Friday, April 12, 2019

HoB, btw.

I've been fascinated by HoB's design since the first trailers I've seen. I collected as many wallpapers as possible, I've done style analysis, but unfortunately, I had no hardware compatible with the game ... that is, until I logged in the Nintendo shop last week and discovered a promo on HoB definitive edition!

That was the best possible conditions to play it. I could drop the adventure at any time, and resume exactly at that point. I hadn't to fight against "where is [] again?" because I've trained myself to the ABXY with the Mario & Luigi series. I wasn't fighting against my glasses because I could just keep the console in my hands. I'm even surprised I am not feeling any eye strain despite I added about 2 or 3 hours of play every evening in addition to my work hours, but it lasted only for one week...

I think I haven't played a game that intensely since Fez! About every moment in the day, I could feel slight excitation about getting back to the game when I'll be done with the day's tasks, exactly the same way you feel excited about continuing to read a Harry Potter book for the first time. The core difference with Fez is that I had no need for a journey log nor to scribble everything I encountered.

As surprising as it is, I could keep all I had to know about HoB's world in my head -- partly thanks to the icons feature on the map that will automatically pinpoint collectibles the minute you have them onscreen, so that you can track and collect them later on. I should mention that I played the game in "normal" mode, not in "definitive mode" (which would have provided more signposting and hints about quests, if I'm correct). I used the map a lot, and I found it interesting that only the overworld has a map, and that I got a different feeling when entering a cave where I would have to rely solely on my brain to know whether I've visited a room already and never know how far away I was from the exit.

I'll keep the game design analysis for other posts. I must confess that I did encountered some glitches while playing: mostly walls disappearing when the camera angle got too extreme, but also getting stuck into trees where I wasn't supposed to be ... The game even crashed once, which I really wasn't expecting on a console system. But let's be honest: compared to the huge amount of bugs PS and PC users reported at game launch, that Switch version is clearly much cleaner. I was also stunned to see the game lagging that much on earlier releases. The switch port seemed to run at full frame rate most of the time. I don't recall I had to blame lagging for any missed jump or failed fight.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Shantae en perspective...

Je me refaisais un longplay de shantae pour voir un peu quel genre de level design a été utilisé dans les phases "face-à-face avec les monstres". Et comme je viens de travailler sur la perspective de Bilou dans sa pyramide les blocs m'ont sauté aux yeux.

Dans certaines zones, on a bel et bien une perspective 3/4 sur certains blocs (comprenez, la face avant du bloc est trois fois plus grande que la portion d'écran réservé à sa face supérieure -- j'ai noté ça 3:1 sur l'image). Dans d'autres salles (la plupart du donjon, en fait), on est avec un à-plat parfait. Enfin, le monde extérieur, lui, est plutôt en perspective 2/3 (un cube aurait une face supérieure qui occupe moitié moins de pixels à l'écran que sa face avant), ce qui se traduit par un rapport 2:1 pour la face supérieure assez flagrant pour les objets cylindriques ... et qu'on retrouve notamment dans les grandes fleurs de certaines salles du donjon de la forêt.

Je note aussi que ça m'avais complètement échappé quand j'ai étudié les graphismes du jeu, donc il est probable que ça n'ait choqué qu'une infime proportion d'architectes pendant leur partie.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Tout-en-Karton ?

Après un troisième round, il était temps que j'exporte les petits pixels actuels de la pyramide avec Bilou dedans ... Il faudra aussi que je prépare un niveau de test, histoire de vérifier que Bilou bouge bien dans ce décor-là.

I'm far from being done, but I've got now invested some more time pushing pixels for the pyramid zone, the next environment planned for Bilou's games. So it was time to pull the SD card out of my linker and make a backup of all this. Enjoy.

edit: I've spent significant time trying to figure out how this new perspective will affect layers use. I note that in early level of The Lost Vikings, the background wall is locked with the foreground tiles, but that in subsequent level, there is a slight parallax effect between the two. A feature I was planning to do myself, and that appears to work pretty fine.

edit: je n'étais pas convaincu par ma colonne ... mais je note que je pourrais aller jeter un oeil à un ancien post qui avait un graphisme tout à fait sympa pour une taille proche de ce que j'utiliserais.