These last two weeks have been pretty hectic for me. I actually haven’t written a single line of code on the game since Monday (5 days ago) but by no way does that mean I haven’t been working hard making my vision a reality. I’ve negotiated and signed an art contract, pushed out a release with a number of new mechanics and organised a playthrough event at work, this time managing to get 11 concurrent players ingame.
Here it is. Infinitris 1.1.
I’ve added two new core gameplay mechanics: block stomping and phase shifting. I’ve also changed the mistake detection algorithm (see below) and added a minimap. There’s a bunch of other small improvements which you can read at http://infinitris.io/changelog. I also want to say thanks to my good friend AL who really helped me with testing and pushing the minimap idea through a day before my scheduled test game (which was pretty vital when the player count went up).
Below shows the change between the old and new mistake detection. Previously, when a player makes a mistake, cells will explode around their block. This fixed the issue where you could place blocks that would make it impossible to place any blocks in the gap the previous blocks created, but it was a hack required by my poor mistake detection algorithm and really didn’t work well. You can read more about this in my previous blog post. Now, it’s impossible to leave a gap that no block can fill. This means I don’t need to destroy any cells that exist on the grid. Only the player who made the mistake is affected.
it’s still possible to place blocks in a way that leaves gaps that can be filled but are completely sealed off by other blocks. One of the two new mechanics fixes this in an awesome way. I call it phase shifting. The ability to teleport downwards through cells to fill a gap directly beneath your block. See below!
However, my mistake algorithm combined with phase shifting is not 100% perfect. It depends on the block collection and there’s still a small chance of creating gaps that cannot be filled. I’ve come up with another idea which involves the server to very slowly but routinely fill empty cells from the bottom up. This isn’t in existence yet but I’ll be trialing it very soon.
Here’s my second core mechanic: Block stomping. This comes from the realisation that there really wasn’t a reliable way to sabotage other players. This certainly does it 😉
By dropping your block on another player, your block will stop and theirs will be forced down, without them being able to move or rotate. If they land in a way that causes an unfillable gap, they’ll be destroyed and their points will be reset.
Although all these changes are a definite improvement, some of the players in the test game found it difficult to understand the mistake detection with all the other effects that were going on at the same time. This is something I’ll be working on for the next release. At the very least, I’m planning to add “how to” slides to the game so that players are given the option to read a quick tutorial before they jump straight in.
Now, back to business. I’ve signed a contract with Rob Hayes and have been preparing asset lists and design requirements, searching for inspiration on google images and creating gifs of existing mechanics. What I’m really trying to do is give Rob all he needs to do an awesome job.
This is the first time I’ve paid for any work to be done on anything I’ve developed. You could say I’m getting pretty serious about this 😉
11 / 100.