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Air Bud
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(Originally posted on: 08-04-13 11:06:07 PM)
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A couple weeks ago, I decided to start working on a simple Flash game. I tinkered around with a few ideas and ultimately settled on one that was a 2D platform version of Portal, with the graphics style of Thomas Was Alone.

The game is pretty simple: you solve puzzles. There's no narrative, no motivation, just puzzles.

Currently, there is an introduction level, which outlines the environmental cues, as well as three puzzle levels.

I'm not really sure what I want out of this game, if I want to make it a legit Flash game, but I figured I'd share it here, get some feedback, see if there are things I can improve, fix, add, whatever.

UPDATE (10/4/2013)
Published the game on Newgrounds: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/626190
Published the game on Kongregate: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Sandamnit/momentum

UPDATE (8/15/2013)
I completely changed the structure of the game. Instead of being large frustrating levels, I'm making smaller micro-levels akin to Super Meat Boy if you've ever played that game. I also updated the graphics to be a bit more minimalistic.

Newest Version:




Older Version:



Hope you enjoy it.
This reply was last edited on 10-05-13 01:42:39 PM by Air Bud.
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Reply 1 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-05-13 07:08:25 AM)
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I played the intro level. Looks neat and unique.
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Reply 2 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-05-13 08:48:38 AM)
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It's neat, and I can't get too into it at work, but it looks like a fun little game.

When I rotate, the instructions that stay with my box ("hold ctrl") don't rotate.
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Reply 3 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-05-13 11:27:50 AM)
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It's pretty fun I remember playing a game like it a long time ago when portal first came out but the graphics on this one are different.
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Reply 4 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-05-13 01:38:36 PM)
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I got stuck after I turned everything 90 degrees and it was telling me to slow down time or whatever
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Reply 5 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-05-13 07:30:49 PM)
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Quoted from Motherfuckin SPACE BEAR:
It's pretty fun I remember playing a game like it a long time ago when portal first came out but the graphics on this one are different.
You talking about this game: http://portal.wecreatestuff.com/portal.php
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Reply 6 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-05-13 10:39:49 PM)
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Yeah that's it. It's been a long time; I forgot the graphics were that detailed.
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Reply 7 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 07:16:14 AM)
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j0ur g4m3 zuckz, 1ik3 j0u LOLOOLLOLOLLOOLOL.
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Reply 8 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 09:16:55 AM)
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The game seems interesting. I got past the introduction and then got stuck on the first level. Then I got started on the second level, but got stuck after getting getting through the door to the second area.

I like puzzle games, so I'll probably try to play through all of it later. I think it might be nice to have a bit more solid control. It goes kind of slow right now.
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Reply 9 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 02:26:25 PM)
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When you say "more solid control" do you mean moving faster? Making it a bit more fast-paced? Can you qualify that a bit more?

This is a bit of a failure on my behalf, but the first two levels kinda suck (they're eventually gonna get removed altogether, get relegated to bonus or hidden levels, or completely redone). I don't think they're much fun, they were the levels I created when I had the least mechanisms built in to the game, and were more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. I'd be curious to see what you thought of the third level, it's the more recent one I've created, and it incorporates more varied physics, is a bit more expansive, and (in my opinion) requires a more interesting problem-solving technique.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone checking it out, even if only briefly.
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Reply 10 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 03:43:11 PM)
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More solid control, yeah, I mean faster. It's a bit sluggish to move around, and makes re-solving puzzles and precision (especially with jumping) a bit of a chore.

