Reflex – Dev Diary 36

This week I continue to add in the levels for World 4 and make a few changes for the potential Android build of the game.

With the levels in World 4 getting larger and more complex the amount of time required to actually add them to the game takes longer and longer. Each level consists of several layers of elements each of which have to be laid down separately. First I lay down the wall layer; this includes the outline of the base. Next is the floor panels. This involves putting down the floor pattern (which varies per level) and then painstakingly applying the tiles that run around the walls, these are made with half, quarter and 3/4 quarter floor tiles so that the outside ground texture shows on the outer edge of the wall and the floor tiles show on the inner side. Once the walls and floor is down I change floor tiles to the reflector socket tiles where need. Then it’s on to the level bulkhead door and the launch pads. Next is the actual elements/instances for the level; all the reflectors, reactors, satellite dishes, gun turrets etc are all put in place. Some of these elements require variables being set up so they operate how they are needed in the level. For example gun turrets are told what angles they operate between, toggle switches are told which doors they trigger, and so on.

Once all of that is done I have to change the level parameters; the timing goals, whether to show any tutorials, what the objectives for the level are and of course what components the player has at the start of the level.

Each level for World 4 is taking about 20 minutes to add to the game and so far I’ve added in the first 20 with just 5 more to go before I can start designing the World 5 (final) levels.

Other than the levels I’ve also been looking at what is needed for the Android build. The game itself is fully playable on Android right now and has been for quite some time but there are some limitations with GMS2 and mobile platforms that I needed to address. The main one being the lack of video playback. So, the intro video will be a simple fade in logo on Android and the tutorials are simple static images (along with the description text). The one thing I need to work out is how I’m going to achieve the intro and outro story videos. I know what I want to see for the intro but I will need to break it down into a static image sequence for Android and still maintain the style. I’m thinking of having a graphic novel style display so that panels display and animate a little along with subtitling. I’ll have to have a play and see what looks best once I’ve put together the Windows video intro.