Yogo RocketFist – Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @rilemtwit)
December 28th, 2013 10:24 am

First, if you haven’t played it yet, go check it out here.

 

The idea.

As always, I was in the mood for something with a lot of explosions on screen. I wasn’t a big fan of the theme, but I could live with it. So while lying in bed on the morning of Ludum I was brainstorming. You only get one. Somehow a special move frequently occurring in old school anime’s came to mind.

You only get one, RocketFist! A rocket propelled fist is wonderfully over the top and allowed for some cool mechanics. Before starting visually I wanted to make a quick prototype to see if I could do what I wanted, and to see if it could be fun.

yeah

 

Graphics

It took me quite some time to settle on a graphical style. Dark shadows and a girl as the main character. It worked out quite well. Although I wasn’t able to put as much time into the backgrounds as I wanted. The doors are very detailed for example, but the sand is just  a plain flat color.

door

Learnings

 

Difficulty

The game can be pretty brutal at times. I’ve had mixed reactions to this. Some people absolutely love it and some people hate it. The trick is to find a good middle way where both parties are happy. A not so elegant way to fix this, is a difficulty setting. But there are lots of dynamic things you can implement.

 

Level design

As with all of my Ludum Dare entries so far, I made the levels by hand. It’s a shame because random generated levels would benefit this game greatly. The reason for this is because I simply never made a random level generator before.

So currently I’m doing some research on that. Turns out it’s tons of fun to build. 😀

randomgen3

I’m definitely going to apply this in a future game.

 

Controls

Wasd + mouse is a common setup, but not all people have qwerty keyboards. Reconfigurable keys would be a nice to have. It’s something to keep in mind, but no way that was happening in a Ludum Dare.

The fist mechanic is cool, but I got a lot of complaints that it wasn’t responsive enough. I did this on purpose because the game would be too easy if the rocket just went straight to your mouse. But it was a common issue people would bring up, so it’s definitely something to look into.

ld28ojo

Designing for widescreen

The game plays in a 720p window. The characters aggro radius however is a circle. This means that when playing levels that go horizontally, the game feels perfectly fair. However when playing levels that go up or down, the circle aggro radius triggers enemies way to early. The fix for this would be to use an oval aggro trigger shape to compensate for the widescreen layout.

Upgrades

Upgrades are fun, but my implementation of a shop was pretty weak. You’d have to start over to return to the shopkeeper. I had planned that area to be a hub with more stuff to do, but that didn’t make it in for Ludum.

Future plans

I have no plans to continue working on RocketFist. But it has inspired me to start exploring into the roguelike genre (see random generation). I learned a lot from this jam and I’m very pleased with what was made. So I’ll definitely be mixing some elements from RocketFist into that roguelike!

 


4 Responses to “Yogo RocketFist – Postmortem”

  1. The advantage of random level generation is to able to mass produce levels. However, for good level design, I would favor generating levels by hand. By manually designing levels, you define the experience of the user. Also, by doing it by hand, you’re open to add extra details and tweaks that can make each level unique.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Yogo RocketFist and Potato Dungeon are two of my favourite LD games ever! I can’t wait to see what you make next, hopefully with some cool, randomly generated levels ^^

  3. nyrrrr says:

    awww, too bad… I hoped you’d continue this game.

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