skinner's cage
our platformer was heavily inspired by the end is nigh. a great game made by the creator of binding of isaac, edmund mcmillen.

by working together and communicating as a team here at the game assembly, we made a fun game and was nominated for game of the year: console & pc by the rookies.

download here!

• movement and gamepad support
i have always had an interest in perfecting the player and it's mechanics. a game feels full and polished when the mechanics are enjoyable and responsive.
the person behind the screen notices quickly when something feels off and then you run the risk off them never playing it again.
movement, jump and death needs to feel great, this is our core game loop.

with all of the above in mind, i played the reference game focusing on different things depending on what i was currently working on.

the end is nigh jump

since our game heavily depends on the player to jump, both to avoid obstacles and to get from a to b, i started by creating a basic jump to get a proof of concept.

i also exposed and added values for the designers to tweak, this was done fairly early in the project which certainly helped the leveldesigners build their levels.
how far, how high and the timing of when the player can jump is important to set, otherwise duplication may occur. light tap jumps, longer jumps and forgiveness make it so smooth and fun!

a gamepad plays these games well, therefore i made sure that we had full gamepad support by playing the game over and over and making sure that no mechanic or menu was missed.

skinner's cage jump

• moving objects
we wanted platforms and objects to be able to move along points. with the help of tiled, which was the tool we used for mapping our levels, our designers could place points for whatever object to move along.
a simple list of positions to lerp between aswell as recognizing it in the level loader!
this addition really made the game more fun and progressively more difficult since enemies and levels got a lot harder to beat.

skinner's cage platforms

• needle
when you are halfway through skinner's cage, you will find a needle to pickup. with this, you can kill the cult rats by stabbing them from above.
this was a fun and quite simple as we had pretty much everything ready for it.

i sent a message to our postmaster that the player has the needle in it's "inventory". if the player stabs it, then we play animations, effects and erase it from the level.

• gameover, stats and collectables
when i worked on the gameover screen, we figured it would be fun to show some statistics! this lead to people playing it over and over, trying to beat eachothers time and amount of cheese collected.
there is a cheese in every level and this implementation was really simple too since we already had used triggers in the game. ontriggerenter, pickup cheese and update an integer.

• trampolines and charge enemy
trampolines! fun idea, lots of bang for the buck. pretty much everything in our game is event-based so sending the "playerjump" message on collision with a trampoline will make the player jump.

we wanted to introduce a new type of enemy, one who seems unpredictable and crazy. our charge enemy was programmed fairly simple; patrol your path and if you see the player, charge and attack! the charger really changed up the way you play the game towards the end.