A 2D platformer game involves characters that are running and jumping around to move past a level made of floating platforms. The following post is focused exclusively on platformers, but the main ideas behind the concept can be applied for any game type, whether we’re talking about 2D or 3D.
1. Simple user interface
A simple user interface is something like ‘the player hits the jump button to leap’. It’s as simple as that, and the challenging factor is that the player must push the button at the right time to jump right and level up. So it’s not about the interface at all, it’s about pressing the button in the best possible moment. As long as the interface is intuitive and transparent, the players won’t have any difficulties in understanding it. The exact same simplicity concept applies to the menu; selecting items and navigating through them should be extremely simple.
2. Important information must be clearly stated
It’s important to make the most important rules of the game easy to understand. The game’s platforms must be visible and distinct from the background. Furthermore, prizes and collectables must look different in order to make them simple to spot and grab. A perfectly readable font is equally important as the player must know what’s happening in the menu.
3. Collision boundaries
A friendly object’s collision boundary is usually bigger than the actual object, while a harmful object’s collision boundary is smaller. While friendly objects are given by swaging ropes, power-ups, ladders and switches, harmful objects should consist of rotating blades, enemy bullets, enemies, and spikes.
4. Easy jumping over gaps
Generally speaking, in 2D platformer games a player can start jumping the moment he stands on something. Let the player take the leap in mid-air, as soon as he managed to step off the platform’s edge. Allow a 1 second leeway so that the player can start leaping. When that second is over, the player will continue to fall, so you have to make sure he stays on the platforms.
5. Changing animation states
The movement of the player must be followed by the character’s animations, and not vice versa. Simply put, the movements of the player must not be limited by animations. If the player wishes to climb up, run, hop on a ladder, run, shoot a gun or jump off, the animations must allow him to do, that the player must never have to wait around for the animation of his character to end before he’s able to relocate. Don’t deactivate input during the animation’s activity because it will make the player wait around for the animation to stop before he can start moving again.
6. Collectibles and power-ups make a 2D platformer great
Kids like to collect items because it’s a lot of fun. During a platformer game the same things happen. It’s cool and entertaining to be able to gather as many collectibles and power-ups as possible. So the advice is to place a lot of them in the game. Although it’s not something logical, it’s pure fun and players love it.
7. Versatile Al matters a lot
Make sure that you code and design a small number of Al base agents. They must contain a reduced number of variables, and each one must come with different values in order to create a variety of Al base agents.
When it comes to computer games, we cannot deny that there are millions of ideas out there; however, not all are entertaining. If you want to spot the best ideas, prototype the game to see if they’re good enough; thus, you’ll save a lot of time in the future because you won’t have to recreate or reprogram the system.