Devlog #051: Death and Revival

The last couple of weeks I've been polishing little stuff and perfecting features mostly. There's 1 big feature I still needed to implement, which was Player death and respawn.

I started with death of course. I got the general idea working pretty fast, though I didn't know what "powering down" sound fitted the best:

A few polls later the votes clearly favoured the 1st sound.

Next up was respawning.
I didn't really know how exactly I wanted to implement this, but two ideas kept coming up in my head: Respawning on start, or respawning nearby the place of death.
My idea was to perhaps use the bodies of previous lives as clutter that could make things a bit more difficult for the player. But in the worse case scenario it could make a tight cavern impossible to traverse. I also thought about the possibility to be able to grapple "dead bodies" and move them around.
But how do I determine a possible place to respawn? Respawning on start position might be impossible if it's blocked by a crate or something, so then I should build an algorithm to find a closest available spot, or somehow protect the start position to never be cluttered.
All this was a pretty difficult challenge, until a Twitter user provided me with an alternative death/respawn idea. What if the player powers down and loses a life, floats for a couple of seconds and then powers up again. This solves the problem of finding an available spot, because the player doesn't need to respawn in a different spot. It also serves the idea of powering down that I had already in place for the "death" animation.

So I decided to go with this last idea. For now it seems to do the trick pretty well, and be more forgiving because the player does not need to backtrack.
Here's how it looks and sounds:

I implemented another nice little feature as well. You might remember the new success screen from the last devlog where the recorded level time is displayed.
Timing the player on level completion and then not giving them a time indication during play is just plain evil.

I don't want my game to be focussed on getting the quickest times, at least not at first. But if players really want to improve their time scores, I'd like to accomodate that.
This is why I decided to add an in-game timer option that is disabled by default.
You can see a small video of me setting it and then doing some sick crate tricks here:

After shooting this video I made the timer a bit more convienient by only starting when the player takes off instead of directly after the level loads.

That's it for now! I hope to be able to show something to you again soon!

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