In order to make a platforming game feel right to the player, you’ve got to take some liberties with physics. Here are a couple of the inaccuracies that I’ve implemented in the PC and upcoming Steam and PS4 releases of VolChaos that are inaccurate but improve the feel of the game.
Change direction in air
This is one it seems just about every platformer implements. Realistically after jumping, you shouldn’t have any control of where you go. For most games (VolChaos included) you can change directions or allow yourself to fall straight down instead of continuing your jump trajectory. This has been made even more unrealistic in the latest PC and upcoming Steam/PS4 releases by removing most of your momentum, so you can literally change directions on a dime (well, maybe a quarter). This just feels better and makes it easier to land yourself on small platforms, something you see a lot in VolChaos.
VolChaos doesn’t accurately portray the true speed of gravity, it has something more floaty (although less floaty than previous versions of the game). Also with real gravity, the longer you fall, the faster you will travel (excluding air resistance). In a platformer game though where you can sometimes fall from really, really high, if you don’t curb the max falling speed, you will be going so quickly that you can’t control or land your character well. I allowed you to speed up some but then put a ceiling on just how fast you can go.
Also of note, falling from high heights doesn’t kill you. Big jumps are inherently fun in video games so I allowed that.
Release jump to slow down
Sometimes you want to bunny hop or slow your jump mid-jump in order to avoid obstacles. In VolChaos if you release the jump button early on in a jump (there is a cutoff time where it no longer does this), it instantly starts you moving back down instead of up, allowing you to more accurately control the height of your jumps.
Gamers really really hate to feel like the game cheated them, like when you swear you hit the jump button but ran off the edge of a cliff to your death instead. In the latest versions of VolChaos (this isn’t the in the XBLIG or Ouya releases), there is a split second after you run off an edge where you can still jump. This is completely unrealistic but it eliminates those enraging moments of running to your death.
That’s most of what I’ve done extra to make VolChaos feel better to play (related to physics at least). Got other ideas, suggestions or comments? Leave them in the comments below.