Thanks for playing, glad the options were helpful :)
Auroriax (Tom H.)
Recent community posts
Thanks for playing & recommending! Sadly, I don't think an extended edition or sequel is going to happen, as I really want to make a completely new game next. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
What's your screen's resolution? You could try setting screen scale to 1x or full screen in the settings menu of the desktop versions, or activate the fullscreen mode of your browser (press [F11] in Chrome or Firefox).
Seems the button mappings are not set correctly! I broke that in the latest update, oops. Try pressing [F12] two times on the title screen, this should reset the default keybindings until I fix it.
Edit: Should be fixed now. If it doesn't work yet, the aforementioned trick still works.
I don't own a mac OS device I need to make a mac version, but I'll try to lend one from my friends soon. It could take a while, though! Feel free to check out the browser version in the meantime.
Mobility, after two years of development has finally been released! You can get it here.
Luke Steinmann made some fantastic music for this game, and it even supports soundtrack switching! You can grab it on https://lukesteinmann.bandcamp.com/releases as a pay-what-you-want soundtrack.
Although I'm mostly done with the development of the game, if there's enough interest I'd like some help to translate the game into multiple languages. I will need to put in some effort to implement that into the game, and translate the game into Dutch myself, so I'll only do it if I can add at least two other new languages. I'm not sure if I can support non-latin languages or right-to-left ones, but I'll look into that if you email me. The story of the game has about 3300 words of text, and if you add all interface text, I predict the game has about 3800 words in English.
If you're interested in volunteering, write to with:
- Your motivation
- What language you want to translate the game in and your proficiency with that language
- If you know someone who is willing to double check & edit your translation
- And what kind of tools would be helpful for you to help streamline the translation process.
Mobility has some cheats! I've already given out some hints in some channels. There's one hidden in the trailer somewhere, and another in the release email I sent out. You can enter cheats by pressing [Tab] on the title screen, and then entering the code. A little sound will play if the code is accepted. Good luck with discovering the codes!
Mobility was my attempt to take an existing game genre and make it accessible to people who don't play those games a lot. Next time, I think I'll design a game for that audience right off the bat. I don't think I'll spend another two years making my next game, so I'll be making a lot of smaller and more experimental games from now on.
That said, I do think making Mobility was an excellent journey. It is my most polished game so far, has a complete original soundtrack, with the development process recorded in the devlog, and I met most of my goals I set for this project. One more goal I still need to achieve is to make the actual release of the game a success, so please help me by sharing the game with people who might be interested in it.
Thank you so much for reading, and enjoy the game!
Hey! You might've seen this game from time to time on the devlog subforum, but after two years of development, it's finally released!
I love precision platformers, but they've always been really difficult. Mobility is my attempt to make the genre more accessible, with different difficulty settings, accessibility options, and a browser version. (Die-hard fans, though, can also ignore all that and just play everything on the highest difficulty. Your choice!)
You can play or download it on https://auroriax.itch.io/mobility.
It's finally happening on the 17th this month!
You'll be able to play the game within a few days from the moment I'm writing this. I'm super glad to finally have finished the game, and can't wait to see your reactions!
If you want to help me to make the game a success, consider supporting my Daycause. If you join, you'll be able to compose a message that gets sent out on your social media the moment the game releases. If you'd like to help the game to gain some exposure, you can help me here!
I can confirm that it'll have Windows, Linux (Ubuntu) and Browser versions on day one. See you then!
I'm not putting the game behind a paywall to make it as accessible as possible. I am enabling pay-what-you-want, though, so players are still heavily encouraged to make a donation, because I put in a lot of work (most of my free time from the past two years) and would appreciate it if people sustained the effort. I'm looking into providing some kind of goodie for players that donate, but no details on that yet.
Here's one of the last devlog posts of the year, and—if all goes well—the last devlog before the game releases.
