Start playing Beta 5 Now!
Web Beta: Visit demo.platformpixels.com
Android Beta: Visit the Google+ Community
iOS Beta: DM your email to @PlatformPixels
This week’s beta may be the most significant yet. Up until a week ago, I didn’t have a clear view of what the finished game should be. This made for a long, unproductive, and difficult development cycle.
Believe it or not, I actually want to finish this game soon. So, I sat down and did a bunch of thinking and came up with a plan. Beta 5 is the first beta to work towards that plan.
Here’s what’s changed:
- 7 new, more balanced levels. Enjoy!
- added a pause screen
- added 2.5D effect to platforms (not sure if I like it yet)
- improved the lava effect animation
- new dissolving block animation
- mute preference is now persisted
- reduced memory usage significantly
As mentioned, this beta includes a brand new set of levels. After getting some feedback from players, I realized that I was building levels for myself instead of for others. This meant that the levels had poor difficulty progression and were way too hard for novices. So I started over.
These new levels start from the basics and slowly introduce new mechanics over time, making for a more enjoyable first experience.
Finally! A Pause Menu
Along with the new set of levels, I also created a basic pause menu. From here, you can mute/unmute sounds as well as restart the level or return to the main menu.
I know this probably isn’t that exciting to you, but it makes it feel more like a real game, which motivates and excites me.
2.5D Platform Effect
Something I’m trying out in this beta is adding a 2.5D effect to platforms. If you don’t already know, 2.5D basically means adding a 3D sense of depth to a 2D game. Think of Paper Mario. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like.
I’m not too crazy about this effect, but I’m going to leave it in for now. Let me know if you love it or hate it so I can decide whether or not to keep it in.
Now that I have a better idea of the finished game, I can start knocking things off my to-do list. For the next beta, I want to continue improving the levels. I’m fairly happy with them at this point, but they could use some tweaking. I’ve also been meaning to create a time-lapse recording of the level creation process so stay tuned for that.
Apart from work on levels, there is still a lot to do around achievements and game progression. For example, coins don’t have any meaning so there is no motivation to collect them. Also, level completion is timed but (like coins) the time isn’t used for anything. Look forward to improvements around this in the next release.
There is still a lot of work to do, but the end is in sight. Be sure to follow @PlatformPixels on Twitter to be notified of future updates.
As always, thanks for reading!