Posts Tagged ‘Derek Yu’

How Spelunky Creates Amazing Unexpected Situations

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works.

The arrow trap that shoots the croc man that causes him to telefrag you. Being caught mid-jump by a boomerang that juggles you towards a spike trap, leaving you stunned in front of it until it springs. Shopstorm.

These are not necessarily the noblest events in Spelunky, but they’re surprising, funny, fascinating, and entirely consistent and logical and correct. They might not be exactly your fault, but neither are they, really, the game’s fault. They’re the result of a big reason – the big reason? – why Spelunky is amazing:

THE MECHANIC: How every object in Spelunky has shared fundamental traits

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Express Train To Hell: Spelunky Speedrun World Record

I inch my way through Spelunky [official site], trying to get a read on the layout of each randomised cavern. Caution doesn’t always breed success and I rarely reach the ice levels, let alone the hellscape beneath. It’s both chastening and invigorating to begin a weary Friday morning by watching a speedrun that sets a new world record – from start to finish in 3:44. The runner is D Tea and he shatters the previous 3:52 record for a true ending. As well as being an impressive feat, like most things Spelunky, it exposes the workings of the various systems – from the fury of shopkeepers to the arrangement of tiles – in fascinating new ways.

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Have You Played… Spelunky?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I know the cause of every single one of my thousands of deaths in Spelunky. I died down that snake pit because I frittered away my bombs and ropes, leaving me with no way to escape. I died to that inanimate rock because I drifted down towards it with the jetpack when it was being propelled into the air by a jump pad. I died to that blue frog because I overestimated the extent of its jump.

I died because I am not good enough at negotiating the roguelike platformer’s strict rules. Not yet.

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Bats, Man! On Spelunky’s Killing Joke

Spelunky is, I think, better designed than any other roguelike, platformer, or roguelike platformer. It’s not because it’s a work of genre revivalism. It’s not the procedural generation, which jumbles level geometry upon every funny, frequent, fist-shaking demise.

It’s the bats. The bat, found in its opening world, is a dimly flapping lense through which the entire game can be better appreciated.

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Spelunky Completed In The Hardest Possible Way

Solo Aubergine Run, technically.

Some of you are going to think this isn’t news, but I want to talk about it anyway. Caster Bananasaurus Rex has completed Spelunky in a Solo Eggplant Run. Don’t know what that means? Come inside. Sit down. Let me explain.
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Geometry Of Death: Spelunky’s Level Generation Explained

You've procedurally generated... my love for you.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve played so much Spelunky that you can close your eyes and generate new levels for Derek Yu’s roguelike platformer inside your own head. Here, look, I’m doing it now – bet on what’s going to kill me…

It was a frog. Sigh.

For a more technical understanding of Spelunky’s procedural level generation, take a look at Darius Kazemi’s browser-based Spelunky level generator and associated guide.
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Release AVALANCHE: Spelunky, Papers, Guacamelee

And yet somehow the game manages to be even drearier than it looks. In a good way.

Are you ready to be positively buried under amazing games? Well too bad. Games are largely distributed via non-physical means now, and that’s a weird thing to do with them anyway. Take your sick, fetishistic disc orgies somewhere else. (Note: RPS does not actually discriminate against fetishes. Just physical media.) There are, however, a lot of brand new, positively excellent games suddenly populating our hobby’s infinitely expanding sea, and you should really just probably play all of them. I quite liked what I played of Papers, Please, the consolefolk enjoyed Guacamelee, and everybody with air in their lungs and a beating heart in their chest loves Spelunky.

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