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Timer, push block and phase block bugs

timer push block phase bug

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#1 exactspace

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:08 AM

Timer

When testing a level I keep a good eye on the clock near the end of the level so I know what the par or
expert time should be. Lately there's a bug I noticed where the last tested games timer doesn't reset. So upon starting a new level test, it keeps the old time plus the new games time.



Push Block

Posted Image

There's a push block bug where if a push block is on top of another and there's regular blocks horizontally adjacent to the lower push block, the upper push block often gets "stuck" and fails to move past the lower one. With repeated attempts of going left and right and pushing it, it may move past it.

This gets annoying in puzzle situations since the lower push block is filling the gap. It should just act like a normal flat surface, and the upper push block should behave as if it was pushed across any other flat surface.


Phase Block

Posted Image

I'm not sure if the kind matters, but with the one above at least, the sound and animation of the block closing ends early, so the block appears solid, but it lets me go through it and I get stuck and die.

#2 InsaneJetman

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:46 AM

Timer
What you're probably observing is the continue on death. Notice that any treasure and gems you picked up before dying are still gone. That's why the timer hasn't reset.

Push Block
I've noticed this too. It's annoying. I see it when pushing a stack of blocks. Notice the difference between the stack in editor mode (left) and once a playtest has been started (right):

Posted Image

In fact this has been giving DarkWolfNine trouble recently in my Trinity Castle level.

Phase Block
This sounds like a contributing factor to why I have found it very difficult to jump onto a block that is closing from inside that block:

Posted Image

#3 exactspace

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:56 AM

Timer
What you're probably observing is the continue on death. Notice that any treasure and gems you picked up before dying are still gone. That's why the timer hasn't reset.


Haven't heard of this. Guess it's a new feature?

Push Block
I've noticed this too. It's annoying. I see it when pushing a stack of blocks. Notice the difference between the stack in editor mode (left) and once a playtest has been started (right):

Posted Image


Oh my god!!! Nice observation. This has to be why.

In fact this has been giving DarkWolfNine trouble recently in my Trinity Castle level.

Phase Block
This sounds like a contributing factor to why I have found it very difficult to jump onto a block that is closing from inside that block:

Posted Image


Yup, there's definitely something wrong there.

#4 DarkWolfNine

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:58 AM

Thanks you guys for noticing this. I'm glad it wasn't (entirely) my n00bness (it could be a word. :) ) on how good/bad I currently am, at playing some of those levels. Phew.


@ExactSpace, That respawn (feature?) has been in the last 2 builds now. (The Sept 7th one, and the one in late August) :)

#5 exactspace

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:20 PM

@ExactSpace, That respawn (feature?) has been in the last 2 builds now. (The Sept 7th one, and the one in late August) :)


Ah, okay. I wasn't around that time. What exactly is it's purpose? Documented anywhere?

#6 DarkWolfNine

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:25 PM

No worries, I just wanted to let you know. :) I am not 100% sure why that feature is in there. InsaneJetman, Illari, Adam, etc. will probably know. I personally don't use it. I just make sure to hit ESC and ENTER again, after I die, while testing.

#7 InsaneJetman

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:02 PM

The idea was that dying wasn't going to be the end of the world. Finishing without dying is just an extra achievement. In the original Jetpack, not only did one restart the level after dying, but one only had so many lives. The original idol was a free life, and there could be more than one. Check this blog post.

I don't know how good it is. If the level is about going around and collecting things, then it makes a difference. However if the level is about going around opening barriers and such so that one can get to the door, then it's a rather moot point. Also, dying could be used to effectively teleport back to the start thus saving time. Although par/expert times are not supposed to do this, in some cases it might be possible to get considerably better than expert using this trick.

#8 exactspace

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:10 PM

No worries, I just wanted to let you know. :) I am not 100% sure why that feature is in there. InsaneJetman, Illari, Adam, etc. will probably know. I personally don't use it. I just make sure to hit ESC and ENTER again, after I die, while testing.


Ah, I see. I was probably dying sometimes and not hitting ESC, only ENTER. I'd test it out, but at work.


The idea was that dying wasn't going to be the end of the world. Finishing without dying is just an extra achievement. In the original Jetpack, not only did one restart the level after dying, but one only had so many lives. The original idol was a free life, and there could be more than one. Check this blog post.

I don't know how good it is. If the level is about going around and collecting things, then it makes a difference. However if the level is about going around opening barriers and such so that one can get to the door, then it's a rather moot point. Also, dying could be used to effectively teleport back to the start thus saving time. Although par/expert times are not supposed to do this, in some cases it might be possible to get considerably better than expert using this trick.


Yeah it probably isn't good to include it, unless it was optional thing the creator of the level could enable. Now that games can save, and they are less about surviving till you beat the entire game, omitting lives makes sense. But enabling continue for the entire game could introduce a lot of issues as you mentioned.

#9 Illari

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:15 PM

The feature seems like something only beginners would use, but maybe beginner and easy levels shouldn't be made so long as to need it.

Edit: I did miss the point of the feature in this post though, see below.

#10 InsaneJetman

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:24 PM

On the whole I think it's probably a good thing. I have at least one level in my For Release folder that is so hard, the typical player won't be able to pass it without dying. I haven't done it yet myself, but then I haven't put any effort into trying either.

I mightn't bother allowing par/expert rewards at all if the player dies. However, let's face it, on 90% of levels, if the player dies, an expert time is probably impossible.

#11 Illari

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:43 PM

It is a bit confusing and feels very anti-climatic and cheating to me at least. But I can sort-of relate to how inexperienced players might want to clear harder levels beyond their abilities with it, I always used tons of continues when I used to play Touhou, this vertical scrolling bullet hell shoot-em-up series. There is just the problem that most levels are too linear for it to be of any use, and it is confusing.

Maybe levels ported from old jetpack are generally less linear?

#12 exactspace

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:13 PM

No I think since Jetpack 2 has more features, it has the ability to be more complex and have the potential to be less linear, which could lead to problems if the player was set back to the starting position but everything else was left as it was before you died. For instance, an enemy stuck in a block which was required to be put there before now blocks and entrance back in.

#13 Illari

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:30 AM

^Everything is reset except the collectibles bar idol and the timer. I'm more thinking about Adam's design habits than what can be done with each game.

#14 exactspace

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:31 AM

Ah, okay, then that's good. I misinterpreted what InsaneJetman said. You could beat some levels by dying faster, or reach/not reach a time achievement depending on how it works. If a level wasn't meant to be beat in all one shot, why create it that way?

#15 Chaostorm

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:25 PM

Push Block

Posted Image

There's a push block bug where if a push block is on top of another and there's regular blocks horizontally adjacent to the lower push block, the upper push block often gets "stuck" and fails to move past the lower one. With repeated attempts of going left and right and pushing it, it may move past it.

This gets annoying in puzzle situations since the lower push block is filling the gap. It should just act like a normal flat surface, and the upper push block should behave as if it was pushed across any other flat surface.


Phase Block

Posted Image

I'm not sure if the kind matters, but with the one above at least, the sound and animation of the block closing ends early, so the block appears solid, but it lets me go through it and I get stuck and die.


Yeah unfortunately the pushables have to be smaller than the regular tiles because of the physics engine. It's not very precise, so it can keep a block from sliding between where it should fit, unless it's smaller. If I had it to do over again, I don't think I'd use box2d, I'd probably just write a simple one myself and save a lot of headaches.

The phasing issue sounds like a bug, I'll look into that.

The reset on dying was mentioned in this blog post: http://www.jetpackhq...-beta-released/
Playtesting will not end on death now (unless you hit escape) – Jetman will respawn as in the real game. Time will be preserved from the moment of death (note: par times should be for completion with zero deaths).

This is to make the game easier. I'm thinking of adding a checkpoint tile too.

#16 exactspace

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

Yeah unfortunately the pushables have to be smaller than the regular tiles because of the physics engine. It's not very precise, so it can keep a block from sliding between where it should fit, unless it's smaller. If I had it to do over again, I don't think I'd use box2d, I'd probably just write a simple one myself and save a lot of headaches.


Wow cool, didn't know they made Box2D for Flash. Would it help if while you were pushing a block, it's y value becomes offset by 1px?





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