So our game has been available for 9 days now, and things are going pretty well. We thought we’d post a bunch of links to the various videos and articles that have popped up since release (and hopefully we will do a blog post on how we approached marketing shortly).
We already posted on some of the thoughts behind the level design in Cally’s Caves 2 a while ago. In the time since that blog came out we’ve made a number of crucial decisions regarding how the levels will be laid out. Also, the overall level design is such an important part of developing a 2D game that we figured it would be worth another post to discuss some of the decisions we’ve made. We’ve already written about how we approach tutorials, the smaller level sizes, and increasing density of objects in a level, so this time we are going to focus on the smaller things that go into making a level for Cally’s Caves 2.
A good 2D platformer should always be fun to run and jump around in. Player movement mechanics are incredibly important, and part of developing player movement is figuring out how the player’s interaction with the environment works. If the player stands on a brick block, they shouldn’t fall through it. If the player runs into a wall, horizontal movement should stop. Basic stuff, right? But if that’s all there is to the game, it might get a bit boring after a while (although plenty of games don’t, and are awesome). Introducing hazards allows a designer to inject some danger into a level design, which helps keep the player on their toes. It also increases the reward value for a player when they beat a level. Would a player feel more satisfaction if they ran down a level that was designed like a hallway, or if they navigated through a maze-like level filled with spikes and lava pits? We believe the latter provides more opportunity for player satisfaction, although there isn’t an objectively correct answer.