Super Conductor - a little train game

I have been working on a little train game - SuperConductor and it's at a point where I'm really super with how it is playing + looking

superconductor-2

The goal of the same is to change the train track switches and collect coins. I think that I'll end up having a set number of coins to collect, with the game keeping track of how long it takes you to to collect them all - it is loosely based on a minigame in an old C64 Donald Duck game that I used to love as a kid

I'm most proud of how easy it is for me to create new levels - each level is just a txt file with different characters representing straights / corners / switches etc. It makes it really easy to iterate levels and test them quick

There's still quite a lot on my TODO list, but I'm really enjoying the PlayDate dev environment

One thing I was quite surprised with was how rough my tiles looked when I rotated them in code - it wasn't a big deal to just create separate images for the different rotations and flips, but I didn't expect that I would need to

13 Likes

Love the panicked run animation! The character is super emotive, it's great.

1 Like

This has the most "Game & Watch" vibes of any Playdate game I've seen so far! Nice!

1 Like

The art design is super clean!

1 Like

This looks pretty sweet.

1 Like

I have made plenty of progress on Super Conductor in the last week, including...

  • Multiple levels
  • Keeping track of your collected coins, and time taken
  • Saving your fastest times
  • Theme song, and sound effects (which change to match the chords which are current playing in the song)
  • Crank support for moving left and right
  • More logical relationship between levers and track switches (the leftmost lever controls the leftmost switch etc)

You can now collect 50 coins over 15 tracks, it's all pretty much complete

I will give it a week for me to think of any additions that it needs, and then it should be ready for release

Here is a video of it in action

2 Likes

So I'm not particularly good at "under pressure" type of games, and I'm not even sure if this is appropriate to volunteer, but if you need any help testing at any point, feel free to hit me up. And if I shouldn't have brought it up, just ignore that :slight_smile:

Oh cool, that would actually be really helpful thanks. I'll send you a message

2024.07.15

Thanks to RustySabre for his time and excellent playtesting feedback, I have made some great improvements to Super Conductor in the last week

  • I implemented saving the state on exit, and reloading when you load the game up again. I had resisted doing this earlier because I envisioned my game as kind of a quick hit type of thing, but RustySabre was 100% correct that it needed it
  • I updated the logic of when new coins spawn, to avoid the occasional issue of coins spawning right in front of the train

I also implemented some "how to play" text when the menu is displayed, and some smoke when you speed up the train (a very low priority feature, but it makes me smile)

Now that the game saves and reloads its state, I feel like I should maybe double the number of levels, to add more replay-ability

The game has been accepted to be a catalog game, so a big decision remaining which I'm not sure about is how to the current high score table (which is a series of times) to a list of points

4 Likes

I got my catalog release date today (13th of August), so have a deadline to get the game complete

I had an idea at 4am this morning that I should scramble the order of the levels (after the first few introductory levels), to make multiple playthroughs less predictable

With that in place, I just need to create a bunch more levels. There are currently 50 coins to collect over 15 levels, so I'll aim for another 15-ish levels to bring it up to 100 coins. I'm very strict about moving the player on to the next level after 2 to 4 coins to avoid level fatigue, so don't know the exact number that I'll need yet

The process for creating these start with sketches on paper like this...

... and once I have a bunch of these planned out, I'll move on to actually implementing them

One thing that I need to watch out for is accidently drawing a swastika track, which is why the bottom right one is scribbled out :rofl:

2 Likes