Some say that the last 10% of work on a project is actually another 90%. Another saying goes that a game is never finished, just in a good enough state to ship. Both of these are true for me on this project—as much as I've liked to work on Mobility, I'm glad to move onto something else after it is wrapped up, and improve my planning so it won't take two more years before you can play my next game.
Let's get to the good part, shall we?
At the very last moment, I'm creating some new levels to improve the variety a bit. Take a look:
I added a new difficulty setting called Growth. It's like Vanish, except the block will turn into a hazard after it has been stepped on. It will also slowly but surely grow in size—if you don't hurry, passage might be blocked off later.
I playtested the game previously with some players who thought Contact was too easy, but Vanish was a bit too hard in some cases, and wanted an in-between setting. Now Growth is the new extreme, and Vanish becomes the new in-between option. This might seem like a stupid solution that doesn't solve this particular issue, but don't forget everything is relative—the mere existence of Growth makes Vanish look less intimidating.
Currently I'm putting the final touches to the game's dialog. That means I'm doing spell check, trimming texts to remove unnecessary words, and changing word use in some places (I have a tendency to use words that are more fancy than is necessary).
Problem: The game's dialog is scattered all throughout the game code. If you want to change one character of dialog, you have find that, and to change another, go to a completely different place. So I made a sheet that contains all of the dialog. It took some time to find everything in the game code and paste that in there. But now, at least I can change stuff quickly.
But then how do you get that dialog back into the game? I based my method loosely as described in this Gamasutra article, and made a function that can export all strings as Game Maker code which I can paste into the project.
This had three big benefits: - I now know how many strings, words and characters the game contains, and judge how much work it would be to translate the game in another language. - I can use spellcheck to fix the last few typos that remain in the game's story dialog. (I found three of them, so it was totally worth it.) - All of the game's text is in one place that can easily be searched and then exported to a format the game can read.
And for the record: the story of Mobility has 3400 words, nearly 20000 characters, and consists of 57 individual conversations. And that's only all of the dialog, without counting all other text in the interface.
I'm also working on a game trailer for Mobility. More on that in the next devlog when I can actually show you the trailer, but here's my timeline for it so far.
Here's what I'm guessing will be one of the last devlogs before the game releases! I forgot if I wrote about this last time, but my goal is to finish the game by the end of the year, allowing me to polish and release it early next year.
So here's my progress!
The default resolution of Mobility used to be 512x384. That's a strange setting, and I'm not really sure why I originally chose it. I finally got around to changing it to 640 x 360.
This caused a bunch of issues-- for example, you could see some areas of the overworld rooms not being tiled because they weren't supposed to be seen before. UI elements that weren't anchored correctly were now misplaced, as well. Luckily, these problems were both quite easy to fix, and now, Mobility has pixel perfect scaling when set to full screen on a 1920x1080 monitor.
Especially very horizontal rooms like this one on the Starii now look quite nice.
The final boss
As I predicted, it took a long time to get this baby to work. But it's almost there. And I do think it was worth my time to build it.
The boss now has a shield, which can only be de-activated when the player activates all blocks. So now it's more like a normal, though slightly longer level, but this works pretty well.
I'm still putting in the final touches, but I'm really happy with it so far. While the boss is quite easy on some difficulty levels, I'm also considering building in a function to skip the boss for people who don't or can't deal with the boss, and allow them to see the ending as well.
Also check out the thunder effect on the boss shield and arena borders, which I'm generating entirely from code:
Something I've wanted to do for quite some time was to integrate OpenDyslexic as font for the dialog boxes in Mobility. I already had a system where you could set the dialog font, so I just had to download OpenDyslexic, install it, add the font in Game Maker, add it to my font selector, and list it in the credits. It was a really easy inclusion that I hope some players will benefit from.
This particular character will tell you about your statistics at the end of the game. I'm super interested in seeing what kind of stats people get at the end of the game!
