Winter Wizard Pro Skater
An Excitebike-alike. You are Albus Dumbledore, skating his way through school halls, dungeons, and more. Pull sweet tricks off the stairs to build up your magic powers for building more stair-ramps or going turbo-speed. Top scores awarded for both tricks completed and speed through the level. Much magic abounds in this arcade action-er.
Three things I like:
This one was for a game jam with several other folks, as part of the Idle Thumbs Community Winter Wizard Jam in December, 2015. Being part of a big team and talking over ideas and coordinating through chat rooms was great fun. Having a place to share progress and ask design questions was fantastic, being part of a good team at a jam can make the whole thing a lot easier.
I really dig the art style and I'm glad we were able to coordinate over two artists. Being the team lead/"producer" and making that all work using only text chat was pretty unfamiliar but I am definitely happy with the audio-visual results of the project. Surely more could've been added for variation but there is enough there to convey the aim of the project and instill at least a little charm.
Though it took a bit too long, I stuck with this one and fixed a lot of glaring bugs and polished the UI pretty well. This project has followed on nicely from TDT and with the refinement I've gained from the two together should provide me a good base for something more ambitious soon. My day job has taught me how incredibly important user interfaces are and I hope to continue marking my way up this mountain and developing a flexible framework.
Three things I don't like:
- The only down thing I have to say about the jam team is the number of people who committed way in advance but dropped out in the first few days of the two-week affair. I was able to rally and complete a lot of the work myself, but it's always going to be hard as a project leader when you lose 75% of your engineering resources unexpectedly.
- At the end of the jam, the game still contained a couple really bad bugs that weren't discovered until a few days later and patches had to be swiftly issued. Balancing project management, team leadership, and heading up programming all in two weeks was a serious challenge and I feel I'm still learning the balance. Harder stops before the deadline need to be implemented in order to allow for fuller testing.
- There were several good ideas during the design phase that didn't get implemented due to the time restrictions and the previously discussed complications. Greatest among those is a level creation mode similar to Excitebike (a feature I'd still like to implement. y'know. someday). But also just stuff to make the dynamic and thematic like moving stair-ramps. In the future I'd like to spend more time prototyping up front and wait to implement visuals until the last possible animation. Though, animation did take a (un)surprising amount of time to implement...
Postscript- There is actually a way to edit the levels... sort of!! In the data folder of the game, you will find plaintext XML files that are the simple and cheerful way the game creates levels. I don't know if there's a limit on the number of sections a level can have... find out and tell me!
0 = GOOD ICE
1 = STAIR/RAMP
2 = PATCHY ICE
3 = OBSTACLE