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kseh

Platform game design problem.

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I'm working on a platform style game where the main characters is a lizard like creature in a randomly generated cave that can eat ground tiles and then spit them back out to shape the terrain and aid in getting to where you want to go. You can hold up to 3 tile blocks and you get heavier with each block you hold, decreasing your ability to jump.

My problem is that I have come accross a situation where it's possible to get stuck when you're holding 3 blocks and have fallen into a hole that's 1 tile wide and taller than you can jump out. One obvious solution would be to be able to manipulate the tiles above or below you but, if possible, I would like to keep it so that you can only affect the tiles to the left or right otherwise I think it'd be much too easy to get anywhere you want to go. I'm wondering if anyone can offer any other suggestions on how I might be deal with this?

Thanks.

Lab 13 project page.

Only able to jump 1 tile high, can't eat surrounding blocks, and no room to spit out stored blocks.
[attachment=6741:Stuck.JPG]

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1. That's a puzzle piece of your gameplay, then. 2. Unless you make that a failure condition.

1. Design the game around this limitation. Provide the player situations where the natural thing to do would be to dig oneself into a hole, but leaving a way for the player to figure out an escape. In other words, make the problem a fun part of the game.

2. You could just write code that detects that the player got himself into an inextricable position, and fade out the screen. Fade back up at the beginning of the level to let the player try again.

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When you spit tiles back out, do they go into the space directly in front of you? What happens if you spit them off of a cliff, do they stick in place or fall into the gap below? I'm just trying to get a picture of how you navigate the level.

Some possibilities that probably break the rules too much:

  • If the tile in front of you is filled and the tile above you is empty, spitting a tile could fill the space you are standing on and move you upwards.
  • You could be able to 'digest' a block every so often, clearing a space in your stomach.

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I don't mind changing the rules or creating new ones so long as the player doesn't have too much power to move around freely. I'd be happy to get past some of my "preferred" things if anyone could explain how the balance of the challenge probably wouldn't be thrown off or how it could otherwise be maintained.

Ultimately I'm thinking the game will be centered on finding things within the maze and returning them to some location. So I'd prefer not to give the player the ability to just plow though the maze too quickly. I'm thinking returning the player to a starting position or even repositioning him randomly in the maze if he got stuck could break the fun of the search and the challenge of getting from point A to B. I'd also prefer to avoid anything that's too much like a death condition and a teleportation or a restart is a bit closer than I'd like (might be hard to avoid though). I'm also convinced (mostly) that preservation of the blocks is a required element otherwise it'd be possible for the player to eat the entire maze which, though an amusing idea, could lead to an inability to get anywhere.

Filling a space that you're standing on creates other potential ways of getting stuck, particularly when you have a dirt tile directly above you. You could find yourself embedded in rock with no way to move. I found this to be the case several times during initial development.

Currently, spitting out a dirt block makes it appear in the space in front of you, sticking in mid air if so placed. I thought about making them fall into the gap but then I thought about the potential for cave ins and decided against it partly because the maze wraps around when you reach the edges (vertical & horizontal). I'd prefer not to spit out blocks vertically because then it'd make sense that you should have the ability to eat blocks vertically and I don't want to give that ability. I'm thinking that the ability to "dig" up or down would make it too easy to traverse the map.

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I'd be happy to get past some of my "preferred" things if anyone could explain how the balance of the challenge probably wouldn't be thrown off or how it could otherwise be maintained.


Well, it's really your job to figure that out. You're the game designer.



You're kind of mashing up Dig Dug and Boxxle, sounds like. Why not play those a little, see if any ideas spring to mind.

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