Disclaimer: Art, gameplay, sound, music etc. is not final work and all subject to change.

Read the Week 1 Update

Welcome back to the “Platformer” development blog where you can follow along as we make our next game. This project is still very early in development and contains quite a bit of “programmer art”. Later on when we’re closer to release I will remove these disclaimers. With that, let’s get started. This week we prioritized our time on starting the player shooting mechanic. I was able to get something quickly going for shooting and then started working on the ability to detect when a player enters an exit.

What went well this week:

  • Being able to shoot the pistol
  • Breaking the breakable blocks with bullets instantly
  • Exit layer start, teleports player to a location
  • Learned more about Unity’s layers and Tiled2Unity export system
  • Achieved all of the “next steps” from week 1

What did not go as well:

  • Took longer than expected to learn the layers and Tiled2Unity to make the exit collision detection work
  • Got sucked into the pico-8 and started a new miniature project

Next steps:

  • Really basic “level generation” that will take multiple map chunks and “stitch” them together to make up a level
  • Basic enemy AI
  • Add another handgun and ability to switch between weapons
  • Spend less time making a pico-8 game

One of the first things we had to do was split up the character’s arm layer into two more parts: one for the arm and another for the weapon in hand. Luckily, we knew we were going to do this and already separated the art as separate layers in our sprite editor of choice, Aseprite. In Unity, we just added another empty object, added the pistol and added a couple points for where weapons are attached and where the bullets will fire from. It wasn’t too much more work before I had shooting sort of going, but, with a familiar bug where the rotation is off by half a circle when facing left again. Maybe we can make this into some sort of shooting behind the back trick shot kind of thing? Probably not in this game though.

Trick shot feature?

After I got the shooting fixed up and firing in the right direction, it was time to move on to detecting when the player touches the “exit” gate. Every level within the game will have some sort of exit so the player can move on. This might just take you to the next level or a boss for example.

Right now, the exit portal is just teleporting the player within this tutorial level. Some next steps are to make this portal go to the next level that we generate randomly. Of course the first couple iterations of our level generator will be quite simple and evolve as we add more items, monsters, and interactive elements.

Teleporting exit

As mentioned earlier in the bullet points, I got sucked into the Pico-8 fantasy console. It’s a great little all-in-one development program where you can code, draw your sprites, add sounds and music and see your results on a 128x128 screen. What’s interesting is the community behind it and the ability to share your games as “carts” or PNG images and even export it as HTML / Javascript. This got me interested for a few reasons: Quick and fast development cycle makes creating small games easy and fun, reminds me of making a NES game without all the hassle and it reminded me of when I first started making games on the TI-83 calculator back when I was in high school. Here’s a GIF of what was made relatively quickly this week. It’s the start of an auto-runner where you control the cat to jump over obstacles. There’s still work to be done like actual collision detection, platform generation, and things to avoid so you actually lose. But, over time we’ll finish that and even release the game here on the site.

Cat Runner 2018

That’s all for this week! Join us next week as we have more on level generation and maybe even a little bit of basic enemy AI so we finally have something other than a block to shoot at!

Read the Week 3 Update

Please follow our development road map on Trello. Once our alpha is released you will be able to try the alpha demo on our itch.io page. Thank you for following the dev blog.