Some of you create fairly long levels, with 10 or more rooms. In some cases they're quite hard. Then you spot some bugs and release a new version. Then a couple more bugs and another version. It's exhausting and sometimes just boring to play the same rooms over and over. The first rooms will get the most testing, but if you're working on a level you typically add rooms at the end.
The solution ? Warp zones.
I haven't made a single level so far (but I will), but it should work. Simply make the first room in the level a "teleporter central" with diamonds leading to various stages of your level. For instance your initial room could have teleporters to room #2, #5, #10, #15 and so forth. This would allow people who played your level before to test only those parts that changed. Bonus points for actually telling people which rooms changed. Then, once you consider your level complete and bug-free, you replace the initial Warp Room with something else, even a simple road leading to a gate.
Please do this.
This thread is not for posting bugs, but for gameplay comments.
small blue guys: they are fine, perhaps even a little overused. They swarm very effectively and eat through obstacles. One complaint, though - they get stuck fairly often. I end up wondering if it's a broken/unfinished level or a tiny monster got stuck somewhere.
I think something should be done about stuck little guys. Not getting stuck would be ideal, but may be hard to achieve. A compromise would be blue guys making scared sounds if they're alone. That would let player know there's something left. More often than not single blue guys stop progress, so "scared when alone" makes sense.
Orange "rats": They work as an introductory enemy. But they're somewhat boring, and inefficient at killing. They occupy quite a lot of space but you can cut through them easily.
Level designers don't seem to like them much, I wonder why. I think they could be given a special ability like eating (destroying) powerups.
Orange grunts: tough, but slow. They very rarely damage me. They sort of work as a barrier (like Hell Knights/Barons in DooM) because you need a lot of effort to cut through them. They are slightly boring, could use something. It's a bit sad they're strictly worse than red grunts.
Purple rats (jumping): A fun enemy. They're fairly popular in custom levels as they're not trivial. They're fine.
Red grunts (shooting): They're okay, can offer interesting challenges and their projectiles are easy to deflect with a sword.
Stacked little guys: They're good, perhaps even a little too dangerous. I mean the little guys they consist of jump, and it makes them a lot more dangerous. Stacked little guys (before breaking up) are already relatively dangerous - they're big AND fast, so leaving them unbroken is not as easy as minotaurs. I imagine most players hate them, much like Pain Elementals in DooM II. Overall though, stacked little guys don't require a change.
Minotaurs: Rarely damage player, but everyone seems to love them. They can really shake things up if your tactics rely on fragile cover. They're so tough their lack of speed doesn't matter much. They also work as meat shields for shooting enemies. They're fine, they could even be considered the iconic enemy of Voxatron.
Snails: Almost harmless by themselves, but they complicate things. They're good, although they create a huge mess. Perhaps they would be better if their trail was only temporary ?
Aliens (horned bipedal pigs): Bastards. Actually fairly easy once you get the hang of it - they always try to predict your position and are easy to fool into shooting somewhere stupid. But up close, or when space is limited, or in a swarm of other monsters - very dangerous. They're fine.
Armadillos (rollers): They're cute and devastating. They are easy to kill by themselves unless they catch you by surprise. In a group, dangerous. Nice monsters.
War of the Worlds/death ray guys: Very dangerous, but manageable with experience. They are an immediate threat that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. A good monster.
I think all monsters are good, but orange rats and orange grunts are a bit lacking and could be given a minor ability. Stacked little guys are perhaps too dangerous (especially once they break) but I guess every game needs its hard monsters. Aliens and "tripods" are very dangerous, but experience makes them much easier.
Your opinions ?
A number of levels is classified as "finished", but they clearly aren't.
The most aggravating example is a level named "Test".
Watch your step (unfinishable - infinite loop)
You can bounce projectiles with sword. Perhaps not so obscure, but I haven't seen a room based on this ! Using the _dojo feature you could make a room where ranged weapons are not available, and all enemies are on the other side of a pool of lava. The passage appears once all enemies die.
Triple shot fires only two projectiles. Sad, but true ;-). It alternates between "left and middle" and "right and middle", a bit like Mancubus in DooM II. I also tested it on a minotaur. Without Triple, it took 25 shots. With Triple, it took 12. So there you have it, it's just as fake as Quad Damage in Quake 3 (which only triples damage).
After one too many creative level design I'm starting to wonder. Is there something special about voxels that allows quick creation without (many) restrictions ?
You practically don't need to draw. No need to texture. People talking about textured voxels are insane. You don't texture pixels. You just arrange them (or voxels) into a sort of a mosaic.
