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Messages - WidgetKitty

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Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: December 15, 2022, 09:40:48 AM »
Another update, I'm getting very close to having the next demo ready - not much more to make. I know nobody has replied to my last 4-5 posts here (and a lot of that is because the forums are very slow). While I'd appreciate more feedback on my progress, this thread is really to track how much I'm getting done. After this one I'll probably take a break from PB for a day or two, been working on it constantly. So, new stuff made this week.

Challenge Zones: Spoiler

^^ This factory challenge is a longer one, since it unlocks a shortcut.

^^ This one's unique, where you have to look around this rail yard and its buildings for three keys to complete it.

Arenas and Bonuses: Spoiler

^^ More of the new "enemy arenas". There will be 15 of these, and an award for beating 10 of them.

^^ This bonus on a train is a fast moving auto-scroller, so you have to be quick and careful to grab those coins!

Thanks for having a look guys - not much more to go, them a new beta demo twice the size can be released

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: December 07, 2022, 09:59:37 AM »
Hello guys, another update here since I got more done than expected yesterday. The extension to the hard path is just about done now, with its four levels. First is a long fort, which I recorded a video of, posted below. The second level is the video in the previous post. And the last two, I'll just do some screenshot of the levels zoomed out.

This is the longest castle in the game yet. There's a finished rising lava section starting at 9:00

Fungus Tunnel, kind of an open maze one, with a few hidden gems (some literal) if you search it all.

This is the first bit of the hard path's train level, which is not only underground, but you start at the engine this time and have to work your way left, to the back. Made a custom layered background too, so those wood beams zoom by.

That train level is almost done, but I still have arenas, stores, challenges, and bonuses to make. Maybe 20 or so altogether, but those don't take nearly as long. Still planning the second big demo release before Christmas, making the demo twice as long, ending at the three paths' halfway point where they join up again. It'll have new content and quality fixes to the old levels and map areas too, so there will be plenty of new content out for this in a few weeks.

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: December 04, 2022, 09:23:52 AM »
Quick update with a video of one new level:

This is a level on the hard path, right after getting the double jump upgrade.

There's new music, and new sound effects for the checkpoint and extra life.

Also, new enemy - well, it's just a Stingbat that's on fire, and shoots fireballs, but still pretty dangerous!

Anyway, the hard path is coming along; these levels are just longer to build of course, but I'm still pretty on track to have a new demo out before the holidays.

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: December 02, 2022, 04:18:21 PM »
Small update, I just got the next four levels of my easy path finished, getting closer to the city area. I took some screenshots of their best sections, zoomed out:


This path's fort is log style. It's just a bit more complicated than the first fort.

Outdoor town themed level, a deserted depot.

Third is a warehouse (with a "new" background I made, with layered girders), with a twisting path, but pretty standard run through. Not searching for keys in a maze like the previous two.

Last is the easy path's airship - a lot more forgiving than the airship in the current demo (on the hard path)

Thanks for taking a look!

I have a few more new mechanics to work out, and some old levels need an overhaul. Then I need to make five more levels - and a handful of challenges and bonuses - and that'll connect all three paths at the game's midpoint. Then I'll release the second demo, which'll be about twice the length of the current one. Probably be another week, but I'll post any relevant updates here.

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: November 26, 2022, 05:15:31 PM »
A couple new updates. First I'm making a new kind of extra level, which will add some content to the early parts of the game that will need to be replayed after the next update:


These are "test centres" for all the enemies. I'm doing this instead of a bestiary, so the first room is a little lab with some info, and perhaps an NPC. Here's four of them:

Behind the black door is a short level full of just that enemy, and you have to defeat them all to complete that course.

The first one, for the common "Tarpy", is the easiest of course.

They'll get longer and more complicated, the more threatening the enemy is. The next demo coming out will have 15 different enemies, so there'll be 15 of these places scattered around the map. The final game should have 20-25 altogether, and I'm thinking the reward for beating them all will be upgrades to your attack power. Maybe one upgrade halfway through, and another (or like, a sword...) for all of them.

The world map is also finished now, with all the main levels placed, even though only about 35% of them are actually made. The game will be almost half finished for the next demo. So this map is subject to change of course, but have a look at the potentially finished map if you like:


The halfway point in the game is the little house in the middle. The three paths can connect there if you've played them all up to that point, but branch off again into easy (the city), medium (snowy mountain), and hard (mines and lava caves). The the final "world" has you taking on a tower sequence to enter the walls, and a few fort levels in a row before the final stage - though there'll be a few surprises in their designs.

That's basically how the world and path structure is laid out, although these world might not be mentioned in game, as it plays like one big map. I calculated some totals too; the final game should have 51 main levels, and about 20+ each of optional challenge zones, arenas, and bonuses. That's a lot to complete, but the shortest possible path to the end should be just 22 levels. There'll be a few different ways to beat it (and therefore several endings).

