Monday, 2 November 2015

02-11-15 Updates!

Loads of updates this time! The game is finally coming together now. I'll start with what I've changed / improved with the gameplay. I've been writing a lot of quick design docs on random paper and sticky notes...

First, the screen orientation is now landscape instead of portrait meaning you can see a lot more of what is going on and just makes it easier to play in general. Some changes need to be made to the background to make them fit the new screen resolution as you can see from the image below.

Next, The general controls have been simplified, now I'm back to just the left and right buttons and relying on the level design to make the game fun and interesting.

So... how did I make the levels more fun and interesting? By making some stage objects which will help you manoeuvre the stage. First up is a fan, this will blow air out and as you pass over you will move up, then hover at the top of the air stream. Perfect for crossing gaps or getting to higher places without a jump button!

Next is a spring, I already had a prototype in the levels but this one behaves a bit differently, Firstly it's had a new lick of paint thanks to my super talented gf! (she has done all the amazing sprite art and backgrounds!) Now the spring reacts the same no matter what direction or how fast you approached it. It took a lot of tweaking but I think i'm happy with how high it bounces the player now.

The speed up is being replaced with... Choco balls! depending on how many of these are laying on the ground, the faster you'll dash ahead, scattering the balls into the air as you run over them.

Theres also a nice new version of the present box, possible to be used in a christmas themed level later on in the game. It looks fantastic so I'll have to find a use for it somewhere.

Also a new WIP title screen, complete with moving donuts. There will be two more menu options in the finished product, but you'll have to wait and see what those are.

I've added all these new changes to a new test level which is fully playable and completable on the iPhone! (Screenshots below taken direct from the phone.)

The black box in the top text won't go until I've bought the developers licence for Stencyl which I don't need until its ready to publish sometime next year. Also ignore the "Level Select" words, they were just there for testing so I could just press them and return to the level select rather than closing the game each time. Also the words Score and Babies to find / Donuts Collected will be moved and changed as it progresses. 

Below is a full view of another text level. Still not got any real levels yet.

I've got loads of ideas of what to do next but thats for another post, this one was just to show all the progress. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

22-10-15 Updates and New Ideas

I've got the game working well on iPhone now, after struggling through all the apple licence stuff... urghhh why did they have to make it so complicated!?! Anyway...

The best way I found to implement the touch controls was to have each side of the screen correspond to left and right respectively. this means the whole screen is a button. I did experiment with many different control methods, all of which worked OK for movement, but when I tried to add the jump button as well everything quickly fell apart. Turning the game into a nightmare to play!

So, after much consideration, I've decided to completely remove jumping all together. I know what you're thinking, how can a platformer not have a jump button? That's where the different powerups come into play.

I've come up with a few new ideas to make it more fun and less frustrating to play on a touch screen. By less frustrating I do not mean simpler, just easier to control. So don't worry, some of the later levels will still pose a considerable challenge!

The first new power up, and the one that will be replacing the jump is the "Bouncy Donut" This makes the player super bouncy for a short time, meaning that you can jump off a ramp and bounce considerably higher than before, meaning there can still be some platforming sections. It will be hard to refine this style so its still controllable but I'll give it my best shot!

The second power will be a flying power which will make the donut follow your finger as you move it around the screen. It will last for a few seconds then he will fall back down to the ground. This will be a great way of letting him move vertically through the levels as long as they are designed well enough to use this method of moving.

After you collect a power up for the first time it will get added to a list at the top of the screen which you can click on once per level to use the power up in any stage.

Some points in the level will also have objects you can interact with by clicking on them such as moving platforms or switches which control something in the level. hopefully having interactive areas of the level wont affect the movement controls...

one possible object could be a magnet of sorts which propels the donut towards it.

A new power up which gives your donut a metal coating which not only makes you invulnerable to enemy attacks but also lets you gravitate towards magnets which could be placed around the level.

I wrote this the other day, and now i'm thinking it might be good to just scrap the game as it is now, and start a fresh, clear out everything that isn't used, fix all the problems with the powerups not working properly, start with some proper menus and levels...

I'm just rambling now... So i'll stop... enjoy some photos of the game running on my phone!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

15-10-15 Updates

So, the biggest news this update is... I got an iMac! Going from a tiny 720p screen to an amazing 5K display has made such an incredible difference and the Fusion drive has made everything so fast and smooth its amazing...

Look at how much screen space I have now!

I've been trying to get it to work on iOS so I can test it on an actual device but i've ran into all sorts of problems, I think i'll need to do a lot more research into how the developer certificates work and how the apple dev program works with Xcode and Stencyl... It's all so confusing! the closest i've got so far is getting it to play in an iOS simulator. Although you can't move or anything as I haven't figured out how to implement a virtual joystick or any kind of touch screen controls yet... I've got the weekend free so hopefully i'll make some progress on that front soon!