Tried the third level and got stuck after putting a box on the yellow switch and then riding it on an antigravity field (fun - this is something where easier/more precise controls would really help - especially in the "jumping" physics) to make a bunch of rotations that didn't seem to be helping me out a bunch. Then I got stuck, and I don't have more time to invest at the moment. More later. All three levels have me scratching my head a bit, but my favourite parts so far seem to be the combination of rotations with antigravity fields. I'll go back to figuring things out later. I feel like I made the most progress on level 3.
how is this for a quote
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Reply 11 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 06:38:39 PM)
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I got stuck in the intro MAGUSMAGUSMAGUSMAGUS
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Air Bud
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Reply 12 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 06:54:03 PM)
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Where did you get stuck?
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Reply 13 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 07:00:47 PM)
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Sorry, I should have taken a screen shot. almost right at the end, basically I pushed the block into a channel and then jumped on it, but I could reach the top from the block and because I was on the block and couldn't fit around it I could drag it out the of the way
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Reply 14 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 07:04:25 PM)
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Ahhh. Yeah. I know exactly what you're talking about. I found that earlier today, but haven't had time to fix it. Sorry about that!

If you hit the Escape button, there is a level select, if you (still) want to try out the other parts of the game.
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Reply 15 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 07:13:18 PM)
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Cool, the first level managed to infuriate me, so assuming it's beatable well done
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Air Bud
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Reply 16 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-06-13 07:18:17 PM)
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Oh yeah, it's beatable! You gotta pay attention to where the box is and where it needs to be, and then hit the right switches, hence the name of the level: Precision.
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Reply 17 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-07-13 09:18:44 AM)
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All right, so I managed to beat the first level, which I figured out how to beat probably about five minutes before I managed to beat it. There are a few "point of no return" moments in it, which can get really frustrating. It was actually easier than I thought it would be.

I keep thinking boxes can hit black and white switches just by being dragged on them, but that does not seem to be the case.

edit: just beat the second level, too, but it seems to be almost by chance. I don't know what I was missing yesterday? Oh well. I figured out what needed to be done, I just wasn't quite sure how I did it, in the end.

edit: And, third level beaten. Once I understood how the yellow switch worked, it was a lot easier. More precise and faster controls would help out a lot, but it's fun so far, and definitely seems like there are some fun possibilities ahead.
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This reply was last edited on 08-07-13 02:45:58 PM by Hasty Penguin.
Air Bud
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Reply 18 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-07-13 06:54:28 PM)
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Thanks! Yeah, it's definitely got some serious problems right now, and I have a lot of work to do with level design and controls. I've done what I could to remove dead ends and make it as "solvable" as I could, but that's something that's gonna come with time, practice, and experience.

As for the controls, I'm torn between realistic physics (meaning very little ability to control your movement in mid air) and easier to manage controls (being able to better control yourself midair). That's definitely something I'm gonna end up having to address at some point.

In other news, I've been working on the ability to move boxes through portals, and will probably try to design a level around that very soon. I'll post an update when that happens. I'm also talking to a friend of mine about designing some music and sound effects for it. Really hoping that pans out, so I can make it a bit more engaging of the senses.
Air Bud
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Reply 19 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-15-13 02:21:13 PM)
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Updated the topic post.

I'm in the process of completely restructuring the game, and I've posted what I have so far. The idea is to make it so that there are micro-levels which ramp up in difficulty and culminate in a larger "boss" level.

The way I envision it, there will be about 15-20 micro-levels per chapter, similar to Super Meat Boy, followed by a larger, more complicated "boss" level along the lines of the levels I posted in the original version of the game. I'm guessing there will be maybe 5-7 chapters, depending on time constraints and my ability to create interesting levels.

Fortunately, I've got a bunch of ideas for gimmicks to add to the later levels, so hopefully once I can get all of them implemented, I can start cranking out more levels, faster.
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Reply 20 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-16-13 10:40:33 PM)
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A bug in level 1.09 made my block disappear forever. And I might just be being really dumb, but I could not figure out how to level select once entering that menu, so I didn't play past 1.09.

So far, I see no reason not to give players movement control while in the air. It mostly just makes it more tedious without it. Although I suppose you could design puzzles that center around that limitation.
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Reply 21 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-17-13 09:55:21 AM)
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Sadly, that's the one glaring bug that I haven't been able to figure out how to fix yet. I don't think the block disappears forever, you just end up behind one of the portals with no velocity. You can jump out. It's just annoying though.

