The first thing for this week: pressure plates! Well, kinds, they’re more like cube detectors. They’ll sense if anything cubical’s on them, and if there is, it’ll cause doors to open, platforms to move and various other events. I’ve worked them into World 1 Level 1 if you want to see them in action, as there’s a nice little puzzle you’ll need to use them for.
I have loads of ideas for puzzles I can work these into, especially when combined with the new vapourising fields (I really need to get better at naming things, needs more pizzazz). When you try to pass a physics object such as a cube or even a gravit or health pack through them, they’ll get vapourised instantly. These will be super-useful for puzzles later on, as you’ll have to guide cubes around these fields, then place them onto the cube detector plates in order to proceed.
The blue cube-y texture for the fields animates too. I tried making a particle system to deal with the look of the fields, but for some reason the framerate plummeted when up close to them, so I ditched that idea. It’s probably for the best, as this looks pretty awesome when it’s animated. They also slot together pretty well, so tiling them won’t be a problem. You might also notice another feature in the screenshot above – zooming the screen in. That’s right, if you scroll upwards on the scroll wheel, your view will zoom in, allowing you to see more detail and removing the GUI from the screen at the same time. It’s the reverse of what happens when you run, essentially. Which reminds me that I forgot to mention I changed the mechanics for sprinting; just double-tap the w key or up arrow, and continue to hold it in, and you’ll run. That means you can also crouch by holding in shift now. Running will also zoom out if you’re currently zooming in, changing to the field of view for running, or you can just scroll back on the scroll wheel to return to normal view.
I’ve also added an experimental new feature that I may continue work on: screenshots. Right now, you can’t take a screenshot to save to disk, but if you press the ‘y’ key, it’ll take a screenshot of the current view and shove the image on a TV I’ve put in the hub world. The feature only works in the hub, but I’ll see what I can do about saving screenshots to disk and allowing them in all levels. It slows the game down massively if you hold the button in, just to warn you.
The TV’s in the central corridor room bit, to the left. I did other experiments with it, such as big TVs that showed exactly what you’re seeing realtime, but it drained the framerate too much so it’s unlikely to be added anytime soon.
So anyway, that’s the update. The next thing I’ll probably do is improve the whole weapon system, including animations, sound, models and particles. If you have any ideas or feedback, don’t be shy, the comments section’s there for a reason!
You can play the game in the usual place: just click on the Project Spikes tab at the top of the page, or click this link.
Have fun playing, as always!