Reflex – Dev Diary 33

Quite a lot of progress this week so let’s get started.

The 25 levels for world 4 have all been designed and are ready to be added to the game. This has taken quite a while due to the complexity of some of the maps and the number of features packed into them at this stage in the game. The last 6 or so levels of world 4 are the largest in the game so far and will force the player to move around the map to keep track of things. World 5 will be even harder.

For the actual game development side of things there’s a been a number of alterations and additions:

  1. The flickering laser fence can now be set to start in a delayed state. This allows for each fence to fade on it’s own timing rather than having all the fences fade in and out at the same time. This is going to be important for the player – timing is everything.
  2. The toggle switch that I added in the game last week has been introduced earlier than world 4. It now makes its first appearance in level 2.19.
  3. Level 1.4 had a glitch that meant it was no longer possible to complete. Opps.
  4. I recently upgraded to a 4K monitor to give me a massive amount of extra screen space for all the code windows. I had tentatively added in the ability to have a 4K full screen resolution but had no idea if it would hold up. So, this week I made sure that the game would display properly on a 4K resolution. The menus are set to 1080p because the background images were rendered at that resolution. They look fine at 4K scaled up so I’m not going to worry about that. Whilst in game the resolution is true 4K so the player can see a lot more of the map at one time.
  5. I remapped the texture groups in the game. Basically in GameMaker every single sprite is compiled into a series of images (textures) that are then used to draw everything on screen. If the game has to access more than one texture page there may be a performance hit as it has to unload and load another texture. I had started to notice that the first played level was getting a very small stutter when the first explosion takes place. It turns out the explosions were on different texture pages and the load impact was causing the problem. I’ve gone gone through all the sprites and assigned them to the correct texture pages. This has completely eliminated the problem.
  6. Some of the world 4 maps were requiring more than the maximum 5 potential reflectors the player could have with him/her at the start of the level. Because of this I decided to add in another. The radial menu can now display up to 7 buttons (6 components and the cancel button).
  7. I’ve started investigating the playback of videos within the game. GMS2 doesn’t have any video playback support (strange I know) so I’m looking at extensions to help me playback the logo, intro, tutorial and outro videos for the game.

Phew that’s a lot.