As for the menu, when you choose Level Select, there's a glowing box that surrounds the levels to the left, you can then use up/down to move it. You can only select levels which you've accessed previously.

Movement is surprisingly tricky to get working properly, especially for a game like this that depends largely on velocity to trigger rotations. I've been playing a game called ibb and obb which I feel has pretty good movement controls. I may try to model the movement in my game around it:
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Reply 22 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-17-13 10:23:09 AM)
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Actually, I believe I just fixed the block disappearing bug in 01.09. The portals weren't properly reorienting velocity/acceleration when you hit a portal with a lot of velocity.


If you decide to try it again, you may need to Shift-F5 to force reload the updated copy of the file.
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Reply 23 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-17-13 11:30:59 AM)
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I might edit this post a bit later, but first impressions of the update:

I got through the 14 levels available in the update pretty quickly, and I like the increased movement speed a lot. I think the micro-level idea is good (and Super Meat Boy definitely had a fun, fast pace to it that could be mimicked to some extent here), but I liked the longer puzzle levels of the original, so I'm glad to read that the "boss" levels would be there, too. These levels are a nice introduction of concepts, and I'm interested to see how yellow switches will play out in the newer version. I like the altered gravity stuff a lot, and with improved controls, it should be even more fun.

The boxes going through portals is fun, and I like the way red switches work for puzzles. The shifting/timed portals moving around is a bit difficult right now (that may just be me having trouble figuring out how to anticipate the timing on those), but I think is a good concept.

The increased movement speed also makes the timed switches nicer, too. Some of those shifting portal levels are a bit frustrating to time out, and having more precision (air control) would make certain levels far more forgiving (1.09 in particular). The air control/jumping thing is, and I have no first hand experience, but from what I understand having read some game development journal kind of things, an enormous part of platforming design frustration for a lot of programmers. It is important, though, because I knew what I had to do to complete that level (1.09) for a while before I was able to grind it out of the air controls at current. Figuring out what needs to happen and then being able to execute that idea with relative ease of control (as in 1.14) is satisfying to me as a player, because I feel like the game is allowing me to make use of its features, rather than artificially challenging me through controls. I guess part of this is figuring out platform design to understand whether I, as the player, am supposed to be primarily challenged by the mental/puzzle aspect or the physical/visual aspect, or the balance of those elements. For me, it feels like it's primarily a puzzle game, but if you're looking to balance it out and add additional hazards to play more like a platformer with puzzle aspects later, then that adds yet another dimension of programming difficulty and consideration.

Conceptually, I think everything is really sound, though. I'll be interested to see some of the more advanced puzzles as you develop for sure.

The controls are still my biggest issue, but they're much improved, to my mind, from what they were before. I think that's one thing that Super Meat Boy really had going for it is that the controls felt very consistent and clear (with some exceptions in the gravity orb/fan kind of levels). Moving in that direction with a more puzzle based design concept is really appealing to me, so, cool.
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Reply 24 of 101 (Originally posted on: 08-18-13 01:18:24 PM)
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Thanks. That's very encouraging.

I'm still conflicted on the air controls. I kinda like the idea of not being able to control the midair movement (too much), so that the physics is a bit more realistic. Either way, if I come up with something later that allows me to do both, I'll definitely implement it.

In the meantime, I added a new level (01.15). I also made it so that if you press D during the game, you enter a "debugging mode" which basically just unlocks all the playable levels. That way, you can skip straight to the new ones as I add them.

Also, I added some simple icons to the switches to indicate what they do, as well as the portals that swap on a timer to give some indication of how long until the next swap.


edit: Levels 03.02 and 03.03 are up.
This reply was last edited on 08-29-13 12:36:34 PM by Air Bud.
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