Megafuzz Dev Blog

Nerdy rants on programming and game design

Unplanned Features Part 3: Swimming

Diving Into Another Unplanned Feature

While Ronn For Your Life will primarily be level based with a fairly linear path throughout, there will also be elements of freeroam exploration. There will be optional paths that can be taken - which may result in additional quests, rewards, or maybe just a goofy easter egg. Thinking of how to add more verticality to said level design, it occurred to me that, even in a platformer, verticality doesn't always have to mean higher... And with that, underwater exploration was added.

The player can now go for a dip in the water. He can opt to remain around the surface level and just swim around to get across the pond, but he can also dive into that pond to see what mysteries lies beneath. Oxygen will be a factor in how much and how deep sea territories can be explored, and this is directly tied to an upgradeable swim skill, which will not only affect the speed with which you can swim and dive, but also for how long you can hold your breath. Higher swim skill will make you overall more efficient in water, and thus able to explore deeper reaches of the dark blue below. Maybe even find sunken treasure...


Feeling Floaty

I wrote an entirely separate movement and physics system for the player utilized for in and under water. While on land, his movements are extremely responsive and instant, then while in the water, he's much more "floaty". He's got acceleration and deceleration, and if he breaks the surface with high velocity, he'll be thrown deeper into the water before automatically slowing to a stop, as opposed to if he just carefully dipped in. This really makes a huge difference in making it feel much more like its own little area of the game, and it feels as if you're swimming - which obviously does (and should) feel rapidly different from moving around on land.