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Locomule

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A member registered Sep 21, 2017 · View creator page →

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(19 edits)

Greets and thanks for stopping by! I am new at Itch.io but have been making games with Scratch for 8 years. Development is fast with Scratch, so I picked the best of several recent game ideas to use for my first development blog. Please follow along and share your comments, suggestions, etc as I turn this already fun stub into a full-fledged, awesome game.

Ideas and To Dos.. ****new MUST DO*** replace all images with voxel versions (in progress)

  1. add player facing left, auto turn right and left scroll if no player input, and fall (game over) if too far to left of screen
  2. stop and optimize everything :)
  3. better startup screen
  4. finish placeholder image replacement and start working on animations
  5. rotating sun in background?
  6. more music (my music)
  7. polyphony sounds/ play sounds when sprites enter screen, or specials like hulk toss
  8.  different levels with graphic themes (night time w/ fireworks, slippery winter, superhero catching bad guys level, Denver) unlockable after cumulative point score
  9.  alternate objects - bicycle / motorcycle / bus / cop car with flashing light / bench / bus stop / food cart / cat / low brick wall/scooter rider / garden planter / bushes / power pole / super fast train / coke machine / snack machine
  10. fence / animated fountain / One Way sign
  11. bus drops off player at beginning of run
  12. bird in trees can be scared away for extra points, similar etc
  13. 1st reaper turns you into ghost until.. ?(alters your look and movement) 2nd reaper ends your run
  14. dog reverses direction when you land on it (maybe special dog wearing collar?)
  15. parkour flip moves / wall bounce /2 and 3 object combos
  16. story mode
  17. longest time off ground score at end of run
  18. permanent high-score list with initials save (or Scratch name for Scratchers)
  19. money system to buy powerups at store (coins, % of run score, both?)
  20. buyable powerups - better jumping / double jump / fall through / faster speed / pet / no landing on mountains / more low objects, less high
  21. on-screen powerups - score x2, x3 / bonus time / wings
  22. achievements - hulk tossed to rainbow / score XXk points, become ghost, then human twice in one run / airtimes (no ground) / object combos
  23. unlockable players - skater with skate tricks (or skateboard as on screen powerup?) / hero (can accumulate powerups) / grim reaper (collect pedestrian souls for bonus) / graffiti artist (tags buildings, signs, etc for bonus points)
  24. really slow background parallax
  25. credits screen for Scratch and music


Changelog:

30 Oct 2017 - linked project and started this dev blog

31 Oct - I was making new .svg images to replace my placeholders but was also learning to use MagicaVoxel.. and now I'm modeling new images as voxels :) I had no choice, I tried a mountain and it looked so good in game! This is going to raise the quality of the entire project up a few notches. Since my game is actually hosted at MIT, all changes are live instantly, so play a round every once in a while to see what new models have made it in so far. And I definitely recommend MagicVoxel for freeware voxel editing. I had to dig through various github pages, Youtube videos, etc to really get some of the more advanced controls under mental wraps, but it is easy to learn and a blast to play with.

1 Nov - Yesterday was fun but long, making voxel models to replace the .svg images. Since they are 3D and must be rendered, the render lighting changes the model's final colors. I may end up trying a few versions. I'm also considering animating the player. The big news is that I was going to wait until I finished adding new images before advancing the project version count but this morning I awoke to an idea for fixing the sprite depth layering, and it worked. Now they layer according to height. Tall, thin objects still look kinda weird going behind short, wide objects. Oh well, looks like another long day of voxel modeling. Hopefully, I can finish them all today., ..but I doubt it. I decided upon a better lighting solution and more oblique voxel angle to enhance the 3D look of the sprites, otherwise it is a lot of work for very little return. Of course, that means re-rendering and resizing all my costumes from yesterday, but it will be worth it. I'm pulling out all the stops on this game. At least they are already modeled, although the car isn't final yet.

