When we got to working on the third level for the game, there was an obvious design flaw. In game development these are pretty common, and are a part of the process. You find something that becomes and obstacle and you start to come up with ideas to fix it. This particular issue came up because we wanted objects that were independent of the enemies to interact with you for the third level, but we still wanted to keep the basic character controls.
Originally the game was designed with the character and enemy separated to their respective sides of the screen. The actual position didn’t matter because it was more about the timing of your attacks, and the enemies attacks. As we were going to implement the new systems though, this presented a problem. Below is a screenshot of the old character position and the enemy position.
Having them spaced apart worked visually to balance the game and worked with our simple battle system. As the character would hit or block, it felt good. However, to keep this system with a larger enemy sending projectiles on screen, it would require creating a batting box of sorts to show where and when to do your attack or block to counteract the projectiles. That solution, while it would work, didn’t feel right. Here is a gif of the old system in action.
Instead, we opted for moving the character and the enemy closer together, and adding an extension sprite to the character’s attacks. In this way, the attacks and blocks are based on actual screen location and distance from the player. It also allowed us to get the timing better for the interactions between players and enemies.
Here is a screenshot of the new positioning. While it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it is making all the difference in the world to the feel of the game.
Below is a GIF showing the new positioning in action.
We look forward to sharing more as we continue to work on it.