The Mezunian

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

Boskeopolis Land: 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 LV: I Can Go with the Flow

I Can Go with the Flow

Here’s a level I’ve been working on for a while. It’s actually a level I apparently wanted so much ’twas the primary inspiration to add the rather recent “swamp” theme to this game ( well, that & my desire to use this level’s music ). This level’s main gimmick is also 1 o’ the many I ripped off from the Wario Land games, but with this game’s oxygen mechanic & the need to aim for bubbles to keep Autumn from drowning as an extra challenge.

The reason this level took so long to finish that 2 other swamp levels were finished before it was simply that I had many 2nd thoughts ’bout this level. ¿Is it truly fun or just annoying? The current mechanic doesn’t work as well with Boskeopolis Land’s Mario-style swimming as Wario Land’s, where you’re actually swimming without gravity constantly dragging you downward, rather than constantly bopping upward in water, as in this game. I also wasn’t sure if the direction the currents are going are easy ’nough to see & whether the path to the end isn’t too obscure. As a developer it’s always important to keep in mind that actually playing a map, where the camera is only showing narrow pieces o’ the map round you @ a time rather than showing the whole map in its entirety before you, is harder than navigating in a map program. While playing the level I was surprised by how much I myself got lost in the maze.

On the other hand, the level is easygoing, with no enemies in the river itself to worry ’bout. I debated adding enemies, but figured the player doesn’t have ’nough control in the currents to make that fair & figured ’twas better to err on being a bit too easy & fair being preferable to frustrating cheap deaths. As a compromise & a way to give the level mo’ variety, I added sections @ the beginning & end with the hopping frog enemies from the 1st swamp level. Anyway, this is only a 2nd-cycle level, so it shouldn’t be that hard, anyway, & I think the threat o’ drowning is ’nough. I also added a small loop o’ currents going down & up ( but ultimately still linear ) round an otherwise unpassable wall @ the top as a tiny unspoken tutorial before immediately throwing the player into the big maze. This expanded the level a bit without making it too long: if one doesn’t make any wrong turns in the main maze, it’ll take the player ’bout 20 seconds. This is ’cause the big maze isn’t all that big, which I consider a +, since a gimmick like this with the risk o’ becoming annoying should err on the side o’ not o’erstaying its welcome.

’Cause the current physics are somewhat janky, I made the time & gem scores somewhat lenient. The time score offers plenty o’ time so long as you don’t take any wrong turns @ all, which is a fair challenge in itself. While the gem score is 1 o’ the highest score requirements in the game so far, @ 40,000₧, there are gems all ’long the current tunnels ( which I just now realized has the advantage o’ showing players paths they’d already taken ). I avoided having hidden tunnels in walls with gems & kept collectibles, like the collectible card, to some branching paths near the bottom middle o’ the level, which are tricky to get to, or in side cliffs in the out-o’-water sections, as expecting players to just ram gainst every wall while struggling thru currents would just be annoying, neither challenging nor fun.

As an arguably irrelevant addendum, to help me create the o’erworld events shown when beating this level ( as well as the previous level’s event, so the level isn’t just floating on water & inaccessible ), since ’twas getting tedious @ this point, I crapped together a quick JavaScript script to generate the event files from specially made Tiled map files. This will be specially useful, since I plan to heavily redesign the o’erworld map ( which means all o’ the events I’ve already made will have to be remade ), not the least ’cause I’ve thought o’ yet ’nother new theme I may add…

This video almost kept in a serious graphical error, like almost all my previous videos, in which 1 o’ the currents was missing most o’ the moving current tile graphics. Howe’er, this was so jarring & this video was relatively quick to record that this time I went thru the whole trouble o’ rerecording & reuploading to YouTube ( yes, it took that long to find, e’en tho I watched the video before uploading ). Howe’er, there is still ’nother bug shown in the video that I still haven’t fixed: you can clearly see the toad enemies hop thru the player from ’neath, hurting them rather than getting bonked. I think this only happens during a high hop, caused presumably by them moving so quickly upward that they pass the bonk collision threshold within a single frame, causing the player to get hurt ’stead.

Learn mo’ ’bout Boskeopolis Land @ https://www.boskeopolis-land.com/.

Read this code as tortuous as this level’s currents.

Posted in Boskeopolis Land, Programming