• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hi Guest. We've rebooted and consolidated our Communities section, so be sure to check it out and subscribe to some threads. Thanks!

Indie Game Development Thread 3: Indie Jones and the Template of Doom

PengTiki

Member
Apr 17, 2018
656
877
405
I wish I'd had time to incorporate more event variants, I think it would go a long way towards making the stories created like yours more unique to each play through. Congrats on reaching the finish line btw, I don't think many people manage it.
That's the nature of LD. You fit in what you can and if it's good enough flesh it out later. I was lucky in my play, there didn't seem to be much food. Maybe it was just that go.
 

oxrock

Gravity is a myth, the Earth SUCKS!
Nov 30, 2004
2,806
92
1,530
https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/43/contagion

went to the very wire for a compo entry again, but meh. Wheres the fun in doing something safe and obvious?
I think that's the draw to jams as you gain more experience. You already know you can get SOMETHING out in time, then it becomes a test of how much you can cram in before time catches up with you.

That's the nature of LD. You fit in what you can and if it's good enough flesh it out later. I was lucky in my play, there didn't seem to be much food. Maybe it was just that go.
The supplies you start with are always the same, the events and results of scavenging all are random and dependent on your party's skills however. Food is slightly more targeted than other supplies though. Looters can take literally everything, but hungry bear encounters can also result in losing all your food if you're unguarded.
 
Last edited:

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
When I first saw the theme I was thinking "Oh, I could do like a puzzle platformer where everytime you die you leave behind a physics object that you can use to next die with your next life"... but I've already done a puzzle platformer, and I like to experiment with making new things I've not made before, so I went with an old school eye of the beholder style dungeon crawler instead, which is completely fresh ground for me
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
I was really lost and had no idea where I was supposed to go, but it was still fun killing those people. Also my food was negative for a while if you're still caring about bugs. I was able to just keep moving and moving.
Yeah, someone else noticed that in the comments; I think LDs are pretty good about exposing your personal bad coding habits.

See, what I should have done, is make a function
C#:
LoseFood(int amount)
{
    foodVal -= amount;
    if (foodVal<=0) { foodVal=0; takeDamage(1); }
    updateFoodValUI();
}
and call that anytime I change food.

what I actually did was think "oh shit, I should add a resource cost to wandering around aimlessly... uh... okay... foodVal--, done"

And holy shit, new GAF lets you post actual syntax highlighted code snippets?????
 

oxrock

Gravity is a myth, the Earth SUCKS!
Nov 30, 2004
2,806
92
1,530
Yeah, someone else noticed that in the comments; I think LDs are pretty good about exposing your personal bad coding habits.

See, what I should have done, is make a function
C#:
LoseFood(int amount)
{
    foodVal -= amount;
    if (foodVal<=0) { foodVal=0; takeDamage(1); }
    updateFoodValUI();
}
and call that anytime I change food.

what I actually did was think "oh shit, I should add a resource cost to wandering around aimlessly... uh... okay... foodVal--, done"

And holy shit, new GAF lets you post actual syntax highlighted code snippets?????
Quite similar to the over repair bug you found in my game. I just made the variable public instead of creating a handler function like I should have. I actually kind of like that bug though.
 
Last edited:

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
Quite similar to the over repair bug you found in my game. I just made the variable public instead of creating a handler function like I should have. I actually kind of like that bug though.
Yeah, you can overheal in my game, but I'm fine with that as a feature - I found that myself and actually do have a function that all health changes go through; healths a sparse enough resource that I thought it would be unnecesarily harsh to waste food if eating would give more than max health
 
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410


I'm working on a campaign for my puzzle game. One of the big things I realised from launch is that the game needs more structure for players that are new to twisty puzzles. The wood texture is a placeholder.
 

