Portobelly Production Journal #10


Last week I set myself the goal of finalising the players movement and creating a blockout for the tutorial area. I managed to finalise most of the players movement, excluding the dash ability as I wanted to discuss changing the ability this week with Will, but i managed to create an initial block of the tutorial area. One of my tutors advised me to continue working on the tutorial area during development as certain mechanics may change which may effect how the tutorial area functions. I feel I am slightly behind schedule as I spent my weekend working on the Global Game Jam so I plan to work during the weekend to catch up.

This week I want to figure out a replacement for the dash ability so that I start working on a blockout for the game.

Fig 1 - First attempt at creating a slam ability that inflicts damage on the enemy

Me and Will came to the conclusion that the dash ability needed to be removed from the game as it broke many aspects of the game. Obstacles could be cleared with a well timed dash which made these obstacles obsolete to the player if they new how to use the dash ability. Another reason for replacing the dash ability was that it only really functioned as a different movement option and it was very similar to the player using the jump ability.
After discussing many alternatives to the dash we decided to replace the dash ability with a slam ability (as seen above) which is activated whilst the player is in the air. The slam ability causes the player to increase the gravity scale which makes the player fall faster. When Belly hits the ground during the slam state, Belly will create a sphere on impact with the ground which causes damage to enemies within the sphere. The radius of the sphere depends on the size of Belly (the bigger Belly the bigger the sphere radius).

A good idea is something that does not solve just one single problem, but rather can solve multiple problems at once.
— (Miyamoto, 2010)

When deciding on how to create the slam ability I followed the game design philosophy above to make the ability have multiple functions. The slam allows the player the reach the ground quickly which gives the player more control over their movement and it applies damage to enemies if the enemies are within a certain radius of the slam.

Fig 2 - Dash input used to set the players gravity and activate the slam timer.

Fig 3 - Activate slam custom event

The slam uses a line trace that is sent from underneath Belly when the dash button is held down. If the trace collides with a static mesh at a certain speed a sphere will be created and will cause damage to all the objects within the sphere.

The slam ability still needs some work since the sphere of damage gets activated inconsistently and I feel it should only activate once when the player lands on the ground. I plan to work on refining the slam ability tomorrow.


Figures List

  1. Rees, O (2019). First attempt at creating a slam ability that inflicts damage on the enemy. [offline]. [Accessed 01/02/2019].

  2. Rees, O (2019). Dash input used to set the players gravity and activate the slam timer. [offline]. [Accessed 01/02/2019].

  3. Rees, O (2019). Activate slam custom event. [offline]. [Accessed 01/02/2019].


Miyamoto, S. (2010) Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. Interview with Shigeru Miyamoto. Eurogamer, 03 March [online]. Available from: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/shigeru-miyamoto-interview?page=2 [Accessed 01/02/2019]