Testing Take 2

Today I managed to finish off both the current Prison level, install the Scripting again (which is really a joy to use – no sarcasm) and draw out the next section. So it was productive. Then I got my tester to go ahead and have a look at the new level. I’m pleased to say that the levels went much better than before and she was able to get the whole way through. Even when she got to the new ledges that I installed it went quite good. There were only 2 complaints and they are both control issues, which I’m happy to fix. They go like this:

1) The Double Jump with the UP arrow seems to confuse and annoy. On the one hand, I know that you can get used to it – since I am. But the whole point of having testers is to get feedback on something that pisses off. Controls are like rocks. What you really want are nice, smooth rocks that you can hold for a good long time without discomfort. You do not want jagged rocks that never quite feel comfortable. Metroid Prime had jagged rock controls. Granted, you eventually get used to them, but their never really second nature and really smooth – like say Halo‘s controls. So, I’m thinking about using putting the Double Jump move on the same button. My idea is this – When you press the Jump key, it will start a small timer. If you press the button again while this is running, it will ignore the press – so you don’t mash the key a bunch of times. If you press it after the timer, then it will double jump you. Not sure about why I didn’t think of this before, but it should work and I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

2) The Wall Grab is too “sticky.” This one is weird. (why is it when I spell “weird” it always looks misspelled?) When you jump at the wall, it detects your position and your current state. It was set to “When you touch this and you are Jumping or Dashing.” Now, it detects to see if you are Dashing, or if you are at a certain point in the jump. Before, if you stood right next to the wall, Zero would stick right to the wall and soon as he left the ground. This of course, sucked when you are trying to jump on top of something. So now it works better now, although I did have an issue with the order. Basically, I wanted to say, “If your are Jumping, and the jump is at a certain point, Or if you are dashing.” This didn’t work for some reason, and the Aerial Dash just wouldn’t do it. Then I realized that the, “If your are Jumping, and the jump is at a certain point,” line is redundant, since if the Jump is at a certain point, you are clearly jumping already.

On a side note , I noticed that the HUD goes away when talky bits appear, which I find nice.

What I find less nice is that the HUD is ugly and sometimes overlaps the play area in ways that I don’t like. I’ll figure something else out. Maybe by putting info on the character – but I hate that. It’s all the rage now to have a HUD-less screen. This, of course, is distasteful if you have a little screen. What? A goddamn life bar is too much to ask? So I don’t think that I’ll be going in that direction.

-Okay. So I went ahead and got the Double Jump thing going, but it’s a little dumb. What I want is for the flip to happen after you have already jumped and what happens is nothing. The jump goes, but then mash the key as you might, it ignores the rest of the of the commands…

-Got it. It turns out that it doesn’t like to have to deal with multiple uses of the same KeyHit in the same frame. In other words, it gets to the second one, and thinks, “Nope, nothing new here. Move along.” So it would skip the rest, then it would come around to the first reference again and get all confused and crap. So, I made a modification and it only reference the bloody key once and checks to see what is going on. So now Zero double jumps like a champ using the same key. I had no idea how crap the Up arrow for a double jump was until I didn’t have to do it any more. So that’s, well, nice.

I know I shouldn’t, but there were just too many uses of the italics in this post. Oh well. It seems too many things required sarcastic emphasis.

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