A challenge I’ve been working to overcome with this two player adventure game is how to make sure the path taken is agreed on by both players instead of one person taking the lead. Balance and fairness to both players needs to be necessary. The most apparent need for this is with the system to move from one area to the next. In a single player game, you have a button/action area that when on contact with the player’s avatar, the system transitions to the next level.
For two players, though, there are a few additional issues involved. First and foremost, both players need to want to go to the next area so the trigger needs to activate while both are standing in the action area. To solve this, I created a global variable for each player that is activated when they are overlapping the trigger. When the sum of those variables hit the preset, the system knows to go ahead.
The next issue is a little more nuanced. What if one player changes their mind and decides against it. Or worse, what if one player is suddenly attacked by a horde of monsters and needs help? The process then needs to reset. To accomplish this, that’s literally what I created — a toggle that when a player overlaps it, they player’s global value is set to zero.
That’s the basis of the area system I’m using to move between different areas of the world, into caves, dungeons and the like. So far it’s a solid approach that, after a little refactoring, is helping to speed the project along further.
The graphics style is another area that is helping expedite the development process. Being hand drawn significantly decreases the time requirement to implement new creations and revisions. On top of that, it holds — at least in my humble opinion — a certain charm that overly polished games seem to lack. But I’m a little biased on that one.
All in all, I am pleased with the progress so far. I’m working on the next batch of monsters and developing the map quickly. Here is a little peak at how it is coming along.