Six Buttons & Shift and Auto-Climb


(5 buttons - 2 buttons ) x Shift = 6 buttons? 3 buttons + Shift button + Aim button + Foot button = 6 buttons! What?

The Moon Fields used to be an Analog Stick + 7 Button game, but now I've gotten it down to Analog Stick + 6 Buttons while adding functionality. Of course that comes with complexity, but I think that complexity can be a good thing overall.

Previously the 7 buttons were 5 item buttons, Dash/Jump, and Aim. Dash/Jump were necessarily on the same button because reasons. I could get into it, or you can just believe me. The problem was that for non-advanced players (aka players that weren't just pick-up-and-play players), it could be difficult to jump in and play. I've thought about adding an 8th button just for jump, but that's not a good idea. Charge jumps don't feel good on a single button, and Joycon/Gamecube controllers only have 7 buttons. So how did I make it 6 buttons?

Now the 6 buttons are 3 item buttons, Dash/Jump, Aim, and Shift. And Shift changes everything. Instead of a dizzying array of 5 items, there are now 2 sets of 3 item buttons. The first 3 primary item buttons and the second Shifted 3 secondary item buttons. That gives me an additional item button slot for more diversity and depth in the cast. The Shift button also helps keep Dash AWAY from Jump. This is a big discussion, so let's give it its own paragraph.

First of all, if you're an Advanced player the functionality of Dash/Jump is the same as before this update. The Shift button + Dash/Jump activates the entire charge and jump sequence which may or may not be helpful. But if you're a new player, a player who uses Standard characters, then Dash and Jump are separated by the Shift button. If you're not holding the Shift button, the Dash/Jump button dashes ou forward. If you are holding the Shift button, the Dash/Jump button charges the Jump. I spent a week deciding how best to do this, but since Jump is a secondary action, it has to be behind the Shift.

The biggest problem I had with some people's difficulties with Jumping was that they couldn't play the game on a minimum level. They literally couldn't position themselves on the map because they couldn't get up small cliffs. And that brings me to Auto-Climb. It's a really simple quality of life addition that jumps you up small cliffs. There's a detector on the front of the player character that determines if a wall is right in front of the player. If you attempt to dash while a wall is in front of you, you'll do a small jump. It'll clear walls 2m tall, but it won't clear walls 3m tall. It's slower than standard jumping, but it allows new players to clamber over walls. Hitting that shift button for better jumping, though.

So now with Jump behind the Shift gate and a simple way to climb over walls, hopefully The Moon Fields is easier onboarding for new players.

edit: I updated this file 11/9 to fix problem two below

1) Changed the language and pacing of the tutorial to be more clear. Button prompts are now shown first, action names are shown second, and common uses for those actions are shown third.

2) Fixed an error in the character select screen character card where selecting secondary items in slots 4-6 would point towards the L buttons as opposed to the R buttons.

Files

TheMoonFieldsTest.zip 36 MB
Nov 07, 2018

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