I'm currently working on my very final task list with features that will need to be in at the release of the game. Huge remaining tasks are programming in the game's ending, finishing the final boss, adding a save system, polishing the game, bug testing, and making a trailer for the game's release. I've decided not to do leaderboards at the moment, since it would take me a lot more time to ensure these work and replays can also be uploaded and played back. Let's see if I can get most of that done by the end of the year. Thanks for reading!
A lot of things have happened since I wrote last month, so lets get to it!
New promotional art
So I've been working on some banner art and some other goodies. I already uploaded it to most portals I'm hosting the devlog on, so you might've already seen it.
This uses an isometric style that I really like using, and neatly fits the overall very minimalist style of the game. I'm also preparing this artwork, which is the sprite of the main character using other sprites as building blocks:
I had two more people playtest Mobility in the meanwhile. I had them play through the entirety of the game, with exception of the final boss (who was not finished yet). The results were very interesting.
One of the things I spotted was that nobody used the backflip, a move in the game that allows you to do a higher jump by jumping while crouching and standing still. Reasons for this are that the move is never explained in the game, and is also never really necessary to complete levels, unlike the long jump for example. This is why I decided to remove the backflip from the game completely. A bit harsh, perhaps, but I was thinking for longer about doing this, and from what I've seen, nobody is bothered by the lack of the move. I still need to adjust some levels slightly to compensate, but overall this removal has a positive impact on gameplay.
Another change that I was experimenting with was a progress bar. It fills up for every block you activate, and is full when the level is completed. It didn't really work in that state since, once again, nobody noticed its existence. So I changed my approach slightly: when you've almost activated all blocks, a little text pops out of them saying '3 more!', indicating the amount of platforms yet to activate. I haven't tested it yet, but I feel it works pretty well so far. This also avoids the scenario where the players has completed the level, but has skipped some blocks by accident, and this new feature will alert them in time.
Some people even thought the game was too easy, and I'm experimenting with a new difficulty mode specially for them. It is currently named 'Growth', and is simillar to Vanish, except once the blocks disappear after being activated, they turn into slowly growing spikes. Not really sure if I want to have this in the final game yet, but it is already pretty frantic and could be a nice 'secret' mode.
There where other items as well, but these were mostly just small topics. Playtesting can be super interesting, and the only way to discover problems like these. I'm currently preparing a post about playtesting for beginners on my blog, so please look forward to that!
Mobility has had support for multiple playable characters for a very long time, but has always been an afterthought. I want to keep the game as accessible as possible, so you don't have to complete every level in the game to be able to reach the ending. Nonetheless, a lot of players still do this, but weren't really rewarded for it-- which is where I'm re-introducing the playable characters as unlockables.
The Scarf Cat and toast character I introduced in last month's post
are unlockable, the other two characters will be implemented later.
Characters will not differ gameplay-wise, because that's too much
trouble for me to implement.
Final boss upgrade
For the first time in quite a while, I've made some progress on the final boss! Under more, the aiming bugs are fixed, and I'm building a new arena to do battle in. The current arena is kind of empty and pretty dull, but I'm thinking of keeping it as the intro of the boss fight to help teach the mechanics.
The room is now a tighter space, and there are normal blocks in the middle. I'm thinking of giving the boss a spike shield, which the players can disarm by activating all blocks. I'll also add some new attacks to replace the flailing arm one in this level.
After the final boss is finished, I'll start polishing it until about the end of the year. I'm not sure if the game will release this year (a December launch period will be very risky, even for a free game-- I'd rather wait until Jan or Feb), but at the very least I'll attempt to finish it this year. Thanks for reading!
Another Mobility devlog is here!
Wrapping up the story
This chapter has some spoilers for the game's ending.
An state-of-the-art story was not my goal for Mobility-- as long as the motivation to continue playing is there, and the gameplay metaphors are decent, it is sufficient. (I'd really to dive deeper into story on a future project, though!)
