Tune Project Update #8

New, simpler UI in place. I definitely dig this direction; the focus is back on editing the parameters to get the feel you want. Also, I’ve started the game out with a nigh-unplayable tuning, forcing the player to do some serious tinkering with the various parameters right off the bat. I’ll add in functionality to show/hide the parameters and sider next.

After that, I want to pursue the structural changes mentioned below, making the game much more freeform and exploratory, as well as adding a bunch of new enemies and environmental objects. My current thinking is that I want to create a leveling system whereby you get experience points for defeating enemies and completing objectives. Experience points will upgrade your various abilities in some way, either by increasing the total tunable range or by simply increasing your health and damage dealt per attack. Additional parameters to tune will still be scattered throughout the level, but the level will sprawl on and on, possibly with entrance and exit points so I can spool in different pieces (if it gets too big.) I have the more recent Castlevania games in mind. We’ll see how it works once I have ‘er up and running ;).

______________________________________________

Download Tune 1.3 here!
Play Tune 1.3 in web player here!

3 Responses to “Tune Project Update #8”

  1. October 15th, 2006 | 12:07 pm

    I played through the entire game (up to the stars.) The new simpler UI is much better. One thing that would be nice in the UI is the ability to bookmark parameter combinations that you like. This would let players build up “modes” of play, like super-jump mode, fighting mode, thrust mode, etc. I found myself hesitant to tune away from a set that I liked unless I really needed to because it could be hard to hit that sweet spot again. If I could just press a hot key and jump back to something I liked I would be much more willing to experiment during the game.

    The pogo guy still frustrates me a lot of the time no matter what I tune to. Although keeping him around in some form later in the game should be ok, I can see many beginning players quitting the game because of difficulty just getting around with this guy. It seems like you’re trading control complexity for tuning complexity.

    Getting to the end (with gravity control) and being able to turn the game into a zero gravity thruster instead of the pogo guy really shows the potential of the game and teaches people that changing a few physics parameters can radically change gameplay. The more of that you can get into the game, the better.

    I definitely enjoy the mario-ish controls more than the pogo guy. How about, instead of having three “modes” or play, unify all three and allow the player to reach each one through tuning. Start with something very simple, like a cube that can’t move until the player tunes speed away from zero. Then let the collect jump. It would be great if through tuning, you could evntually reproduce a variety of 2D gameplay styles, platformers, vertical and horizontal scrolling shooters, topdown shooters, zero-g thrust, etc.

    Two other things you might want to look into are allowing the player to tune the reward-challenge structure of the game and allowing the player to tune enemy behavior. Enemy behavior is pretty straightforward, allow the player to change enemy speed, size, jump height, etc. Reward-challenge is much harder :). Maybe you can let the player tweak the frequency, probability or benefit of certain powers ups or experience rewards?

  2. Ayron
    October 18th, 2006 | 8:36 am

    great, i had a lot of fun, continue on this way!
    Touch the stars…

  3. October 18th, 2006 | 9:02 am

    @Impossible: Thanks for trying out the new version! I’ve been hearing a lot of comments along the same lines – that the little plunger guy is difficult and offputting for people to control intially. It’s hard for me to have that perspective, I guess, because I play and have played a lot of extremely difficult physics games. Ski Stunt Simulator and Trials: Construction Yard come to mind :). I’m doing a test right now with a ‘Blaster Master’ style tank, but I’ll next work at building something around the Mario style mechanic, which seems to have a lot of resonance with people. I’ll let you know when I have that up and running!

    @Ayron: thanks, I hope everyone has the same experience playing it! :)

Leave a reply