PengTiki

Member
Apr 17, 2018
656
877
405
I started looking at Unity this week. Only planning to do 2D. I've done a couple of the tutorials and today I got my first taste of C#. Now I'm quite the wizard with the BB Code but this looks like it will demand a little more attention. I tinkered with Actionscript 2 in the past and once glanced at php and decided it wasn't worth it for a website. But I'd really like to conquer this and create some gaming abominations. I'm going to need to use it regularly for it to sink in and I've got a small beginners book because that usually helps me.

Does anyone have recommendations of resources/methods that will get me further with C# please? And Unity in general.
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
PengTiki PengTiki
One of the side effects of Unity being super popular, free, and easy to use is that there is a ton of resources available online.

Personally, I'd suggest doing the Roll-a-ball tutorial to get familiar with the editor, and then working through the official Unity scripting tutorials one by one which will give you a crash course in the C# fundamentals, and from there if you get stuck looking for specifics about what you're trying to do.

It might also be helpful to see what other games do, and how they do it - Ludum Dare compo entries for example, its mandatory to provide source code, so any game made in Unity thats a compo entry will have source that you can look at and use yourself to see how things were done (but the odds of game jam source code being optimised, clean and commented are pretty low, heh).

There's also a bunch of youtube tutorials that are along the lines of 'build a game step by step', which you might prefer as you'll have a tangible game to play at the end of the tutorial, but copying what someone else is doing without knowing why they're doing things might not teach you anything that sticks, ymmv.

Sebastien Lague (especially his gamedev maths, procgen and blender rigging tuts I found particularly useful) and Brackeys are both Youtubers I've watched stuff from, and I guess are 'good enough' because they've both been hired by Unity themselves in an official capacity at some point


Also of course you can post stuff here or ask questions here, there used to be a lot more of that when this topic was busier :/
 
Last edited:

PengTiki

Member
Apr 17, 2018
656
877
405
LordRaptor LordRaptor
Brilliant. I've done the Roll-a-ball tut - it's what prompted me to post here. I think I'll want to do some more mini projects alongside the harder work of digesting scripting etc. Even though roll-a-ball is hardly impressive getting through things like that in a few hours puts things in context and makes it feel more plausible that I'll eventually make something I'd be happy to share. Plus the more time spent doodling with a purpose in app the better. While I flesh out some ideas.

Didn't know LD released the source - that could be great for picking up new tricks. And I'll check those links. Thanks for the advice.

Makes sense that this thread is quieter than last year but I think there's enough people about to keep things rolling. I'll do the 'silly questions' bit. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
LordRaptor LordRaptor
Brilliant. I've done the Roll-a-ball tut - it's what prompted me to post here. I think I'll want to do some more mini projects alongside the harder work of digesting scripting etc. Even though roll-a-ball is hardly impressive getting through things like that in a few hours puts things in context and makes it feel more plausible that I'll eventually make something I'd be happy to share. Plus the more time spent doodling with a purpose in app the better. While I flesh out some ideas.
I've recommended it before, but I'll say it again - you can do a lot worse than trying to 'sex up' roll-a-ball and make it into a 'real game', which will definitely help you learn as you go, and also give you something tangible at the end.
There's plenty of things you can do to make it less crappy - maybe change it from being a direct control ball, to a super monkey ball style 'move the world around the ball' game.
Maybe give it some fake RPG levelling, where you can assign points in a skill tree to things like acceleration, turning, top speed, brake speed, etc. Maybe give it some special moves with cooldown timers like a jump ability, or an emergency brake stop on a dime ability. Maybe mess with some metagame aspects, like per level and a level select screen where you have to earn enough medals in previous levels to unlock the next level. Maybe add some enemies on patrol routes to dodge.

Even the most basic ass game concept - which roll-a-ball is, deliberately - can be expanded with 'real game' features, and when you've built a feature once, you can build it again in a game you actually care about
 

clem84

Member
Dec 11, 2011
3,135
87
585
The Udemy course "Complete C# Unity Developer 2D: Learn to code making games." Anyone here tried it? I got it last week when it was 20$. I'm at around 7%. Enjoying it so far. I also got a pixel art course and I'm alternating between the two.

