Level 2-3 and the Moving Platforms
A busy last couple of weeks indeed
There's been a variety of things going on with War Ender development over the last couple of weeks. It's a struggle to figure out where to begin, if I'm honest. But I suppose the best place to start is with the new moving platforms I touched on near the end of the last dev blog. I have once again managed to surprise myself with a new mechanic. When I originally started work on the moving platforms for War Ender, I didn't expect to use them for anything more than something to mix up the platforming with. But after sleeping on it, I thought of some new uses for it, and it may seem obvious when you read it. I dropped some enemies onto them and discovered yet another new layer of gameplay in this game.
As seen in the image above and the gif below, throw some grenade enemies onto the moving platforms and you now have some real threats coming at the player from above, to the side, or wherever I want. Obviously, grenade enemies aren't the only ones putting the moving platforms to use. Turrets and basic shooter enemies are also utilizing these moving platforms to create more interesting conflicts with the player. I'm currently still exploring some of the things the game can use moving platforms for, whether it's something small like using it in a specific platform challenge, or even combining the mechanics of the moving platform with something like the jump pad.
Level 2-3 will be the level that introduces moving platforms to the world of War Ender, and on that note let's talk about that level a bit. After the moving platforms and a couple other things I'll touch on in a moment, level 2-3 took up a big chunk of my time for the last couple weeks. The levels that introduce new mechanics (in this case, moving platforms) are often the ones that take the longest time to make. Like with the past couple of levels I've touched on in previous blogs, I've really loved the end result of this level. It's actually the level that helped introduce me to the idea of placing something like turrets on top of the platforms. I believe it's a nice way to finish off the second chapter of the game before the boss battle begins.
There were also a handful of humorous bugs that were tied with moving platforms. One bug that made me giggle whenever I watched it was the bug that would constantly bounce enemies on top of the moving platform, like it was a trampoline or something. Another funny one involved respawning enemies on moving platforms wrong. It would often respawn the enemy below the platform or above it, and somehow gravity would just cease to be with this enemy and they would be constantly floating in mid air until you get rid of them again. I should've taken a photo or something, but I didn't think of it at the time. Sorry!
Moving on from those, I took some time to take War Ender to the Saint Louis Science Center on Dec. 1st for a few hours and got plenty of great feedback about the game and even indulged in a few fun conversations about both game development and the industry at large. As a result of this I now have a nice list of things to tweak, bugs to fix, and useful tips for the game. Among those are things like the following:
- Make the end section of the tutorial a little less difficult
- Minor changes to the game's controls to make the game easier to play.
- Physics advice to prevent sticking to walls (yeah, that happened).
- Fix a bug where keyboard input mysteriously stopped working.
- Tone down difficulty of third level.
Of course, there's plenty more, but we'd be here a while if I went and listed everything. Just know that I have a long list to go through! Which is always fine by me, as I do like keeping busy.
To round out this dev blog, I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek at the upcoming new boss of War Ender. RAWM, which is short for Really Awesome Wrecking Machine (yes, seriously), is a giant robot you encounter in [REDACTED] at the end of chapter two. He brings a laser beam, turrets, and retractable arms to the arena. Oh yes, his huge size might be at least a little intimidating, but the nice thing about big enemies is that they're really easy targets. Like the Wall of Lasers boss in chapter one, RAWM is split into four sections, bringing something slightly different with each section. In this case, he'll unveil new attacks to try and throw you off. It might even bring in a few other goons to back it up in the end...
I wish I could show off RAWM a little more, but unfortunately it's much too early to do that. In fact, I'm revealing him so early that most of his attacks haven't even been programmed yet! I guess someone should do something about that, shouldn't they? So hopefully by the time the next dev blog comes around I'll have a bit more to share about this giant robot battle. And if all goes according to plan, that won't be the only news to share...
Until next time!