Gimbal Cop Alpha Update #3 (v0.2.2): Rear view mirror, knot tweaks

Howdy Gimballers!  Version 0.2.2 is up and running, most notably bringing a rear view mirror to the game, as well as improvements and fixes to the knot system. Read on!
Rear view mirror

Rear View
Making it obvious to the player that they’re leaving a tail behind them has been one of the big “sense-making” challenges in Gimbal Cop’s Snake Mode (the one mode currently in the alpha), and the rear view mirror, along with helping with navigation, really helps drive home the tail-leaving mechanic.  The rear view mirror takes the form of a floating glowing panel on the side of the screen:
Rear view mirror (2)
And in VR (Oculus Rift) mode, the rear view is shown on a new monitor high in the cockpit:
VR rear view

Knot Improvements, Fixes, and Changes
Knots — “challenge paths,” or orders of barrels to grab in a level, to unlock new harder levels — are improved in various ways, with a new algorithm for determining which barrel is next in the knot.  Previously, if you had already grabbed some of the barrels in a knot out of order and then started the knot, the logic was funky and would just immediately unlock that knot’s level.  In the process of fixing this behavior, I decided to change the way it worked from a gameplay perspective as well: previously, the idea was that you had to follow the path exactly (get the barrels in exactly the prescribed order) or else you wouldn’t be able to unlock the next level.  Fixing the knot bug, first I made it that you still had to go through the hoop of a barrel you’d already collected out of order.  Thinking about this solution a little more, I decided to change the gameplay here and make it that the knot will just lead you to the next uncollected barrel, which means that you can now do the knot in any order you like, and as long as you collect all of the barrels in the knot, the challenge level will be unlocked.  I’m not 100% about this solution, since a key point of the knots mechanic is to challenge the player to do a certain path, not just collect barrels however they like (which you’re also free to do, and will unlock the default / easy next level).  But for now this is how it is, and regardless the mechanic’s a lot more robust than it was before.  In the gif below, you see me get some barrels from a knot out of order, and then continue the knot towards the next uncollected barrel:


As always, there’s also a host of under-the-hood changes we’ve made which wouldn’t be very interesting to anybody not working on the game, but will mean to you more and better Gimbal Cop, faster.  So stay tuned!

v0.2.2 will be in your Humble Library soon, and you can download it from the in-game update prompt right now.  If you haven’t picked the game up yet, go get!

~ by Jono on February 17, 2014.

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