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DEVLOG - Kotaro

A topic by Giant Gough created 93 days ago Views: 340 Replies: 26
Viewing posts 1 to 18
(Edited 3 times)

First devlog, I hope I'm doing it right.

Engine

Unity 2D!

Idea
An adventure platformer. The main character, Kotaro, goes off to see a thing. When he gets there thing is dead. Spends the rest of the game getting little spirit parts of the Main Thing in order to return them to the Main Thing. (Main Thing not yet decided)

Desired features

Must haves

edit: moved double jump to would likes as I've deemed it not essential to the feel or gameplay of the game. Will ultimately depend upon level design after other features are established.

  • Collectibles
  • Collectible counter that keeps track of said collectibles
  • Ability to turn collectibles in at a main area

Would likes (can pass on due to time contraint and work on at a later date)

  • Double Jump
  • Brief pop up box events that trigger at certain times. For example, if there is an encounter a '!' would appear above players head.
  • The more items collected the larger ruck-sack gets. 
  • I'd like for it to be dialogue free and the journey Kotaro goes on to be understandable. But story will take a backseat to features until features are fully polished.
  • A boss fight?
  • Puzzles?
  • Ladders?

Day 1

  • Pixeled what I need to get a skeleton level design.
  • Basic Character controller is set up. (Will add more detailed features after the MVP is fleshed out)
  • Basic Camera controller is finished.
  • Player can now die and respawn at checkpoints.

Day 2


Bit discouraged, checking out some games and people seem a lot further a long than I am. But I did add: 

  • Player health!
  • Enemies that can patrol!
  • A counter for collectibles!
  • I drew a few missing assets I found out I'll need, and I'll probably need to pixel up some more before long.
  • Got the Camera Controller as good as I think it's going to get for my skill level!
  • Player death now has a particle effect!


Notes

The more I get into this the more I find that I don't think I'll be able to get any of my would likes during this two weeks time. I believe I need to focus on getting my must haves, and fun, engaging gameplay with a nice environment all polished up. After all that I think I'd like to turn this into a long term project making it a game I'd download or something.

The initial feel I was going for for this game is changing a bit. I don't know that I like it, but I can always tweak it later. It's just a bit difficult not biting off more than I can chew.

Hey!! Don't feel discouraged at all!! \O/ Everyone will make progress at their own pace. You already have some counters, patrolling enemies, player and camera controls, player death effects and some assets! I'd say that's quite a bit for day 2 (out of 13 or 14!) d(^^ ) 

It'd be great to see some screenshots if you're cool with taking them~ :>

Thank you! and sure thing. 
Maybe patrolling wasn't the right word to use. The enemies can move about without falling off of ledges, so I just called it patrolling.

(Edited 1 time)

Not a real level, just a testing environment while I get my scripts up and running!

Right now the tree is acting as a place holder for my checkpoint. It changes to a different tree place holder once reached.

When I grab the pink item my counter goes up. The enemy patrols that platform without falling off, which is nice. Enemies also do damage.

Can kill the enemy, spikes do damage, death plays particle effect and resets counter, enemies, and items. All of which took a lot longer to program than I would have liked. I couldn't figure out how to get a screen shot of the particle effect and death, but this is it after respawning.


These are almost all of the basics of my game! I'm not sure why the gif is so jerky. The game plays much smoother than this.

Next things to implement

  • Right now checkpoints are just new respawn points. They need to remember what items I've picked up so my counter doesn't automatically reset on death. That way I don't have to go back over the same ground to pick up the same items. 
  • Create a way to turn in the points
  • Create a menu and ideally a save feature.
  • I still haven't implemented a double jump, but I feel like the other features are more central to the feel of the game i'm trying to create.

After all that is done I'll work on a few well designed levels for people to play around with! Backgrounds, etc. all of the fancy stuff. I would almost argue that I have enough here to call it my MVP. A very Minimal Viable Product, though. But it's my first game that's not a clone and the further I get into it, the more excited I become.

It looks like you're off to a good start. Keep it up!

Thank you! Any constructive criticism is also welcome.
I'm not sure why the gif looks so shaky, though. It doesn't look so unstable when I play it on my computer.

What are you using to capture the gif? I know with ScreenToGif the default fps is low - like 15 or so.

Oh my god I LOVE the art style! Especially the jumping / falling frame :) I also really like the curly-cue things for the HP meter. I think I might nick that concept for my own game. Right now I'm using something too literal. Something more abstract would be nice.

Regarding your progress you seem to be ahead of most of us :) Don't sweat it! Have fun and jam on!

Thank you! I'm so stoked you like the art! 

I didn't want to go with hearts because that felt a bit too used, so I just tried to come up with something that fit the style I've been sticking too for this game. I thought about changing it to a health bar, but now maybe I'll hold on to my curly-cue HP meter instead. Thanks again for the encouragement! 

(Edited 2 times)

Day 3

It's currently 12:45am. I'm having a lot of fun butI don't know if I'm moving at a good pace or not, but here's what I was able to accomplish today. 

