This update may excite me more than you, but I was able to not only start work on Level 5-1 but finish the design draft of the whole level!
Having a good idea of where I want to take the design of a level makes such a huge difference when it comes time to actually build it! As you can probably tell from the screenshot, it's a lava themed level all about platforms which rise and sink.
|Probably going to want to hurry up...|
The first of these challenges involves these sequences of platforms which emerge from the lava to form a temporary path.
A couple things I want to point out. Much like the similar platforms found in Super Mario 3D World, I added an arrow to these in order to let the player know where the next platform is going to pop up. The second thing I want to point out is the shape of the platforms themselves. It's a little hard to see given the framerate of the GIF, but notice how the platform includes elements like the border and raised center which all have sloped sides and different heights. This is so different parts of the platforms will emerge from the lava at different times to avoid it looking like the platforms simply appear at the lava's surface. Details like these are all about improving readability.
The second challenge element players will encounter in this level are these conveyor belt style sections. The ends of these sink into the lava so Suzy needs to run against the movement of the platforms in order to not only proceed but not get swallowed up by the lava!
And the Usual Bits and Pieces
Having all but wrapped up work on the level by Thursday, I spent the last bit of my week picking little tasks off my to-do list. Most of these were usability tweaks and improvements.
One such tweak can be seen in the screenshot above. This is a room from Level 2-1. During game play, the spiked rollers move back and forth in the pit. They aren't particularly hard to avoid or anything but given how the camera moves from room to room in this level, they posed a problem. A player entering the room from the doorway on the right could easily run into the room and fall into the pit to be hit by the spike rollers sight unseen. My solution? To add the little guardrail you see above. It's a simple solution to the problem which highlights, once again, the subtle work one needs to put into a level's design to bridge the gap between done and good.
That's it for this week's update. I'm starting on another level next week and it should probably be another quick-ish one. I hope you'll all check in next week to see my progress!
P.S. Xbox Black Friday deals might have different plans for me next week... We'll see ^_^