4 Nov - Almost finished with the new 3D models. Next up, animation and adding the first level change. I spent the last few days learning my voxel editor, MagicaVoxel. I can't recommend it enough, get it while it is still free! https://voxel.codeplex.com/

6 Nov- Added long-overdue restart functionality via an ugly button. I'll fix it once I have all the buttons added, still have a ways to go. The two things I'd like to work on next are animating the player and adding levels. But as a kind reviewer at Scratch pointed out, it really needs a tutorial on the scoring system, which seems to make perfect sense until I try to explain it, lol. Which makes me think I might need to change it. Currently, it has a constant scoring system with the amount determined by the last object you touched. Harder to parkour objects (low objects, people, car and dog) are worth the most points, the rainbow only scores +1 point, and the mountains actually cost -1 point. The ground is deadly at -100, so if you have to touch it, you want to be jumping immediately onto anything else, or your score will begin to plummet. Whenever you land on a new scoring object, the value of that object will flash by quickly. 
I suppose a simpler version would be to remove the constant factor and make it o you only score once per object. The difference in gameplay woul be that currently, you want to try to stay on high scoring objects as long as possible whereas with the revised system, it would only matter where you jump, slightly decreasing the strategy involved. I plan a skateboard level or powerup, maybe the current constant scoring system would be better adapted to pulling tricks like grinds while skating? Parkour moves?

7 Nov - Yay, new version number! Headed towards 1.0, which for me will mean the game structure is finalized, I can start inviting beta testers and applying the final tweaks. Can't wait to get there! Anyway, the updated version is because I am changing the scoring, as mentioned yesterday. Now you just score once when landing on an object rather than using the old constant scoring method. Most noticeably, scores are waaay lower but this also changes best play strategy.
Previously, you wanted to land on a high scoring object and stay on it as long as you could, which didn't exactly sound "parkour" to me. Now your best strategy is to jump to as many high scoring objects as you can, even back and forth if possible. Definitely more "parkour" but some of the chill aspect of game play is gone as now you must act and react quicker and more often. I had been using a dumb jump (fixed amount) with plans for unlockable players and powerups for improved jumping abilities. One player finally asked for the ability to jump down which I'd also plan to make unlockable. Now, however, with improved mobility a must, I think I am going to make the standard jump vary in strength according to player key press. The dumb jump is a rocky road anyway as a basic game dev rule is don't ramp difficulty via poor controls. I think in a minimalistic game, it often works, but as this game becomes more complex, it works less and less.
Oh yeah, the decreased scoring will actually work well because I will turn your "score" into "$" you can spend at the Jump store. I guess now that I'm "going off Scratch" here at Itch.io, I can no longer incorporate trademarked images like Hulk and David Lee Roth in his warpaint running the Jump parkour store, so variations will be forthcoming.

Thanks for replying! Yes, you often want to use a subset of a complete tileset, or an altered set, etc. I am demonstrating full tilesets here. Also, these are called Edge Tiles as they match at edges but there other types, such as Corner Tiles. They will all have varying degrees of usefulness, but I think the underlying concept is handy for any game dev to know. I'm working on a stylized,  overhead, space smuggler/shooter this morning with a key feature of being able to zoom out for travel, battles, etc, or zoom in for ship repairs, to dislodge aliens, etc. How cool would it be if when you get to a planet, you have to go down to the surface. I could use Wang Tiles to generate terrain as you fly cross the surface to your destination, then switch to a platformer style once you are on the ground.
Also, I replied with a message on your Scratch profile, asking if you'd like to co-ordinate on a project via my Discord server but you didn't respond, so I'm guessing you didn't see it? Sorry I was so slow here, I'm not on here much unless doing a game jam or publishing something. I have done several cool projects lately but have shared few at Scratch.

Very nice work, I definitely need to go through and check out more of your stuff.

Awesome, thanks! This was my first jam after 8 years of using Scratch. I'm leading a small Scratch revolution this way so lock up your valuables and stuff! ;) I am downloading your video now and will share the link in our new Scratch Discord server and everywhere else I can think of.

Thanks a lot! After many years of pixel art, I am switching to vectors, they are so much faster to create! A must for game jams, although I'm also trying to put a team together. I started doing some Inkscape tutorials right after the jam, here are some RPG assets I've worked on the last two days. I'm thinking about using them to replace the ninja theme and turn this Rhythm Ninja game jam idea into an actual game...

some characters.. https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/176924015/

and a parallax test on a background that needs some reworking.. https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/177098231/

But the point is for me to be able to sling this stuff out at game jam speed. Probably helps that I was a Fine Arts major in college.
This is where I've been getting the Inkscape tutorials from, tons of great nfo and exactly the vector art creation and animation nfo I was looking for.. http://www.2dgameartguru.com/2014/03/creating-depth-through-layers.html

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Fixed, thank you! Was a remark I left in my HTML file that affected Firefix but not Chrome, I'v been using Chrome so I missed it. Scratch projects are hosted at MIT (usually) and linked here via HTML, which is pretty handy for updates.

