Ready, Set, Jump!

By: sleipnir

Agent Aliens is our new arcade style run and gun game. Returning fire, aiming, and cooldowns are taken care of by our squad of feisty Aliens. Players will be focusing on dodging and weaving through enemy fire so it's very important to give them the feeling of precision controls and active gameplay.

A Basic Jump
Tap and Eddie jumps a fixed height. He can jump up crates and obstacles. However, simply jumping isn't not enough to dodge effectively and traverse through our procedurally generated stages. 

A Controlled Jump
Hold the button and Eddie jumps higher. Now he can get up to higher rooms! We stuck with it for a few iterations for playtesting. An issue we noticed was that it was too passive and players weren't making enough gameplay decisions.

Double Jumps
The suggested solution was to cut the current jump height by half and give the player the choice to jump again. It was very effective and also allowed us to add the Jump power-up for Aliens. Triple jumps and quad jumps introduced an additional upgrade choice for the Alien's abilities which is useful for dodging enemy fire.

360 Flips
Players thought the double jump mechanic was nice but they think that the Aliens didn't look exciting or impactful while doing it. Our simple solution? Make'em flip!

Wall Jumps
Lastly, players commented that they were having difficulties with some of the stages' vertical segments. We found out that they felt the wall jumps were very fiddly. The action required too much control: Holding the opposite direction, while jumping, while sticking to the wall. The conditions were stripped down to just being near the wall while jumping. Aliens now rebounded to the other side automatically. This made wall jumps another decision point, especially in combat, since they remove control from the player temporarily.

Finally, here's a look at Eddie with all the jumping mechanics in action!

Watch out for more updates on Agent Aliens!