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January 17, 2018
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Recreating the time mechanics of Braid (Part 4)

by Cameron LeBlanc on 04/18/13 02:09:00 pm

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A pile of blocks using rewind.
See Part 3 here.
Now that the rewind system is solidly in place, I can add a few extra simple features that make the game more fun. The strong point of the game is physics based destruction. I want to enhance this core mechanic by adding some graphical appeal and feedback as well as intensifying the destruction.

One part of unity I want to try is explosive forces. Pressing a key will cause an explosion centered on the player that will fling things into the air. The basic concept is to use a quick sphere collision to get the affected objects, and then use Unity’s explosive force to fling the objects around for me. Not only does it create an impressive sight that is fun to rewind, but it is also useful to players who become trapped under rubble. Although explosions usually come with particle effects, I will not use any here because it distracts from the core of the game.

The controls are very basic. It is in eight directions and includes rotating left and right. The movement is standard, but the rotation takes getting used to. It works for the developer’s playground that my game is. I also added unlimited jump that can be used as flight and can be changed to be more precise by changing the force mode. I am also including sprint which will allow players to quickly travel around the level as well as cause more spectacular destruction.

Since I am not an artist, aesthetic appeal is more difficult and not really the focus. Instead of making realistic textures I will make highly stylized textures. The game will have a very Tron or digital feel to it and feature mostly colored grids. Render trails are somewhat overused but would look good with the theme and add some aesthetic appeal. Unfortunately I don’t know how to rewind it so it might look strange.

Another idea would be to have a sort of bomb gun to destroy things at a distance and get an overview of the destruction. Since my controls don’t handle up and down, I would have to change them significantly to make a gun very fun. Hitting the side of a structure would just knock it away from the player and wouldn’t be very spectacular. I could also put the explosive force in some other object such as a timed or remote mine.

Although I don’t plan on designing levels for my game, I could implement a simple scoring mechanic that awards points depending on the force of collisions between objects or objects and the ground. I would give score objects a maximum score that they could award. This would prevent players from banging the same two objects together for unlimited points. A score keeping object would queue up metrics and different scenes when the player wins or loses.

Rewinding itself is hardly a game but physics and a few mechanics can make it surprisingly fun. Unity also makes it easy for people to use my scripts and prefabs with little to no technical knowledge.

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