PogoGirl Devlog #9: Making Enemies
After all the shader shenanigans I needed a break and decided to work on something less technical and more gameplay-related: Enemies!
Two new enemy types have entered PogoGirl’s rogues gallery, and I wanted to give you a quick peek at them. First up is the Bouncer!
If you have a protagonist that’s bouncing, I guess it only makes sense to also have enemies that can bounce. While such an enemy pattern can already be tricky in a regular platformer, it gets even trickier when you yourself can’t stop bouncing! Fortunately, these enemies won’t bounce quite as high as you, so it won’t be too difficult to bop them on the head. However, if you manage to hit them when they’re at the peak of their bounce, you might fly high enough to bypass a tricky platforming section or two!
The second baddie I’ve implemented is the Flyer. I am very creative with names, I know. This little guy somehow managed to snag a helicopter chair:
Luckily it’s a simple model, so it can only fly back and forth. You’d better watch out though, because you’ll have to bounce either above or underneath him, otherwise you’ll get a face full of propeller! And if you’re really skilled, you might be able to bounce off these enemies to reach some very high, hidden areas…
It’s fun to come up with enemy types, but it can also be surprisingly challenging. Not only do the enemies need to be easily distinguishable so that players can immediately tell what they’re dealing with; they also have to complement the game’s mechanics, or at least that’s my take on it. Having enemies be nothing more than interactive obstacles is perfectly fine, but I try to take it a step further if I can. Since Go! Go! PogoGirl is about bouncing, and therefore about verticality to a certain extent, it made sense for me to create enemies that let you bounce higher if you’re skillful enough. You don’t have to do it, but if you can pull it off, you might be able to save some time or even find a hidden area!
But anyway, that’s it for this update. Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!
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Last time I mentioned that I was doing levels for Go! Go! PogoGirl and that I changed my Tiled setup to make the process easier. Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve now made all levels in the game! While I do enjoy making levels quite a lot, it’s a very tricky thing to get right. Good level design is an art. And while I don’t consider myself an artist in that regard (or any other regard, actually), I thought I’d share my process of building the levels for Go!
A game has many facets, and developing a game is like climbing a range of different mountains simultaneously. I’ve worked on several different things in the past few weeks—water effects, powerups, HUD elements—but there is one major aspect of the game that I haven’t touched in quite a while. Levels. Yeah, sometimes you get caught up in all the coding and designing and pixel arting that you forget about other major parts of the game.
Powerups are a staple of video gaming, and platformers had some of the best around. Sonic’s elemental shields, Mario’s mushroom, Kid Chameleon’s transforming helmets…there’s a lot of good stuff in there. It seemed obvious to put powerups into Go! Go! PogoGirl as well, but for a long time, I wasn’t quite sure what to put in. Powerups need to enhance and support the gameplay; you can’t just throw in anything you want.