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Controlled or Realistic Jumping For Platformers

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In one corner, you have games like Mario and Sonic, where if you jump you can continue to control the character in mid air, turning backwards and coming back from the same direction you jumped from. Fun but not realistic. In the other, you have games like Alien3 (SNES) and Zelda (with what little jumping there actually is) or even BZFlag where when you jump, you just have to hope you aimed it right, because you don't get control back until you land. So, for platform jump-n-shoot kind of game, which do you think you would prefer? Something more explicitly controllable or something more realistic? Both have their merits.

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It really depends on the design of the game. If you're shooting for some sort of ultra-realistic physics-modelled game, then you might want to go with the realistic jumping model.

On the other hand, if you're designing a platformer along the lines of mario or, for example, you will require lots of precision jumping (see following diagram), then being able to move in the game will make it a lot more fun and less frustrating.


----+____+-+_______+-+______+-+_______+----
The dips are some sort of instant death thing, so you mustn't fall.


So, to sum up, jumping should be implemented in such a way that it agrees with the design and feel of the game.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think it would be best to have some sort of percentage modifier to say how much control the player has in the air while compared to the ground. Setting this at 0 means a realistic jumping model and setting at 1 means unrealistic.

A good value should be abour 0.2 or so, This means that you can jump in the general direction of where you want to go, but you can still make adjustments while in the air to fine-tune your landing.

Good Luck
- Steve

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For most games I would rather have realistic jumping, because I think that there isn't much lost in the game, but it just makes it easier. I think players will get used to jumping and not being able to change their direction in mid-air.

Maybe you can adjust the jump by just adjusting how high your jump is but not by moving left or right.

Althrought I would rather have realistic jumping, I think most of the other players wouldn't like it as much as me. So probably the best course of action is to be able to move left or right in mid-air, but just a small amount.

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It can work either way. Prince of Persia had the realistic jumping (and even realistic changing direction) and that worked very well in that game. However, that approach would have not worked at all for Sonic.

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Since the question is "From a platform jump-n-shoo" perspective, I'm going to say, it depends on what your focus is going to be.

If your player is going to 'plow' through enemies a realistic jump might be the best option. In Prince of Persia I, the player had to engage most of the swordsmen, so a realistic jump makes sense. Out of this World also required the player to fight enemies rather then dodge bullets.

If your player is going to dodge things, then a controlled jump is better. In Contra, it's more important to dodge bullets than it is to shoot at something. There, a controlled jump is better.

I perfer a controlled jump, because end of the level bosses are easier to create and the level design itself can be less realistic.

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This topic is 4833 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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