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  Martian Madness - Platformer Design  (Read 3886 times)
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Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 120
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Posted 2003-11-18 06:21:56 »

I've decided to start a project that I have a chance of finishing Smiley and so I'm trying to write a single player platformer (that might be become multiplayer later but thats a different story). You can see where I've got to so far here:

http://www.newdawnsoftware.com/martian

Now, my problem, I've just added moving platforms and the they seem to work ok. However, whats meant to happen in a platformer when the player stands in the way of platform in following circumstances:

A) Stands beneath at the platform would crush him?
B) Stands on it and gets pushed into a ceiling?
C) Stands on the edge and gets squished between two platforms.

So far the only really working solution appears to be "design around it". Make the level design prevent this from happening. However, this isn't as easy as I first thought.

Before I go off implementing all the stuff I need to halt movement when things get jammed I just wondered if there was simpler route...

Thanks for any thoughts,

Kev

Offline Rod Hyde

Junior Newbie




I really must get some sleep


« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-11-18 06:43:40 »

Experiment with a few ideas then do whatever makes sense in the game. Just make sure that the rules are applied consistently.

For example, if the platform can crush you, then it should also be able to crush your adversaries. Gameplay could then include the ability to lure adversaries to their doom on top of a rising platform / beneath a falling platform.

Another option is to have the platform reverse direction when its occupant would otherwise be crushed.

--- Rod
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-11-18 06:59:26 »

Look at mario or other popular platformers.

There are different kinds of blocks. Blocks wich are massive (you bumb your head if you jump against em) and blocks wich you can pass in one way.

Moving platforms are usually build out of one-way-pass-able blocks. That makes it much easier for the player to jump *on* (or through heh) the platform.

So case A -> platform just passes by (because that's the direction you can move through)

B -> ok. dead.

C -> you keep staying on the platform you are currently on an the other just passes by (because that's the direction you can move through)

In order to make it more obvious that you can pass through em in one direction you can use the usual scheme... rather bright colors and blocks wich are half as high as the others (the lower half is just transparent).

Well just checked the pictures... hmm... 3D... to visualize it you could make em 50% transparent from one side. Eg if you are below it you can look through and if you are above it you can't.

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Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-11-18 09:04:25 »

Often in platformers that I have played the actual platforms tend to have a limited up/down movement so there is no way they could leave less space than the player needs, but iirc, in the ones that didn't work that way I do seem to remember being crushed quite often. I was awful at platformers.
Offline JasonB

Junior Member





« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-11-18 17:06:26 »

one possibility:

the platform goes 'behind' the player at all times unless he/she is jumping from above it.

i seem to recall that's the mechanism the Commander Keen games used... although it's been a millenia since I played those.  Or maybe it was some other platformer I'm thinking of.  

In any case, what it means is the platform is essentially a single pixel line, that only 'catches' the player when they approach from above.  at all other times they pass through.

don't know if that's any help (nor whether it simplifies the algorithm or makes it more difficult).
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-11-19 10:20:29 »

May not translate to 3D very well...
Offline kevglass

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-11-19 11:23:22 »

Well, I've implemented a method now, its subject to change.. but to seems to cope ok.

A) Stands beneath at the platform would crush him?

The platform comes down and does some damage. When the player is damaged they get a grace period of 2 seconds of invunerability to sort themselfs out (flashing character during this period).
The platform carries on through the character but this would seem ok since the character is flashing.

B) Stands on it and gets pushed into ceiling?

Not sure I like this one, but.. the character gets delts damage and starts to flash as above. Since the ceiling is static and the platform isn't the character gets pushed down through the platform. This could lead to cheats if (my) poor level design is used Smiley

C) Stands on the edge and gets squished between two platforms.

To try and stay consistant the same happens as with B) The character is pushed through the platform they are standing on, but is dealth damage which give them the grace to be pushed through.

I think this method might give me a bit of "feature" to play in level design but also doesn't feel too terrible..

What ya think?

Kev

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-11-19 12:39:06 »

That sounds good, and what many people would expect - as long as your platforms aren't too thick!

I think in situation C (crushed between two platforms) I would probably have gone for option A - they stay on the platform they're on but take damage from the passing platform.  I think it's really just personal preference though, and either option is fine.  They are both obvious enough consequences of that situation that people should get the hang of things very quickly.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
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« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-12-03 15:13:28 »

And on I go.. having sorted out a few more of physics "issues" I'm now looking for some creative help Smiley

I have a rather corny story line posted here. Its based around time travel and I was hoping to provide themed levels for different eras...

Now, I'm going to have a "map screen" which is based around a time line. You'll be able to open up more levels as you collect more temporal eggs (sorry, yes, its cheezy).

Anyway.. I need some era's to try and create..

The current one is Aztec/Egyptian... I have plans for a Medieval theme. I also considered a sort of Oriental/Mongal theme (lots of snowy peaks and triangluar buildings)...

Has anyone got any other ideas?

Cheers for any help,

Kev

Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-12-03 16:21:52 »

Hmmmm....
Old West/Native Indian
Vikings
50's/60's (ice cream shops, cars and leather jackets - you've already got the chicken Smiley)

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Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


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« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-12-03 21:39:53 »

1920's/Gangster
Forest/Robin Hood
Future/Moonbase/Low Gravity

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline elias

Senior Member





« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-12-04 09:51:15 »

Have you ever played Super Frog? Tha was a cool game with themed levels.

- elias

Offline kevglass

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-12-04 09:56:01 »

Can't say I have, is it some sort of Frogger game or something?

Thanks for the themes thus far.. looks like I'm going to need plenty to choose from what with my lack of artistic ability and the lack of free character models around.

Kev

Offline moogie

JGO Knight


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Java games rock!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-12-04 23:06:22 »

Quote
Well, I've implemented a method now, its subject to change.. but to seems to cope ok.

A) Stands beneath at the platform would crush him?

The platform comes down and does some damage. When the player is damaged they get a grace period of 2 seconds of invunerability to sort themselfs out (flashing character during this period).
The platform carries on through the character but this would seem ok since the character is flashing.

B) Stands on it and gets pushed into ceiling?

Not sure I like this one, but.. the character gets delts damage and starts to flash as above. Since the ceiling is static and the platform isn't the character gets pushed down through the platform. This could lead to cheats if (my) poor level design is used Smiley

C) Stands on the edge and gets squished between two platforms.

To try and stay consistant the same happens as with B) The character is pushed through the platform they are standing on, but is dealth damage which give them the grace to be pushed through.

I think this method might give me a bit of "feature" to play in level design but also doesn't feel too terrible..

What ya think?

Kev



Does this grace invunrability period make you invunrable to enemies as well as the moving platform? as i can see people intentionally hurting themselves by the platform and then making a run for it through a bunch of enemies...
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-12-05 05:45:26 »

Yes, it does currently and thats a fine point. I think I'll only get round it with level design..

Gonna need a pamphlet on level design soon Smiley

Kev

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