For those of you in a hurry here is the latest download of Captain Stretchy-Arms – it is now a fully playable game (remember to read the readme for system requirements). Here is a screenshot:
How far can you get?
For those of you interested in the development story, read on:
At the end of Day 7 (last blog entry) I had a continuous, randomly generated world for the player to swing through. This was a good proof of concept – it was certainly fun to play. But the thing that ended up killing the player the most was running into a bit of level that was impossible to traverse – either a wall or a too-wide gap. An unavoidable death is not fun.
So on Day 8 I fixed this. First I made the world generator clear a path through the tiles to ensure that the player would never be blocked off. Then I added a method to calculate the gaps between the blocks above the path – any gap too wide for the player to reach can have extra blocks inserted into the middle.
On Day 9 was spent polishing the world generation system. In particular, I added a dynamic level of difficulty. As the player gets better and moves through the world faster, the world ahead of them is generated with fewer blocks and wider gaps.
I also started doing some experimentation with having an AI follow behind you, destroying blocks, forcing the player to move forward and preventing them from getting stuck.
I was very sick on Day 10, so I didn’t really achieve anything. I did decide to remove the AI feature from the previous day – partly because it wasn’t necessary, but mostly because I couldn’t concentrate enough to work on it.
And here I am on Day 11 – later than I would have liked, I have added all the annoying little details: a score, a game over screen, the ability to restart the game when you die, and some more polish. The game is now gameplay complete!
If you press W while playing the downloadable prototype from today’s post, you can see the world generator in action (press Z to zoom out and see a wider view). Below is a screenshot showing the generated path through the level (black), the “reachable” tiles above the path (orange), and the traversable gaps between them (green).
You can modify the levels as you play, with the middle mouse button.
I still have a bit of time left today, and I think I will try and pick out some music. I would have liked to try composing my own, but once again I will have to make do with some Creative Commons work.
After today, I will have three days remaining in my two-week schedule to do all the art and sound.
In order to finish on time, I am going to have to cut out some “nice” things like the opening cinematic and platform-specific features (like Xbox 360 controller support, saving your high score). These will get done when I port the game to its target platforms for its proper release.