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Upcoming Platform Game: Suzy Cube

02-12-2018, 06:27 PM
Love those squared off thumbs! Serious though, this approach to animating a tutorial is brilliant.
02-16-2018, 01:09 PM
Suzy Cube Update: February 16, 2018

I had a couple days carved out of my week, so not a huge update. What I did get around to was completing decoration work on Level 5-2

I'm also about half way through decorating level 5-3.

This means I'm almost done decorating all of the game's levels! We're going to have plenty of nice polished content to show off at GDC this year!

Speaking of which, I had a really productive call with Noodlecake yesterday to discuss our plans for the conference. We want to make sure we'll be showing folks some cool new stuff like levels which we haven't showcased before as well as some of the forthcoming changes to the game's UI.

That's actually it, really. With Monday off due to Carnaval and spending a big chunk of Wednesday making truffles to surprise my wife on Valentine's Day, it's been a bit of a Suzy light week.

Keep checking in as March rolls in to follow us on our journey to GDC 2018!

02-23-2018, 12:25 PM
Suzy Cube Update: February 23, 2018

Hiya, folks! Happy Friday!

So, continuing the decoration work from last week, I'm almost done with Level 5-4!

Once I finish decorating the level and optimize the lightmap, that'll will be it for level decoration!! OGM, this is happening!!

It's been taking me a weirdly long time to decorate this one for whatever reason.

For future projects, I will definitely invest more time into front loading and automating the sort of rote, mindless decoration tasks in order to get levels to a shippable state without so much tedium.

I also worked on our GDC debug menu!

In addition to allowing us quick access to some hand picked levels to show off (blurred out because I haven't decided what these will be yet), this year's menu also gives us a big fat PLAY button to simulate a first time play experience. This will be perfect for handing the game to new players at the conference!

I also added functionality which should, honestly, have been there from day one. We can now enter the name of any scene in the project and hit the load button to load it up! Very handy for debugging, footage capture, etc.

Other that some not-so-notable bug fixes, that's been it for this week. I'm off to finish decorating Level 5-4. Have yourselves a great weekend, and I'll see you all next week!
03-02-2018, 03:04 PM
Suzy Cube Update: March 2, 2018

Wow! Sorry about this late post, folks. I literally forgot about it until right now! Ok, so what have we got!?

Well, this week was more of a refinement week for me. Lots of time spent in all the game's levels making improvements.

Lots of levels simply got extra coins. Hey, they are fun to collect and help ensure players have plenty of lives for tougher levels.

Without really planning to, I found myself adding a lot of rotating groups of coins. I think I like how they catch the eye and can add a little life to otherwise plain platforms.

I also had a look at all the lightmaps in the game. A number of them needed optimizing, so I rebaked them.

Now all the levels have nice tight lightmaps! I wanna get the most out of my texels, baby!

Oh! And, get this. While running around the game with the Double Jump hat, I discovered that the final challenge in Level 5-1 could be skipped entirely!

I had to widen this gap to the goal in order to prevent players from simply jumping over to it without defeating the Skull Bullies. I found some other spots here and there in other levels where the Double Jump could get Suzy to, kind of, out-of-bounds spots, but for most of them, I just hid some coins there and left it at that. After all, I don't want to discourage exploration and experimentation. This Level 5-1 bypass, though.. ya, that had to go. ^_^

The good folks at Noodlecake put me in contact with the cool beans from One Simple Idea who will be handling the game's trailer for GDC. I'm very excited to see what they come up with!

Which reminds me... Holy crap! It's March! GDC is only a few weeks away!!! AAAH!!

I hope I'll see some of you there, but for now, I'll see you next week!
03-09-2018, 10:24 AM
Suzy Cube Update: March 9, 2018

GDC will soon be upon us! So how goes the prep work?

So, as you can see here, I've gone ahead and picked the three levels we'll be showing off on the GDC debug menu. They are a good mix of visuals and gameplay while also being levels that haven't been shown off in video yet. I hope folks get a kick out of them!

Though our new menus won't be ready for GDC, I spent some time this week capturing screenshots of all the game's levels to use as backgrounds in the new Level Select Screen.

Worse comes to worse, I'll be able to show off the great mockups Noodlecake have already produced for the new menus.

On the trailer front, we got to see the first rough cut this week. It's not ready for the public yet, but I'm diggin' it so far. I'm very excited to see the final product and to show it off to all of you!

Finally, I've been continuing to fix bugs and make small improvements across the game. A friend of mine played through the first two worlds on the weekend and I ended the session with a small list of observations which turned into work items for this week. The biggest of which was a pretty sizeable redesign of the start of Level 2-S.

It's one of the game's special stages so I've blurred it out.

