July 20th, 2012, 04:17 PM
How about them apples?
When I started porting Dirk Dashing 1 to the new Dirk Dashing 2 engine, one of the big questions in my mind was: what to do with the apples?
In the original Dirk 1, there was no health system. Instead, it borrowed the same gameplay mechanic as Commander Keen and other old platformers - Dirk started with 3 extra lives, and if the player touched something harmful, Dirk instantly died. The player earned additional lives by collecting 100 apples or by finding a rare bag containing 100 apples.
But in the new Dirk 2 engine, there are no "extra lives". Dirk can take multiple hits, and if he dies, he has unlimited lives. So what would be the point of the apples?
Granted, I could have just removed the apples altogether, or replaced them with some other treasure item. But I kinda like the apples! It's a small tribute to some of my favorite arcade games that featured fruit as one of the items you could pick up. And I love the crunch sound when Dirk picks up an apple.
What I decided to do was to replace the Stealth Bonus (which isn't applicable in Dirk 1, since there are no alarms) with a Forager Bonus. If Dirk can find all the apples in a level, he'll earn the 10,000 point bonus at the end of the level.
The apples aren't needed to win the game, but it makes a fun little side quest. And to make it more interesting, I'm not going to show the % of apples collected on the iSpy, or let the player know how many there are on a given level. That would make it too easy, considering players will be able to carry the x-ray glasses around and use them whenever they want. But I will play a little sound effect when Dirk finds the last one, like I do when the player gets the last treasure item.