Post news RSS Devlog #14: New Game Plus

The long-promised overview of this special mode in the Demo and the design principles for all levels in Zarnok Fortress

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New Game Plus

Since there's no new Demo released this week, I can take some time out to talk more about New Game Plus as I've been promising to for a while now, and the design goals I had while building each level of the game.

Download Demo V5:

To try New Game Plus for yourself, you can grab Demo V5 from our website, or from Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux! Don't forget to vote for Robo's World: The Zarnok Fortress on Steam Greenlight!

Vote YES for Zarnok Fortress on Steam!

New Game Plus is a mode players can unlock in the Demo for Robo's World: The Zarnok Fortress (any version) after completing the Challenge Mode. It starts you on the last level and tasks you with playing the entire game in reverse. It also cranks up enemy AI to 100% to make things extra-difficult.

Complete Challenge Mode to unlock New Game Plus

As you may have deduced already, while designing the levels of the game, I made the extra effort to make them all bi-directional. It was a decision I only came to once I had finished all 10 levels present in the Demo, and not something I had planned from the beginning. I was always trying to make it possible to back-track within a given level in case a player got stuck, so when I decided to open up every level for playing through backwards, I didn't have many changes to make.

The third level of the game needed the most drastic updating. It was the most linear level I had built at the time, and I had to find a way to add new paths into the level that made playing it backwards possible without making it confusing for players going forwards on their first play-through.

The Regular, Reverse, and Fast paths of Level 3

As explained in the video, my design goals for every level are:

  • Make it possible to play through in an intuitive way so anyone can beat it
  • Make a faster path that requires advanced platforming
  • Make the level bidirectional
  • Make each path possible without taking damage

The only exception to these principles is level T9. There's an battery of lasers that fire against your direction of travel making it necessary to take a few hits. Since then, every level I've built adheres to these guidelines, enabling me to add the Hardcore mode to the game where you only have 1 HP. To read more about that, check this article.

Until next week!

What does the future hold? If nothing SPECTACULAR and unexpected happens (like another Demo release), I'll take some time to talk about how we worked to distinguish the enemies from one-another. Follow us on IndieDB to stay in the loop and follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates!

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Previous Update: The Chromatic Demo V5

Next Update: Alpha Live!

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