New Level Editor and more plans for the future.

I'm super happy that the new Level Editor is finally here! In this new editor a lot of complicated stuff has been hidden away, to make it less daunting for new users. It's still got plenty of features to make creative levels with unique styles, and if you want, you can always switch to the old Studio to have more control.

With the new editor, I saw a lot more levels being created, a thing I'm very happy with.

So what other plans do I have for Platformania? I will keep working on the Level Editor, adding more tiles so it becomes more powerfull. Now people are creating more and more content, I will start looking at features to make levels easier to manage. I want to create a playlist system, similar to the '100 Mario Challenge' in Mario Maker. With this system, you can make a flow where a complete game can be played. In my head, there will be some kind of map screen in between levels, similar to what is there in Super Mario Bros 3 and other games.

Behind the scenes, played games can be recorded and played back. I use this already to find out about common problems that players have when playing levels. Maybe in the future, I will make an interface so others can watch replays of levels too.

Other things I'm currently looking at are customizable control schemes, including controls for touchscreens. There are some bug reports where not all browsers work with the Input library I'm using, which is Keypress. Also, there are some bugs where people using the WASD control scheme get in trouble when they press CTRL + W, and close the current tab.


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Physics updates and the new replay system

So much has changed since my last blog, so I decided to write a quick update. I noticed that in the first blog update I still refer to this website as 'Level Factory', it was indeed the first name for this project. I decided to go for the more marketable 'Platformania', as it depicts a game that is more fun, can be extremely challenging and it's shorter.

Also the robot character has been replaced with 'Elena', a more lovable girl who changes her haircolour frequently. There will probably be more updates to the character sprites, hopefully I can find a great pixel artist to help me with this!

minicannon

More graphics have been added, including backgrounds and new building blocks. The new minicannon is now here, which can shoot in any direction, but can also be set to follow the player! Also there are deadly pistons now for your factory-themed levels.

A lot of work has been done on the physics, especially where objects pick up the player and take them away. For example, the rotating blocks will use this to transport the player. What took a lot of work is to make sure the player 'sticks' to the object, instead of falling through it. On normal floating platforms this was easier, but with rotating platforms you get a lot of floating point rounding work to deal with. A very annoying bug was that sometimes, when rounding errors added up, the player would be shoved through a wall, and the wall-eject mechanic kicked in, shooting the player up all the way to the top.

I fixed this by storing the object that the player is currently standing on, and the player's relative position to it. When the position of the object changes, the player's position is updated as well, after checking if it's possible to do so. What was the hardest is to make the player still able to move relative to the object, and to allow jumping as well. I think it is now fixed 100%, and it is time to add more moving platforms. After all, platforms are the most important thing in a platformer!

Another physics thing that has been fixed, where the player could just run through a blocking moving object. The cow has been added to test this bug. It is now impossible to run through it, and the cow will push the player away as it gets too close.

Final news is that I am currently working on instant replays. Every time a player finished a level, I save a recording on the cloud. This helps with making the cheater detection more robust, and also allows players to see what happened and share the replays with their friends. For this to work, I am first implementing a revision system for levels, because if I replay a recording on a different version of a level, the player will get easily stuck on parts of the level that has changed.

minicannon

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Update 9 July 2016

Level Factory screenshot Welcome back to a new update for Level Factory! At this moment I'm still working hard to find graphics artists for sprites and backgrounds. Right now most graphics are made by me, or placeholders from other games. I'm looking for an update on the main character robot, if you know or are a graphics artist, you can always contact me at info@levelfactory.com !

Other updates:

  • Conveyor belts are finally here! I think all functionality is working fine, but some testing is still needed. Also I haven't added end-tiles to the endings of conveyors to make them look nicer.
  • I updated the physics of the moving platforms that take you. There should be no more situations where you get 'stuck' on a block at the end of the ride. Also other enemies and objects should be affected by the platforms now, which makes for some new puzzle possibilities!
  • I'm still working on the level editor, both in looks and functionality. Someone asked me why in some tiles you can draw rectangles, and in some you can only paint them tile by tile. In the future, I want to add rectangle mode for all tiles.
  • Fixed a bug where the game crashes when you exit the level borders on the left and top.
  • You can now save favorite levels in your profile. When you are logged in, you can click 'Favorite', and it will show up in 'My Profile'. Cool!
That's it for now, be sure to check my blog from time to time, as I'm adding new cool stuff all the time!
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Having fun in a world with lotsa tricks

Usually, when a game programmer finds out people have found new ways to play his game, it will be a scary situation, and he will try to fix the levels as soon as possible before others find out. But I have decided to create a world, where everybody can try and see what the various combinations of objects in my game engine will do, and I can't wait to see what situations these combinations will produce. I've set a few strict rules on every object, and this will make each object predictable. However, each object interacts with other objects, and all objects combined in my engine will create a complete new world where everyone can experiment, and share their experiments with others.

Right now, only a few basic objects have been implemented, but every day I've got some spare time I will implement new objects, so new combinations will come up after a while.

Is this a Mario Maker rip off? Level Factory shares a few features: everyone can make levels and share them with their friends. Level Factory creates a world of experiments where they can try out whatever ideas they dream of. But Level Factory will distinguish itself from Mario Maker in that it will not create levels for an existing game (Super Mario Bros), but for something entirely new. There are endless possibilities now.

You know the game The Incredible Machine? It was revolutionary when it came out, and there wasn't anything like it at the time. There wasn't a fixed solution to the problem, you could try whatever you want to solve the level. I'm sure that whatever levels the Level Factory community can dream of, their intended solution will probably be surpassed by the incredible ways the players can come up with to clear the levels.


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