Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Really, The Squid is in Space

This update fixes a few things:
  • The stars weren't ramping up properly. They will now be underwater guaranteed for the first level or two, then will slowly creep up. Full screen stars start at level 20. Thanks to Aubrey for helping me out with the formula for that one.
  • Sometimes stars would overlap Mr. Grumpy. Fixed!
  • I played with some of the physics numbers a bit (gravity and a few others).
  • Your damage-taken bits now have a density and will float to the surface of the water. I think there might be some sort of gameplay to be had there but I'm not sure just what yet.
  • Because it was looking like it wasn't exactly space, I went ahead and made damn sure you know it's space. Background image in place!
One of the neat things about my random level generator is that any changes in the math completely change the outcome for the levels. Each build is like a whole new set. Exciting!

My stats:
- First try, no restarts: 9.8
- Hardest underwater sequence: Level 13
- First death by damage: 16.10 (lost most limbs around 16.8)
- First death by timeout: 16.13 (lost a lot of blood here too)
- Most Heartbreaking Leap: 17.9. Mr Grumpy ruins me here.
- Closest to the wire: 18.19 (very hurt, 1 second left on the clock, trying to make a medium jump in close quarters... stressful!)
- High Score (with restarts): 19.12


  1. I like this build.
    Although it still looks cartoonish (this was probably intended, but it does have a downplaying effect to it) at least the squid no longer looks like a penis.

    Maybe convert the Mr. Grumpy's back to planets to complete the star theme?

    I like the handling, but to imitate the zero-gravity, play around with the dampening and friction. Although this build is very easy to handle (which I like) it may benefit you to slowly increase the "slide" effect once you get later into the levels.

    Aside from a few aesthetical choices by me, this is the best build so far. Keep it up!

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  3. This game is really coming along! Jumping up for the stars is pretty fun. Maybe they should all be up there.

    I'm confused about the little bits that come off you. Do they represent damage? How do you die? Are there health points any more? Does Mr Grumpy hurt you?

  4. @Afronanny: The cartoonish effect was indeed intentional - I want the game to be as cute and accessible as possible. :)

    Following in line with that - planets don't make much sense when there's no gravitational pull.. nevermind in a fishtank. I was thinking Space Urchins? Something that is cute and face-able anyway.

    To increase the "slide" value though - have you played the later levels? Around level 12-14 I have been losing my limbs quite frequently in my maneuvering. This reduces my water friction and makes the squid turn faster and slide a bit farther. There are, of course, downsides to this too :)

    @Rob: I find most people who are new to the game have a lot of trouble making their jumps just fine. I can relate - on the higher levels (14+) I start having trouble making all my jumps in the alotted timespan. Even aiming them just-right can be a frustrating experience.

    I even considered - albeit briefly - removing the sky from the game entirely. I like the jumping out of the water so much though that I think a good mix of the in-and-out will be the clinch to good gameplay.

    The bits that come off are just indicators of pain induced. Anytime a joint is stressed, and anytime a limb receives a "heavy blow", the joints to that limb will sever and spawn 1-3 little "giblets" in their place. I suppose that's about all a new user would ever see from the game, and how the backend works is largely irrelevant.

    But for the curious, I know it matters :)

    - When joints separate more than 12 pixels (based on a 700x500 viewport)
    - Or when a force of 50 pixels^2 is applied to a squid bodypart:
    - Then the squid loses 5% of his maximum acceleration factor, which will slow down his motion generally speaking
    - But the squids newfound freedom from his limbs will increase his speed by, on average, 3%, so net loss will be around 2% of your acceleration.
    - In the higher levels, it's common to lose up to 20% of your acceleration, which can easily prevent you from leaping high enough for those upper stars
    - If one of the limbs you have lost is your goal-catching-feet, you will be further harmed by not being able to reach very-high stars and generally slowing you down.

    So in short: No, there's no more health; Mr. Grumpy doesn't hurt you directly, he's just there to "help you" lose limbs. As you lose limbs the game becomes harder; and as more Mr. Grumpies appear there will be more chance of you losing limbs.

    End result: The game simply gets harder over time. Not by a lot, but a measurable amount :)