Jetboard Joust Devlog #18 -Enter The Warp Gate

Wasn’t working much on Jetboard Joust last week – had to do an ad-free update of Flapping Bird for a distributor (yes, I did a ‘Flappy Bird’ clone – the shame)!

Anyway – back onto it this week and I’ve been doing more custom shader stuff, this time for the ‘level complete/next level’ cycle. I wasn’t looking forward to this to be honest as I thought it would be a really fiddly process but actually it went OK.

What’s going to happen when the level is complete is that a kind of ‘warp gate’ appears – enter the warp gate and you get transported to the next level. I wanted the level to disintegrate into pixels in much the same way the main character does when teleported in/out (see previous post).

The first thing though was to actually design the warp gate itself. I wanted something that felt a little ‘sci-fi’ and also a little ‘primitive’ to fit in with the ruins. I looked at various things for inspiration, not least the ‘hub portals‘ from ‘Turok – Dinosaur Hunter’ on the N64 (remember that game, it was ace!) which hold very fond memories for me. This page of concept art from Destiny was also a big influence.

I wasn’t too tough to arrive at a design I liked – and animating it (though very time consuming) was also pretty trouble free. I then spent quite a bit of time tweaking some particle fx to go with it – trying to keep a ‘pixelly’ feel. I’m really pleased with the end result now.

Implementing the ‘pixel dissolve’ for the entire level meant using a custom shader for ‘post-render’ fx. This was another first for me but fortunately pretty simple to implement. Rather than drawing the game world to screen I draw it to an offscreen image (RenderTarget2D in MonoGame) and then apply the shader when rendering this offscreen image to screen. As if often the case with this stuff, the hardest part is tweaking the tweens so that the dissolve feels ‘right’. I think it’s OK now but there’s still something bugging me about the ‘fade in’ a bit. I used the same shader I wrote for the teleport fx as described in the previous post.

Then it’s a matter of sequencing everything together which I have now done, though this procedure is too long to get across in an animated GIF…

1. Complete level
2. Warp gate appears (using teleport shader) –
3. Enter warp gate
4. Main character teleports out
5. Old level dissolves out
6. New level dissolves in
7. Main character teleports in

If you’re being observant you’ll notice that I’ve made the particles on the player teleport rather more ‘pixelly’. I’ve also updated the die/retry loop from the pipes of old to a new version using the teleport effect.

Next up will be some work on pickups and changing jetboards.

Dev Time: 2 days
Total Dev Time: approx 20.5 days

previous | next

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The Final Warp Gate Design With Particles

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The Level Exit/Enter Dissolve Effect

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Entering The Warp Gate And Leaving The Level
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