Shots of Changes in Jumpman Forever 1.2 for PC & Mac
Just thought I'd drop you a line about progress on the 1.2 update, and drop a few pics in here to give you all an idea of the changes :-)
- Interface and Graphical Changes
- Bonus Timer
- Spinning Death
- Beginner's Workout
- Control Tweeks
- Expanded Team
Interface & Graphical Changes
First, there's some interface changes going on - including "Exit Jumpman Forever" added to the pause menu. Additionally, the scanlines effect was ditched, and just moved to a darkened background when paused - a bit easier to read.
The next change may take a moment to notice, particularly on the smaller image sizes here on Kickstarter: all characters (Jumpman, Red, and bad guys) now have a black border around them to make them pop a bit more on top of certain backgrounds. All of the Jumpman Forever backgrounds have been quite dark, to they characters pop a bit better. This allows us brighter backgrounds on some stages (including a couple levels that never made it past the prototype stage, like "White Out".)
It's not particularly large - one unit wide (basically, 4 pixels - each "pixel" of Jumpman and Red are actually 4 pixels wide when drawn), but it does make a difference, particularly for the Alienator Bullets and other enemies when they cross girders and such.
The Bonus Timer Returns!
See in the lower right-hand corner? Yep, that's a bonus countdown timer :-) It's one of the things we didn't originally plan on doing - it's a sort of throwback to the era Jumpman was from, but you don't see it much anymore. However, we had quite a few requests for it to happen in Jumpman Forever after the 1.0 release (and, since the game it's self is a throwback, why not! :-) ) But, we wanted to do something different with it, and give it a bit more meaning :-) We won't reveal what else it does at the moment, but for now, it does the obvious thing: when you complete a level, you gain the amount of bonus time that was left over.
We set up Jumpman and Red so that they bounced and flopped around the stage when they died - and at least one person wasn't happy with it :-) They pointed out that it was a bit grim, and missed the somewhat more amusing death form of the original. So, we redesigned it a bit, and now there's a random spin added to it. It's also one of the few places we broke my "rules" for Jumpman Forever - we shoot for staying on a pixel grid for the entire game, and any rotations, etc. that have been done are drawn by hand. With this, however, it's a bit more fluid, and faster to just do it as a simple rotation, rather than hand-draw all the possible positions (plus, there's another good reason for it coming down the road. :-)
Now there's a new option between the Tutorial Levels and the first "normal" levels - the Beginner's Workout! We had complaints that the learning curve for the game was WAY too high. We've tuned it back a bit over time, but it's still a problem. So, we've created (well, are still creating) a set of levels to give new players a softer entry to the game. Above is "Light Stretching" and "Hurdles", level 1 & 2 of the Beginner's Workout. These have smaller jumping gaps, easier timing, and less random elements at times. Hopefully, this addresses that issue perfectly :-) There should be a total of 8 Beginnner's Workout levels to get the player started, but there's an added bonus here: after playing them all through at Jumpman, they repeat again as Red, giving new players a better feel for how much the changes between the characters matter! (So, I guess that makes it 16 levels long, even though they are repeats. Also another spot we've broken my design rules, since Jumpman and Red are both supposed to have unique levels!)
It would be impossible to show you this particular change in a screenshot. It's now impossible to climb lower than the bottom of a ladder. There should be much rejoicing over that, as it makes it easier for new players :-)
We've added a new team member, Leah, to the group. She's an old-school gamer (Super Mario Bros and Oregon Trail are still two of her favorites, for instance) and geek, and obviously will fit in with the rest of us game geeks quite well :-) Part of her gig is internal game testing, graphics work, and general cleanup. However, expect to see more out of her on Crucible than on Jumpman forever. :-)
And, of course, there's still plenty more coming for the 1.2 release :-)