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Day 45: Blah Day. Jumpman Forever Almost Beta

Blah Day.

Somedays, you wake up, and things just aren’t right. Today was most certainly one of those days. I woke up without much energy, and my back hurt (not a good sign for getting a workout in. I’m trying not to injure myself.)

I make breakfast, and checked out Kat’s truck. I worked on it yesterday, and it started “funny” twice. It seems to have not repeated the performance, though. Drove it down to QT and back to test it out, just to make sure. At QT, I bought my obligatory Black Mango Iced Tea (unsweetened – this is Kansas, after all) and a pack of cigarettes.  That last part sort of sucks, since I didn’t smoke at all on Sunday.  But, I did it out of habit – that’s what I buy at QT.  Needless to say, I won’t be going to QT tomorrow morning, and I’ll just brew my own at home 🙂  I’ll also not have any cigarettes around tomorrow, either.

The rest of the day was just… ug.  Not bad, just not much energy, any everything was off.

Heck, I don’t think I actually started hitting my work stride until after Kat got home – which is unfortunate.  I like spending time with my wife, not working all night 🙂

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better…

Jumpman Forever Almost Beta

Jumpman Returns level "Under Construction", a tip of the hat to "Jumpman: Under Construction", which was a freebie Jumpman game that never got finished, but, had a whole lotta promise.  No idea what happened to the original developer on that one.
Jumpman Returns level “Under Construction”, a tip of the hat to “Jumpman: Under Construction”, which was a freebie Jumpman game that never got finished, but, had a whole lotta promise. No idea what happened to the original developer on that one.

So, the game is ALMOST ready for Ouya.  Right now, it’s all down to testing levels before releasing them, and making some UI changes.  I’ve probably got a couple more Red levels to make, but, I haven’t decided just yet.

Level design is absolutely a blast… when it isn’t boring or aggravating.  The process is:

  • Come up with idea
  • Lay out idea in my head
  • Build idea in editor
  • Test idea in game
  • Discover the bugs
  • Repeat

Sometimes, that’s pretty short – since I know the “secrets” to levels, I can usually zing through them at a pretty high speed.  A couple test runs at the various game settings, and it’s good.

Then, there’s levels like “Under Construction”, which makes heavy use of the original Jumpman concept of dynamic levels.  In fact, there’s one girder on the level that’s static – the rest of them appear while you play.  Every last thing has to be tweaked and be perfect – the jumps are extremely dependent on perfect timing, etc.  Which means each time I find a little quirk, I have to start from scratch. (Oh, and during the process, I found a bug that lets Jumpman use a down rope as… naw, I’m not going to tell.  But, I am keeping the bug – some players who discover it will use it for much fun 🙂  With “Under Construction”, that means playing the level over and over – around 30 or 40 times at least (I should keep a counter somewhere for these.)

I’ve also decided to restructure the levels a bit.  Originally, each set was going to be 14 – 15 levels for Jumpman, and 14-15 levels for Red for each station.  However, after messing with it, I think I’m going to keep it at 7-8 levels per station.  While it means many more stations (in two years, there should be roughly 240 levels), it also means there’s no need for save points.  You either beat a whole level set (and unlock the next), or you don’t.  I’ll test it with the upcoming beta, just to see how people feel about it.

But, I’m fairly excited – Ouya is aware that I’ll be sending the beta over this week, and I’m pretty happy to be ready for the world (well, at least people with an Ouya) to play it! 🙂

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