wizcas • on 1st Alakajam! entry WuXing Rush

Congrats to all who participated the 1st Alakajam!

So I got a lot of feedbacks concerning the super difficult and unfriendly mechanics of WuXing Rush. The gameplay rating of the game is not good as well. Therefore I took like a week to re-design the whole mechanics, trying to make the game easy to learn but still challenging, and worked out a few new mechanics for testing.

In the GIF above you can see I repainted the main character and his animations. It now takes only one element (or essence as I prefer) as the 'core essence' for certain potion. There are up to 2 enhancers can be used for a single potion, in order to activate additional enhancements. Different essences work differently as enhancers with each core essence, and some essences are exclusive from others. In general, it becomes easier to decide what essence to choose, and you don't have to choose 3 ingredients before tossing a potion.

Another improvement inspired by @HuvaaKoodia is that the tree bridge now finds its own growing path. So the timing of using a tree bridge potion becomes less essential. I'm also considering to make the tree bridge more flexible (like not only to climb but also to cross water area) and more useful (like you can regenerate HP by walking on it). I'm glad there are just so many possibilities.

Hopefully someone interests in this developing game and I'll post updates whenever there is noticeable progress. ;)
Cheers!

Comments

Toffie
12 days ago

DUUUUUUUUUUUUDE, sweet.
Can't wait! (o+O)/

HuvaaKoodia
12 days ago

Looking good! Sounds like a fine redesign of the potion mixing system.

Do you intend to hand craft levels or procedurally generate them? The latter is relatively easy to implement for a runner.

wizcas
11 days ago

@HuvaaKoodia I'm not decided yet, actually. Procedural generation saves a lot of work, but is not easy to keep the levels fun...Hard decisions. I wanna tell a story in the game, so perhaps there will be some event triggers, special enemies, etc. A possible method for now is to generate a level procedurally and adjust it manually. Any suggestions? I'm not quite experienced in level designing :(

HuvaaKoodia
11 days ago

Procedural generation does get tricky for special cases and authorial intent. It is, after all, pulling things out of a hat at random; try controlling that. If you want to tell a story in the levels themselves (and not just in cutscenes) then manual level design is going to be much easier.

Of course it is possible to do both! Story related manually designed levels with procedurally generated in-between levels. Doubles the work unfortunately.

Another possibility is constructing the levels from a pool of handcrafted segments which fit together at the edges. This way you can create special event segments which are added to the pool for the story levels.

Here's Spelunky's level generator at work. More complicated than is needed for a runner, but it gets the segmented generation idea across. An interesting read too.

Wan
10 days ago

I finally got to play your entry, indeed the gameplay was promising but oh so difficult! In this GIF I love the upgraded visuals & polish, and the tree bridge animation in particular. Can't wait to play this new version!

Also I'm fine with a hand-designed levels, especially for the beginning where helping the player learn the recipes one by one is important. Of course it could also be done procedurally but it would require great care.

Btw I could actually see this work as a mobile game, with maybe 4 ingredients that you could choose by swiping in a different direction?

wizcas
9 days ago

@HuvaaKoodia Segmented generation is a brilliant idea! It comes to my mind that this design not only balances between handcrafting and automatic generation, but also provides the possibility of dynamic world generation due to players' choices, which would be perfect for delivering different experiences and story lines to different game sessions. I love this idea and will definitely check out the article. Thanks a ton!

wizcas
9 days ago

@Wan I'm planning to make a mobile version as well, and the guesture input idea would be super cool! Thanks for the heads up, cuz I was indeed worried for days about how to make it input smoothly on mobile devices.

However I think I'll stick with the 5-ingredient design, as the Five Elements is kinda essential in the Taoism philosophy, on which the background story and concept design is based. Besides, I've finished the combination table and effects and mechanics, AND I'm too lazy to redo that over again ;)

The guesture input is a must-do on mobile devices, so I think I'll make a pentagram layout. Looks like players can easily slide across different ingredients and make a combination quickly. What do you think?

Wan
9 days ago

The pentagram idea looks neat: it's more original than the classic 4 directions, and drawing shapes on the screen would probably be faster than a series of swipes. The only (minor) limitation I see, is it would not easily support recipes with the same ingredient twice in a row.

I guess the best way to see if it works is to implement it and see how it feels!

wizcas
7 days ago

@Wan you're right about the problem of adding ingredients repeatly. Some other designs have come to my mind in these days. I'll make some demos and find out the most reasonable one ;)

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