One thing that did bother me was that that most of my games ended rather suddenly or in an anti-climax. That's one of the reasons I'm building a final boss for this game-- to help round the game off better. But there needs to be a bit of story behind that boss as well, as well as the ending of the story once it is defeated.
Introducing Star Fix. This company directly competes with the Mobility, while also sabotaging all of the spaceships you were sent out to fix! In the final chapter, the Star Fix CEO kidnaps the crew of your home base, and you need to go to the Star Fix Headquarters to save them.
The demolished home base, The Beginning, after the attack
On the headquarters, the goal is not to repair the ship, but to
sabotage it to gain access to the boss chamber. While the gameplay is
the same, platforms will start off in their black 'activated' state and
deactivate when hit, which I thought was a nice detail. Doing so will
give the player access to the center of the ship where the CEO is
The door for the final boss room has a fancy animation to help build up the climax a bit.
But then, how does the story end after the boss fight? I had already written up some diary entries the CEO is supposed to have written, and scattered then around the headquarters. In them, the CEO describes that the sabotage plan was actually an attempt to increase profits, but in the further stages of the plan it seems that Star Fix is actually nearing bankruptcy. Once you enter the boss room and enter dialog with the CEO, he just got word of the bankruptcy, and decides to direct his anger towards you.
I'm currently writing an happy ending for the story. It would seem too easy (for me, as a story writer) to have the main character pull out some fists and punch the boss through the window into space, but that would be much to cheap, and contrasts the rest of the story too much. Instead, I'm considering having the boss tell a little bit about how he became head of the organization, and then rebuild Star Fix to cooperate with the Mobility instead of working against it, which seems like a fitting ending.
I'm still decorating the final spaceship, but I've gotten these fancy bubbles to work.
One final note: did you notice you'll get to fight an actual *company* boss in this game! A fitting last joke for a game filled with silly NPC humor and dodgy use of Latin for level names.
Man, I discovered quite some bugs the past week.. Most of these were game-breaking, even! I'm not going to explain how I fixed them (my code's a bit too messy for that, sadly), but you might find it interesting regardless.
First off, if you finished the level and got hit by a spike on the same frame, the game would count it as a victory and record your high score, but would reset the level instead of showing the replay. Another one I found was that you could still jump when you get hit by a spike. Normally, the game transports you back to the last checkpoint in just a few frames, but the jump sound effect would still play, making it awkward. There even was a crashing bug! This had to do with the replay array not being correctly initialized upon level load, causing the first frame of the replay to be missing when it was played, causing the game to break down.
Another really weird one caused all grind rails to count as activated platform every minute or so when the level was played on the Vanish difficulty, causing you to either finish the level within three seconds, or being unable to finish it at all, even after activating all blocks. Even better, this bug could've been in the game for a few months without being spotted at all.
It's a good thing I've found and fixed all of these, because these would be frustrating or even game-breaking to encounter normally. Morale: I (and you too, probably!) should take bug testing more seriously.
After the final ship is done and the boss can be defeated, I'm going to do another round of playtests which will hopefully result in the final list of desired tweaks for the game. I'm also developing some prototypes to see which project I could develop after Mobility is finished.
I'd really like to restate how much work has gone into this (seemingly simple) game. It's been almost two years since development started, the longest I've ever spent on a single game, and it's mostly been just me for that time! Please, do not underestimate the time developers put into making the games you like.
Thank you. I'm going to continue tinkering at the game! See you later--
The eventual goal is to have the game playable in the browser! While my priority is the Windows version, a browser version is something I can and very likely will make. Though it'll take some more time because I need to fix some browser specific bugs.
The final boss of the game is quite a handful of work. I was already expecting that (see my last devlog post for details) but it was still surprising how long it's taking me! The only thing I've really achieved so far is to get initial versions of all attacks implemented into the game. But they're all pretty cool, so take a look!
