The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

Let’s Code a Crappy 2D Platformer Like Millions o’ Other People on the Internet & Lose Interest & Give Up Only a Few Months In, Part VII

It’s not so much that I haven’t been working on my stupid project since my last post,–quite contrarily, I’ve been working on it mo’ than mo’ important work–but that I haven’t felt like there was much to show ’bout it. & I think talking ’bout refactoring out sprite movement code into “Movement Components” to separate gravity-based sprite movement from floating sprites & swimming sprites would be as interesting.

But I did make this nifty ice level that I wanted to show off.

1st, we have penguin enemies that move back & forth, slowing to a skid as they turn. I e’en made it so that sliding into them (which still just uses Autumn’s ducking sprite) kills them.

That reminds me: I finally got it so that you hop off enemies when you land on them, ‘stead o’ some flaccid bounce that has no air. This was done by adding some bounce function to the grounded movement component & making it so that holding the jump button down while bouncing can extend it, but it can only be started by other means (landing on enemy heads so far).

Next we have these big ice cubes that fall into water, stay floating on water, & start moving if you get on them. 2 ice cubes hitting each other causes them to turn in opposite directions, & hitting walls causes them to sink into the water.

Also, the water hurts Autumn from its icy coldness.

Lastly, unlike some other moving platform sprites that I’m not sure I e’en mentioned programming in yet, these ice cubes don’t keep Autumn’s X position with them, meaning that they can slip past Autumn, forcing the player to sort o’ fiddle with the controls to keep up with the ice cube. A li’l bit o’ challenge that… isn’t truly all that challenge.

Finally, I have smaller ice blocks that begin to shatter once you step on them. I also made them crack ‘pon hitting them from below, & then shatter when hit a 2nd time from below, but didn’t find a place to use them in this level. I’ve been wary ’bout avoiding making levels feel too big or fillery by trying to limit them to only a few, select, quick elements. As I was constructing this level, I worried that it may be too long, but ‘pon testing it I found that the fact that much o’ the level is large plots o’ land for breaks ‘tween water sections & the fact that your slippery movement makes you go faster, the level feels actually quite brisk.

I’m somewhat glad o’ how the graphics in this level turned out–though I fear the background may be a bit too similar to the background to Super Mario Bros. 3‘s ice levels. Then ‘gain, I think a few Kirby games used the same simple pattern. The ice blocks are also inspired by Super Mario Bros. 3, & the main ground is inspired by Kirby’s Adventure, but I think I differentiated them ‘nough. The only similarity ‘tween the grounds is that they both have shiny ice tops: while Kirby’s had rigid triangular shapes, mine has mo’ melty dripping lines. My ice blocks also have mo’ o’ the grungy dirt pixel shading I use for my other graphics (see the city graphics for particular examples) & have a different bevel on the right side.

Look, it’s hard to be particularly different when working in only 16 x 16 pixels. In such a case, these seemingly slight differences make a big difference–‘specially when you consider how oft commercial NES games seemed to ripoff other games. You have no idea how many times I see those Legend of Zelda stairs in other games.

I would talk ’bout a cart level I’d been working on before & a sewer level I’m working on, but I want to draw the cart sprite so the screenshots don’t show a tacky black square for the player for the former, & want to finish the latter, since it’s now mostly long stretches o’ water with few dangers.

I think I’ll focus less on “what I’ve done since last update” & mo’ on particular levels I’ve developed beyond an alpha stage. Which means, don’t expect ‘nother update till next year or so.

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Posted in Boskeopolis Land, Programming