Rolling Along

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So much good stuff that I can’t talk about. No posts last weekend because I was enjoying the delights of the SD Comic Con, both delectable and nerdy, many of which occurred almost simultaneously. There’s something immensely gratifying about eating oysters and then queuing up to play Star Wars : The Old Republic (Imperial Bounty Hunter FTW!). But I digress. Before heading off into the land of milk and comics I put some of the final touches on the Rolling Hills level along the Hard Path, and now it’s oranged. Again, not quite done yet since although it may be finished each individual second hasn’t been smoothed out like a river rock for maximum beauty and enjoyment, but that’s the kind of thing that will only happen once I have all of the levels available to play with. The difficulty of each level being based on the rest of the levels in the game after all.
Today, before starting into the next level on the docket – the Easy Path Mountains, I went in and made a small modification to the crasher behaviors. What they were doing is slowly losing horizontal speed while falling. If you think about this for a moment, that is exactly right. When a plane crashes it slowly loses horizontal momentum as it accelerates towards terra firma. That would form a wonderful awful kind of shape, one that could be described via an equation. In spite of being correct within my brain picture, it was wrong in game. You see, in the game the world scrolls, which it does to represent the movement of the players. Consequently, falling straight down onto a moving bit of ground doesn’t work from the perspective of the ground. This became readily apparent with the Gravity Ground that I recently installed (works great by the way). When it would fall the rocks would hit and create different rocks that the next rock would hit. However, the bottom rock would have moved, stacking the rocks into a diagonal since each level of rocks would be off set by just a wee bit (actually, about half a tile – slightly more than a wee bit and noticeable. Also, looked like ass). So I changed that and now the crasher enemies will stop losing horizontal speed if they would go slower than the ground.
Of course, this had an immediate effect on gameplay as small tweaks tend to do. Crashers now appear to come in with a more diagonal approach, which makes them more dangerous to the player. Although, it may just be me since I’ve be playing around the previous incarnations. I’ll get the testers on it and see if they notice.
Speaking of the destructible ground, I really like it. I’ve blocked out the Easy Path Mountains (which sounds a little like a Knott’s Berry Farm Attraction, or a Disneyland Ride designed specifically for pregnant women) and am making good use of the destructible ground. Making stuff that is mechanically easy while being intellectually stimulating is kind of a cute exercise. For contrast, the last thing I built has a base with 2 towers on either side lousy with turrets. Dropping a bomb on the base while dodging turret fire (since you can’t shoot down with a bomb attached) is kind of intense. Way too hard for the Easy Path though. So my conclusion was to hide the base inside a mountain, and make an entire wall the destructible ground, shoot through to reveal, deliver a package and then back out of the cave before the screen scrolls to far and locks you inside to crash on the rocks. I kind of like it. I’ll add shooty stuff to it now.