I got an email of someone who wanted to know how to manage the cropping part of Space Cropper, my personal take on the Ultimate Qix/Volfied genre.
I thought it would be interesting to post it there as it would benefit more people.
As a side note, Space Cropper 2 is 99.9% completed, I need to finish the trailer and adjust the difficulty a little bit on one or two levels. All the screenshots in this post are from Space Cropper 2.
Cropping in Space Cropper
It actually is very simple and quite logical, but I still needed a couple of tries to understand what was right and what was wrong.
I’ll go through the steps I went through to understand the whole thing. Those steps are not in the right order development wise, we will re order them at the end.
Always give away the smallest part
So the biggest part remains. Because if you were giving away the biggest part, the player would just have to crop a really small part at the beginning of the level and he would be done…
What if we have monsters ?
This is getting a little more personal here. To understand why I added another mechanic for the monsters, I need to specify that I didn’t want “bosses” in every level. By “boss”, I mean those indestructible monsters that will always remain in the level no matter how small or big the part you’re cropping is. Check Ultimate Qix or Volfied and you’ll see that the boss is always staying on the playfield.
And because I didn’t want to put bosses in each level, I had to think of another mechanic that would come on top of the “always give away the smallest part”.
But why did I have to, you would ask ? because it felt wrong without it. I tried many times and I felt there was a lack of continuity in logic with the first rule. Why the smallest part and not the part with the smallest number of monsters in ?
It felt more logical to me now. So I added the :
Always give away the part with the smallest number of monsters in
In my opinion, it made the game a little bit more interesting for those who want to kill as many monsters as possible as well as cropping as much area as possible. It made the two of those goals a bit more difficult in most cases as the player would really have to think about which part to crop in order to make the most of the level.
Always give away the part where the Boss is not in
Nothing to say really about this rule. The boss would not be as difficult as it should if it were to disappear. The boss is thus unbeatable, unless you beat the level.
How to apply that on a development level ?
Easy, here are the logical steps I’m using in Space Cropper 1 & 2:
- If there is a boss present: always give away the part where the Boss is not in
- if there is no boss but monsters:
- always give away the part with the smallest number of monsters in
- if there is an even number of monsters in each part:
- always give away the smallest part
- if there is no monster: always give away the smallest part
Nothing really hope this was useful, if you have question, leave a comment below. Also, rules can be good, but they also can drive you away from yourself. Don’t be afraid to change them, even if it’s to come back to what they were originally. This is the only way to truly understand what’s going on and, perhaps, to find new ways, new mechanics.