4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Amaze - 7 - Meet the Protagonist
Hugues Ross


Amaze - 7 - Meet the Protagonist

Now that the base framework is finished, I'm itching to make some actual game content. However, this week I'll resist that urge in order to make this project run smoother in the long run. Besides, we haven't had a design post in a very long time.

To start things off, I decided to make a list of things that the player should be able to do in AMAZE. Here it is:

Move - This is probably the most obvious one. In a game about getting your character to the exit, it'd be difficult to make a game where they can't even move in the first place!

Push - Pushing things around is the kind of mechanic that can get a lot of use. It lets you open paths, close others off, hold down switches, complete circuits and more. There are entire games built solely around the mechanic of pushing things.

Collect - Like in AMAZE's original iteration, I'd like to have various things that can be picked up, be it as a part of a puzzle or a bonus. Pickups, especially in the form of bonuses are certainly another staple of the genre. I'm not really trying to break new ground with AMAZE, so I have every reason to rely on a few simple, standard, common mechanics.

Activate - This is a more complicated and nebulous action than the rest. I'd like to have various things, probably machines/control panels that can be interacted with in general. These would do all sorts of things, like moving stuff around, opening and closing doors, or otherwise changing the layout of the level. This lets me make some wildcard type objects, which can do unique things when necessary.

Dig - I don't think this action will be available by default, but I think the player should be able to dig through certain weak walls. Either I'll add this as a mechanic later on, or it'll show up as a powerup of some sort.

Bomb - Of course, one cannot just dig through everything. tougher walls will require the use of explosives to break. These items will be usable only once, so you'll need to grab several to blast through thicker barriers. They may also destroy other things, like some hazards.

Unlock - Another straightforward one here. Doors and keys are good for making multistage puzzles, where you need to solve each section before moving on.

3 Others - I wanted to prevent myself from bloating the project by adding new things partway through. I've therefore marked this list as final, while still intentionally leaving 3 spaces blank. This will let me add new features, but force me to choose them carefully and set limits.

Now that I've nailed down most of the main character's abilities, let's talk about what they're like.
Above are the four player sprites that I've gone through so far. The one on the far left is the original player sprite that I've been using from the beginning. When I decided to make a player sprite for this version, I felt that the original looked just a bit too small and bubbly, so I started messing around with the bigger, blockier designs in the center. I thought those would turn out even worse, so I scrapped them. Finally, on the right, I came up with a new design. Instead of some huge machine with a guy inside, I made a funny-looking robot. I also changed the view so that this little guy was being seen more from the top, and gave him a face. His sprite is obviously not done, but I like the little guy. I'm keeping him.

In my last post I promised pictures, so I guess I should add another. Here's a screenshot of how Singularity v1.5.4 looks(I've made a number of minor updates since 1.5):
Click to enlarge

As you can see, it still looks pretty terrible. Hopefully I'll be fixing that(and finally actually releasing it) in v2.0, coming either late this year or early next year. Eithr way, it's still going to be while before I get back to it.

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