The new cute Checkpoint system is in now. Basically how it works is that checkpoints only trigger when you’re walking. So, no triggers on falls or dashes or anything like that. Then, I made almost every screen a checkpoint. This is now designed to make the game a little (okay, maybe a lot) more forgiving. Now if you get taken out it’s not back to the most recent and convenient checkpoint screen you had reached, but very likely the screen that killed you, or the one that invariably led to your untimely digital demise.
To wit, if you’re running along a high platform, like in Stage 3, and you fall down, you’ll fall for quite a few screens (I got 6 once – it was quite a drop). The last one of those that you ran into, will be the checkpoint and all the ones you happen to fall through, will not be. So once you go splat, it’ll put you right back up at the top where the proverbial pooch was screwed to give you another shot.
Since it still uses the existing checkpoint system, with actual trigger information, I can also choose to specifically not have some screens be checkpoints, like any of the scripted excitement in Stages 2 and 3.
Although, as I thought about it, it occurred to me that hypothetically, a player could jump into every portal rectangle and then die at the very end of the stage. The system would then trigger the last checkpoint reached, which would be the very first screen. As I thought more about it, I’m okay with it. It’ll teach people to not do something silly like that.
-While I was actually adding the Checkpoint status to every screen I also went in and updated all the geometries with the current format. Little things like putting all of the Portal Rectangles just off screen instead of sticking into the edges and making all the handholds be half inside blocks for better collision detection. I also tweaked some of the other small things that either didn’t work right or presented an odd difficulty spike, especially in the first level. Now with some more levels done I can compare the puzzles in each. In one of the puzzles in Level 1 the player had to jump to a handhold, wall jump off and then double jump, maybe even dash to get across to another handhold. The punishment for failure – death. So I went ahead and modified that just a little. I don’t think it’ll take The Background Artist too much time to update that.
-Finally, a thought on the musics of the game. I’m thinking I’m going to post a thing on the magics of internet for a composer and/or FX dude. The odd thing is that I already have a very real understanding of what I want the music to be.
Basically, I want orchestral style music (to match the themes of the story) and I want the whole thing to be thematic. So I would like individual themes for The Thief, The Princess, The General, The Captain and The Grand Skeleton. I also want individual themes for each Stage – The Prison/Warehouse, The Caves/Crypt, The Cliffs (maybe), The Castle and the Tower. Then use the themes as they are and combine them together in the Stage.
For example, the Prison starts off with the Prison Theme. Once you get to the second half then the music should be a mix of The Prison’s Theme and The Captain’s theme. Finally, for the boss fights it should be a mix of whatever theme the Boss has and the theme for The Thief.
The individual themes will also be played during the scenes, depending on the mood of the scene and who I would argue the focus of the scene is.
All in all, that’s 9 individual pieces and 8 theme mixes, so 17 songs in total. That’s actually quite a lot. To give an idea for how long that kind of stuff takes for those of you out there that haven’t ever written music before, it takes me about 2 hours to compose 1 minute. Assuming each song is about 2-3 minutes, that’s 85 hours worth of work. Granted a real composer with real composer tools may be able to do it a lot quicker, but that’s still a lot of work and doesn’t even include the SFX.
Ah, and The Cliff level. My thoughts are that we only have The Thief’s Theme on that stage and maybe give a variation halfway through. Since he’s the only character in the entire stage and we’d only ever hear The Thief’s Theme in pieces, it seems appropriate.
I’ll post the want ad on the giant list of Craig and see what I can get.
Wanted : Composer for Independent Games Festival game project. No money, 90+ hours worth of work, super tight deadline. Maybe go to IGF. Great resume builder! …and so on.