Yeah, Wang Tiles are hella cool. The concept is pretty simple too. At the moment, I am experimenting with a tiled game screen that overlays 2-edge tiles and 2-corner tiles, which probably sounds like nothing yet to you yet, I know. Check that site out, it is awesome, If it goes as planned, I can create a map of intersecting paths on two layers, like roads and bridges although you can do that on a single layer as well, so I may end up with 2 vertical layers, each with 2 sets of paths. Not sure if I want a vehicle or runner traversing the map yet but since it is a tiled system and a full set contains only 16 tiles, you only have to plot player movement across each tiles routes once, then you will be ready for full map movement. Throw in scrolling and random tile generation at edges and yeah, you'll be asked a million times how in the heck you did that? ;)

Edit: Reading my own words, I suddenly want a vehicle you can drive around of and then get out of to access sidewalks, etc. Then I'll add guns and missions, lots of gore and sex, drugs, and I'll call it Grand Theft.. wait a minute.. :/


This tutorial project is a tutorial and demo for programmers on the effectiveness of Wang Tiles for generating random 2D maps for games using tiled maps. Wang Tiles are designed so that no matter how placed, the edges always line up. Included is my custom designed animated chains and pulleys tileset, and link to an website explaining Wang Tile in great detail.

https://locomule.itch.io/random-map-generation-via-wang-tiles


Huge thanks to Elysia Griffin for spending 6 hours testing games from our game jam! Her Twitch channel seems to be a pretty cool place, and dev friendly :)

ia Griffin

Thanks so much for trying it out and commenting! You want to hit the flying objects in front of you, just as they jump there, on the beat. I had them flying smoothly but started them jumping as a visual indicator of the beat. I added the beating heart right at the end of the jam.

I've been at Scratch 8 years and heard many times how hard it was to time events to an audio file. This was my first game jam so doing a rhythmic engine oe some kind of synced audio was  already on my programing bucket list. Turned out to be pretty easy. I wasn't sure until the last few hours that I would even have a finished entry, kind hectic. Sooo little sleep :)

So finishing the jam with a working, fun game is great, but now I see tons of potential for this game as well as other rhythmic games. I've been playing guitar for 32 years, wait till you see my Jam Along project. You will be able to play chords or notes that are automatically adjusted to the key of the song. I've done recording and song trading already on Scratch so I see a lot of possibilities.

Pretty cool. Ever heard of Wang Tiles? They are tiles whose edges always match, making them great for random map generation.  https://locomule.itch.io/random-map-generation-via-wang-tiles

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Nah, it needs an explanation for the player that spamming inputs lags you out of upcoming beats as an anti-cheat. Without that explanation,everyone thinks the game is messed up. The input works great, I can beat the game with the sound off just from the visual indicators of the beat. Thanks for checking it out and commenting.
Edit: I added a note to the game about this stuff since it seems to be an ongoing issue for players.

Thanks so much for checking it out and commenting. And yeah, I know exactly what you mean, happened to me too. I have a lot more ideas that I couldn't put in. We had 3 days and this was my 3rd game idea. Wanna know a secret? Try the left arrow key. My plan was to put in enemies, a boss, etc. You learn the basic moves.. jump, attack, and block, on the training course, then you go fight. But now I see my biggest problem was adding the extra-lag anti button spam without explaining it confuses people, they think the game isn't working right. Live, learn, and code better next time. Hey, it was my first rhythmic game engine. I had to invent it from nothing, Now that I've done one in a 3 day rhythmic game, the sky is the limit. I'm a 30+ yr guitar player. I have a great idea on a way to let people jam along with a song on a virtual guitar without really knowing how to play.

The beat is dead on the music. Listen for the snare drum in the song. Or if you count beats in a measure of the song, it is on the "four". But either way, your feedback helps me understand what I need to do differently. So thanks again :)

Thanks a lot!

If you spam key presses it lags you out of upcoming beats.

Did you notice the heart beating beside you? It was on the beat. All the spikes and sushi move on the beat also. Sorry it wasn'tm ore obvious.

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It is supposed to give you a little wiggle room between spam and missed notes. Spamming too much lags you out of upcoming beats. Assuming everything is working correctly, of course. Thanks again for the feedback, getting some coffee down then borrowing an internet connection to start downloading everyone else's games. Can't wait to check them all out!

Thanks! Spamming input gets you killed, btw.

Greets. I just joined Itch.io but have been a Scratcher for 8 years. I am Locomule there too. Hit me up some time, I'm going to be very busy around here.