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Now with 100% more frame buffer distortion!

Posted by et1337, 05 October 2012 · 849 views

graphics modeling game design
Flying in the face of midterms and other IRL issues, Lemma boldly marches on!

Spawn Point Graphics

I realized you need a way to know where you'll respawn if you die, so I added some spawn point graphics. Got the idea from Borderlands. Actually can we talk about Borderlands? Man, every time I play a good game I have to resist the urge to start incorporating its ideas into my projects. If I ever announce that Lemma will feature randomly generated weapons, just slap me until I snap out of it please.

Posted Image

I also tried my hand at fabricating a sound completely from scratch inside Audacity for the spawn point, and it actually turned out great!

Clothes

Speaking of amateur hour, I also dressed up the player model a bit. Still very rough, but it doesn't look like a scuba suit anymore, and it does the job for the first-person perspective.

Posted Image

Levitation

I messed around with an unlockable ability that lets you levitate blocks and move them around. It's pretty fun, but it's difficult to climb on the blocks when they're at a weird angle. Hopefully I'll be able to just improve the climbing code.

Energy System

I still don't know what to do about this. The problem is, I don't want the player to be able to spam a move and easily create vast amounts of blocks. A straight-up cool-down system wouldn't work, because it just breaks the flow of parkour. I experimented this week with energy pickups, where you have to climb up and grab these little power-ups to keep going. Then I realized I would have to come up with a reasonable way for them to respawn, and I don't like having a UI element on-screen that says "you have 137 energy".

So I'm still stuck on this one. I might move on to something else and come back to it.

Charity

Someone on ModDB said they didn't appreciate the charitable aspect of Lemma. I just dismissed the comment at first, but now I think he/she may have had a point, which was that charity can be used as a cheap marketing scheme. Along the lines of "our game isn't that great, but it's for charity, so try it out!"

It made me think that anyone can donate money publicly. You don't actually give up something for nothing; you execute a transaction that earns you respect and "karma".

Anyway, I don't know yet how that realization will affect Lemma. If anything, Lemma would cease to be an "official" charity project, and I would just sell it normally and quietly donate my share of the profit. But we'll see. I may just be overthinking this.

That's it for this week. Keep being excellent, everyone.

Mirrored on my blog




I also don't like the charity side of game deals (I'm not opposed to charities themselves though!). Whenever I buy humble bundles, I drag the bar 100% to 'Developers', or sometimes 5% to 'Humble tip'.

I think it's great the developers do it - it raises awareness of those charities, and generates money for them, but I as a consumer want my money to support the person making the thing and would like to have that option. If they decide to give their money to charity afterward, that's great! But I'm deciding to give my money to the developer, and they can decide what to do from there.

So I vote for three options: [Money goes to dev] [Money 50/50 split between dev and charity] [Money goes to charity]

If I ever announce that Lemma will feature randomly generated weapons, just slap me until I snap out of it please.

Yes! I found a blue leg with a scope attached! Improved kicking accuracy by 12%.

 

I'm not quite following your thoughts about energy pickups. A half-second cooldown that's hidden wouldn't help?
Though not a fan of the pickup idea, you don't have to have a UI element on-screen: your energy could be shown in the battery of the iPhone you're carrying around that you receive the game-plot messages on.

If they decide to give their money to charity afterward, that's great! But I'm deciding to give my money to the developer, and they can decide what to do from there.


That's kind of my thought process too. I can still donate without being all, "hey, look at me!"

Yes! I found a blue leg with a scope attached! Improved kicking accuracy by 12%.


Hah. I'm seeing a possibility for a hilarious easter-egg here.

I'm not quite following your thoughts about energy pickups. A half-second cooldown that's hidden wouldn't help?
Though not a fan of the pickup idea, you don't have to have a UI element on-screen: your energy could be shown in the battery of the iPhone you're carrying around that you receive the game-plot messages on.


That's an interesting idea. Someone else suggested having the player's hands on-screen more often, and having them glow when your energy is charged.

But my main problem with cool-downs is not necessarily the UI, it's the fact that for a short time, the game is preventing you from exercising the main gameplay mechanic, the whole reason to play the game. Instead, it should reward the player for building blocks. I'd like a skilled player to be able to run continuously without having to wait for a cooldown.
Though I've watched your videos, I haven't played any demos since the very first one you released, so pardon any confusion in the follow post:

Building blocks is the main gameplay mechanic? I thought parkour was. Yes, I saw that in your previous videos, one or two of your parkour abilities formed blocks under you, and yes, you can manipulate blocks that were already in existence (breaking, moving, placing them) - but isn't the main gameplay mechanic wall-kicking and wall-running?

If I have to place blocks under me, and then (because of a half-second delay) wall run before placing the next set of blocks under me, I'm not seeing much of a problem.

Or, if your worry is really that too many blocks would get made, differentiate between moves that make blocks as a side-effect, and actually placing blocks. If you place a block, it's a block. But if you do a move and form blocks under you while moving really fast, the blocks formed are the kind that crumble. Not only do they crumble, they also fade away after n seconds even if you didn't crumble them.

When placing blocks, is the goal 'get across the chasm', or is the goal 'build something to solve this puzzle'. Blocks placed to build ought to remain there after placed, and have no delay between placement. Blocks built as part of your parkour moves to get across the chasm should fade after a (real short -~3 secs) duration, and there should be a (real short ~0.5 secs) delay between placement, which makes getting across the chasm more about the parkour then the building - parkour being the real gameplay mechanic here.

Self-reflective questions:
  • What is the primary gameplay mechanic of your game? Block building or parkour? Are you sure you aren't getting it confused?
  • What is the problem that your primary mechanic solves in the game?
  • How can you design all secondary mechanics to support and augment your primary mechanic?
  • What are your secondary mechanics (parkour, block building, guns, etc...?), and what problems do they solve?
  • How can you best design game areas to present problems to the player that force them to use and rely on these mechanics?
  • Do any mechanics overshadow, or make obsolete, any other mechanic? How can that be prevented? (I'm thinking specifically, why would I bother wallkicking or wall running if I can always build block stairways to get to where I need)
  • What limitations does each mechanic have? Do these limitations change or alter over time?
    • Example limitations:
    • GUN:
    • range of gun
    • accuracy
    • firing rate
    • clip size
    • reload speed
  • PARKOUR:
    • Running speed
    • jumping height
    • jumping distance
    • wall-kicking height
    • delay between wall-kicks
    • fall damage cushioning
    • kicking damage
    • kicking speed
    • kicking range
  • BLOCKS:
    • Number of blocks you can carry
    • Locations you can put blocks (think Portal's non-portal-able surfaces)
    • Types of blocks you can place
    • Sizes of blocks you can place
    • Duration of the blocks' existence
    • What else?
  • What other limitations for the previously-mentioned mechanics?
  • How do these limitations hinder or enhance the flow of the game?
  • Do the mechanics or limitations make sense within the world and plot and mood/atmosphere of the game?
  • How do these limitations change over the course of the game?
  • What problems do these mechanics solve?
  • Do the mechanics get in the way of each other mechanic?
  • Do the limits stop the mechanics from interfering with each other?
  • What other mechanics exist or will exist? (Swimming? Text messaging? What else?)

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