July 15, 2017 - day 45
Since day 1, I've been working on building the basic structure of the game-- the stage.
It took me a couple of weeks to finalized the stage layout, and a function-able 'walk-around' game mechanic.
My game is a (practically) top-down but stage perspective look more like Chip's Challenge in a sense. (unlike classic Zelda game's top-down view which are more 3d-like perspective) The stage elements are also very simplistic and tile-like, like Chip's Challenge. Plays like one too... no creativity. XD
'Limitation' is a detrimental factor to puzzle games.
It'll be disastrous If a puzzle game is played in a very free-form way. Whatever free they are there must be something restricted, If it can produce limitless outcomes, then what is the puzzle game to solve for?
Same theory to grid based game, Grid is there so you can have a more controlled situation. (or in my case, steps) It makes puzzling manageable. Same account goes to all the other elements(most) in my grid-based game--grid bounded.
If you have a keen eye, you'll notice that the tiles are not totally square:
It's 48x52 pixels to be exact. Why is that?
For me they looked more aesthetical in the game than total squares. So it's a design choice.
Character Positioning("Camera") :
At the very early concept, the stage was stationery and the alien walks across the screen. But that may cause a problem as this restricts the moving area severely. If you want to increase the "reach" you have to decrease the grid size, it'll be harder to control the alien movements, and very hard for mobile players to see.
Thus, the alien will always be at the center of the screen and the map 'moves' around him.
It works better that way. I can make larger maps without much hassle.
Next, here's some of the elements on the level:
Glowing Orbs: It's the alien's main mission. You have to obtain all of them in order to pass the level.
Though the design it's not confirmed. (it may not even be orbs in the future)
Well... why would an alien with a space-craft have to obtain stuff physically? Why risking life walking into those traps? Come on now stop your questions! I don't have answers! XD
Ground Spikes: while not showing in the log, it's but a simple puzzle element, just don't step on them!
*The GIFs play faster than usual speed.
Lazer Beams: these are not really much a well thought elements to my degree, it's just a very convenient "puzzle device". If I have to use them officially, the lazers will be used in harder levels--and in adequate usage.
I've thought of making the beam reflectable to other angles but it may add difficulty to the coding, and also making the puzzle too complicated. Since I'm not making a puzzle solved by lazer reflections but by steps predominantly, I probably won't consider it. (well, time will tell)
Padded Grounds: the diamond shaped paddings are something extra for the game. At first i don't feel it's necessary to the gameplay, but now I can see them work as a side-bonus to get additional points. (point system will mention on next log)
And lastly, the triangle spot is for you to enter & exit the level. But you have to get all the glowing orbs first--in order to be beamed up to the spacecraft.
Forgot to mention, when you die(hurt) in the game, there's no game over screen. The level simply resets & you return to the beginning spot.
Right now, there is no real puzzle elements in the game but those simple hazards (spikes & lazers), I hope to design some real good items/traps for puzzle soon.
That's all. More elements will be mentioned in future logs.
Next log, I'll show you the main game mechanic... let's call it 'Route Planning' for now.
You also get to see the basic interface in time.