For those of you I’ve spoken with personally, I’ve made no secret of the fact that what I’d really, really like to build is a side-scrolling version of Michael Feir’s 2002 board game Sparkle.
“Oh God! Another side-scroller?”
Shut up, random peanut gallery quotation! Yes—another side-scroller—but one the likes of which has never been seen in the blind gaming community.
For those who have never read the Sparkle rules before, here is the introductory passage:
In this game, one to four players must compete against goblins to recover as many trophies as possible from a magical complex comprised of six stacked levels. In addition to goblins, they must contend with ghosts, monsters, and special foes. If players let their opposition accomplish too much, the judgment scale will tip over and things will become even harder for the players. However, players may also cause the judgment scale to tip in their favor which will give them a shared advantage. The game ends when all six levels have been cleared of trophies and special foes, or when all adventurers have been killed.
You see that part that says “one to four?” That means multi-player—a multi-player side-scroller. Where are you now, random peanut gallery quotation? (For those of you who are interested in reading the full, 83-page document in its entirety , you can download the sparkle rules here.)
In my spare time, amongst the work I’ve been doing on the new boxing game, I’ve finally started work on Sparkle, and I’ve been having tons of fun putting it together. Michael and I are working together to make this the kind of game that both of us have wanted for years. We’ll have to change a few rules to move from turn-based play to continuous play, but overall the framework is already well established. And the best part? Michael asked in the original design document that any attempt to code Sparkle be released to the general public for free. Because my main reason for programming this game is because I want to play it, I am happy to honor that request.
In order to keep everyone updated on the progress on Sparkle and other titles, I’m switching up my methodology a little bit. Instead of sending out updates in the form of my customary, beautifully written prose—ha!—I’m going to post copies of the change logs I’m already writing for Michael and the other testers. This means that it will be quicker for me to post updates, and you all will get to see regular progress reports instead of having to wait two months between blog posts.
So without further ado, here’s the first change log:
- 1:42 PM 6/23/2012 If you are rising or falling, and you encounter a vertical surface such as a ladder, wall, or pit wall, you won’t hear the climbing sound
- 1:36 PM 6/23/2012 If you crash into a wall while jumping, you fall down. Awww.
- 12:57 PM 6/23/2012 Made it so that you can climb the ladders and climb them quickly. need a better ladder climbing sound, though.
- 12:14 PM 6/23/2012 drew in the ladders on the sides of the stories, will need to tweek this some when the top and bottom floors are ready
- 12:06 AM 6/22/2012 added in the ability to jump by holding left control to charge, releasing to jump
- narrowed pits from 7 to 3 so that a fully charged walking jump can cross them but a standing jump can’t
- increased the depth of pits so that players can’t walk jump out of them, may increase it further so that players can’t run jump out of them either
- 11:15 PM 6/21/2012 Added in a solid_surfaces array and a check_solid_surfaces method to make it easier to tell when a player/monster is standing on something it can jump off of
- 8:46 PM 6/17/2012 Changed the top of pits and the bottom of walls to be a different surface type so people can’t jump off the sides of pits and walls
- 8:34 PM 6/17/2012 Made it so that players couldn’t walk and climb at the same time
- 2:58 PM 6/17/2012 Built in falling distances. Any fall from greater than 8 feet will hurt. May need to be balanced.
- 1:14 PM 6/17/2012 The player can officially fall. I updated the falling speed to 50, though this may need to change depending on how it feels.
- 12:39 PM 6/17/2012 Put a debug check in to insure that people can’t make pits too deep.
- 12:32 PM 6/17/2012 Changed the literal values for the floor into an actual floor_level variable. This makes it so that people can create complexes of different heights.
- 10:06 PM 6/13/2012 made it so that the game won’t crash if the player climbs down to the bottom of a standard pit
- 9:59 PM 6/13/2012 Widened the pits and walls. This may need to be fixed when jumping and running come in.
- 9:55 PM 6/13/2012 climbing is partially implemented. It is possible to climb up and down walls and pits, though the game still breaks if you climb off the bottom of the board. The player also can’t fall yet, so climbing is kind of a formality at present.
- 10:36 PM 6/11/2012 made everything below the floor into impassible terrain. this should help with climbing and falling
- 10:23 PM 6/11/2012 implemented the add_pit method in the story class, placed one of each type of pit in the test floor
- 9:30 PM 6/11/2012 implemented standard, bottomless, and fire pit classes, placed the appropriate sounds in the folder
- 8:40 PM 6/11/2012 changed the panning of buildings so that walls you were standing far above weren’t extremely quiet