I learned c++ like 15 years ago so some concepts are familiar.
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
The Udemy course "Complete C# Unity Developer 2D: Learn to code making games." Anyone here tried it? I got it last week when it was 20$. I'm at around 7%. Enjoying it so far. I also got a pixel art course and I'm alternating between the two.

I learned c++ like 15 years ago so some concepts are familiar.
C++ is hard mode compared to C#
if you're already familiar with C++, its probably worth knowing that UE4 supports C++ natively, and you can use C++ in Unity as a compiled .DLL
 

oxrock

Gravity is a myth, the Earth SUCKS!
Nov 30, 2004
2,806
92
1,530
Maybe it's just me but I feel like working in C# is just a lot faster than C++. That could very well be attributed to the fact that I'm far more experienced in it though. Anyhow, any tutorial that takes you step by step how to do things should be fine really. The problem is making the transition from having your hand held to doing something on your own. A good thing to do starting out is to take it upon yourself to add improvements to the games you create following tutorials. Get comfortable making your own modifications and creating new systems to work alongside the stuff already in place.
 
Last edited:
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410


Screenshot Saturday.

I flooded the castle since I couldn't get the clouds looking good enough in 2D and VR. Water is essentially just blue fog so I could swap it in without redesigning anything else. I only decided to switch to water about an hour ago so the water still needs some improvements.
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
I flooded the castle since I couldn't get the clouds looking good enough in 2D and VR. Water is essentially just blue fog so I could swap it in without redesigning anything else. I only decided to switch to water about an hour ago so the water still needs some improvements.
Have you considered a better skybox than the Unity procedural default (which it looks like you're using in the previous screenshot) and maybe having a cubemap so you get some environmental reflections from the geometry (and skybox) in the water?
 
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410
Have you considered a better skybox than the Unity procedural default (which it looks like you're using in the previous screenshot) and maybe having a cubemap so you get some environmental reflections from the geometry (and skybox) in the water?
I'm trying to figure it out.

The game is toy sized in VR so clouds and other distant objects are still close enough to have a 3D effect. It's especially difficult since the game starts down here at water level but progresses seamlessly to a vantage point that is a lot higher.


Ideally I'll get both cloud reflections and cloud shadows working.
 

oxrock

Gravity is a myth, the Earth SUCKS!
Nov 30, 2004
2,806
92
1,530
Well, I updated unity hub and that process deleted my project folder within. That sucked pretty badly. Suffice it to say, I now make damn sure I back up my project files to an online cloud. The main thing I lost was my z-trail project I made for Ludum Dare. People really seemed to enjoy it so I decided that I would add proper polish/assets and release it on mobile. I was quite gutted when I learned I'd have to start that over from scratch. But I'm carrying on! I'm kind of amazed how much I was able to frantically accomplish over 48 hours but I'll get back there again. It's looking a lot better already though.

Old:


New:


It has a much darker feel now which I think suits a zombie survival game a lot better. I'll be adding some randomization to the trees and be replacing those clouds cause I hate them, but this is essentially what it will look like.
 

Haris

Neo Member
Jan 21, 2018
15
14
120
SILENT VOID is now known as ALT BOSNIA.
After a couple of months of working on scene editor and screenplay I am finally moving to concept art.

This month I am focusing on concept art for combat robots & locations. Also, planning to improve the code for camera, enemy AI and collision detection (stairs/slopes/obstacles). ALT BOSNIA, turn-based tactical experience should be on PS Vita in late 2019. Other platforms 2020.

 

oxrock

Gravity is a myth, the Earth SUCKS!
Nov 30, 2004
2,806
92
1,530
The Ludum Dare Results are in!

How'd your games fare everybody? This was probably my best result to date, but I'm still not very close to the front of the pack. All I can do is try try again.