Voxatron uses very low resolution, which certainly helps. You can't spend hours editing a small(ish) sprite. Increase voxel resolution and levels will take longer to create; artistic skills will get more important. At the moment you can get away with a nice idea, some patience, and a sense of aesthetics. You can make fairly intricate objects quickly, then mass-produce them like in the times of tile-based graphics - only with more flexibility.
And this is just the beginning. Assuming Lexaloffle delivers, creativity will boom. Moving platforms, animated objects, custom enemies. Want to make an eurasian badger (meles meles) ? Go ahead !
It's nice that Voxatron already has a level editor and an enemy editor is in the works. The game is going to be quite moddable. You hinted at gameplay mods. But how far do you want to take it ?
What interests me is how powerful the tools will be, and will there be any scripting support ? And I mean the ability to create (sometimes major) gameplay changes, like stuff I posted in this thread:
You are probably not going to release the C source code of the game anytime soon. I'm only a novice at C programming, but Voxatron is the kind of game that makes me WANT to learn more C.
We are starting to see some diversification in enemies, which is good. The first several monsters are a bit bland. Some more ideas (for enemies, mechanics, items...):
New monster: suicide bomber. The explosion should be quite small but still dangerous up close. Perhaps more importantly, it should harm other monsters. If that's too redundant (too many explosions), they could just burst in a pool of slime spreading across the floor, then drying up after a few seconds.
Flying enemies. They could include melee attackers and bombers. Bombers should make significant damage to the terrain. It could be interesting to introduce a new shooting key: "shoot upwards". It would be "5" on numeric, and for everyone else... hmm... I guess 1 more key isn't that much, right ?
enemies that shoot projectiles like artillery, in an arc.
gremlin: a helpful "enemy" that runs away from the player. Like scarabs in Spelunky, they would have to be picked up. This would grant a random powerup, including Duplicate, Apple, Chocolate and Sushi. As for introduction of new powerups affecting old levels... room creators could have two settings for gremlins. a) progressive: gremlins in this room will be affected by future changes. b) conservative, the list of possible powerups will be limited to those available in current version.
a DooM-style explosive barrel. This means an immobile barrel that explodes when shot. The explosion should probably be the half of a robot death/boom powerup in radius. Otherwise the room will be destroyed in a moment with a few of those. (Alternative implementation - an old-fashioned spherical bomb that ignites when shot, exploding shortly after. The point - you could push it with gunfire giving a little control over where it explodes)
A boss: huge spider with loooong legs. To win, the player would have to cut all his legs little by little, finally lowering its torso to the same level. Only then you could shoot the torso (unless vertical shooting is implemented, I guess).
a boss: pair of chargers/rollers. The violet creatures that curl up in a ball. "Charger Twins" boss would be just like them, but with much more HP. Also, there would be an energy beam between charger1 and charger2. Player would have to be on his toes and quite often jump over the beam. Bonus points for making each charger a different color... or even randomly generating their colors.
some kind of explosive weapon, a rocket launcher or a grenade launcher with bouncing projectiles (Quake style). Sorry, but Blaster doesn't cut it.
speaking of Blaster, it it's a bit unsatisfying to use. It is okay against big enemies, but I think at least a cool visual upgrade is warranted.
new powerup: Force. Just like normal rounds, but pushes enemies away AND pulls powerups closer. Duration - not sure, 99 might be okay.
- new powerup: orbiting shield. It could have the same kind of duration limit as Sword of Fortune (until you get hit). It would work like a projectile circling around the player.
Post your ideas for interface improvements here.
The way rooms scroll is mildly confusing. I can't tell if I should go left, right, "up" or "down" to continue exploring. All screen edges are black anyway. I have an idea: black edge should be reserved for room boundaries. Edges that can be explored could be light gray, like a fog.
wasd keys work ingame, but not in menu
I find myself trying to save time by going down when already at bottommost menu item. It doesn't work because menu doesn't wrap around. For instance when the cursor is on "back", pressing down should change selection to topmost menu item
I MISS DIAGONAL SHOOTING KEYS ! (7, 9, 1, 3)
- Slightly more standardized room exits would help. Invisible diamonds (item 9) are fine when the creator wants to make something fancy, like exit via a car, phone booth, jump into a well, or even a portal in the middle of a room. But LOTS of rooms have exits on one of edges. How about an additional item for exits on screen edge ? It would work the same, except it would look like a bright blue rectangle (1 voxel thick, dimensions about the size of a door). Players would be encouraged to use it when room ends on an edge.
The big suggestion thread: