I published Tileball, the FIRST (and I want you to notice the capitalized “FIRST”) game made with my tile ball engine.
I learned so much in the making of this game that once finished I wanted to delete it and start making it again. Then, I decided to release the game and practice all I learned into the making of Tileball II.
The first thing I want you to know is that Tileball is not a clone of Marble Madness. When I started coding it, I had in mind an old Commodore 64 glory called Trailblazer
I played Trailblazer to death when I was 14 and I wanted to make a clone of it, with some modifications (I did not like the fake 3d graphics of the original). This is why Tileball is played into deep space.
Since there are two or three clones of Tileball around the web, I introduced the jumping tile to give players a new feature. I will explain the jumping tile with next tutorial, and a lot more tiles are planned, as well as a two player options with the old “split screen” mode and a level editor.
The first thing I learned is that there is an issue with the
switch actionscript that will mess you the code if you have a lot of code into any
case. Unfortunately I forgot to take a screenshot of the problem but I will try to replicate it and show you.
The second one is a damn hard question…
Engine vs level design
With the game engine ready and tested, I firstly planned to release the game with 50 levels. Then I went mad designing the FIRST one, and I decided to release the game with 8 levels. Finally, I completed the game with 12 levels. It’s interesting to notice that I coded the entire engine in less than two hours, and I spent more than half an hour for each level.
When you design a level you have to play it, then make some changes, then play again, then make some changes, then play another time just to realize it was better 5 minutes ago, so you have to make some changes and play it again.
Once it’s finished, you’ll play it another two or three times because you think it’s a damn good level and you are enjoying playing with it.
In real game industry, I can only imagine how long does it take to make a level and I am not longer surprised that the best level designers are hired and well paid by software houses.
When you play a game, you probably don’t notice any detail because you have more important task to do: headshot bad guys, avoiding bullets, throwing grenades and so on, but I want you to look at some “screenshots” at Panogames and see how every location is almost a real environment.
The power of level design..
Now the third question…
Easy game or hard game?
Some people prefer to play easy games, other hard ones. As an old-time player, I prefer hard games. Hard but not frustrating. I tried to give the “hard but not frustrating” feeling in Tileball, but you know, level design is an hard thing.
Obviously I am going to monetize this game too, but I’ll talk about it in the next part of my experiment.