Heres a shot of the iOS simulator showing the resolution the game will be on an iPhone 6 (although it's scalable to any screen size)

As for whats changed... not a whole lot, I made some changes to the test area to make it a bit easier to play through and have been experimenting with some new graphic styles for the times used int he levels. Apart from that most of what i've been doing this week is just gathering more ideas on paper and thinking how I can simplify the game as I'm a bit worried i'm over complicating it.

Expect a bigger update on Sunday.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

06/10/15 Updates

Two big gameplay changes this time.

Firstly, The sticky donut now has a purpose! I have managed to make it so when you become a sticky donut you can climb walls which are covered in icing. I did this by changing the gravity then changing it back when you stop touching the wall or hit a certain invisible block (used to make sure the gravity changes back just in case it didn't work!

The second gameplay enhancement is a spring! Used in the levels where you wont get the jumping power up, the spring will propel you (and enemies!) upwards into the air. Useful for reaching platforms!

I've probably been getting a bit ahead of myself here and should probably focus on getting the game working first but I've been looking into music trackers to create some midi music for the game (I used to really enjoy making music back in the eJay days!) so I've been messing around a bit with them but nothing too serious yet.

I really need to spend some time getting the basics such as collectibles and level select working properly so that's probably what i'll focus on next... This bit seems like its never ending! >.<

Also finally, as the game is getting to be more playable, I've been looking into getting a Mac so I can actually test it on the iPhone and iPad which is where I want to see the game end up! as well as a version somewhere online too for all you non Apple folks! I won't be porting to android though as I don't have anything to test it on nor do I know anyone that's got android any more! So unless you want to donate me an old android phone or tablet its not happening! :P

Also I'd love to see it one day on a Nintendo platform, which actually doesn't seem like an impossible dream any more thanks to the Nintendo Web Framework, but still its expensive... Apparently.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Assets needed

A mind map of all the possible assets I'll need for the game. Still a long way to go! And some things I haven't though of yet...

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

29/09/15 Update

Just a quick update. I haven't been working much on the game for a while but I do have a few updates to share on here.

First is the fact that I finally managed to get it to change power ups within the level when you roll over a certain object. I made a placeholder present box to roll into and this triggers the next power up. So for example, in this level you start out as a standard donut with no powers, but once you roll into the present box you can then jump! yay!

There's also another power up - or power down? that tuns you into a sticky donut for a certain time. I plan to make levels where you have to use the sticky power to climb up walls but I couldn't figure that out yet, so at the moment it just slows you down. at least I figured out how to get it to change the sprite! that's a start!

There is a lot to fix, and the frame rate seems to be going quite slowly at times. Maybe there's too much colliding? also the collision messes up when you pick up a sweet after you collect a power up, as you can see in the video below, you begin to float up after you touch it... hmmm...

I've also made the enemies a bit more dangerous as they now throw things at you!

I've also started on the layouts of a few more levels but really that should wait until all the basic gameplay elements have been created and the physics have been finalized. its the worst thing ever to make a level then make a change to how the player controls, only to find that the entire level is now unplayable thanks to a jump that is slightly too big now! >.<

Now for a video showing all those new features in action!

Ok that was actually quite a big update in the end!

Thanks for reading, hope to post more soon :)

Monday, 7 September 2015

07/09/15 Updates

It's been a while since my last update... That doesn't mean I haven't been working on the game, just not had time to write about it...

Firstly, the background has now been separated into layers which let me use each layer separately to create some awesome looking parallax scrolling. It was tough to set up but hopefully now I've done it once I can copy it onto each scene without too much trouble!

Next, some new tiles including some underground sections which will let me have a bit more creativity in the levels.

Here's a full view of the first true level. It will no doubt change during the course of development, but this is how it looks at the moment.

Another thing I managed to get working is moving platforms, luckily I found some behaviors on the Stencyl Forge which helped a lot and saved some programming time! The platforms can move both left - right and up - down.

The next things for me to focus on are

  • A way of keeping track of collectibles throughout the levels.
  • How to restrict some abilities until an item has been picked up (Thinking maybe swap out one player actor for another when the power-up is touched. If this creates a bit of an awkward transition then I might disguise it behind a transformation animation or some sparkles...)
  • A proper level select screen or a map

The player has been slowed down a bit as I thought maybe he moved too fast before, but don't worry, if he's going down hill or hits a speed boost, he can still go quite fast and make some big jumps!

