing. And if it’s not those threads it’s an amateur game designer who did read those articles or tweet threads rebuffing the thing in the game that’s different because it’s, well, different. And, honest to god, if I read a game review where the reviewer is affected by this thing? It’s like, wow ok. It’s like some lame videogame geneology of morals crossed up with game design. And it’s extra egregious because the medium is all about possibility spaces.