Throwing arm attack
The basic idea behind the boss is that it's a big robot with deadly arms. The arms are the main way the robot attacks the player, and I can control both of them individually. So I made an attack where the arms are launched in the direction of the player. I had some trouble to get the homing of the arms work in a way that works and feels fair. The way I did it was to add a warning sign where the arm shakes and turns into the direction of the player, so the players know in advance that they need to dodge an arm.
This is currently also the attack that leaves the final boss most vulnerable. The boss can be damaged by jumping on it from the top or hitting its left or right side, just like every other platform in the game. (This does not yet work in all difficulty settings, but I'll fix that later.) That way, I barely have to program any logic regarding damaging the boss-- I just need to make sure it recovers to an inactivate state a few seconds afterwards.
The boss swings its arms around itself while moving in the direction of the player. Very simple and effective. Since the boss moves quite fast, this is the perfect attack to wall jump upwards to dodge the attack and then fall down to hit the boss on its head. Very hard to dodge if you're close to it, so once you see the arms start moving slowly, prepare to run away.
Once the boss is hit, it will recoil by doing a variation of this attack while standing still. The arms will also rotate into a slightly different direction. This forces the player to retreat, after which the boss will fully recover and can be damaged again.
The bot flips up in the air (diagonally, targeting the player if possible), hangs there, shakes, and falls down. It will keep his arms above his head, so if players happen to be below the bot when it falls down, they'll be crushed instantly.
So what's next?
I'm actually quite happy about these attacks. Currently, I need to make these attacks feel fair and leave good weak spots on the final boss. Then, I'll implement health for the boss, and maybe a final state. This is what I was thinking of in regards to the final phase (a very quick prototype, please don't mind the inaccuracies):
But I still have to see it that actually makes it into the game...
I made a logo for the Star Fix, making a rather literal representation of the companies' name, and animated it like a shady neon sign.
Also, Unidrax (who helps building levels and the spaceships from time to time) found a sprite for a toast NPC I made a while back as a joke, and turned it into a playable character!
Hah, the old man gets his fifteen minutes of fame. Now we only need the gibberish 'hints' he is famous for.
Ricocheting arrows off your sword is a quite fun interaction, although a bit overpowered. Slashing in the direction of the mouse cursor could feel better, since the camera doesn't keep the guy in the middle of the screen like a twin stick shooter. I liked it, the art and animations were also pretty nice.
Nice job! It's a nice and simple game, and the help screen is informative. The A, B and Shift control sceme forces my hand into a very unnatural position, so please look into providing an alternative. Also, a bit of spicing up in the enemy types wouldn't hurt to keep things interesting.
The A & B control scheme forces my left hand into a very unnatural position, it's not really comfy.
That said, I liked the obvious inspirations (Rougelight and FEZ) and just wandering around (although I was often lost and not really sure how to find what I was looking for), like others have said, some atmospheric music would really top it off.
The most prominent thing I've been doing since last time is making the final boss! But first, let's talk about the final ship in the game.
So basically the Star Fix (by far the best/worst pun we've come up with yet) is an evil, greedy corporation, and they're also competing with the Mobility. I'm sure there's a good reason you would want to travel here during your training, right?
I can at least tell you that you're going there to defeat a boss!
Here are a few reasons why I've never created a boss before!
- It takes a bunch of time to create and polish such a boss. Time you could've spent on actually making the rest of the game, which more players are likely to experience, more fun.
- If you're making a game where your character has no access to any offensive moves (read: most of my past games), actually battling a boss becomes kinda hard. You need to create new mechanics in order to make that work. Introducing new mechanics at a final boss is a no go for several reasons.
- You need to make a bunch of moves for that boss that feel fair, don't glitch the game out and can also be changed up so the boss becomes harder to damage the closer it is to defeat.
Here's why I am making one for Mobility:
- I just want to try it out at least once. I've got good base ingredients to make a boss with this set of mechanics.
