Lazy Robots - level generation

July 04, 2012

Well, a week later and I'm pretty sure the goal I set just isn't going to work. At the moment, I just don't seem to have enough free time to commit to working on the game.

Plus level design is going much more slowly than initially anticipated. ANd then there was the matter of spending most of Sunday working through bugs that I hadn't anticipated (I know, right? Obviously there will be bugs everywhere, but I seem to have forgotten that eradicating them all would take a lot of time...I guess I still have a lot to learn about programming).

But I am really happy with most of the levels I have made so far, so that's good. It just takes some time for good ideas to come to me. I mean, that is what makes a good puzzle game: you need a good concept AND you need good realizations of that concept (i.e. good individual puzzles). I can't just ask the player to solve the type of spatial problems over and over or the game will get pretty boring pretty quickly.

One thing that would really help me with generating puzzles, however, would be if I sucked it up and programmed a legitimate level editor. Right now levels are generated based on a handful of 2-D arrays that I have to write manually, but it's really hard to mentally visualize the levels from the written arrays, so I usually start with some graph paper and a pencil, which is all right, but it's very hard to play with the boxes and energy costs from a piece of paper. It would just be really helpful if the whole creation process were more streamlined so that I could build the levels inside the program, test them and then tweak them all with minimal effort. It really shouldn't be that complicated to do, so that is what I am going to focus on next.

In addition to level creation and bug fixing, I've also added some Easter eggs, including lectures from the boss when you fail a level too many times, which I find highly entertaining. Hopefully players will, too.

And, since I like posting videos, here is some of the inspiration for these failure Easter eggs: The Lost Vikings. After failing the level 50 times, far more than any person conceivably would unless they were doing it intentionally, the vikings get a little upset at you.

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