Proto R-Type

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Proto R-Type

Err, Proto R-Type was the only thing I could think for with “proto” in it when I entered the title in the box. Now I’m thinking protoplasm or Protoman. Right, so anyway I went in and made some new changes, and then promptly got rid of them. The Idea was to install the bits that control if the pages turn when you get to the edge of the screen or not, as part of the book conceit. So I got a prototype working and started playing with it. There were two outcomes. The first was that I made it really slow, but then that killed any sense of rhythm that you’d established with the platforming. In other words it just didn’t flow. It struck me almost like I was trying to hide a loading screen or something like that. So I sped it up. Then it was too fast and whizzed by so quickly as to produce a sense of disorientation. So too slow and it was crap and too fast it was epileptic. Maybe, the page turning in a finished state would provide a different experience, but I still think that the rhythm would be ruined. If the game was slower paced then I could see it. But you can get through the game quick and if you’re playing correctly you probably will be.
So I discarded that, but realized that I had the option of modifying the code that I’d created to do a screen scroll like in Zelda. After all, the levels and the art match up, so it should be seamless. So I started tweaking and it just didn’t work either. I mean, the code worked and it looks great, but the same issue is still present – the groove was compromised as a result. I took it out again.
Maybe, just maybe I’m used to looking at the game a certain way and maybe I’m thinking that any changes to the rhythm will be bad by default. But this is a platforming game. If the timing doesn’t feel good, if you never get “into” it, then it just stops working. Mario has a certain rhythm, Sonic games (the good ones) have a different rhythm, PoP has a different one altogether, but that feel is part of the core gameplay and something that I am very remiss to want to change too much. Of course I will keep that little code snippet for the next thing – which will be slower paced. I think it would work really well there.

– In Porting news, I’ve sent the Source to The Programmer so he can get started. After looking at the Source (yes, it’s Capitalized like the Source in the Matrix) it dawned on me what an undertaking the port would be. It is Huge and will take a good long time. I originally had trepidation about sending the Source to somebody else. I mean, it could be stolen now for all I know. But then again, why would a Programmer want to show off my admittedly crappy code and sloppy syntax? If nothing else that would preclude them from any kind of programming work. One the other hand, doing a cross language port and doing optimizations is just the kind of thing a Programmer could be really proud of. I think that’s the case here. Besides, I get the feeling that a finished C# port would be cleaner than my code, so when it is up to spec I think I’ll end up using that version as the shipped version anyway. Then I can say that all of the code was done by the Programmer – which would then be true.