Monochrome Heights Devlog #3 – Jumping Around

I’m making a side scrolling pixel art platformer called Monochrome Heights where you jump around a lot.

I find myself jumping around a lot while I make the game, too. I may not be literally jumping, like Happy the Robot, but I’m bouncing around from one task to another.

It can be nice when you’re stuck on something to jump over to a different problem for a while. Making a game involves so many individual art forms and crafts coming together, that if today doesn’t feel like a programming day, then it could be a design day. Or an art day. That’s the nicer side of jumping around. So long as I’m pushing the big vision forward, and keeping track of what I should be working on when, some flexibility is okay.

But jumping around too much without a plan isn’t optimal. So I try to strike a balance by following a plan and schedule, with the flexibility that I might need to call an audible and shift focus. Which happens a lot.

For example, I’ve been building a lot of levels recently. Many of the new mechanics for the levels haven’t been tested rigorously. As I’m designing and iterating on a level, I may realize a mechanic, such as a spring platform, has a bug where you can get an extra bounce. Which sends me off to fix that issue. So I dive into the code, and closely watch what happens, which makes me discover the animation has an error, which is actually in the art. So I’m off to the pixel art program and then I’m re-importing the art assets and before I know it I’m jumping all over the place.

One of the reasons I love video games is that they are a synthesis– a blend– of art and music and gameplay. With so many aspects, there’s a lot of creation that needs to happen. Being in charge of all of it, I have to think about all of it, and even when I don’t want to jump around, I might have to. Just like Happy.

If you’re interested in following along in more detail, sign up for the Monochrome Heights mailing list here. You’ll get exclusive access to early demos and additional short updates. Until next time. Thanks for reading! 

Share any thoughts on the game in the comments below or come find me on the Boss Rush Discord.

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