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We’re timing you…

Posted in MCE by Shawn on November 29, 2011

There really isn’t a “We” as this is just me. But “I’m timing you” sounds a bit creepier than “We’re timing you”. At least, it makes me feel less creepy. And that’s what’s important.

Of course, I’m really talking about Mr. Condyle’s Escape. Right now, for the demo, there are two level types. Goal levels, where you must reach the goal, and Survival levels, where you must survive until time runs out. So, it seems like it makes sense to add in a third level, which is a combination of the two. A Timed Goal Level.

A flag and a stopwatch? Clever! (not really)

The level type is simple. Reach the goal before time runs out. At first, this may seem weird, especially in such a fixed game. It may make more sense if you had direct control over the main character, where your direct move allows you to increase/lower your chances of success. This was the main factor to why I kept it out of the game for so long. I actually included this type of level within my code, but never implemented it in design until recently. But after thinking about it, and just mocking up levels, I decided to take the leap. Whether this is a good decision or not is not known.

The level in its most basic form has the player choosing moves they feel would be the best, as most levels do. However, in these levels, players must pick the most optimal solution, as opposed to the other level types. During any given Goal level, you could pause for a number of times, and still complete the level. Of course, your move count will increase dramatically, but that doesn’t negate the fact that you don’t really need to be move conscious. That changes a bit more with a Survival level, and even more so with a Timed Goal level.  It’s pretty much “Choose the best path, or lose”. And think of the stressful interesting situations you can be placed into. Let’s say the level you are in happens to contain Active Bombs (bombs that start ticking as soon as you enter the level regardless of whether you press play or not), then you’ll need to make the best decision quickly/right on time, depending on where the bomb is.

Quick note about Active Bombs. Just because they go off right away doesn’t mean one has to rush. Rather, they’re more about timing rather than rushing. You know this bomb will go off after ‘x’ seconds. However, when do you press the play button? Do you press play as soon as you can, or do you press play when the bomb is about to explode? Questions!

To bring that back into the whole Timed Goal aspect, this game actually gets a bit more complicated than I thought it would. You may have a timed goal level, where you need to make the right choices quickly, before that bomb blows up and destroys your path. Or, you may need to wait 5 seconds before you set out on your goal in a Goal Level with an Active Bomb. (Active Bombs add a whole new element).

Oh, and finally, there’s a new simple object, which I’ve neglected for some reason. It’s a simple switch. And it has the power to activate/deactivate certain objects, pieces of the level. There are a few level mockups for this switch, which should make the game a bit more difficult than it already is.

But that’s it for now.

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