Wow! I finally made a finished version of my LD39 game. Overall, I am fairly satisfied with this game, if not super enthused. I had to make many concessions to fit it into the token count. However, it is a surprisingly fully-featured procedural platformer, and it is something I am proud of.
Help Harry escape the procedurally generated caves!
How to play:
Walk and climb - arrow keys
Burp (attack) - X
Jump - Z or C
Dig - down arrow
- Harry will starve if you don't eat mushrooms along the way. Make sure to grab them!
- the caves are randomly generated every game. If you get a tough set of caves, don't be afraid to try again!
- If you get enough mushrooms, a powerup will appear above harry. GRAB THESE! they are they key to running faster, jumping higher, and burping harder!
- when harry digs on flat ground, he will pile up the ground behind him. Use this to build platforms to help you climb higher.
- the escape for each level is at the top, in the middle. If you find a way to break the ceiling, however, you can use that too!
- Your hunger will occur at a faster rate each level. Mushrooms are almost always worth a detour.
- You can jump for quite a while after walking off a ledge. Use this to your advantage!
v1.1 - Oct 31 '17
- added text to harry's intro that points out your burping ability. Non-pico8 players did not know to try pushing X.
- increased frequency factor of mushrooms from 1.5 to 2. SHould make things a bit easier.
Thank you all for playing!
@timatema I had wanted skill unlocks to be a little more nuanced than just getting them after eating enough, but I ran into token limits. I really wanted to implement a "devil-deal" kind of thing like in isaac, where you could find a hidden but powerful item and pay for it with your health gauge. Alas, not in the pico-8 version. Thanks for the steam compliment! I think Harry might be a few games and a few years away from Steam yet.
@floman The game does let you keep going if you beat it. I thought about doing a "input your seed" challenge mode a la spelunky so people could do a daily-run of sorts, but my level generation code is sloppy and it would be hard to tie it to a seed.
For the controls, i think it plays better with a dpad.
Thanks for playing again! Harry will return soon...
When I said challenge mode (sorry it wasn't clear) I meant more like a mode where you have to beat a specific level that is fixed.
Then another, then another etc...
I prefer to beat a premade level, so it's like fighting against the game designer, rather than fighting against randomly generated content. I think both modes would get along well
@floman I see...
So, this game was very deliberately designed to be procedural. Harry's abilities - climbing every surface, even ceilings, and digging - were designed to let him tackle almost any type of geometry, even though his jump is not extremely powerful. This makes him pretty adaptable to random (or just plain "bad") level designs. Also, since he doesn't die easily, if levels were short enough, you could just brute force your way through obstacles.
So, in this game engine, I am not sure about designing levels. Also, one of the reasons I made this game is because I don't enjoy level design, so it was fun to make an algorithm that does it for me :). I am working on a design-driven platformer now, so stay tuned!
@thattomhall thanks! I have some checks in place to make sure traversal is guaranteed, but it is flawed.
For those who are interested...
I describe the algorithm in some detail here for just making the level geometry: https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?pid=42702#p
Once a level has been generated (just the hard geometry, no ladders or enemies), I essentially place a tracer at the exit of the level, and let it fall via gravity. This tracer is kind of like a roomba - it can walk left and right, climb walls, and fall straight down. If the roomba (I'm sticking with this term now) goes left and right as much as it can but cannot reach the bottom of the level (the start), it navigates to the lowest point it can reach and starts drilling downward. This drilling process guarantees that there is at least a single open path all the way from the top to the bottom. The drill has some noise to it so that tunnels look a *little organic (most noticeable in level 2). Another important part of this drill is that it leaves a ladder in its wake - this makes sure harry can actually climb up the whole that was just drilled.
In practice, this drilling process often leaves you with some extremely difficult jumps. If you have a few powerups you can usually still find your way, but very occasionally you will get really tied up on level 1. I was never able to solve this problem, but it happens rarely enough (and the game is short enough) that I chose to live with it.
Thanks for playing!
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