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Case studies in fangame design

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Offline patrickgh3

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Case studies in fangame design
« on: July 19, 2016, 06:17:24 PM »
A case study is a detailed examination of an isolated event, person, or thing in order to see what can be learned from it. Or something close to that anyways. I think sharing small writeups like this can help us learn from how others approach design stuff. Feel free to post your own! I'll start it off.


This is an attack of a boss from I wanna run the Marathon before tweaks. It kind of feels unfair and unfun. The peaches are too fast and unpredictable, and the random direction of the crowns is too luck-based. Often when I die it feels like there was nothing I could have done.

So, I decided to change the attack instead of scrap it because its ideas seemed solid.
  • Fix the peaches sprite origin so they rotated around their center correctly and weren't confusing to read.
  • Make peaches move a bit slower overall to give more time to react to them.
  • Instead of randomizing both x and y speed, randomize only x speed and keep y speed constant so peaches land in the lava at regular intervals.
  • Make crowns always launch at the same direction to the left.
  • Make even numbered peaches land on the left half of the arena, and odd numbered ones on the right half. I noticed that the attack was free if most peaches were far away, and too hard if most peaches were near you, and this spreads them out more evenly.

Now the attack felt fair and mildly challenging every time. Mission accomplished! I want to note there were many other variables I could have adjusted, such as peaches size, crown size, crown speed, peaches spawn rate, peaches arc height, and crown arc height. So I think the main takeaway point here is there's usually a lot of variables and axes you can adjust, and you have to think hard to find them since they aren't all immediately obvious.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 06:22:55 PM by patrickgh3 »