- Most of my previous games kinda ended with an anticlimax (e.g. without warning, the game is suddenly over). Since this game has a little amount of story, I do want to wrap it up nicely by building up to the climax nicely.
So let's make a final boss! It looks like the main character, but it's a lot bigger, black and also a robot.
So the boss is basically a moving platform. It has some arms that snap to its body. The arms are deadly, and you need to avoid them to reach the robot and touch to deactivate it, like most other platforms from the game. Then, it'll reactivate itself a couple of times until it's defeated.
You can touch its body (I think I'll replace the big arms with circle saws later) to deal damage to it. Which means that, most of the time, you will be jumping on its head for damage.
There were a lot of funny accidents while programming the boss.
Getting the robot to move right was kinda difficult. It kinda looks like it's dancing...
That's it for now, but you will definitely see more shenanigans from our little big robot friend.
Just a heads up that I'll also be keeping the devlog on it's dedicated itch.io page! If that's more comfy to follow for you, go for it. I'll also be keeping this thread up to date to make sure that, when development on this game is finished, this thread becomes the most complete development documentation for any game I've developed thus far. Thanks for staying with me thus far, and let's complete this game-- the finish line is slowly but surely coming in sight!
I do love running for short times in some time chasing games, but I
often stumble with the problem that players aren't really motivated
enough via the game to do this. Leaderboards aren't really enough
motivation for me, personally.
So I've been making a little timer. If you complete the game, each
spaceship will get a timer that shows the completion times of all levels
on that ship added up. It takes the time of the highest difficulty
you've beaten it on, and adds a few minutes penalty if you beat if you
beat it on a lower difficulty to give incentive to complete the level on
the highest one.
If your time is under a certain par score, you are awarded a medal.
And maybe you can also unlock some super secret stuff with medals? That
would be really cool, now wouldn't it?
Here's the fastest time I could get on the Arrowhead:
Since this game uses both very light and dark background colors, and
interface elements in this game are often either partially or entirely
transparent, it can be quite difficult to put text on the screen that
looks nice with both light and dark backgrounds. This made some text
quite hard to read in some circumstances. I already tried things like
text shadows and changing the text color depending on the background
color, but those were only ban-aid solutions, really.
Then, I got the idea to try text outlines. This is a good way to
combat the contrast problem, since if you aren't able to see the
outline, you are able to see the text inside it, and vice versa. The
problem is that Game Maker doesn't support text outline out of the box,
so I made a script that draws the text eight times, each time offsetting
it by a single pixel from the origin point on both the x and y axis. It
looks strange if used by itself, but by drawing the normal text on top
of that, we get the intended effect. It also fits really well with the
very little colors that the game uses.
If you put the transparency a bit lower, it also generates a subtile glow effect, which looks really neat on door tags:
I had one particular playtest where the player avoided the checkpoints. Curiously, I asked why. The conclusion was that they compared them to the circle saws, the main hazard in this game, and saw the (round) checkpoints as a similar obstacle.
For those unfamiliar, this is called a false affordance: basically, it means that an object or function is different that what the player thinks it's intended for. This is because the shape doesn't obviously imply the function, or in this case, the users compare something that they saw earlier. This can create quite troubling situations that can significantly impact player feel: in this case, the player missed the checkpoints, making the game significantly more difficult.
So to make a long story short-- checkpoints are diamond-shaped now. I haven't tested it it solves the issue, but I hope it's better than before. I also added a sound effect that plays when it activates, so now almost every important action in the game has an accompanying sound effect.
So this game does have an original soundtrack, actually! Haven't shown too much of that yet, but I might do that in a later log post. But it's good enough to warrant it's own Sound Test in the game. Here's how it looks:
Not sure if I'm overdoing it with the rotating spaceships on the background, but it looks pretty cool.
We're putting together the last spaceship of the game together currently! I bet I'll have some pics for that next time. See ya!
