A quick and simple delight for fans of moving quickly. Navigate your character through 12 levels, collecting all the keys and booking it for the exit in as little time as possible. Challenge yourself to get all coins as well and you're on your way to a perfect run!
Three things I like:
- I think I did quite a good job with the sensation of speed and pushing the player to find the balance between going all out and being able to navigate the tight corridors. There were a lot of effects added and relentlessly tweaked, from how tightly the camera would keep the player character in the center of the shot to adding the little streamers to the character's wrists and ankles. I knew what this game was about from the very beginning which allowed me to simplify and only build things that added to the intended sensation.
- One of the few things I didn't mind spending hours polishing at all was the look of the game. Yes, it does look a little bare, but I think that's the style I've been developing as a solo designer/programmer who is more interested in mechanical interplay than visuals or theme. I think if I can make these simple, abstract shapes feel warm and inviting and as not-amateurish as possible then I will be good and I have to say I'm happy with the way this looks. I debated changing the player character to look less like a prototype but in the end I figure the crash test dummy fits this environment perfectly.
- Returning to this codebase and not abandoning it entirely was a feat of personal strength. I'm joking, of course, but there had been several projects and a lot of professional programming development between the original prototype and the last polish period. Some of the things I did were.. not kind but in the end it was still very salvageable. The only thing I fully replaced was the input system - an extremely wise choice - and the things that had kept me from returning before (Unity upgrades breaking certain image effects) were promptly tossed out and new solutions were immediately brought forward. Sometimes things are worth saving just to have the idea out there.
Three things I don't like:
- Far more than most of the games I've released, this is harder for me to separate the end-product from the process. The original prototype was created at least a year and a half ago now, as a prototype for a new movement system based on a single ball of raycasts (buy me a beer and ask me about it sometime, it's one of the weirder and more efficient [though seriously troublesome] character controllers you'll ever hear of), but I left it with the main gameplay figured out but a long ways off from shipping quality. I've worked on this prototype for dozens of hours over the last couple weeks now and it boggles my mind just how much polish this thing really needed. It's incredibly important to take those final steps and understand the nature of polish passes and how many are truly necessary but it's made me lose a lot of perspective. I hope you all enjoy it!
- My first point was about how well I'd scoped down to "going fast" and that is true, it gave me a focus to build the levels around. But a lot of other choices, such as the number of levels, or whether or not to include coins were often arbitrary or cribbed slightly from other titles (both mine and others). I think if I had a thematic focus as well as a gameplay one I would've been able to have more focus for that long, long polish period.
- Speaking of those decisions, I'm of two very different minds on the scoring system. I love that I figured out the technical implementation completely as I wanted it in the end and tested it thoroughly. But I'm not sure how much people want or need local high scores from freeware games (lord knows they don't even need the freeware game in the first place). I think in the future I should go even further and have online leaderboards or worry about them not at all and save myself the time.