I don’t believe I’ve ever written about TeTron on my blog up until this point. TeTron was a 5 day game jam game. But afterwards I decided to keep plotting along adding features and making the game better. Refining mechanics, adding double boost and the particle effect, short burst of speed, main menu, level design and the tutorial. TeTron is a game where the player operates a hovercraft to collect blocks and deliver them to the factory’s black hole. The inspiration came from part of the game jam idea that an ‘L’ has to be part of the game we create among other things. I thought of the L block in Tetris. I wondered where those blocks came from and spawned an idea that what if this is the realm where Tetris blocks spawn and you have to deliver them to a black hole which portals them into Tetris the game.
With TeTron I wanted to teach players with the controls and mechanics of the game via gameplay instead of an instruction or control screen like I’ve usually done. Because TeTron was a game made over a week for a game jam and not as a specific university learning process, it doesn’t have a due date. Not like a due date like we have at uni anyway, because there always needs to be an end date for game development. It’s just TeTron isn’t exactly in a rush to be “finished”.
It has its own tutorial level. And while this is bare bones and still very work in progress having a specific scene that teaches players through gameplay is rather exciting for me. I’m hoping that this tutorial will not only teach the controls to players, but also the mechanics and how to use mechanics in way’s the game will expect the player to.
Currently as the tutorial level is, it has rather abrupt text typing telling the player that this is in fact a tutorial level and through a series of instructions, states what exactly the player is about to be taught.
Like teaching the player that these are both modes of input for moving the hovercraft and these control icons disappear as each of them has been held down for a second or longer. Players are forced to hold down each button for at least a second to realize the effect of what that button does, rather than just “mashing” them without realizing what these inputs actually do. Although basic movement is almost a given, at some point I’m going to assume someone who has no basic knowledge of video games and general key mapping is going to play one of my games.
How to double tap boost and perform a short burst of speed.
For now the tutorial consists of basic movement controls. There’s still so much that can be added and that I want to add. Such as:
- Fuel consumption.
- How boosting consumes more fuel.
- How short burst of speed consumes more fuel.
- Picking up Tetris blocks.
- Tetris blocks effect the weight of your hovercraft.
- How to release Tetris blocks.
- What black holes do.
- Delivering tetris blocks to the black holes.
- Gaining fuel.
- Utilizing movement mechanics to platform correctly.
Eventually more features are going to get added into the game and into the tutorial level. But that’s all for now.
Until next time –