Well, after Peter Tefft Saves The World, I’m back to working on Jack’s Run. While it’s still kinda far from release, I wanna share a bit of what we’ve done so far, especially since the game’s been revealed now. Hopefully this will help me want to keep working on it too :P
The game is a platformer with an emphasis on running for fast times on the ten levels. It’s kinda like BIT.TRIP RUNNER, except you’re not automatically moving forward. However, running in one direction for a time will make your maximum speed go up, so to get the best times, you have to deftly avoid the obstacles in your path. But there are secret collectibles too, so stopping and checking hidden pathways pay off too.
Jack’s Run was started back in September and was originally supposed to be something that could have been done for a deadline in two weeks. I look back on that and laugh. For two weeks I worked on it for pretty much all day (besides classes, of course) and it quickly became evident that it would take longer, although I didn’t know quite how much longer. After the two weeks, I was getting behind on other stuff, so the game went on the back burner for a bit, but resurfaced a bit at the beginning of Winter Break. I completed another level, the largest one yet, and came to the conclusion that having thousands and thousands of movie clips on the Flash stage at one time is probably not best for performance (the completed level lagged).
I had tried fixing this myself once, but it produced no positive effects. It was flawed and actually ran even worse than not optimizing it in that way at all. I hopped onto the internet and read about the subject. Now, I’m ready to give it a second attempt (and in fact I’ve already started). This requires what is basically an engine rewrite, so it’ll take a while.
The good news is this semester I think I found a schedule where I finally have room for a bit of everything (on good days, at least. Today’s not one of them :\) and I can consistently work on this for an hour or so each weekday.
So… to the game itself. 3 levels are fully designed. One is slightly less than half done. Another one is done, but needs to be expanded (the tutorial level, and everything is kinda cramped together so far). There are two prototype levels which I may reuse (at least in part) for some of the remaining levels, of which there are 5. The last level is a boss level.
Look, I’m flying!
As for art, Steve and Kelsey have been working hard on this, and we have a small set of tiles and backgrounds to use, although this is not everything. Some areas look a little bland, and may need more variation. And then later levels really don’t have relevant tilesets yet. Jack also need some resizing.
After Jack’s resizing, the completion of the new engine, and the completion of the sliding mechanic, I plan to push out a one-level demo to get some early feedback.
There’s also music to consider. I think we may just go with grabbing stuff from the fabulous Newgrounds Audio Portal at this point just for the sake of getting this thing out faster.
I wanted to share at least one more screenshot, but unfortunately, the engine redesign means some tile types are either not there, or not solid. So, later. :P
Hopefully there’s a lot more progress in the coming months.