AXRIA Dev Diaries- Revolotion of Tile

blocky 1

A few things have happened when it comes to designing levels, main thing is that I will no longer use the standard tile option that Game Editor offers. The reason being is that makes all platforms one single actor, where as what i want all blocks to be individual.

Making blocks individual clones will mean if i have a weapon that destroys blocks, it will destroy the blocks it touches and not effect the entirety of the land! And blocks can now be individually animated, and have partner actors joined on top! Which is awesome considering how long I’ve wanted to have animated tiles work properly!

The way this is done is unusual but i feel works well after some tweaking; you have a tile-based actor which is invisible in-game, when you load the level, scan lines go down and identify where to load blocks and what type they should be.

They are all clones of the same actor, but have different variables to define what actions they take. For instance the standard tiles (called Poly-egg) are destructible to a special power up, whereas the Convener belt tiles are indestructible, and move Sarah to the speed and direction they’re set to.

blocky 3

Another revolution is having Sarah walk up stairs, it may not sound like much but it makes it better than repeatedly jumping or side walling up! If its one block above the ground, you’ll walk up it like stairs, if its more than two blocks high, you’ll push against it like normal!

It was a happy accident in a way as I was developing a separate collision box for side-jumping. During that time i wondered on the spot if the technique were possible. And it just worked like that! Sarah did slide up the wall sometimes but this was later sussed out.

Also those grass across the ground are automatically generated! This is done by the loaders putting grass tiles on top of platforms, then it won’t put another one on until finding six blocks-worth of space. In other words spacing it out so it wont appear within the ground, only on top.

Hope to give a video demonstration soon, as I’ve been using Open Broadcaster Software now it’s a lot easier to record now without having to go into full-screen!

I will continue work on this despite soon going to University and other personal things going on, but keep in mind breaks are to be expected for projects like this.

Angus Beer 🙂

AXRIA Dev Diaries: Control considerations

Sarah_Keyboard_sketch

One thing I realized over the years of being a Games programmer is that there are many things we take for granted while playing games. One of those things in PC games is giving gamers the opportunity to customize controls, be it changing the keys input or controller input.

I myself grew up with keyboard controls for platformers so I’ve adapted to it; however I’ve become more and more aware that some people who grew up on console would prefer the controller option.

I feel that it’s lucky to look into this now, as I’m at the early point of development where most of Sarah’s player mechanics are functioning, yet there’s still room for change (I expect to be experimenting with Madaura abilities soon).

Even though Arrow keys and ZXC are my preferred way of playing platformers, I want to give players the option to customize keys, should they prefer the WASD control scheme, should they prefer Space to jump, should they prefer using Shift and Ctrl, and so on!

Sarah_Controller _sketch

As I’m using lesser known software (Game Editor) it is a bit intimidating as it’s something I’ll have to properly research into. These are the commands that I believe relate to this action:

GetJoystick1Axis
GetJoystick1Button
GetKeyState();

From the sound of these I can get an idea of what these functions could be like, one recognizes controller inputs while the other ones for keyboard inputs. I remember trying the Key State one before with some referencing to other peoples code, I remember tidbits but I wasn’t experienced enough for it at the time.

Another thing to keep in mind controller wise is what kind of controllers people will be using.  I myself either use a PlayStation Controller with a USB adapter, or an Xbox 360 controller. The 360 controller is a common option for PC players as they’re both Microsoft based machines. When I get one controller to work and feel good to use, I’ll try different controllers and see how each feel.

Keep in mind that with both of these control considerations that I can’t promise it to happen anytime soon, but I sure hope to have them in the final game. It’s something that I believe will make the experience much more fluent for fans, and just overall more fun to play!

-Angus Beer

AXRIA Dev Diaries: Super Metroid

So to follow up on the development of 8-directional shooting, I looked for a game that excelled in that function and tried adapting it with the mechanics of Axria; that game of inspiration being Super Metroid (1994, Nintendo).

I considered to look at either Super Metroid or Super Probotector: Alien Rebels (UK release of Contra 3), however I’ve played Super Metroid than I have Super Probotector, and overall I feel Super Metroid ties closer to the kind of game I want to make (alongside Megaman and Sonic 3 & Knuckles).

My other intentions not covered in this video include using 8-directional fire with all weapons, from what I’ve tried so far it is certainly possible as it’s just a matter of telling the game what number weapon you’re holding, and how differently it acts upon release.

Another point I want to go into further depth in is about the control, more precisely having giving the players the option to have their own input. But I feel that deserves to be its own entry in itself. Tune back soon, and I’ll have covered the great struggle that is control!

-Angus Beer

angus making axria

Me narrating the use of the Axria star

AXRIA Dev Diaries: 8-Way Star

I’ve been thinking over things and i decided to give Sarah the ability to aim in 8-directions. My hesitance was from the thought that would this break the way things work, but then i envisioned some puzzles and scenarios using 8-way fire. So I thought, what the hell, why not 😉

It wasn’t too hard thankfully, just a matter of telling the game when you’re holding up or down, and the way the star shoot corresponds to what direction you’re facing and if you’re running.

My main influence is Megaman, but i felt it was most fun when you got an 8-directional weapon like the Metal Blade. But with the Axria star that’s a bounce-able weapon that collects items too, so to have it be able to shoot up into small upper areas and find a trail of items felt like a fun idea!

upward star

These are two areas just to demonstrate the potential scenarios; here we have a line of rupias that you shoot up and you have to get them to bounce at the right angle, notice there are bigger rupias that turn into smaller ones. This was done because the average rupia was now gravity based, so having a gravity-less one that spurts out four I thought would be more fun!

upper rupias

This is another draft area that when hitting the crystals releases all the rupia. The only issue at the moment is collecting the rupias that fall out, as they land on the platform below and have to be collected by the very touch of the star. What i intend on doing is having a magnet area much like what Sarah has to draw in rupia.

You can see this and more in action in the video below!

From whats been demonstrated in the video, you can see you have to run while aiming upward or downward, that’s what I hope to change next time, to have something of the likes of Super Metroid where you use shoulder buttons to aim diagonally without aiming. This may require a lot of tweaking as I’m currently using arrow keys, and WASD may be a better control scheme given you have Q and E above both A and D (Left and Right).

How well will this work out? Will there be controller support? We’ll soon see, as I don’t know at this point!

-Angus Beer

AXRIA Dev Diaries: Getting over gaps

sarah over gap

A little back story on this feature: Initially when I made Axria Retro World i immediately went to work on a sequel, which unfortunately never came to be. But in that sequel i had one new feature the original didn’t have, and that was the ability to run over gaps. This current version of Axria is technically based off the code from Retro World 2, but I’ve now had the time to properly look at it and polish it.

As you can see in the video, Sarah has a little window of time to jump even after leaving a platform. I intend this to aid players so that not only can they run over gaps, but they can have a few extra frames to jump when leaving the platform. If you’ve ever played Super Turrican (SNES, 1993), you may have noticed something similar where certain jumps require you to jump shortly after leaving the platform. However in Axria i intend it to be more clear because of this running over gap technique.

Check back soon and I’ll have posted more on new abilities!

-Angus Beer 🙂