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.
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/.