Tweaking grind rail physics
Multiple testers ran into this problem, so I tweaked it so it feels more natural to use. Once you landed on the grind rails, you could no longer steer yourself, but you could gain speed by crouching when going down, or jump of and gain air control. That appeared to be unintuitive for my testers, so now I'm allowing players to control their speed directly by pressing left and right. You still have less control compared to walking, but it's better.
Another thing is that the game allows players to jump for a short while after falling off a platform. I disabled that on grind rails, because it would allow players to do a special jump (long jump, backflip) shortly after falling off. However, it was a noticeable user experience flaw, so I fixed that as well. Now, jumping off the tip of a grind rail is significantly more satisfying.
Also, boosters now also work properly, allowing the player to achieve ridiculous speeds in some levels!
When thinking about making a trailer for Mobility, I was thinking of making the audio a bit more impressive. Thus, I added some extra sound effects! Now there's a little pop when you activate a platform, a sound effect that plays when you complete playing a level, and when a block vanishes in the highest difficulty of the game.
Now I'm not really sure whether the game has too much sound effects playing at the same time, overloading the soundscape. A tool I'm using to prevent sounds from getting too stale, is changing the pitch of the effect each time it plays. That works pretty well, but if I add any more sounds I need to find an extra way to prevent audio from getting annoying.
If you want an example, here's when an error with the sound with the default Windows 'Ding' sound played in various pitches instead of the intended sound effect.
New difficulty selection
I've redesigned the difficulty selection a few times in the development of the game, and now I had to do it again so I could include leaderboards.
If I really want to allow for a competitive experience, the leaderboards need to be presented as up-front as possible. In most highscore chasing games, you need to go into another menu to display the scores which I think makes it pretty hard for players to have a clear view of the scores.
Similarly, I think just displaying the top 10 scores doesn't show enough about what's happening on the leaderboards. I'd rather have a more complete overview, so I'm using the Fibonacci sequence to show ten score points from all across the top 100 to give a better impression of the entire leaderboard. I'm not yet sure whether this is comfy once I start integrating it with the GameJolt API, but I'm keeping it for now.
Previously, you selected your preferred difficulty before the level loaded. Now, you do it when you're already inside the level, to allow you to hover over the leaderboard and look at the replays in the list! It's a pretty neat feature that I might expand later to allow ghost races or something.
That's it for now! One last thing-- I updated the Mobility website to include a form where you can sign up to my release mailing! If you want to get an email when the game comes out, head over to http://mobility.auroriax.com
Here are some new things I've been working on. Might seem a bit little, but I've been busy with other stuff as well-- including Zelda. Enjoy!
This will sadly only work in the Windows version, but it works wonders. You can also remap the controller just like the keypad, or disable it and use joy2key instead.
Game Maker's support for gamepads is really limited. There were a lot of strange issues and limitations that I had to write my own code to recognize when buttons are pressed or released, and to keep the lag down. (Doing a lot of calls to the joystick destroys the frame rate for some reason.)
Not only that, but there's also the issue that the state of a joystick button can change in the middle of the step. So the game could think a button is pressed in the beginning of the step, yet when checking later near the end of the step, the button seems to have been unpressed. My replay recording system did not account for this, which caused it to break.
To top it off, I had to write my own alternative of io_clear to work with controllers as well. I normally use io_clear when opening a menu, it makes sure that the same button press can't both open the menu and select an item on that menu in the same frame. There's no equivalent for io_clear for joysticks, so I implemented it into my own button pressed & released system.
Recently, I started a playtesting group and had some of my friends and peers join in. Recently, I sent out a build of Mobility via there. For playtesting, I ask players to set up OBS to record gameplay footage, record their playthrough, then using WeTransfer to get the video file back to me.
I've been watching a lot of GDC talks lately, and one that jumped out was a talk from Adriaan, who made Hidden Folks, explaining his playtesting procedures (http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024132/Playtesting-A...). A lot of points hit home for me, in particular watching people play instead of making them, say, fill out large forms, or instead of taking their suggestions literally, took at the reason why they're giving that feedback and solve the core issue.
