Jetboard Joust Devlog #6 – Die and Retry

Development on Jetboard Joust has suffered a bit of a hiatus since Christmas, mainly due to the fact that I’ve been spending far too long testing out alternative touchscreen control systems for ‘Attack of Giant Jumping Man’. I wrote about that (in probably far too much detail) here. Thankfully I’ll be reusing a bunch of that code in Jetboard Joust but more on that later.

Today’s main job has been completing the die/retry loop. I wanted this to feel like it was integrated into the gameplay rather than the sudden ‘cut’ you get on some games when everything just stops and you’re taken back to the start of a level. I think the world/enemy state will remain persistent between lives (if that doesn’t prove to be too much of a pain in the arse) so it’s important that the die/retry loop felt like a ‘long take tracking shot’ rather than some kind of full reboot.

So I settled on the idea of having the player fired out of a Mario-style pipe at the start of each life. This introduces the player to the world quite nicely and seems better than having them simply fall down from the top of the screen or just ‘be there’ which would have been the easiest options. There will be at least two of these pipes per level and I may also use them as a method of exiting the level (but again, more of that later).

When you fall off the jetboard the camera pans to the closest pipe that’s more than one screen width away from the player’s current position. This means I don’t have to make the player sprite ‘disappear’ somehow which I think would look pretty awkward – instead the ‘stunned’ player sprite is just scrolled offscreen.

I added a bit of recoil to the pipe as it shoots – it also wobbles a bit before firing but I couldn’t show that on the GIF due to Photoshop’s 500 frame limit on animated GIFs (there must be a better way of doing that but I haven’t figured it out yet).

As well as die/retry I’ve been fixing a bunch of bugs and quirks and improving some of the animations – such as adding a bit of compression whenever the character lands. I really need to animate that jetboard now!

Dev Time: 1 day
Total Dev Time: approx 9.5 days

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The Die and Retry Loop – No Camera Edits Necessary

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Adding Some Compression On Landing
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