January 2015 Posts

Mr Nibbles Forever – Prototype 2

Mr Nibbles Forever – Prototype 2

So its almost a week on since the first build of Mr Nibbles Forever and a fair bit of work has gone into the game this week. Its starting to take shape a little more now which i’m happy about.

I had a few people play the first Prototype last week and the overwhelming response was that it was too hard so the first thing I did this week was to make the game easier. So I slowed Mr Nibbles down and making the tilting of the device more responsive. Then I added a difficulty progression to the game. The longer you play it the harder the game gets. Check out the difficulty progression in the video below:

I achieved the difficulty change by ranking each chunk by difficulty then selecting an appropriate one randomly as the player moves along.

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As can be seen in the video there are now 3 themes that the player progresses through as they go along. This mirrors the 3 stages that can be found in the original game:

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I worried about this for a little while as I wasnt sure how to get the three themes in the game and make it work. The solution was to have transitions between the themes and have each theme more difficult from the last so that as you play from the cage to the backyard to orbit the game progresses smoothly in difficulty.

Because the game now features three distinct themes I needed to upgrade my chunk building tools to accommodate the different tiling requirements for each theme:

Building tilesets is now a breeze thanks to custom inspectors and other editor tools.

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I have a long list of features building up on Trello:

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But this week I hope to have most of the chunks complete and have started or finished work on the meta-game. What is the meta-game? Well find out next week 😉

BTW, if you are interested in testing the game on iOS send me an email: mike.cann@gmail.com and ill get you added as a beta tester. If you are on Android then simply join this community: https://plus.google.com/communities/100690884724496136044

I also have a facebook community for the game now too: https://www.facebook.com/mrnibblesforever

Mr Nibbles Forever – A Prototype

Mr Nibbles Forever – A Prototype

About a week ago I had an idea: what would Mr Nibbles look like if it was turned into an endless runner? Well in-between other things I knocked out a gameplay prototype using my weapon of choice these days, Unity.

After just a couple of days I had the basics of the Mr Nibbles game mechanics working, its amazing how fast you can make things in Unity when you have all the assets already:

The two fundamental ideas I had for this game was that you couldn’t ever stop running and the levels would be randomly generated. You can control the speed of Mr Nibbles by tilting the device (or using the arrow keys) but you cant actually bring him to a stop or cause him to turn around like you can in the original.

This restriction creates an interesting mechanic where you have to carefully control your speed through the air as not to land on spiders.

Speaking of spiders, I always thought they deserved a little more motion to bring them alive so now they can jump a small way out towards Mr Nibbles when he gets close:

As for making the the game endless, I needed a way to proceduralally generate Mr Nibbles levels. The easiest way I could think of doing that is by breaking up levels into small sections called “chunks” and then stitching those together as the player moves along:

Chunks must have an entrance and at least one exit tho they can have multiple exits which makes for some interesting player choices:

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For now there are 26 chunks in the game and they are randomly picked as the player moves through the world. The idea is to grade these chunks by difficulty and the longer the level goes on for the harder the chunks spawned are.

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To help with building chunks I took advantage of what I consider to be the single greatest strength of Unity, its tools customisability, to write some level building and testing tools:

After the hard work was done it was just a matter of adding a little more polish, some basic menus and sound effects and a few more game mechanics such as destructible floors and spring traps.

So for now the game is very basic, there is no progression and nothing in the way of challenges. My thinking is if people enjoy the raw gameplay in its prototype form then I can add Jetpack Joyride style missions and more varied themes and powerups and more mechanics.

So this is where you can come in, give the game a try, see what you think and let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at: mike.cann@gmail.com

You can download and try the desktop version here: http://goo.gl/yDAFUm

Or you can email me and ill send you a link with the iOS version so you can play on your phone or tablet.