  • Can now destroy enemies. Play bounces a little bit when he jumps on them.
  • Figured out for loops to reset certain objects.
  • When you run into an enemy play now gets a small knockback and is invincible for the duration. (Would like to add a flashing effect and invincibility instead, but haven't figure that out yet)
  • Implemented a lives system (don't know if I want to use it yet, but there were lot's of tutorials for them so I just did it).
  • added items that restore health, add lives.
  • Added sound effects for jumping, hitting/being hit, a few pickup items.
  • Added game over screen

I think what I really want to do is to use checkpoint as saving points. You pick up the items, you reach a checkpoint and save so if you die, you don't need to go back to pick them up again. There'd be a fixed number of items you need to get and turn in. I also thought instead of turning in at a central hub, maybe just turn them in at the save points. But the checkpoints/savepoints would be far enough away to cause tension on your journey between them, but not so far as to make the game frustrating.  Then I'd get rid of the lives system. If you die, you drop your items, return to your last check/save point and then work your way to recover them. The only problem with this is what to do if a player dies and they haven't recovered these items that have a limited number within the game? Recollecting seems too harsh. Letting them keep them when they die seems too forgiving. 

Just an idea I'm throwing around, I don't know that I'll be able to implement it during the game jam. 

if anyone has any ideas, feel free to shoot 'em off! 

(Edited 1 time)

Day 4

Was uneventful! I was playing catch up with school work after work work so I didn't get much done besides a few bug fixes!

  • Can now change between levels
(Edited 5 times)

Day 5

Just when I start getting to develop levels I have somehow contracted bugs!

When my player falls, it subtracts 2 lives instead of one.

My death particle effects are gone, can't figure out what I did to get them how they were! It's the most disappointing thing. I had it looking super rad.

I've spent all day trying to figure these things out and it's just been the most frustrating thing. I might just have to settle for a lesser death particle effect and give the player one life with more check points in between. Pretty bummed.


  • fixed death particles
  • now a transition scene/screen between levels
  • points/score now carries over between levels
  • Added an overworld hub thing

Things to fix!

  • second level doesn't have the transition screen for whatever reason. 
  • death by falling still results in -2 lives, but only sometimes. Perhaps a work around is needed if I can't find the cause.
  • figure out why my death sound doesn't trigger of falling deaths
  • change level select confirmation from sharing the 'jump' button to the 'e' button

It's slowly coming together! I'm super stoked, the further I go the more I see I need to polish, but I'm learning a lot. I'm hoping by this weekend to have menus, fixed the problems. Then I'll add some much needed art and sound assets. Backgrounds! Doors in the main hub! Music! By the end of this GameJam I hope to have a solid little prototype to flesh out into it's own game!

Expect new screenshots and gifs this weekend!(Do people read these updates anyway?)

I feel you on the frustration when something doesn't work (besides that death animation did look cool! I'm bummed out on your behalf haha).  ANd yeah I'm reading these :P Screenshots and gifs would be cool!

Thanks man, I've got a similar one set up now, only it's more sharp squares instead of fluffy balls. I don't know if I like it more or not, though.
Everything is place holders now, so I'm always hesitant to put out gifs when everything is kind of haphazardly thrown together. I'll definitely be putting some out soon, though!

(Edited 1 time)

You're making pretty good progress, and your art is awesome to boot! 


Puzzles are hard to make especially if you don't have a gimmick to work with. 'Course, it'll need to be something quick and easy to make. Don't forget that you don't have to stop making your game when the game jam ends!


edit: Btw, I love that little idle animation of him drinking :D

Thank you!
I'm stoked people seem to be enjoying the art! I wanted a different sort of idle, the up and down idle animation seemed a bit too usual!

I think I've cut the puzzles as a whole this time 'round. Right now I need to have some smooth functioning mechanics and try to make the gameplay enjoyable. I'd really like to instill some sense of adventure or exploration if I could, but we'll see what I can do! I'm just hoping people will want to play it!

Day 6

  • Got my menus in place! Main, Pause, Game over
  • Started working on a boss! Following a tutorial pretty closely on this one though, the other things were also a lot of how to's and what not, but I'm pretty nervous about implementing a boss at all for my first game. 

To do

Musts

  • Add sound to Menu
  • Polish animation sounds, jump, damage taken, death
  • Change level select button from the same button as jump to 'e'
  • Create and replace placeholder assets with real ones in 
    1. Level Select "doors"
    2. Checkpoints
    3. Backgrounds
    4. Coins -> something more theme-fitting
    5. Spikes
    6. Game Over image, theme fitting
    7. Main menu, something theme fitting
    8. If time allows, some clutter to add character to the world
  • Replace testing level with main overworld level
  • Music that isn't awful
  • Right now the 'continue game' option on the Main Menu only takes you to the world hub and whatever worlds you've unlocked are the worlds you can get to. But if you didn't finish a world and exited the game it only brings you to the start of that world again and is not a true save/continue feature, do I need really it? If I do, fix it.

Would likes

  • Add a PC Blink affect when taking damage in addition to the knockback already in place
  • Boss
  • Checkpoints => Savepoints that remember amount of 'coins' collected
  • 'coins' respawn made to suit the feel of the game, right now it just feels a bit weird
  • Turn in coins system, that unlocks something maybe? Not currently essential, but something I'd like to experiment with.