Z-Trail scores:
Overall: 143rd (3.651 average from 45 ratings)
Fun: 118th (3.605 average from 45 ratings)
Innovation: 256th (3.186 average from 45 ratings)
Theme: 363rd (3.105 average from 45 ratings)
Graphics: 362nd (2.884 average from 45 ratings)
Audio: 186th (3.214 average from 44 ratings)
Humor: 168th (3.038 average from 42 ratings)
Mood: 195th (3.291 average from 45 ratings)
 
Last edited:

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
Overall: 414th (2.929 average from 30 ratings)
Fun: 437th (2.643 average from 30 ratings)
Innovation: 462nd (2.411 average from 30 ratings)
Theme: 465th (2.554 average from 30 ratings)
Graphics: 194th (3.536 average from 30 ratings)
Audio: 200th (3.161 average from 30 ratings)
Mood: 206th (3.259 average from 29 ratings)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

seems about right tbh, better than usual in fact
 

Haris

Neo Member
Jan 21, 2018
15
14
120
For January 2019, I will continue working on robot concepts and start the interior concept art. As for the programming, implementing some of the core combat gameplay systems is in focus. And yes, PS Vita version of ALT BOSNIA will have trophies.
If time allows, will try to make a test music track for the combat gameplay. Just to have something to build upon.

 
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410
I'm starting some early work on a new game. I'm still working out what exactly it is, but it will be rendered in true 4D. I programmed a 4D renderer last summer so now I'm improving the quality of the renderer and building a game out of it.



A 4D render produces a 3D volume of voxels. The video and this picture show two different ways of presenting those voxels to the player. I'm planning to let the player freely swap between different methods and find the one that works best for them. Getting the game to look good yet still display as much information as possible is really complicated.

Controls are also really complicated. 3 axes are needed to move and 4 axes are needed to rotate the camera. To make it a bit more manageable, I'm designing the game so that the player is never expected to operate both at the same time.

From my experience with what I made last summer, playing in 4D is actually really intuitive. Normal forward/back, left/right, and up/down movements instantly click and make sense. Ana/kata (4D) movements take longer but the cause and effect is easy to understand as a game mechanic. My goal is to make the game as accessible as possible and make the fourth dimension feel like a tangible thing that's fun to explore.

My current concept is "Imagine a beautiful and surreal 4D island that you are free to explore at your own pace. Things aren't always peaceful though, as the island is inhabited by ~12 legendary beasts. Embrace your destiny and use swords, shields, and arrows to defeat them."
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
Just got an email from Allegorithmic (makers of Substance apps) that they're being absorbed into the Adobe collective, which I guess means Creative Plan subscribers are going to get access to what is a pretty fucking great set of PBR 3D texturing utilities, and also I guess means those apps are going to get tighter Photoshop integration
 

oxrock

Gravity is a myth, the Earth SUCKS!
Nov 30, 2004
2,806
92
1,530
https://blogs.unity3d.com/2019/01/28/obstacle-tower-challenge-test-the-limits-of-intelligence-systems/

"Today we are announcing the upcoming launch of the Obstacle Tower Challenge: a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence challenge designed to test the capabilities of intelligent agents and accelerate the research and development of AI. The Obstacle Tower Challenge will be a new competition aimed at testing the vision, control, planning, and generalization abilities of AI agents — capabilities that have yet to be fully tested together. " - unity blog post

I don't know how many others are like me and get into with AI/ML much, but I thought this was a pretty interesting initiative from Unity. I train models to complete games in my own free time anyway, may as well try to win some cash off of it while learning their new ML agent system.
 

Haris

Neo Member
Jan 21, 2018
15
14
120
This month I am finally moving to 3D blocking of the main locations. Also, continuing the concept art work for interiors and robots. As for programming, AI & combat gameplay remains the focus.
And yes, ALT BOSNIA will try to deliver 60 FPS on PS Vita.

