Constructing an autorunner for Bacon Game Jam 06: Day 2

[My entry is playable right now. Go check out Pale.]

27 October 2013

7:55 AM:

I’ve been working on this for the last three hours or so, pretty much non-stop.

After trying to make the dead bodies thing work for awhile, I gave up. I still really like that idea (see Inevitability), but it just doesn’t work here. Maybe in something else soon.

I also decided the randomness of the levels doesn’t work for me. While I’m sure it is possible to get the right mix, I couldn’t find it this time. However, the problem remains one I am interested in figuring out.

Once I had made those decisions, everything else flowed pretty quickly. I mocked up a level in Tiled (see my guide), exported it to Flare format and then copied-and-pasted the tilemap data manually. (Yeah, I know. It is not the best way to do that. While I could be using JSON from Tiled into AS3, I decided I liked targeting an earlier version of Flash over including that functionality. It’ll probably be something I’ll write up in another guide at some point though.)

After playing around with colors more, I finally went back to black and white.

However, that too proved to be a bit much since my inner tiles, which were initially in a brick pattern, kept hiding the character. No matter if they were black with white edges or the reverse, they always blended with the same-color character.

My solution, then, was to cut them back to basic lines and make them grey.


I then spent maybe an hour or so playtesting and expanding the single level. I would play some and, if I failed, I would see if it was the level or myself. And then I’d play it again. If I consistently thought it wasn’t player error, I would edit the level slightly.

I did all that because I was trying to narrow down the gameplay into the Rule of Three for autorunners.

RuleOfThreeDepending on the perspective, the direction may be different, but the concept is still the same. From Super Hexagon to Robot Unicorn Attack, the idea is that the player will have a third of the screen to prepare (Object), another third to see the next action (Obstacle), and a final third to see where they are going after (Objective).

It’s the chain of “I need to go there, but I’m right here” to “Oh, I know. I press this button” over and over.

For Pale, well, I’m not sure I was as successful as I would like. It’s there to some degree, but I also haven’t had as much time I would really need to shape it. The thing about game jams is that they can get you thinking about and trying new mechanics, but they aren’t created to really hone a game from Playable into Best in just a couple days.

Anyway, that’s all written to now write that you can play Pale right now Or, if you prefer, you can also look at the code as well. It’s up on GitHub.

I’m going to go sleep for a few hours now.