But that's looking ahead, I have plenty to design in the meantime! Hopefully the next demo will be out before the holidays, lots of levels to make. Thanks for looking it over, and any advice is appreciated!

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: November 20, 2022, 07:26:42 PM »
Thanks for the lovely comment, @Alley - I'll answer it here, without the quote.

Yeah, for this game I drew over the original sprite sheets - the wasps took over the Tilbubs' spot. I saw this recommended here on the forums before I started, that replacing the enemies rather than the "Extras" make them behave better with commands and arrows? I'm not sure, it's just the route I took, and it works, lol!

Yup, no birds - I like bats and wasps more!

I actually did a lot of lurking here, reading old posts and update logs, before I dove into my game -  that and PB is similar to other programs I've tried, so I just got comfortable with it quick. But yeah, it really isn't that complicated under the hood so far - just basic commands.

There'll be  a lot of ending bonuses once the game is finished - such as a music test level, credits level, etc. All that will have to wait, but sorry that I didn't mention in game about the dead ends, and it being a beta demo - I only put it in the description. I'll be sure to add a note to the next beta demo.

Hah, well I can address both of those surprises at once. True, it's rare to see women in video game development, though we have been involved since the early days of arcades & Atari - just rare. As for me, I'm an only child in a family of mostly men who were mechanics and carpenters by day, and gamers by night. So watching games fascinated me since I was about 4-5, though I hardly got any good at them (really, I might just look good at my own game because I test levels constantly). I can beat easier platformers on Nintendo, but these days I prefer SIM & tycoon style stuff. Making games for me is more of a medium; it combines three of my biggest passions - art, music, and solving puzzles/challenges. So I became obsessed early on with making my own games too, because it seemed like every step would be fun. And I was right!

Anyway, I actually finished three more levels last night, completing the next section of the medium path that comes after the demo's dead end. I just felt like making this one before the easy path, and get my desert theme out of the way (the next part of the medium path ironically takes you through a snowy mountain, but that'll be far later, near final release).

So I played these four new levels (including "Cactus Crawl" that was posted above, though it's been altered) and uploaded it to YouTube. First is a long fortress with some upgrades, then after level 14 is a pyramid with a mini boss that kills me twice, and finally the second tank level. There's also more new enemies, music, and two new bosses.

It came out to almost half an hour long - perhaps I'm making my levels too big? But this is what I was envisioning! I want the final game to be 8-10 hours of gameplay, roughly. Here it is, if anyone wants to skim through and see the progress:

That was a stressful playthrough! It's supposed to be the second level of difficulty after all, it should be a bit tough. Well, I need some rest from this, let me know what you guys think!

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: November 17, 2022, 11:26:42 AM »
Thank you so much @Alley , I really appreciate your comments!

While it's true I'm not good at making systems - I'm no coder - I've been designing levels and game mechanics since I was a little girl. I used to maker paper dolls with clothes and accessories, but after seeing my cousins play Super Mario Bros, I switched to drawing a hero, enemies, items, and platforms, and made my own games and levels on a coffee table. I did this for years - just wanted to make my own game so bad! So...  I have a LOT of material in my head for platform game ideas. Decades of them. Actually a lot of what's in this game are enemies I remember drawing, and songs I wrote during music lessons as a kid, intending to use them in a game (I just started making songs for real about three years ago, this is my first time using them for a real game).

The game is about 1/3 finished, this is just a demo of my beta. The three white fences, in front of three unfinished forts on the world map, block off areas that aren't done. Hoping to have it 2/3 done next month and put another demo out.

The wasps are pretty simple, just flying enemies that follow arrows, and some chase you. Those pink bombs are a whole set of different enemies that switches types depending on how many times they're hit, or a timer. So they seem like one enemy with changing behaviour, but they're really changing enemies. I'm going to add a little more to their AI later with some commands.

I've got a little more made now - here's level 14, "Cactus Crawl", which is right after getting the wall jump upgrade - and this level forces you to use it a lot:

In this video there's also new enemies, music, sounds effects, and new level start/complete songs. I'm making progress quicker than I expected!

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Island - Demo V 1.2
« on: November 14, 2022, 02:59:09 PM »
~Version 1.2 Update~

I just updated and fixed several small things in the game, and a tiny bit of new content. This is not a major update, mostly fixing things I noticed watching @Gizgord 's play through.