There are quite a few points of interest these tests brought up. Like, everyone immediately understands that you have to activate all blocks to complete the level, with little explanation. It also clearly shows the less effective things, like players not knowing they can do certain actions they need in the later levels of the game, like long jumping, restarting, or opening the map.
To counter this particular problem, I redesigned the tutorial to explain the extra jumps you can do. It now explains backflipping, long jumping, and double jumping up front. I explain these by drawing arrows showing off the intended movement that the player should mirror to pull it off. Some other rooms on the same ship have also gotten a light redesign.
And this is the stuff I'll be focusing on in the coming weeks or so.
Slowly but surely I'm beginning to see the end of this game's development! The most important bit of work left to do is to create the last world of the game. My past games didn't really work towards an epic climax, so I'm planning to amend that with this game.
I really want to have a nice trailer for Mobility. The current plan is to create a little teaser trailer sometime soon, then make the full trailer once the game's near finished.
I've created one other trailer for my games so far: Hexaria. Looking back to it, it's kinda bad. It doesn't really have clear goal the trailer tries to show, and doesn't explain gameplay well enough to interest people. I'm planning to invest a lot of time on this, and I'm planning to make the teaser once I've included some small fixes.
I'm planning to add a little achievement system in for players who completed the game and would like to invest some extra time into getting better and higher scores. The way I'm conceiving it now is that players can 'overclock' spaceships, where your score on all levels on the ship is combined into a cumulative counter and you need to bring that down to make the spaceship faster. And maybe, if you do well enough, you can unlock an extra difficult bonus challenge!
To end for today, here's a gif from the updated pause screen:
Getting Mobility working in a browser has always been a bit of a stretch goal for me. I use Game Maker Studio, but the code the HTML5 compiler generates is really hard to debug, and error messages are really hard to make sense of. Usually it just then boils down to which objects are in the room, removing those until I find the one that causes it to break, and then removing/commenting scripts on that object until things no longer break.
But in my last attempt, I pushed through instead of giving up. The previously game-breaking bug seemed unsolvable during my previous attempts, but it was really just a few lines of script messing it up. So I finally managed to get it to work.
I also think I've made the first browser game to feature remap-able keys! (When I was looking at itch to see whether games featuring both already existed, I was reminded that my own game Box Kickers X does. I totally forgot about that...)
In other news, I've been updating some UI. Here's the brand new completion overview:
The goal was a completion overview like available in modern Mario games, where you can easily see everything you've done up to this point, and anything you might have missed. It shows all level names, sorted by the spaceship you can find them in, as well as a summarized completion time. I also included a debug feature which allows me to randomly populate the highscores to see if this menu can handle it. There are some things I do not yet like about it, like the calculation of the 'Total' time, which takes the time from the highest difficulty you beat a level on, and then adds those times of all levels together. So I want to introduce some kind of time penalty for that, but I'm not really sure how that's going to work yet.
And I've also given the minimaps a slight facelift.
Every map is aligned neatly now. Spacing could still use a bit of work. I've removed the time from this overview, but since you can open the score overview with just a single button press from here, you can use that instead. The white colors on the lines and text work better on dark backgrounds, but lesser on white backgrounds, so I'm thinking of making the label white or black depending on how dark the background is.
I've also been implementing a feature where players can submit feedback to me while still in the game. I need the feedback, because I want to make this my best freaking game ever. Here it is, really simple, and not really polished, but it's functionality is sufficient. It also sends a few bits of metadata like the date, version number, which difficulties/modes the player has been playing and his cumulative amount of time. I'm planning to make it pop up after completing the first world in the game in the alpha version of the game I'm sending to testers soon.
Finally, I released a blog post recently about making your UI flow as silky smooth as possible, and I'm using Mobility as an example of how I have done it and why. I'll likely go more in depth on this in the future.