 
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410
I was working like crazy to get this finished before the end of February, but I've managed to release a massive update for Twisty Puzzle Simulator. It doubles the size of the game and reworked basically everything.




The two major things I focused on with this update were accessibility and perceived value.



1: Accessibility

In retrospect this is pretty obvious, but people who don't solve twisty puzzles did not know which puzzles were easy. Lots of players incorrectly assumed difficulty scaled with piece count and jumped right in to some of the game's hardest puzzles. Initially I was just going to sort all puzzles in the menu and rank by difficulty, but I did not have the processing power to render all puzzles on screen simultaneously.



Eventually this led into the campaign concept you see in the video. Only ~5 puzzles are shown at a time yet the player feels like they are surrounded by puzzles.



The star rankings also came out of trying to make the game less intimidating. Now a player can play for hours before ever having to solve the full versions of puzzles.



2: Perceived value

I was a twisty puzzle designer before I became an indie dev. The majority of the puzzles in the game are ones I designed myself. I viewed that as a big selling point for the game since lots of my puzzles are fairly expensive to buy but most players never made that connection. Instead some players viewed it as lacking content/originality.



I initially pushed back since I really really disliked the idea of dumbing down the experience with minigames or similar, but I eventually found this campaign structure and figured it could solve this problem too. Essentially the game can now stand on its own even if players don't recognize my name or understand how advanced the puzzle simulations are.
 
Last edited:

Haris

Neo Member
Jan 21, 2018
15
14
120
The most important task for March 2019 is to wrap up the final draft of ALT BOSNIA screenplay.
I will continue 3D blocking of main locations & make a "test" music track. As for programming, combat gameplay improvements & save/load system for PS Vita version.

 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
I was a twisty puzzle designer before I became an indie dev. The majority of the puzzles in the game are ones I designed myself. I viewed that as a big selling point for the game since lots of my puzzles are fairly expensive to buy but most players never made that connection. Instead some players viewed it as lacking content/originality.
I've never even heard of the... genre? before, so I would imagine the high cost to purchase is a direct result of the target audience being so niche, which is likely to carry across to the potential audience you have for this game.
 

Haris

Neo Member
Jan 21, 2018
15
14
120
This April I am going back to concept art for: side characters, other types of combat robots & robot weapons.
I will start 3D blocking on couple of enemy robots. As for programming, going back to Tectum Editor feature implementation & scene loading optimization on PS Vita.


Last Spring
Concept art
 
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410
I've never even heard of the... genre? before, so I would imagine the high cost to purchase is a direct result of the target audience being so niche, which is likely to carry across to the potential audience you have for this game.
It's funky market with a lot of popularity levels. Rubik's cubes and speedcubing are extremely big right now with millions and millions of people involved. Some twisty puzzles like the "skewb" are also really huge. Then there are mainstream twisty puzzles like megaminxs, x-cubes, mirror blocks, etc. that are pretty popular during the holidays. Lastly, there are the puzzles I've been involved in which are only sold online and in specialty shops. The costs are higher because of this, but it is also because the puzzles are difficult to manufacture and require a fair amount of manual labor to assemble.


Now that the Steam version is out and the PS4 version has been out for a while, I can confidently say that I'm facing marketing issues not audience issues. The game is selling ok and people from all the groups above are enjoying it but so far I've failed to get big cubing youtube channels to cover it.
 

Yoshi

Member
May 4, 2005
14,624
3,303
1,570
32
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
I am currently designing the last remaining level of my game, but I am facing some slight trouble. It is supposed to be the last (full) level, and it is the most complicated in terms of structure. But it is not shaping up to be the most difficult one. It looks to be the second or third most difficult level. I do not want to make the task artificially more difficult, especially considering the structure itself requires a bit of attention by the player, so I do not want to overstrain the player.