Here's what's been updated:

Some easier levels:


-A few levels have been made a little easier, especially levels 4, 7, and 11; they're supposed to be the easiest path, and were a bit challenging for that. Level four especially has changed a lot, with the wind element removed and platforms not so tiny:

Zoom and item fixes:


Many athletic-style levels are zoomed out a little more, to see what's ahead (while the Camp Challenge was zoomed in, to focus on each trap), so stages like level 9 are better. Also some item problems were fixed, and you can't cheat to get that 1-up anymore:

New first Challenge Zone:


My first "Challenge Zone" was kind of rough to start, so it was moved up, then swapped with an easier one, then I made a new level to be the first challenge instead, so now there's eight of them. This one is an easier start to this "side quest":

Other small fixes:


-Some hidden or far-out areas have more rewards.
-The boomerang message command in level 4 now works, explain that it collects coins & items
-A few enemies with sporadic movements were fixed, so they do as intended now
-Some unfair enemies removed
-Armoured skeletons can be jumped on now
-Minecart enemies have less HP - easier to get their coins



Not much yet, I'm in the midst of designing the next three forts still, tweaking the music, and adding some features. Thinking I'll have these forts and six-to-eight new levels ready for the next big update, beta v 2.0 - and I intend to pick a title for that one! Planning this update for the end of the month, and I'll post other progress in this thread.

For now, here is how one of the forts is coming along:

Thanks for taking a look guys! If anyone wants to try the game out, or update and see if it's any better, let me know what you thing, or if you find anything that needs fixin'!

WidgetKitty out!

Works in Progress / Re: <DEMO OUT> Spy Island (Name Pending)
« on: November 09, 2022, 11:13:22 AM »
I recommend trying the first demo to everyone. the game is very good and there's plenty of content (even at this stage).  O:-)

Thank you so much! For those who haven't seen it, Gizgord uploaded a 2-hour video of gameplay, for anyone who wants a better look before playing - lots of great moment in it, too. I'll embed it here:


I have several small corrections to make, then the first major update will have to be out with said corrections, and then I'll do some gameplay vids of my own, showing off all the secrets, like a guide. Until then I don't really have any game updates, but levels are being worked on. Speaking of YouTube though, I decided to upload some of the game's soundtrack, but the full versions of my songs. I had to chop the tunes up to make them loop properly, but the full ones will be in an unlockable sound room level.

In the meantime I made a few "music videos" for these full-length songs - well, some scenes made in Platform Builder - hope TingThing doesn't mind, but I put a link to the PB Steam page in the descriptions. So far this one is my most popular song; it's one of my favourites too:

I'll put a few more here in a spoiler, but there's eight altogether so far on my YouTube channel:


The only thing I've really worked on for the game itself is a rising-lava climbing section, with custom enemies as the rising lava. The actual level will be more complicated than this, but this was just a test to make sure it can be done:

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Girl Story (Name Pending)
« on: November 02, 2022, 04:07:33 AM »
Your game is looking very good but also I like how you can edit sprites so those would look like new ones but original to the PB so it keeps the feeling of PB. Should I get ready to add skeletons to any of my projects I will let you know and consider your name to be added to the Credits. I have never had a problem at all adding other names in addition to mine because I like to give players a feeling that a game was made by a team/company. Also, I like heartbreaking beautiful endings after intense fights and long Credits after all that. O:-)

I could upload a tileset of the skeletons in a resource post or this thread, maybe later this week, just need to make a version without my other enemies on it.

Check the Explore section!

Everyone is welcome to comment and critique in this thread, or chat with me on the Discord - I'll make a post for my game in the project section too, for a place to discuss any problems found.

If you like, let me know what you think of the level designs, enemies, and music (the soundtrack especially means a lot to me, I wrote most of these songs years ago for another game, but haven't had a chance to use them).

Think I'm going to take a break from PB'ing for a week or so - I have a cartooning project to work on anyway - but I've made some progress on future levels, and have a ton of ideas. Hope you guys like what I've made so far, it's been a blast making it, and I'm really looking forward to building the rest!

General Discussion / Re: Creating a Skip Level Item
« on: October 23, 2022, 07:51:41 AM »
NPC's have special appearance settings. it goes something like.. always, until talk and until course complete. try changing that.

as for the item... your solution to add a conditional check is valid. I use a similar process. here's what I would do..
in the same prompt that's used to skip the level, write "game var skip=1". run this command near the end of your course as well, with an invisible <-> command block. just so you don't miss it.
I don't know why your item wasn't destroyed.. make sure to run the command when the item is in view. maybe try a different command? kill item, destroy item, delete item, clear item
by the way, your use of syntax is valid. {} are for conditionals and [] are for delay commands and reading variable value. although you don't need brackets for a singular command line.

Ah OK, thanks - sounds pretty straight forward. I'll try this next time I work on the game

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Girl Story (Name Pending)
« on: October 23, 2022, 07:50:40 AM »
the new enemies are quite creative, and they look good - as per. bulldozer is a fun concept, never crossed my mind as an enemy.  :o
sketching on paper is the best, isn't it?
I really want this game to come out well, keep us in touch  O:-)

Thank you! Well, there'll be warehouse and construction style levels, I thought the bulldozer robot would be appropriate. Half the enemies are supposed to be construction/mining robots being controlled by an AI.

