This week, I finished off work on Levels S-1 and S-5 and made some good progress on Level S-4, which is a night time remix of an existing level.
Before I get into that, I wanted to share a little screen with you guys from Level S-5. I know I said I wouldn't spoil anything about these Special World levels, but I wanted to throw you guys a bone.
This guy, the Chaser Ghost, will be harassing your ass all the way through Level S-5. It's behaviour is simple, it follows all of Suzy's movements on a delay, forcing you to always keep moving lest it catch up and get you! Here's a super old gif from when I originally implemented it.
Even though it's been functional for years, I haven't used it until now. It adds quite a bit of pressure, so I haven't felt it right to use it in the game's regular levels. It's just right for the Special World, though!
Ok, so, remixing existing levels. I figure this is going to be unpopular with some folks. I know Super Mario 3D Land certainly caught flak for its reuse of levels in the post-completion portion of the game.
Hey, I get it, brand new content is always more interesting, but since I'm working on my own, remixing existing levels for some of my Special World stages will allow me to deliver more content at a higher quality while also allowing me to experiment with challenges that would have been too demanding in the regular versions of the levels. So, with that, I present to you, Level S-4.
Keen eyed testers may be able to recognise the level used as the scaffolding from its shape. It certainly won't be from the colour scheme as I've created new variations of the background and lighting to give the level it's own visual identity.
Though the level retains most of its original structure a number of platforms have been moved or removed and enemies and hazards have been shuffled around and added too. All Star locations are also different from the original level, of course!
And, finally, a bug with a happy ending.
I thought I had some weird loading/saving bugs in both my Save Slot scene and my Level Select scene because Star totals weren't matching up and there was garbage data left over after deleting a save slot. In the end, I only had a simple bug in the function used to loop through the worlds when loading and deleting Save Slot data.
If your game has five worlds numbered 1 to 5, make sure you're not looping from 0 to 4...
And on that silly tidbit, I bid you farewell and until next week when I hope to have progressed on Level S-4 but will be focused on collaborating with Noodlecake to implement achievements and leaderboards. Ciao!
Spent most of this week implementing my end of things for adding support for achievements and leaderboards. These were features I had cut early on in the project but with the support of an experienced publisher like Noodlecake, I've been able to rescope things and include them once more.
My part in this has been to create the hooks in game to actually catch the instances when achievements should be awarded as well as tally up the best times to send to the leaderboards. I've been routing everything through a simple relay script which gets the messages from the game and will be adding calls to Noodlecake's side of things once it's all ready. In turn, their systems will take care of communicating with the appropriate platform specific services. As for my part, the debug log points to everything working as intended, so I think we're in good shape.
Once I had the cheevos and leaderboredz stuff up and running, I turned my attention back to Special World levels.
I completed work on Level S-4. The end bit is a doozy ^_~... And also started work on Level S-7...
I didn't bother blurring this one out since it's a remix of an existing stage and I haven't made any functional changes yet. What I have done is edit the existing lava theme of the original level into this new, sickly, toxic theme!
Well, there you have it, short and sweet. Check back in next week for an update on leaderboard and achievements support and more blurry screenshots of Special World levels!