Sunday, July 18, 2010

Update 3 Lineup

Here's the roster for the upcoming third update to SQH. The last character is a mystery!

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Making SQH Levels

Above is a small picture of the level editor for Super QuickHook. Hook Champ and SQH more or less used the same level editor that we made. It's a tile-by-tile editor, you have to place every tile or delete every tile manually. Entities (steam jump vents, rocks you can kick around, coins) also have to be placed one at a time. The one nice shortcut the level editor has is that it converts the appropriate tiles to corner tiles automatically.

Even if you ignore the tile-by-tile nature of it, making levels for both hook-racing games is a difficult process. Each level takes a surprising amount of effort for something you can complete in two minutes, once mastered. This is due to a few reasons:
  1. All the possibilities of where the hook latches has to be accounted for. Different people, of different skill levels and styles, have different latch patterns. A latchable ceiling made too short or too long can have people plummet frequently on a jump that is not intended to be difficult, or just feel awkward.
  2. Due to the above point, each level has to be playtested and tweaked over and over. This repeats many times during the process of creating each level.
  3. Each level has to offer something different, in terms of gameplay design. This is difficult without any sort of combat or enemies.
  4. Each level has a "secret coin path" that must be designed alongside the normal path.
As we talked about last week, Super QuickHook will be the last strictly hook-racing game from us. This is mostly due to the difficulty of level design. You'll see us move more towards combat in upcoming titles.

Except for the next game (a quick, 99 cent experiment), we're not getting rid of the grappling hook. It's practically our trademark now. We're just making it more of a climbing tool, rather than an incredibly fast method of transportation.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Future Game Direction

We're going to move away from the genre of grappling hook racing. It's a pretty unique genre, but it has two problems. One is that the level design is rather difficult and time consuming. The other is that you're not blowing things up.

Our next two games will move towards a more combat related direction. We're doing an out-of-character game, first. It will be quick and most likely 99 cents. Then we're doing a much larger, story-driven, Bionic Commando reminiscent game. That is, grappling hook + combat. Besides that, the actual gameplay won't be much like Bionic Commando; it will be inspired by a different game. I'm not mentioning what game this is, because that would spoil the surprise.

More details on the quick, small game in about a month. In the meantime, we'll be working on the next updates to Super QuickHook. Update 2 is extremely close to being submitted. We decided to add some more stuff to it, rather than submitting it right away.