Monday, September 3, 2012

Rollin Droid

I have been working on prototypes for games for a while now. I tried doing:
  • a game where you rotate a shape and avoid projectiles
  • a game where you race in between planets
  • an isometric-real-time-chess game on an infinitely large board where you move a knight
but there was always something in the gameplay that didn't feel right.

Luckily, after playing Line Runner I finally did a prototype that deserved to be turned into a complete game. Line Runner is incredibly addictive, but there are several things that I would have done differently:
  • the player isn't allowed to make mistakes: one mistake and it's an immediate Game Over.
  • you play on a horizontal line. It would be better if you could move up or down.
Here's what Rollin Droid (my interpretation of Line Runner) currently looks like:

During the development I realized that I could implement wall jumps which allowed players to climb up tunnels and change direction.
Wall jumping unfortunately creates a big problem: if the player mistakenly wall jumps somewhere he's not supposed to, he ends up going in the wrong way and is very frustrated of not being able to change his direction until he finds a place where he can wall jump again. This problem isn't yet entirely solved, but can be mitigated with smart level design.

The main character is a little bugdroid that skates and collects donuts. In the game, he's a ragdoll animated using box2D, so his body/head/arms/accessories correctly reacts to his movements :-)
I doubt Apple would be very happy if I released the game on the App Store with a bugdroid as the main character, so the game on iOS (and the other non-android OS) will probably feature an other character.