Now the question is: Should the level move up in the level order? In terms of scope and complexity, it would certainly be my preferred pick for final level (and it is designed as such), but I worry players could be unhappy if the last level is a tad easier than the one before :/.
 

SorenBach

Member
Apr 26, 2017
187
115
255
I am currently designing the last remaining level of my game, but I am facing some slight trouble. It is supposed to be the last (full) level, and it is the most complicated in terms of structure. But it is not shaping up to be the most difficult one. It looks to be the second or third most difficult level. I do not want to make the task artificially more difficult, especially considering the structure itself requires a bit of attention by the player, so I do not want to overstrain the player.

Now the question is: Should the level move up in the level order? In terms of scope and complexity, it would certainly be my preferred pick for final level (and it is designed as such), but I worry players could be unhappy if the last level is a tad easier than the one before :/.
I would definitely NOT go with the last level being easier than the previous. But that's just my preference in playstyle. But I would either A, keep trying something which would make the level be more difficult in a fair way (playtesting needed ofc) or B, make one of the previous more difficult levels up to par in terms of scope and complexity with the current end level.
Now I don't know how your game is structured, but you could also try and make the end-game a two-part level?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yoshi

Yoshi

Member
May 4, 2005
14,624
3,303
1,570
32
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
I would definitely NOT go with the last level being easier than the previous. But that's just my preference in playstyle. But I would either A, keep trying something which would make the level be more difficult in a fair way (playtesting needed ofc) or B, make one of the previous more difficult levels up to par in terms of scope and complexity with the current end level.
Now I don't know how your game is structured, but you could also try and make the end-game a two-part level?
Do you know Banjo-Kazooie? That's (fundamentally) the structure of the game.

Combining levels 8 and 9 would go against one fundamental goal of my design: Keeping every level small enough that it is easy to navigate and it would probably conflict with my performance goal (60fps on Wii U) too heavily. It would also lead to irritation because one structural component of the last level does not make any sense in the second-to-last level (basically: The level is structured by rotations of the full level, which is the more taxing element of the overall design).

Making the ninth level more difficult is still an option even without throwing something away (which of course is a legitimate design step, as well, but I feel what is there in Level 9 so far is of good quality), because I only have three out of ten main tasks complete. I just worry that by ging more difficult - and the game is pretty challenging either way - people might grow frustrated from juggling the orientation of the level and the difficulty of individual tasks.

What I have not mentioned in the previous post though, is, that after the final main level there are still two linear, extra challenging levels: a "boss level" and a 100% completion bonus level. Both of which are more difficult than the tasks in level 8 or 9. Would that change how you feel about a slightly easier ninth level after the eighth, or do you feel regressing difficulty is a fundamental problem?
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
9,769
578
470
I am currently designing the last remaining level of my game, but I am facing some slight trouble. It is supposed to be the last (full) level, and it is the most complicated in terms of structure. But it is not shaping up to be the most difficult one. It looks to be the second or third most difficult level. I do not want to make the task artificially more difficult, especially considering the structure itself requires a bit of attention by the player, so I do not want to overstrain the player.

Now the question is: Should the level move up in the level order? In terms of scope and complexity, it would certainly be my preferred pick for final level (and it is designed as such), but I worry players could be unhappy if the last level is a tad easier than the one before :/.
Without knowing the specifics of your game or overall progression, its not necessarily a problem.
A lot of games with 'unlockable' power progression have an 'easier' final act, as the player has reached a pinnacle of power progression, and its just giving them a full toolbox to play with; the interaction of any and all abilities they have unlocked might be more complex, but the availability of player actions makes the difficulty lower.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yoshi

SorenBach

Member
Apr 26, 2017
187
115
255
Do you know Banjo-Kazooie? That's (fundamentally) the structure of the game.
I know of it, but never played it. Only played Conker's Bad Fur day.

