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Work Notes Of The Two Dimensions

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

By Notoj

This article is from Gcores.com

https://www.gcores.com/articles/115114




Briefings

Hi guys! I'm a member of Mofish which is one of the participants of BOOOM! Our game is called the Two Dimensions.

It is a geometry puzzle game. Player can switch between two 2d dimensions using visual differences to solve the puzzle.



For this event, my friend Jcat is in charge of planing, I'm in charge of everything else.


Preparing

After reading the briefing article of the BOOOM! I draged my friend Jcat into this event immediately. Jcat was very busy for school, but he answered right away. Thanks, bro!

Then I joined the group chat, met lots of real developers, like Guo Daxing. I was truely excited, guys were so real, very friendly.


After spending some time on researching, I decided to use Love2D, learn from using. Some bro frm the group chat helped me changing the language to Chinese, then I spent some time on text alignment. It saved me a lot of trouble 'cause the built-in text aligment of Love2D is kind of mysterious.


From bubur to ah....

Now, let's begin.

The theme was SHIFT, we understood it as "switch from different status". At the begining I wanted to do a switch from black/white visual effects, making a depression angle shooting game. But I thought it was not quite creative.


Then we had a two day discussion, abandoned some cases. Finally, Jcat said we should make a swich between depression angle and horizontal version. He gave a good metaphor: a black hole on the plane, after switch it becomes a cliff.


It became crystal clear after that. Let's do it!


drawing during thinking

Because the original idea was a shooting game, so we had to discuss battle design for a couple of days. We actually thought about many things, like some kind of enemy, it attacks differently in two worlds, as well as boss battle.


Then, the problem was how to present. Because it was a 2D engine, we did not expect it to be like Fez. The final plan was to devide the screen, depression angle above, horizontal version below.




Me and Jcat drawed our own concept drawings. Mine was inspired by the back of D.E.O.T., Jcat's was from Katana ZERO.


Mine concept drawing is inspired by the back of D.E.O.T., looks like digital space.

It's Jcat's drawing. We wished to go this way but had no time.

And the title was decided, Two Dimensions, meas player can switch between two dimensions, and also means player can only act 2D.


In short, we've spent a whole week to decide the dev direction, then we went to real dev.


Idea is strong, reality is not. Cost down, fellows

Muse knocked the door one evening, I used some rookie codes achieved fake 3D effect.


Mean while, some bros in the group chat was on real 3D......

It looks amazing, but it's actually drawing two ellipses and cover the one below, then add two lines. Cube is even more simple, it's just two rectangles stretching.


I showed it to Jcat, felt well, so we abandoned deviding screen plan. It was lucky that we could achieve this, bucause if we had to use deviding screen plan, some levels that use visual illusion can be very diffcult to understand.


Then, we were making levels in codes, typing coordinates...... until some dudes asked questions in the group chat, we found that was very low efficiency.


Level coding model. Just need to change coordinates to make new levels. Even Jcat can creat levels, don't need to take care of other things.

Then was depression angle. Because I made some platform jumping games, so this time I was too confident that abandoned the built-in physics of Love2D. And this was the most regretful decision...... Subjuects in the game I called them "shape", so most of time I was adding a shape, a pile of bugs jumped out, debug...... in that order.


Player got stuck in a subject. This note is kept in the game.

Go back to design. Fez and Momument Valley have a lot of designs to learn from (like dimension switching, it had no linear acceleration at begining, after added it, control feelings got much better). But the most inspiring one, is this podcast : https://www.gcores.com/radios/102931 (Mandarin)


Every time I've got dried out of ideas, I listen to this podcast.


So when I started to make the board's collision, I remembered that the podcast mensioned that when 2D subject is rolling, if you are looking at it on plane, it's like a line gaining and losing length. Then I made this creepy way of moving. It's not exact like that, but was inspired of that indeed.


And this kind of move led to other funny designs, the ramp:



Thinking was fast, achieving took long time.

You may find that early character design was round. It was not random. In early settings, player is from the State of Round, enemies are from the State of Rectangle. But why changed later?

It was because my roockie codes fell parts after I added a complex situation of boards collisions...... So I had to change the player's shape to rectangle.



A former design of enemy.


Settings were cut into pieces, and a former setting of radio talking, because of the lack of time to write text, had to be changed to massage-ish tips.


Tried classical conversation interface.

May because this theme suited puzzle games well, me and Jcat went to this direction with privity. We had a good time designing some mind blowing levels.


Then we forgot about the battle design, I mean at all......


One of the most complex levels.

With some regrets, like music issues, too few levels...... finally, we finished our first complete game! The night we upleaded our game was full of joy. I can't describe this by words, but I believe it was so called the joy of making.


Here is the itch page of our game.

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