Tomorrow I’m heading off to London to TIGJam:UK! I can’t wait! I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to work on out there yet – possibly Buster Drake, possibly something totally new – there’s talk of a 3 hour poppenkast style thing on the first night, so there’s a very good chance that I’ll have a new game out (or at least a new prototype) by the start of next week!
As for old stuff, I finally got around to updating Squish today. I created virtually all of the original levels on the last day of the demakes contest and I’ve never been totally happy with some of them – so I decided to recut the arrangement. I’ve created a couple of small, easy levels which bridge together some concepts in the game a bit better, I’ve taken a few levels from the extra “Gates” stage in v1.2 and mixed them in with the original levels, and I’ve totally rearranged the stages. The six levels that I cut from the game have been moved to a custom stage simply called “Rejected Levels”.
I don’t like difficulty “curves” in games; particularly in puzzle games. For some reason it seems to be a widely held opinion that games should start easy and get harder in a fairly linear fashion. I don’t think that works because (a) unless things ramp up quickly at the start, it often means that the early levels are dull, (b) if the game gets quite hard, then near the end most players will simply hit a wall and not progress any further and (c) it’s not as satisfying to solve a difficult or clever level when it’s sandwiched between several equally hard levels. I prefer difficulty “waves” – i.e. where the difficulty of a game oscillates between satisfying difficult levels and rewarding easy levels all the while increasing gradually. That’s what I was aiming for with the original level arrangement, but I don’t think I really got it right. Hopefully I’ve made a better job of it this time!