What I have not mentioned in the previous post though, is, that after the final main level there are still two linear, extra challenging levels: a "boss level" and a 100% completion bonus level. Both of which are more difficult than the tasks in level 8 or 9. Would that change how you feel about a slightly easier ninth level after the eighth, or do you feel regressing difficulty is a fundamental problem?
In that case, then yes! :) That would still suit my preferred style of playing because I like ending on a hard challenge for me to overcome. But then again, maybe I'm not your target audience either, so don't take this as something that's set in stone.
 

Yoshi

Member
May 4, 2005
14,624
3,303
1,570
32
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
I know of it, but never played it. Only played Conker's Bad Fur day.
Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64, Yooka-Laylee, Vexx, Tak 1 and Ty 1 share the same structure. Conker does not. Jak & Daxter 1 is pretty similar still.

In that case, then yes! :) That would still suit my preferred style of playing because I like ending on a hard challenge for me to overcome. But then again, maybe I'm not your target audience either, so don't take this as something that's set in stone.
I do not know whether you are in my target audience. Target audience would be people who enjoyed N64-era platforming and have good experience with the genre (because the game aims to be one of the more challenging games in the genre)
 

SorenBach

Member
Apr 26, 2017
187
115
255
Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64, Yooka-Laylee, Vexx, Tak 1 and Ty 1 share the same structure. Conker does not. Jak & Daxter 1 is pretty similar still.

I do not know whether you are in my target audience. Target audience would be people who enjoyed N64-era platforming and have good experience with the genre (because the game aims to be one of the more challenging games in the genre)
Hah, then yeah! I'm definitely not your target audience :p None of the games listed, are any I've played. Ignore me!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yoshi
Feb 7, 2013
756
13
410
Do you know Banjo-Kazooie? That's (fundamentally) the structure of the game.

Combining levels 8 and 9 would go against one fundamental goal of my design: Keeping every level small enough that it is easy to navigate and it would probably conflict with my performance goal (60fps on Wii U) too heavily. It would also lead to irritation because one structural component of the last level does not make any sense in the second-to-last level (basically: The level is structured by rotations of the full level, which is the more taxing element of the overall design).

Making the ninth level more difficult is still an option even without throwing something away (which of course is a legitimate design step, as well, but I feel what is there in Level 9 so far is of good quality), because I only have three out of ten main tasks complete. I just worry that by ging more difficult - and the game is pretty challenging either way - people might grow frustrated from juggling the orientation of the level and the difficulty of individual tasks.

What I have not mentioned in the previous post though, is, that after the final main level there are still two linear, extra challenging levels: a "boss level" and a 100% completion bonus level. Both of which are more difficult than the tasks in level 8 or 9. Would that change how you feel about a slightly easier ninth level after the eighth, or do you feel regressing difficulty is a fundamental problem?
I think the theming of the final level could make or break it. If it comes across as a "celebration" level of everything that the player has worked towards then being slightly easier could be a good thing. Journey has a good example of this. If however the level acts like a final boss and has been teased as a "this is it" moment, then I personally would probably be disappointed if it was not noticeably harder than previous levels.

It's really dependent on all the nitty gritty details of your game.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yoshi

Yoshi

Member
May 4, 2005
14,624
3,303
1,570
32
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
I think the theming of the final level could make or break it. If it comes across as a "celebration" level of everything that the player has worked towards then being slightly easier could be a good thing. Journey has a good example of this. If however the level acts like a final boss and has been teased as a "this is it" moment, then I personally would probably be disappointed if it was not noticeably harder than previous levels.

It's really dependent on all the nitty gritty details of your game.
It's not really a celebration level, but it tests many of the skills you have earned on your way. It is not the absolute final thing you do, anyway, it is the last main level, but afterwards, there is still a (pretty difficult) "boss level" (no actual boss, because it is a violence free game, think crash bandicoot chase sequence) and one "perfect completion" extra level. The final level I am talking about here is basically the last level in a similar sense as Clock Clock Wood in Banjo-Kazooie.