Article Blog Image

RetroRemakes Challenge : Month 2 Day 12


Just a quick update this time, this game is progressing really fast due its simplicity.

This time round I implemented the very simple “hazards” or baddies. They are really dumb, just appear at random based on the level, one new hazard per level after level 0, and move right to left and go up the platforms as they go. I’ve created only a single, static image for the enemy at this point, in Blender, of a toy train. There are various mixed hazards in the original game, with no obvious theme, so I’ve decided to apply one, toys. As far as I can tell all of the hazards in the original game can readily be created as toys. Planes, trains, dinosaurs, etc. I’ll be adding animation to them as part of the polishing phase. They don’t need to interact with the gaps in the platforms at all, so movement and logic is very simple, just using a Godot Area2D node to spot overlap with the player.

As this is the majority of the parts in place for the actual game-play, the remaining part was to implement the reward that you get as a player as you progress through the levels. This takes the form of a four verse rhyme that is revealed line-by-line as you progress through the levels, “The Ballad of Jumping Jack”. I wanted to make this look nice, so spent some time experimenting with different reveal animation methods. There are some nice features in Godot, one of which is the ability to create custom “effects” that you can apply to RichTextLabels. These are small pieces of code that can influence each individual character in part of the text in a rich text label, identified using custom “bb-code” markup. However, it’s a pretty new and underused feature, and as such is missing some key functionality, in this case the ability to determine the length of the text segment the effect is affecting. I tinkered for a while, and found that I could code a nice “reveal” transition by doing it in two phases. The handler method on your custom effect _process_custom_fx, gets called once per character per frame, with details of the character, its location in the text, the elapsed time etc. I found I could allow this to run through the entire text segment once, setting the alpha to 0.0 and thus making the entire message segment invisible, and checking if the character index ever became less than the last one, at which point it’s reasonable to assume the frame has finished and the next frame started. Using this method I could up-front determine the length of the text segment, and using this I could calculate how to fade the characters in over time so that the entire message segment is fully visible in the chosen time. So, armed with this, I coded up a simple fade-in and float down animation for each character over time so that each line seems to magically appear on the page as it animates, as you can see from the short video below. The bb-code to do this simply becomes…

[fade-in duration=5]This would be a line of the rhyme...[/fade-in]

…where [fade-in] is the custom bb-code tag registered with my custom effect.

The concept of elapsed time in a RichTextEffect is started as soon as the node enters the tree. So to control the animation start time for each line, I broke the rhyme into one RichTextLabel per line and saved them as Scenes in Godot, and then in the code that manages the scroll itself, load each one in turn as a level is completed, add it to the children list for the scroll container node, adjust the scroll to ensure it is visible, and everything else just works, the system sees that the line has just been added to the tree, so starts the timer and the effect processes the characters accordingly to fade the new line into view.