Oh yeah, I do more traditional art than anything else; it's so nice to plan something out in a sketchbook before trying to do it in the program.

I'll keep you guys in the know, but by the next update hopefully I can release a playable demo!

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Girl Story (Name Pending)
« on: October 22, 2022, 12:35:59 PM »
Got some time to work on my game this week, including an update on the world map:

Now you can see the three different paths better. The centre one through town and forest (easiest), the mountain path on the West side with a desert (medium), and the underground (hardest path). I'm done up to level 12, next up is three fortresses to make for each path, that ends with an upgrade (ground pound, double jump, and wall jump), then I'll probably put the demo out.

New Enemies:

A couple new colours for my Goons, then I made thorn-spitting cacti and floating Pharaoh heads for the desert levels, and bulldozer robots and masks that chase you for the city levels. And a special version of a Stingbat that's on fire. These ones were pretty fun to make!

Just a few new levels made:

Future Level Sketches:

I needed a break from my screens, so I sketched out plans for my three upcoming fort levels, thought you guys might be interested:

Thanks for looking! I have a few kinks to work out and a little more to make, and this will be about 1/3 done, and worthy of something playable.

General Discussion / Creating a Skip Level Item
« on: October 22, 2022, 12:38:35 AM »
Hi guys - so I have this custom item I want to use. Basically it's the ability to bribe one of the big boss's henchmen to let you skip some of the levels:

You collect a lot of cash in my game, and there's these tank, train, and airship levels - three of each - that block your path but aren't part of the numbered levels, and tend to be harder. So I thought it'd be neat to be able to skip them for $500. Everything functions fine like I'd expect, except one issue: if you play the level legitimately, and then re-enter it, I want that item gone - and the NPC too, if I can.

I was looking for a command along the lines of "if course complete" but found nothing, and my experiments with that failed. The I thought I could have a variable made by a command just before the level exit, then added a command in the item's "create" area:

if game var skip = 1
remove item 46

Item 46 being that Skip Level for sale. This command did nothing, not sure if I used the right syntax. I also tried using that command in the individual item placed in the level (which I realized I might need to do anyway, since each skippable level would need its own variable). Anybody know how I can make this item and NPC disappear for replays after the level they're in is completed, whether the player played or paid?

Works in Progress / Re: Spy Girl Story (Name Pending)
« on: October 02, 2022, 05:02:17 PM »

Your game looks very beautiful and attractive, to be honest! :)

An interesting fact is that when I would have continued actively working on my project I would make a level with skeletons and graveyards. This would mean, I would have needed to design my own skeletons also but I already imagined how they should look.  ::)  Your made skeletons look just like that so if the mentioned level will ever comes I probably ask for your skeletons rather than designing them by myself completely.  :D

Thank you! Yeah, skeletons aren't all that original, I wouldn't mind if you wanted to use them. Let me know if that day comes, and I can send you the sprite sheet, or put it in a resources thread.

I didn't get too much work done this week, was kinda sick and had a few things to figure out with the game, but got a few more levels and graphics done yesterday. I have the temporary soundtrack put together, enough for a demo, until I make the game's actual OST (again, just taking my music from my RPG for now). Not enough done to the world map yet to show it off, but here's a few things:


I finally changed the Gruppies, into "Goons", which are little monsters wearing hoods, and the rest are robots introduced in the mine levels (I reused those wheels a lot, but figured these were all designed by the same mad scientist). First are Ragecarts, which can only be attcked from the top, are fast, and have high HP, but you get silver or gold coins if you defeat them. The orange guys are Grintorches, my first enemy with commands; you have to attack them from the side three times, then their torch goes out, they speed up and run away - but after 7 seconds they light up and chase you again. Last are the Torquen, mining drills that move across girders, and can only be killed by weapons. Then I made my map icon for tank levels, and redid the train and airship icons; they didn't stand out much. Finally, a giant version of my flying Torcher, the second boss on each path.


Panicked Park is the first level on the map's middle path, which takes you through a city overrun with robots and monsters:

The first tank stage, which is an auto-scroller. I made a ground block with just horizontal lines to maintain the illusion that the tanks are moving, like they did in SMB3:

This is the shop you can access after beating the optional level 8 (previous screenshot post). The inn is cheap here, which'll be useful later when you have higher max HP:

The mountain path on the East side of my map starts with a fast paced, rainy level, blowing you uphill:

Finally, the underground West path begins with an abandoned mine. It's a large level in one section, with three stories and a gate puzzle:

OK, I've got to get some sleep, but I'll probably work on this again later. Just have to do some more testing, finish a couple more bonuses, and maybe put out a demo later this week - let me know how it looks so far!

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