Basically, the level is broken up into four little timed puzzles. My buddy really struggled with the first puzzle, needing to reattempt it several times before, finally, progressing past it. Funny thing is, once he beat the first puzzle, he completed the whole level, all three remaining puzzles, in one go! I had to force him to try again the last couple times which tells me the first puzzle was simply much too obtuse. Hopefully my changes have remedied this situation!

Well, there we have it! Only one Friday update left before I'm off to GDC. Things are heating up!... No.. like, seriously, anyone else getting really hot in here!?
03-16-2018, 09:34 AM
Suzy Cube Update: March 16, 2018

I am sick and really need to get back to bed. As such, I invite all of you to check out my blog update rather than summarize it here.


For those wondering, I go into some detail about fixing a couple of pretty important bugs, including this one...

Ok, I've got to sleep this off before getting on the plane on Sunday!

BTW. If you are planning on attending GDC, hit me up on Twitter (@LouardOnGames) so we can meet and fist bump and I can let you play the game!

Ok... bye zzz
03-24-2018, 12:17 AM
Suzy Cube Update: March 23, 2018

Ok, so GDC was rough this year with the cold and everything, but even though this update is super late, I come with some pretty big news!... But since I'm super lazy, I'll let you all bounce over to my blog to read it!... I'm gonna pop some Nyquil now.

03-26-2018, 10:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 103
Congrats on picking the spring release date. I've been following the game for a little while and am super excited to get my hands on it! : )

It's really inspiring to see you stick with something for 2.5 years and bring it to fruition.

Rawr! For A Reason - Our first game "Undie Rush" is coming soon - 50% of profits from our free games goes to charity
03-30-2018, 11:16 AM
Suzy Cube Update: March 30, 2018

My first week back from GDC has been spent not breaking anything! Instead, I've gone ahead and tackled something I've been on the fence about for quite some time: Decorative critters!

The implementation on these is super simple! They simply play an idle loop until Suzy hits their trigger volume at which point they play their "run away" animation. The bunny and hamster will also return to their idle loops if Suzy gives them some space.

Since the snow and sand mounds of the bunny and hamster use baked lighting to better blend in with the environment, I had to re-bake the lighting on all levels which now include them. This meant I had a lot of time yesterday to doodle while watching progress bars.

Even though Noodlecake will be handling the production of the cute little scenes which will be shown between worlds, I thought I would go ahead and doodle up some concepts for them.

Finally, after watching a friend struggle with Level 3-2, I've decided I'm going to have to dive into more robust state saving on certain levels.

This late in the project, I have no intention of overhauling the game's checkpoint system, but it's shortcomings just can't be ignored. There are two levels in the game in which some light puzzle elements gate the player's progress. In both (Level 3-2 being one of them), two switches need to be hit in order to open the path forward. In both levels, these switches are accessed by guiding Suzy through some challenges. The frustrating thing is, since checkpoints in the game are only set up to save Suzy's position and which stars she's collected, the state of the progress gating switches isn't saved. In Level 3-2, this means I wasn't able to use checkpoints at all since only saving Suzy's position wouldn't get around the issue of having to backtrack and hit switches you had already hit before dying.

All this to say, if I don't want to scrap these levels, I'm going to have to come up with a safe and effective way of saving the state of the switches on these levels so I can put in some propper checkpoints.

Well, there you have it! The lesson here is... I don't know... Don't design levels which don't jive with your save system? Don't move forward with an inadequate save system? Maybe both!?

See you folks next week!
04-06-2018, 02:51 PM
Suzy Cube Update: April 6, 2018

Sorry for the late update!

OK! First, I solved my checkpoint issue with a simple band-aid solution. Levels which need it now contain a new object which can, simply, receive trigger messages, save them as booleans, then send out messages on level load.

It's not really how I would set things up if I had more than two levels which need it, but it does the trick!

My week was mostly spent playing through all the game's levels over and over and over using the Double Jump and Ground Pound power-ups. The first pass of this was to try and break the levels and get out of bounds and stuff. I added some colliders here and there or made other adjustments where needed. The second pass was all about giving Suzy more opportunities to use the power-ups.

I did things like adding ground-poundable rock blocks to levels which hadn't much use for the power-up otherwise and also added hidden rewards to hard-to-reach spots which only deft users of the Double Jump will be able to find.

Additionally, I was having fun scaring off my newly added critters, when it dawned on me that they would be even more fun to scare off if it awarded you a coin sometimes! So I added a low probability of earning a coin from scaring off a critter! Somehow it's made them even cuter!

Finally, I, only now, found out that it was not possible to deflect the Bone Thrower projectiles using the ground pound! What!? Well, a quick little dive into the deflection code rectified that little issue!

Oh, and over at Noodlecake, they've been hard at work on the UI rework, which I hope to show you next week. On that, I bid you all happy weekend and I will see you next week!