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[devlog] Monkey Business

  • Hi everyone. I've been quietly distracting myself over the last few months by working on a hardcore platform engine for a concept I first created for a Ludum Dare jam over a year ago. The game is still in the very earliest stage of development but I thought it about time to post something for your amusement and, hopefully, to gauge any reaction you might have to the concept, and to collect any ideas you may have. By doing something public I also reduce the chances of me becoming lazy and losing focus! So...

    The working title is Monkey Business.... You control a state of the art bio-mechanical cyborg monkey, equipped with a large number of weapons and defence systems. You have various missions to complete - each one involving the assassination of an individual or a group of individuals who, otherwise, would be beyond the reaches of the law. You're controlling an assassin.... A space-deployed monkey assassin with a jet pack, no less!

    I'm developing on a weak HD4000 powered laptop, so that's going to be the base-level target platform using nw.js.... There's some physics, but after my previous experiences I'm inclined to use the Platform behavior as the foundation of the player's movement system. It's also going to be multi-language and I will ultimately be aiming for a Steam deployment, although I'm not discounting having versions for Newgrounds and similar html5 sites as well. If you want to work on a mission to kill a drug lord / kill a president / go on a secret mission to Mars, then this could be the game for you (in about a year!).

    The intro / training level has been completed to alpha; it contains some placeholder graphics but you'll get the idea for the ambiance I'm aiming for... Hope you like it!

  • Looks really nice, I like the lighting effects. How did you get that effect?

  • I think your controls look pretty tight, in terms of responsiveness

  • Thank you ChrisFagan and LaDestitute.

    The platform behaviour is a good starting point but I have 5 collision checking objects and an extra couple of hundred events to augment it to perform how I want.

    The light effects are created using multiple blend modes on different objects with a z-order routine to make them behave. I'm quite pleased with the final effect! It took me a few weeks to get right and might need more adjusting still (I'm working on this in my spare time).

  • This week I'm starting to experiment with how to walk on moving platforms.... Which is much more complex than it should be!

  • I should read my posted plans before updating my progress, lol. No moving platforms to report for this week!

    But, I have created a hot-key controlled inventory system so you can rapidly change your weapon and action choices. I haven't decided on all of the available weapons, but here is the work-in-progress (with demo graphics).

    Wall climbing works ok... and the shoot mechanic (for radioactive poop !) involves some good spriter animation fun... I just noticed that I need to destroy enemy bullets when they hit / kill the player. Something to add to my never-ending sticky notes...

  • A concept that sounds like a load of fun! Visual looks good and the tools even better. I look forward to seeing how this evolves!

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  • Thank you taistelusopuli - I hope I can keep focus and not become distracted by trying to add too many features. However, I'm pleased with its slow but steady progress so far. Now to really sort out a moving platform behaviour....

  • Well Id would start small and release a demo of like 4 level to get some feedback and then grow from there that how mario grew to be such a hit.

  • Well Id would start small and release a demo of like 4 level to get some feedback and then grow from there that how mario grew to be such a hit.

    This is excellent advice and gives me a good and not too onerous target to set myself. Thanks

  • choose what are the gameplay components you want to add (moving platforms ? moving spikes ? canons ?) then add them progressively.

    It makes me remembering a game "One Tap Heros". It had one gameplay component per world.

    First one : basics (moving plateforms only)

    Second : enemies

    Third : timer

    ...

    It looks to be good for you to do the same.

  • grandbrinus - that's a really good idea to ensure the game always offers something novel to the player. So far I'm 3/4 through completing the training /intro level to give exposure to the controls (which can be customised) and the player's movement/mechanic. Once that's finished I need to create a few mission levels and a mission chooser menu level. I'm also looking to add an upgrade store, so you can configure your assassin with the tools you think might be best for the job at hand; I've not thought all of the options through yet, but I think it could add an extra dimension to the game (ie you earn cash for carrying out assassinations and then use some of it to buy better or more effective weapons); the players who do best end up the richest and on the leaderboard.... Cheers!

  • all of this seems promising

  • grandbrinus

    Colludium

    I watched a video a little a while ago about the 'one mechanic per world' or rather one mechanic per level thing, specifically in the newer 3D Mario games. 3D Land, 3D World, etc. If it's of interest to you, here's a

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    to said video. Pretty cool video game design analysis.

    Quick explanation

    [quote:k3xshiir]1. Each level begins by starting the player with the new mechanic in a danger-free environment (such as introducing wall-jumping with no bottomless pits)

    2. Next, a portion of the level develops the mechanic, usually by removing the player's so-called 'safety net' and introducing a risk with the mechanic

    3. Then a twist is introduced, and either will challenge the player with the mechanic or provide a difference angle to make the player examine the mechanic in a new fresh way

    4. Then a conclusion is reached by the end, where the player is given the chance to mess around with one final time with the mechanic, usually by showing their mastery of the mechanic or performing a trick/puzzle at the end with it (i.e, a simple 'puzzle' to earn a 1up or something otherwise)

  • Thanks LaDestitute. I'll take a look as soon as I get the chance.

    To everyone: This project is a slow burner now - I am pleased with the visual effects system but my work and some other dev ideas have caused me to have to slow development. I'm currently working on getting a multiplayer platform system up and running... I've already created the framework of a procedural level creation system, and I want to combine that with multiplayer - so you'll be able to fight/race against your friends in a private procedurally generated world/layout. I've got some other ideas and I'll post them here when I make some more progress.

    Current hurdle to overcome: Lag on LAN!

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