And here's a preview of the latest game art:
Since my last update I haven't done a whole ton of work. I had an entire week of insomnia and subsequently got hooked on the old game Mass Effect. I ended up beating it - I have to say my complaints about it are exactly the same as my complaints about Knights of the Old Republic. If you play a non-aggressive character, you get put into forced fighting situations that suddenly become very difficult.
At least they don't make you fight the final boss alone.
Anyway, I've done some updates to (working titles) Protonaut / Chemistry; here are my thoughts on the latest:
- Spacebar now triggers the "pause time" effect. I took a while to get it looking just right - time slows down and speeds up before the pausing takes effect. It's actually quite complex - I have to store force vectors and turn objects into "static scenery" on the fly, which causes some hard locks in certain situations. I think I squashed all those bugs, and I think this resultant effect looks wicked cool.
Imagine a cool "fwwoooosh" sound effect as the time is adjusting, and maybe a matching animation to explain the jerkiness of the character while it happens. It'll get there eventually.
- The "platforming" controls seem a lot more advanced;
- I'm actually adjusting the friction of the player object on the fly - when you are in the air, your friction is zero, so you slide down walls quickly. When you are holding down movement keys, your friction is halved. When at a standstill, your friction ramps up to 95%. This gives your character a bit of a natural deceleration feel, but is tuned a bit extreme to keep it responsive for us humans playing it.
- Your motion is now capped to a specific top speed. You can always move faster than that speed through natural causes (falling, being pushed by flying objects, etc.) but you can't get over a certain speed on your own momentum.
- You now have some air control - 25% of your regular force. Seemed like a nice number.
- Jumping could still use some work - jumping height/force isn't static and it can be frustrating not knowing how high you will go. You can also end up jumping very very fast upwards if you get a slope that's just right...
- Friction makes running up shallow slopes difficult. I'll have to toy with the values a bit more to make that work better.
Right now Greg is focusing on getting some interface art up and running, so the Level Editor is actually useable instead of a secret set of keys only I know about. I am proud to say, though, that the level editor is fully operational and I haven't touched my level XML in ages.
That's the level editor as it is now. It's functional enough - it has copying and resizing abilities and full creation tools. It makes it a breeze to make things now (I still shudder when I think of hardcoding all these objects in). I can't wait to see what Greg turns it into.
And I'm really starting to like the name Protonaut...