With Justine D we have made a third version of Time return with new levels and mechanics.
First version :
Play it and enjoy.
Neat game! Some suggestions:
-A way to restart the level without creating a time clone would be nice because sometimes you mess up and the only way to fix your mistake is to start the level again.
-Some sound would be nice, even if it's just some simple sound effects. (Even without knowledge of audio pico-8 makes it easy!)
-Move the shoot button to a different button. It feels kinda awkward to press E. Would rather have z/c for time, x for shooting and e for menu.
-Leaving the time clones alive after they have gone through all their movement would be nice because then you wouldn't have to wait for a few seconds on every switch. (And if you still want to use destroyed clones as a mechanic them maybe you could make special switches that destroy clones after X time?)
the new mechanics are quite good!
DecentSauce is right, 'e' is 'up' for player 2, that's too weird. only use x/c for actual action.
[enter] brings up the pause menu and then you can reset the cart and be back to your main menu, you don't have to handle it. you could also add an option there to restart the level (check menuitem() in the manual)
when you pass a level, either go straight to next level or have it selected in main menu. I often end up in level 0 by mistake.
not sure about keeping the dead clones (DecentSauce's suggestion). you next clone should catch-up with the previous one in roughly the same time, that's part of the mechanic. though at times I wished for it when stranded. maybe for an 'easy' mode?
in-game graphics are a little bland. I love the "malabar bigout" main screen though ;)
Liquidream : I already answer to you on the other post, but thanks again ! :)
Shogal : Thanks for the review and the fix ! But there is a reason why we didn't make ghost save the direction : The memory of pico is limited, and with just the ghost position save, we run out of memory after 5 minutes and some seconds playing. That's why we have limited the time at 5 minutes per level.
If you save direction to, you will get "out of memory" after 3 or 4 minutes.
Player direction is important for knowing in which direction the bullet will go when we fire. But ghost direction doesn't really matter, considering that shots are already been fired.
Anyway, thanks to help us improve our little game. :D
Decentsauce : Thanks for your comment !
For your first suggestion (a way to restart without creating clone), I think when you say that you "mess up" is when there is a button who "move" a door to another position, that can trap you for a time if you press it to early. It's the only mistake we can't fix without restarting level i think. (Maybe I'm wrong, but for now i don't see others reasons to restart level). And there are only few doors like this (2 or 3 if i remember well), i think it would not be really usefull to add a mechanics just for 2 or 3 case.
For your second idea (add sounds), it's a great idea, we will see if we can do that :)
You're right, it's realy strange to press "e", we will change that too !
- And for leaving the clone alive few second after the end of the mouvement with another tile, why not ? It may remove boring moment. Anyway, we can't leave them alive till the end of the timer due to the "out of memory" problem. I know we can find solution to avoid that, but i don't think it will be worth it.
Thanks again, you give us nice ideas :)
ultrabrite : Thanks again !
You're right, i think we will edit the victory screen with something like "press c for next level" and "press x to go back to menu", and if we press x, we have the next level automatically selected. Thank for the advice ! :)
I agree with you when you say that clone's vanishing is a part of gameplay, and i don't think that making a "easy" mode without it have an interest ( I don't know if that's how we say, I wanted to say that it would not be interesting if we just remove ghost's vanishing).
For the graphics, we're sorry xD We're not artist and it's hard to make something beautiful with only 16 color and 128*128p :D
Thanks again all ! It's encouraging to see that people take time to help us improve our game !
justine: posted this trick just a moment ago in another thread: use connected blocks.
that can go a long way to spruce things up:
here's a simple 4x4 set in your color scheme:
edit: had a try at level 3:
Actually, you can use memory in more efficient way. Every number in Pico-8 is 4byte fixed-point (2 bytes per integer part, 2 bytes per fractional), and coordinates in this game are 0..127 (7 bit each) + 2 bit per direction (16 bit). So, you can easily encode ghost as single number and you will still have 16 bits left per ghost for something you might add in future.
I tried to do so, and after 5 minutes Pico took not more than 300kb. Here is example (I used 8 bit for every number - to store small negative values for bullets):
Very cool! Nice implementation of the rewind-cooperation mechanic.
If you're having problems with memory overflow, you can store intervals of repeated inputs, like "the player held the right button and then didn't change input state for 200 frames," and you're just storing two numbers to represent a bunch of consecutive frames. If you implement this correctly, it's a form of lossless compression! You can do it in addition to the bit-packing tricks that Shogal discussed.
Also, I love this mechanic, but I'm iffy about the level designs - I only got to level 2 before getting frustrated about the idea of doing "that one switch puzzle" 6 or 7 times in a row.
I'm definitely on-board with the idea of letting ghosts stay permanently after finishing their moves. Having to wait is no fun, and having to restart a puzzle because you didn't wait long enough with the first guy is super-no-fun
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