Been too long since I posted but I’ve just been busy busy busy!
I may be showing off an early alpha build at a gaming con this summer. News on that later. I will be sending out alpha testing details in June. If you want to get in on the fun, sign up at: SuperGalaxyBoy.com
Some have been asking if I am planning on a mobile version and the short answer is, not this year. I would have to re-create the game for a mobile project due to the gamepad design. That doesn’t mean that “Super Galaxy Boy: GO!” isn’t impossible, that’s just way too far away from today to make any decisions. Applies to both iOS and Android.
Here is some development since I last posted in a giant gif/video dump. Enjoy!
306 is the current number of planet mechanic possibilities based on stacking the various states, still excluding enemies and target challenges. That alone is a substantial amount of possibility to work with when coming up with levels. It is actually a bit overwhelming.
(You may notice I am using imgur gifv format here, it is because some gifs are like 20mbs so I would rather it be compressed and streamed)
Documenting the level design rules has shown me that my scope was too small and I have decided to sit down for the next few weeks and focus entirely on absorbing design principals on level design and puzzle solving. Essentially a LOT of practice with my level design rules and learning what I can actually do. Designing seperate mechanics one by one keeps the general scope down as you focus on just making them work with each other – now that I step back and look at the toolkit I created I realize that I need to learn it now. Even though I created it, there is now a ‘new’ toolset of options and possibilities that have introduced themselves. Too many, in fact. As such, the ones that make it into the final game need to be of their best potential and not just for the sake of ‘level design.
I have created quite a few things that I have not shown yet and as much as I am dying to get the ‘real alpha’ in the hands and eyes of people – there is a reason one should not rush. However that just means the more it stews the better it should be.
Expect a lot of gifs/videos and level design talk this month!
Bonus Gif: The high arcing rainbow jump never fails!
The most ‘unfinished’ piece of all the current Alpha stage mechanics is – or should I say was – the inside planet mechanics.
Now they are fully dynamic and tied to the trigger and spawning system. With their own unique gravity and rules I can change on the fly. They also inherit all of the other 14 planet mechanics (Mud, Ice, Magnet, etc) so there is a LOT of room for fun puzzle design here!
With that finished up, all the core mechanics are alpha stage ready and that means it is time to move onto the most ever-changing aspect of Alpha and that is level design.
I am aiming for Alpha to be 7 worlds quickly introducing the 14 core planet mechanics with a few worlds left for fun to showcase the game’s overall concept. This should be plenty of content in order to get feedback and help cement design decisions for later.
Today was a grab bag of little things I wanted to work on, the biggest being the raygun combat system.
I rewrote the entire system for the raygun. Aim is now done with right-stick and the right trigger fires. This gives the player free aiming while moving without concern for gravity and the things of the like. The general feedback on the original version just didn’t have the control needed so it was scrapped. I’m quite happy with the current iteration.
I updated my core enemies with the new movement system, they can now mimic full player movement (yay jumping) but for now they prefer to just move around in a circle jumping.
I also added the new dynamic trigger system. This allows me to create custom events on the fly to trigger new events, reveal items, planets, etc. Pretty standard platformer faire.
Okay! That’s about it for today! More updates and gifs tomorrow!
This week was spent on polishing internal mechanics and starting to dip my toe in the water of mixing them about in some functional levels. By the end of next week 60% of dev time will be spent focused level design, with the rest split up over new art, audio, and getting things prepped for private playtesting!
A couple things I took away this week while working on on Super Galaxy Boy:
Rechargeable batteries. My wireless gamepads are burning through juice with constant 10+ hour use per day. Get some rechargeable batteries or a cable so the spice may flow!
If your game has gradients, gifs are not good for presentation, and since Google are slow in supporting .apng we’re left with video. On social networks there is a downside because gifs auto-play and videos do not, but that must be the sacrifice to make for higher quality examples of gameplay.
Can we just get .webm as a standard already? Sheesh.
Be honest with your skill level and make reasonable estimates in how long each section of development will take. I’ve learned to really apply a realistic development schedule and stick to it. Not only are things moving faster but the projects focus remains clear and the pressure to ‘finish’ isn’t there.
Reward yourself for staying on schedule. I have a Nintendo Switch that I take into the living room or the dog park when I want a break. Being able to reward yourself with a treat that also includes fresh air and moving around every time you complete a series of goals is a really healthy way to train yourself to stay focused and interested in the projects you’re working on. Find something you can spend 30 minutes on every few hours so you can do a quick recharge and train your body to become addicted to the reward of success.
There is only one thing I see as beautiful as my beloved wife, and that is math. All hail the number. (And you too, sweetheart!)