And if you want to have a go at a VERY early demo (Even earlier than this update) then go to this link: Super Donuts Demo

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

31/08/15 Updates!

Lots more updates this week. Firstly, With the help from +Risu chuu we made some new sprites for the game, including, for the first time, a real enemy!

This bird will patrol the skies above the stage, swooping down to grab you if it sees you.
There is also a red version which is faster, so watch out for him!

It took me forever to figure out how to change the animations from left to right as it flew through the sky, so I will share this code block here for people to use... Bear in mind that all the animations should be under the same actor, not as separate actors.

As well as the enemies, she also created some new objects and items too! First up is the claw, which lifts you up when you roll into the claw it will lift you up. There are so far three different versions of it at different heights.

As of yet I haven't figured out how to get it to recognize you have walked into the right part of it yet. Maybe in next weeks update I will have!

As well as this there are also now baby donuts to find throughout the stages. Two have been made so far. I plan to have five different ones hidden around the levels. (Think Jinjo's from Banjo Kazooie!)

Now for some technical changes I've made to the gameplay. First of all, the Jump has been added back in, maybe as a permanent addition, maybe not... I'll see how the game plays once I've created some actual levels, rather than small test areas.

The speed of the player has been slowed down, and I instead added a Dash button to make it go at the speed it went before, this will help with some of the platforming elements in the levels, as well as let people who want to run through the level as fast as they can!

Finally, the background has now been implemented making the levels look so much better than before! I'll see if I can make some parallax scrolling next but that might be a bit tricky!

Finally, a gameplay video showing all this new stuff in action!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

25-08-15 Update!

Lots more updates today! Progress is going good, My amazing GF made some sprites for me, so I've added those to the game and they look fantastic! Here's some of the animation sets

In terms of gameplay, I added a placeholder object which kills the player and restarts the level. I tried making an object you can use to attack the enemy but this isn't fully working yet.

A first draft of the title screen as well!

Monday, 24 August 2015

24/08/15 Updates!

Mainly tried to get the score working today. I did so yay! Although it doesn't actually do anything yet... At least it adds up how many points you have and carries over to the next level.

I've also managed to figure out how to make the speed boost item work in both directions by using the players X speed and adding to it instead of setting the x-direction which is what I was doing before. It works much better now! 

Also added some test background music to the level select screen and to a few of the test levels. I'm using Anamanaguchi music for now but of course that can't stay because of some silly copyright law or something.....

Yeah its still pretty buggy and the levels are just randomly thrown together for the purposes of testing but at least its playable!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

First screens!

First screenshots of Super Donuts - Its early days but its already pretty fun to play!

Super Donuts

For iPhone / iPad / Flash / HTML5

Platformer game starring a "super donut"

The donut is controlled with the touchscreen, moving left and right, also up and down when it can stick to walls.

collect powerups to navigate the levels and find the goal portal.

short stages with increasingly complex or tricky levels to navigate

Play with phone / iPad in portrait orientation - screen sizes for 5/6/6Plus/iPad Air 1/2
Use tilt controls for phone or swipe left / right? (don't like on screen buttons!)

Also can play on PC with keyboard or gamepad

enemies try to eat the donut.

complete levels faster to carry time over to the next stage - time attack mode?

colourful 8-bit graphics - pixels only. fun backgrounds with stars and sprinkles!!

release game for free online on my website?
Demo version for free on iOS and maybe Android store but got to find an android device first...

Play as a donut

powerups include Jam, Sprinkles, Glaze and more!

Levels are like a maze use the powerups to navigate and find the warp goal!

Hidden exits which are hard to get to are hidden in each level

time limit which carried onto the next stage


Story Mode:

Training Level - Set in a kitchen, sprinkles made the donut come
to life, escape the cook's giant hand and enter a portal at the
end of the stage which send you off to Donut Land

Map - Simmilar to Mario World Map.

Each area will have 3 levels and a boss level.

Powerups in certain levels to give extra abilities such as jump /
dash / roll up walls etc.

Level 1 - Green Hill Zone style level - fast and easy to get used
to controls, no powerups. Bright graphics, easy enemies. Each level will introduce one new element and use one or more from the previous level. The boss level will use all new elements from that world in a more challenging stage and a boss fight at the end.

Score Attack Mode:

Modified versions of standard levels.
Timer count down, finish level with more time left = more points
Speed run mode: Finish as many levels as you can in time limit,
get extra 15 seconds for each stage completed
(similar to marble madness)
Link to Game Centre on iOS for competition. High score list? Watch replays?
Collectibles to boost score
Hitting certain objects will lower score / send you back to start of the level
Certain areas in later levels change gravity / colour of area.

Sound Effects