Making levels is kind of fun. It’s a little tough – like problem solving but pretty satisfying. Right now I’ve been buckling down and just cranking out levels. The way I have it laid out, I’m not sure how many levels I’ll have in total.
There’s 5 tutorial levels – these just teach basic things like movement, running, variable height jumping, and the other mechanics in the game, the timer bar at top and the pick-ups. Then the first set of levels is mostly just basic application of that without too much cruelty, with a few things that I’m trying to drill into the player –
1. There are branching paths which will become a staple of later levels. You can work on collecting all the notes in a level in one run, or just unlock the next stage by proceeding to the exit.
2. Slowly increasing the difficulty of jumps, and the consequence of missing. Currently the intro set of levels has a *generous* time limit. Of course that will change later. Moreover, missing a jump really means setting you back a second or two.
I guess getting the difficulty right is the hard part. The first few stages don’t have any instant kill stuff, nor is the timer really even an element. I plan to use the instant kill stuff sparingly (or at least as a part of the “unlockable” levels), so I can get as much out of the single platforming and time element. My hope is that any player will be able to do decently (at least 90% pickups) on the first set of levels. They’re laughable to any experienced player, but I’d like everyone to get some satisfaction from the game.
As for the second set…increase the platforming difficulty, some trickery with the run mechanics, maybe the occasional spikes. 3rd set, maybe I’ll get a bit sadistic.
As for the unlockable stages – ones you get for completing stages with all the pickups, and *fast*, well, no holds barred…:)
And what do the notes do? Well, I have a few ideas.
1. Silly secrets. Kind of like Ratchet and Clank’s unlockables with the skill points. Maybe stupid things like a super-long trail following the player, spinning jump, different songs, other ridiculous things..
2. Alternatively maybe I’ll have the notes unlock extra stages, and the extra stages give you a different kind of pickup (for which you use for the “secrets”).
Hm, and I’ve been looking at playtomic’s stat tracking. I wonder what to use it on. Obviously level plays to see how far people get, views in general. Person’s country would be interesting as well…