Devlog 36 - Level 3-2 Revisited

Published: June 11, 2022

Despite my task tracker listing a lot of items having been accomplished this week, it still felt like another slow week for Rhythm Quest since I only made one new level. Here's a video of that in action.

Level Order Restructuring

You've probably noticed that this is labeled as level 3-2, which I had already showed 4 devlogs ago, originally featuring the teal jump+attack enemies. After some feedback on the difficulty of this mechanic and further thought, I ended up deciding that I should postpone the introduction of the jump+attack combo enemies until world 5, where they can be introduced in various forms throughout that world.

That of course meant that level 3-2 needed to be changed entirely, as the old version I made was built specifically to highlight these combo enemies. The new track and chart is completely different, and focuses more on the spike enemies that were introduced in 3-1. There's a small emphasis on patterns where spike enemies are intermixed with both grounded and flying enemies, including the "jump attack attack" pattern seen in this clip:

This also meant removing all of the teal combo enemies from the rest of worlds 3 and 4. Unfortunately, the old level 3-2 (despite being a good song and chart) probably can't be reused in the main set of levels, since world 5 is going to have a completely different musical style. (It also introduces the combo enemies in a bit too many different forms at once) It'll still probably get featured as a bonus level though.

The new planned breakdown for introducing mechanics throughout the worlds is as follows:

World 1 - Basic Attack/Jump, flying enemies, doublehit enemies
World 2 - Air jumps, flight paths (+ flying doublehit enemies)
World 3 - Spike enemies, ghost enemies
World 4 - Water zones
World 5 - Jump+Attack combo enemies
World 6 - Speed zones

Other Stuff

I updated the level metadata code to also parse "actions per second" for each individual checkpoint of a song rather than for the entire song. This lets me see at a glance (roughly) which sections are most difficult and what the overall difficulty looks like over the course of a son. The entire song metric was sometimes being thrown off balance by particularly light sections, so this should be a little more accurate as a numerical gauge of difficulty.

I've been enjoying the recently-released game Chiki's Chase recently (highly recommended, go support!), which features a ton of small nifty features and polish (seriously, the main menu has a hint of parallax camera scrolling when you tilt your phone around...who does that??). This is the first time I've played a mobile game that effectively integrates haptic capabilities (short vibrations when you perform actions or click through dialogue), so on a whim I decided to see if I could hook up the native iOS/Android code for triggering haptic events in Rhythm Quest for mobile. That's currently working, though I think I'll need to play with it more before I give a verdict on whether to have it enabled or disabled by default. The game feels just fine without them, so I don't want to add a feature that ends up gets annoying after a while.

In a similar vein, controller/gamepad rumble has been an interesting one to iterate on, as most of my attempts have resulted in either imprecise or way-too-aggressive rumble. Unity's has built-in APIs for triggering rumble, but they're a bit coarse-grained, so this week I also managed to hook into the native Switch rumble functionality, which lets you control the vibration values in a bit more detail. That seems to be working better, so I'll have to continue to play around with that as well.

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