July 26th: Intelligent Design

Today was a bit odd. I realized a couple of flaws in the design of the game — or, perhaps, acknowledged a couple of the flaws I’d been in denial about. So, most of today was spent in deep thought trying to figure out what to do about these problems.

The problems are as follows: A) The double-jump upgrade was planned to be acquired at the end of chapter 2, and thematically and narratively this is pretty much where it belongs, but a lot of the areas of the game that will be most satisfying to navigate with a double jump are in chapter 2. And B) The sling attack, still largely unimplemented, has no real place in the game design and I can’t imagine it being especially compelling, so it’s basically just a gimmick added because I liked the visual design of it.

I resolved A but haven’t entirely figured out B yet. By adding another small mobility upgrade (gliding) to the middle of chapter 1, I can set a precedent of finding items to increase air mobility and introduce the enhanced version in chapter 2 by placing that item earlier on, thus allowing double jumps for the section of the map where they’ll be most interesting while still keeping fairly close to the narrative ideas I had in mind.

B is harder, both because I really do like the design of the sling and removing it does leave rather a hole in both the control scheme and the upgrade flow. One possibility is passive upgrades, one possibility is adding a set of spells/special moves — hell, one possibility is just figuring out some way to redesign the sling to make it more interesting and fun. That’s as far as I got today, anyway — other than that I spent an hour or so building at levels, but that too was somewhat undermined by a sudden realization that I was doing it wrong and some of the level design had to be redone, since I realized I was building too tall and flat for the area of the ruins as I’d conceived it.

Also a bit of commission work.

 

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