April 23, 2001 – Something missing from J’49 Design

There’s something missing from the Jumpman: 2049 design…
Sloppy controls. That’s what’s missing. ‘Sloppy’ isn’t meant in a derrogitory way, in this instance. Jumpman & Jumpman, Jr have VERY responsive controls – one of the things I’m trying to copy into the Jumpman: 2049 design.
But the problem lies in the fact that the controls don’t tie the player down to the playfield in a hard fashion. For instance – If you are going down a ladder, and push yourself below the level of the ladder and into a girder, you can walk left or right. That’s what I mean by sloppy. While at first that could be viewed as a ‘bug’, there’s a slight genius to doing that – it decreases the reaction curve for people who are new to the game. You don’t get ‘caught’ on a ladder because you aren’t at the exact point where the ladder and the girder meet up. It makes things quite a bit less frustrating, IMHO. Plus, for those who were avid Jumpman players, you may have learned this was a very useful thing to be able to do – I’ve used it to quickly dodge a left to right moving bullet or obsticle!
So what’s the problem? Well, that’s not how Jumpman: 2049 currently works. It expects the player to be at the right level to step from girder to ladder and vice-versa. Worse, because the animations are all designed to look fairly realistic movement wise, doing it otherwise come off kinda silly looking. I’m still trying to figure out how to resolve this one…
OK, back to hackin’ and doing paperwork.
Midnight Ryder
AKA Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr
President, Midnight Ryder Technologies
“The video game says ‘Play me’
“Face it on a level 
“but it takes you every time on a one on one
“Feeling running down your spine 
“Nothing gonna save your one last dime cause it owns you
“Through and through”
-AC/DC, Who Made Who

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