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Always moving in platform games


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#1 3DModelerMan   Members   -  Reputation: 1072

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:24 PM

I'm in the middle of writing a platforming game for android. I've got it setup so that swiping up jumps, and all other actions except shooting are done by swipes. Shooting is done by tapping on what you want to shoot. The player is always moving to the right though. I think that always moving simplifies the gameplay and makes it more accessible while not taking anything away from more advanced players who want to go on the alternate paths. However I know someone who insists that it's a terrible idea to have the character be moving always. What does everyone here think? Is moving all the time a bad idea?

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#2 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3990

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:31 PM

it really depends on how fast paced things are, you might think that always moving is fine, because you designed the game, and are quite good at it. But from an objective view from someone who hasn't played it. can they pick up on what they have to do quickly, or do you find them struggling to keep up?

also, does the game force players to continually move, or do you feel that's simply how it is?
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#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10178

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:39 PM

You could easily add a stop/go feature. One idea: a traffic light in the corner. It's green while the screen is moving. If you want to stop the scrolling, tap it and turn it red. To move again, tap it and turn it green.
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#4 3DModelerMan   Members   -  Reputation: 1072

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:44 PM

Yeah, a stop and go thing might be nice. Or maybe some other kind of similar control scheme. I want it to be a somewhat fast paced game though, maybe some sort of reward system for playing an entire level without stopping?

#5 Densoro   Members   -  Reputation: 196

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:49 AM

Gotta be careful with on-rails touchscreen games where you have to split swipes between yourself and the enemy. I tried out Lunar Knights a little while ago, and they have sections like Kingdom Hearts' gummy ships. The problem is that you can't dodge incoming bullets and retaliate at the same time, and sometimes the fat ass of your ship will block the target you mean to click on -- meaning that it's easier to shoot at a funky angle than to shoot somebody who's literally right in front of you >_>

Ideally I'd have some sort of jump button totally separate from the touch-to-fire system to make it kinda like a Canabalt with guns. If not, you'll have to very carefully balance your game to make sure the switch between offense and defense/evasion is practical. You don't want enemies who fill the screen with projectiles you have to dodge, then force you to shoot them to make them stop firing in the middle of their salvo. Because offense or defense will take a hit.

#6 heshiming   Members   -  Reputation: 203

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

There are quite a few games with this mechanics on iOS. To name a few, Jetpack Joyride, Temple Run, Agent Dash, Chasing Yello, Rushing Alice, Tiny Wings, Ski Safari. And there are others I can't recall the name, the one with gingerbread man, and the one with birds.

Most of them are free, with in-app-purchase based power-ups. And the operations typically involves jump and dunk only. And for Jetpack Joyride, Ski Safari, Tiny Wings, they only involves one operation. It's not typical to have something to "shoot at".

You can also consult Doodle Jump, which is constantly moving, but at controllable progress.

In the end, you are asking whether it's a good idea. I have to say there are already many hits in this genre. So people are familiar with it. How they are designed, I have to agree with @slicer4ever on pacing. Some games are bad because they are too slow or fast. But you have to play the existing hits to get the idea.

#7 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2798

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:02 AM

What about using tilting to control movement and touching the screen shoots in towards that point?

Tilt right runs right
Tilt left runs left
tilt up jumps
tilt down ducks

#8 3DModelerMan   Members   -  Reputation: 1072

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:31 AM

I'll start experimenting with a bunch of different things and see which one works best.




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