2021/04/17

Using the same tile-set several times

This April I've finally managed to take some time away from my day job and create a new tile-set: beach. Sand, dunes, palm trees moving slowly in the wind. As with other tile-sets, this one will be used for several levels and not just one, but this is a good example to showcase that levels using the same tile-set won't be the same, as the tiles used are just the base to build further.

In the video above you can see a basic "beach" level. There are tile-set based platforms, some small details, animated background (not too animated, don't want it to be distracting), enemies and a "trampoline" in the form of a turtle. Don't jump on real turtles please! Anyway, that's the "Sunny beach" medium sized level, there's some verticality to it but it's not large.

Next, let's take a look at the starting location for the "Fisherman's village" level, which is a small (short) linear level that connects the "Sunny beach" and the next level, which will be the first large level in the game. I'm not promising a maze but I'll try my best to give the player an interesting experience. Anyway...

fishermans village

If you look down, that's the exactly same tile-set that makes the platform Goblin is standing on, the parallax backgrounds are the same (at least for now, I might remove one layer to optimize the level) BUT the additional assets created just for this level make the difference. Here in the picture you can see a fisherman's shack and some nets drying in the sun. There's more of these assets that make this level unique visually and story-telling wise, but you'll have to wait to see them, I can't reveal everything upfront.

2021/01/06

A brand new level and how it progressed

 It's been a while and mostly due to my day job being crazy because of covid. Had some time off lately so I've managed to start crafting the first "variation" tileset and that's snow/ice, and with it, the first snowy level - "Snowy Pass". It's a mountain pass between two peaks, which leads from the first quarter of the map to the second. Easy and short level, specially compared to what's planned with this tileset for the remaining 4 snowy levels.

Initial preview videos show it as a very simple tileset, no variations, details... There's one enemy type, a winter-coat pirate that chases after the goblin after it notices it. There's also an icicle trap that can be triggered by the player to hurt the enemy... or goblin, if not careful.

What I've added now is some... life to this little area. First of all, there are snowflakes falling down slowly. They aren't actually touching the ground, if you look carefully, but that's the intended effect, I want them to pop-out of dark background and not actually go through the ground. Maybe it will look better otherwise but so far I like this. Second, I've added a moving platform. Just because it's the first snowy level you'll encounter in the game, doesn't mean there should be only the most basic platforms hanging in the air. And in the end, I've created 2 animated tiles. There's a bunny hole with blinking eyes inside and... a snow hare, showing up behind the platform edge. Now that I'm looking at the video, I realize it lacks some depth. No worries, I'll fix that with some shading soon.

And with this, the level is mostly done. The way the game has been built from ground up allows me to easily update graphics later if needed or even change the levels without too much hassle about compiling & building future versions.

Next, to the caves and underground mines!

2020/10/04

2nd alpha test - the Underground

It's been a while, but here we are again, time to do another round of testing. What's been added to the game is another core area which players will potentially visit during their gameplay. Unlike the tutorial/intro level, the map and the store, which are all core elements that exist independent of the real levels, this one is optional...sort of. 

Remember the old arcade games where when you lose all lives you have that "Continue?" screen and you have to insert a coin? Well no coins here (how ironic) but every time you lose all lives you'll get a "Game over. Continue?" popup, and number of available continues goes down. You start with 5. When you get to 0 it's a game over for real... 

Actually not, you go to the Underground, which is a sort of difficult level where you need to collect 5 golden leaves to assembly a golden branch, which will resurrect you back to the map with 10 new continues. 


There's no boss in this level, only traps and some rare lost souls as enemies. I might add more later, based on the test feedback. Goblin will be in it's ghost form (not even breathing while in idle state) and the environment is cold, washed out of color and sprinkled with some old bones and spiderwebs. 


In theory, an amazing player who never loses initial 5 continues will never see the Underground. And someone who dies a lot will see it a lot... which will prompt them to buy a 99 continues upgrade from the clerk at the store (for in-game virtual coins that goblin collects). 

What is also new in this build is option to turn on hints, which will show you exclamation marks where there's some action to be done, or question marks where you should look around to find out more. This will also cover existing color-coded halos for keys and chests. Default is turned on, for now. 

I've also added an option in the settings/gameplay menu to skip all the popups (level end screen, continue? screen and so on) for potential speed runners, but it's not fully implemented yet and will be tested later. This will basically provide GnC1 atmosphere, where you just glide through without selecting options in in-game menus. 

2020/09/21

The Underground

What happens when you lose everything. All the lives gone, no more continues... Well, it used to be "insert another coin" back in the 80's, and more recently, it was "game over, load?" There's no real game over in Goblin and Coins 2... Instead, when you lose all lives and all continues... you end up in the Underground. It's a cold place void of life. 


And yet, it's possible to leave it by collecting golden leaves to form a Golden branch and find your path to the world of the living, and add 10 continues to your save. But, it won't be easy at all... maybe you'd rather start a new game instead?




2020/04/17

Initial alpha test build and bug fixes

Yesterday I've compiled an initial alpha test build and send it to some good people for an early testing and to gather some feedback.

Sales person in the in-game shop (for virtual coins, no mtx here!)

In less than 24 hrs amazing people testing the it managed to find several bugs ranging from one moderate to a few less important and I've fixed them all so far. It's really a wonderful time in a game development cycle when you start getting first feedback and realize all your testing means nothing because one person on one computer can't cover everything, and even more importantly, some testers will try stuff you never thought of doing in a million of years. And it will break things. Ok, let's see.

Moderate


  • Flying enemy type had a weird glitch where touching a slope would freeze the game completely. Fixed.


Medium


  • The difference between how VM (debugging) and YYC (compiled) version of the game works when using GMS2 made it so stats saving after finishing a level bugged out, so map would not be showing off your previous score, coins, time... This also caused that you would not enter the shop directly after finishing the tutorial for the first time but instead went to the map. Fixed.


Low


  • Bullets didn't freeze on pause. Fixed.
  • You could double-jump once on a game start even if double-jump was not purchased as an upgrade yet. Fixed.


So happy these were found so fast, and specially with the fact there were not more (well, at least not those that were found so far, hehe). All in all impressions seem positive, people like the art and layout... This is a good start in my opinion

2020/04/12

World map

Before we see the world map (well, part of it) as it will appear in Goblin and Coins 2, let's first talk quickly of the "level end" screen. One of the most criticized things in the first game was that there were no level end screen with a feedback on how well a player did. My idea was to avoid cutting the flow of the game and to focus on the levels, story panels, the experience... Making the coins, time and all of the other "gamey" things sort of unimportant in the process.

But most experienced gamers hated it, couldn't cope with not knowing if they did well or not. So, one of the most wanted features for GnC2:


Now you will know that you have indeed finished a level in a video game, what your time was, how many coins you've collected... It will also calculate and auto-save your level score, and some other things. Mostly because we need to show them later in the map screen. Oh yes, the map!


Here it is! On the left side you can see a selected level's name, relative size, if you've finished it already, how many coins you've potentially missed to collect, and what was your best time. On the right side of the screen you'll see the visual representation of the world map, with a pointer in the shape of goblin's head, and levels represented by... kidney beans, of course.

All you see should be considered work in progress and not the final look of the game.