Ponderings

I really thought about implementing a DkS like system with the checkpoints.  Finding a way to make them save points that heal and respawn enemies upon use, but you can also save there and turn in coins (certain number of which would unlock something. Level? ) I definitely wont be able to get that set up within the frame of the gamjam, but I thought about tinkering with it as a learning experience afterwards. Another thing to mull over, but right now I think it's a bit beyond me. I'd rather finish this game, make it looks good and smooth it out as best I can get it and get feedback from peers. One day I might even have a game with items! and Puzzles!

I also thought about instead of having a consecutive level 1, level 2, level 3, making the Hub where you start, an intro level that shows you mechanics and guides you to the doors where the levels are. Each door would be themed to the level they lead too and all would be unlocked, leaving the PC to choose what order to pursue them in with perhaps some mysterious monologue from the only NPC in the game.

Another idea I had added to this and that have one big scene/room/level and the PC start at the Hub, again shown around the mechanics/controls/feel of the world and the NPC would just say (paraphrasing here)"Yo, you can go this way, this way, or that way. You'll need to go all ways at some point to get all the stuff, but uh, yeah. Order's on you" and then the player would be off. Adding to the sense of exploration and adventure. This is the ideal situation. Again, not within the confines of the gamejam, but I really dig this idea, and think I could do it without tooooo much difficulty. But what do I know. 

In summary 

Get the to do list done and a solid prototype/demo level ready  for the gamejam!  Then explore my ideas further. But don't go to far or I'll keep chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole that is "But what if I just did this..."

The goal is to complete my first original game!

The dream is that people will want to play it!

(Edited 1 time)

The Main Menu is done! Here's a gif:

It's a bit stretched feeling, but this was all I could do for now with Unity's UI System.

Your title screen is great! I especially like the logo.

Hey I'm making a platformer in Unity too! I really like your art, it's way better than mine haha. It's looking really good so far! I found out that after I got everything set up: collisions, enemies, player controls, the levels came together really quick! But then again mine is just a platformer, yours is part adventure so I'm sure there's more to the layouts haha.

Thank you! Yeah, I think I still need to create some backgrounds, but aside from that I might just have to make it a platformer for now due to time constraints and then after the jam flesh it out a bit!
I agree, after you get the scripts written everything else comes together a lot easier. Right now I've been stuck on music. Everything I write doesn't seem to fit the theme I'm going for. What did you end up doing for your music?

I actually used this jam to switch to FL Studios from the Renoise DAW. So I wrote the two songs I have done so far haha. But what I did was set up a pretty slow percussion track, added a natural sounding bass, then for the leads I used some samples from the Commodore 64 and I think that's what ended up helping lol. Since it sounds so chippy (since it is) it kind of helped the rest come together, or that's just nostalgia lol.

Whatever day it is

  • I've got a background up for the main level. For time constraints I'm just doing a linear platformer, but will expand afterwards.
  • Started creating some animations for when you reach the end of the level. Currently struggling with animations and scripts for them, though
  • Cut the boss fight because it was not fun content
  • Wrote music for several parts of the game. I just need to record myself performing it

To do

  • Sculpt the level(s)
  • Record the music
  • Figure out the animations for reaching the end of the level
  • Finish replacing the level select placeholders with proper in game assets

I've had to cut a bit just for time's sake, but I plan on making this into a bigger project. I just really like the name and feel and would like to turn it into a game I'm proud of.


I need to find a better color for the background so that it contrasts with the clouds, player character and maybe the UI more. But I can always edit the UI.
Ultimately, I'd like a parallax background, but I think that will remain out of reach for this project.

Feedback is appreciated if anyone has any ideas!

It's all levels and art for now! There will ultimately be more things added, but I feel like I shot too high for two weeks for my first game. So the gamjam version will be a platformer. Currently trying to focus on the core mechanics and game feel! Here's a portal eye thing I just animated.

Pretty bummed out, I haven't been able to work on the game due to real life things. In order to have something for people to play I'll try to get a decent enough level out, and some music I wrote recorded. I don't know that I have a very interesting mechanic, because right now it's just jump on stuff. I'd like to find something a bit more compelling than that, but I'm drawing a blank. Games are very fun, but very hard. I don't know how people end up making a playable game in the 48 and 72 hour jams. Especially one man teams, like myself.

Alright! Whateverday today is!

  • Level one is about fairly completed!

Tomorrow!

  • Finish level one!
  • Do some stuff for the Hub!

Day after that!

  • Record and put in music!

After that I'll probably turn in what I have. Please give me your feedback when I do! The more the better! I plan on adding two more levels/worlds, a bit of narrative and a climbing mechanic/run and jump mechanic of some sort after the GameJam, and having a proper game, but I need it to be as good as I can get for a first proper game! Anything you think could be improved, Music, Controls, art, level design, game feel and what theylack/how they can be improved would be greatly appreciated!

I'm pretty excited to get even a messy nasty prototype out there because I think the feedback will be invaluable! I will also move my Devlog to my own page instead of the community forum for this jam, so follow me if you're interested or would be willing to offer advice!