Platform Masters Title
Platform Masters - Will you be the world's next platform master?

Sentus Mountains - fun with terrain

Date: May 29, 2011
Screenshot #161: With the bounce ability and especially a high acceleration, the Sentus Mountains can be a lot of fun if you enjoy speed. Even with the game's default of 24 mph for the top speed, if you bounce from the top of a mountain, it's very easy to reach extreme speeds. This is one case - I've bounced and I'm going almost straight up at over 600 mph. Falls can easily get over 1000 mph here with just bouncing alone.

Sentus Mountains - extreme stats due to bug

Date: May 29, 2011
Screenshot #162: Taking the case in screenshot 161 to an extreme by exploiting a bug that's only present (as far as I'm aware) when terrain is not finished, this happens. Notice the extreme speed and position? I was up to nearly 30 million CU (that's 833 1/3 miles) from this and that's what started all this. Too much speed, however, and collision detection begins to fail, with increasing chances of failure with increasing speed. It takes over 4500 mph before collision detection starts failing for platforms. That does not happen, however, with terrain and falling. Because I have a 1-block span to collide with to prevent further bouncing and run... at 6000 mph, I got unlucky (I wanted only one more case where I was jumping up at over 10,000 mph). Still, this gives you an excellent idea to the extremes you can get in Platform Masters. This is hardly even a step past the starting line in a marathon for what you can accomplish.

Sentus Mountains - secret of the lakes and rivers

Date: May 29, 2011
Screenshot #163: You'll never know about it because both clouds get in the way and the terrain doesn't get low enough. Yep, the ground decals actually abruptly stop. This and the future video planned will be the only way you'll even know about this. What's the orange? It's the sky! There's no point in drawing the ground when there is no chance of seeing it otherwise.

Jeremy's House - ground level

Date: Jul 24, 2011
Screenshot #164: Jeremy's House is now in the done bin (minus story scenes). This is the game's first world and I wanted to have the player get a good first impression as to what Platform Masters was like. Thus, Jeremy's House has considerable detail.

From ground level, things don't seem all that exciting, except for the closest houses, the traffic, and the well-hidden hills.

Jeremy's House - the roadway

Date: Jul 24, 2011
Screenshot #165: Houses and traffic dominate the foreground, best viewed from near ground level. There are only 4 types of cars present in this case: the ever-common sedan, the somewhat rare minivan and truck, and the once-per-lane cop car. Yes, that's right, cop car. If you look very closely at that white car in the foreground (going right, or to the east), you can see extra markings on it that the white sedans don't have. You can also see the red and blue lights at the top. The text is hard to read on it, but it says "Ronnis Highway Patrol". You could probably make out the "Ronnis" part of it.

The lines on the road also have a neat fading effect. The higher up you are, the more easily the lines can be seen. This is an effect I've had for a while thing (remember Ronnisa Plains and Train?).

Since Ronnis is a monster of a city, probably with 30 to 50 million residents, space is at a premium, considering the hills and mountains all over the place. With this, houses are spaced very closely together and over a large area. These houses have a fair degree of detail on them as well. Look closely at the closest houses and you can see lighting effects (not to be confused with the lights on the houses).

Jeremy's House - hills and air taxis

Date: Jul 24, 2011
Screenshot #166: From higher up, it's very easy to see the hills and something not seen before until now - air taxis. The hills rise up on the south side (the closest point in the scene), level off at about 600 3/4 feet (183.1 meters), then drop back down.

Hovering above are air taxis. These are the vehicles of the time the game takes place - 2073. They are basically a cross between a city bus (based on the interior) and an airplane (based on the exterior). Air taxis have no need for wings though because they use magnetic levitation (and without tracks too). Think about it. Who knows what might be around 62 years into the future? Afterall, jets, 60 years ago, were otherwise brand new and guess how common jet planes are nowadays. Now, think about what might be present 62 years into the future. That's the air taxi, as I call it. Air taxis drift overhead at 192 mph.

Jeremy's House - beyond the hills

Date: Jul 24, 2011
Screenshot #167: Although the tutorial level will take you to around 7000 CU above the ground, it's easily possible to get much higher if you can figure out how. If you do, you'll be treated with a wonderful view. Beyond the north side of the hills, you'll find farm fields. In addition, you'll find gravel roads between each farm fields, occasional ponds, forests, a city (the kind with about 2000 residents), and a 6-lane highway complete with onramps and offramps. There are a lot of details in this part, even curves in the roads. Although I don't have a texture for the forests (no trees have been made), the forests are so far away that they're otherwise textureless (the nearest point is a good 5 miles away).

Jeremy's House - the shoreline

Date: Jul 24, 2011
Screenshot #168: From just shy of 4 miles (6.4 km) above the ground, the shore line is very easy to make out. From slightly darkening the water (I might darken it slightly more yet though I'm doubting this), this scene is very pretty. This is what awaits you when you manage to get 4 miles above the ground. It's much easier to make out a few of the details, though some are still tough, such as the highway. The city is very easily visible along with the beaches and shoreline. I especially like how that darker blue joins up with the light-colored sandy shore. This is one of my favorite screenshots.

Air Taxi - the air taxi

Date: Aug 20, 2011
Screenshot #169: World 7, Air Taxi, is now declassified. For a while, what the gap between worlds 6 and 8 was has been an unknown to the public. I've known it to be a cruise ship since I changed things around so that each world had 16 levels instead of 21. The cruise ship was to zip by a bunch of islands at 48 mph (77.25 km/hr) and you were able to walk around and bounce around on and off it. The trouble with this is that I have virtually no experience at all with boats or ships. The time I visited Duluth in 2008 (before Platform Masters even existed) was the only time I really ever got to see a real ship. When you live 1500 miles from the nearest ocean shoreline for decades, that does have quite an effect. What little experience I have with boats comes from the small lakes I visit (never seen up close) and very few TV shows. Thus, I didn't really like the idea much. It was too complicated for me.

Given that Platform Masters takes place far into the future (the middle of the year 2073), I thought of a replacement - a very massive, fully functional 8-lane highway that floats on the ocean via buoys. This idea seemed neat, but also unrealistic considering that numerous islands were also in the distance and basic bridges could span them. It'd be a lot of 4-mile-long bridges though, but still, bridges would probably be better as at least they'd allow ships to pass through.

Then came the main concept idea - an airplane/bus-like thing that uses magnetic levitation and literally flies over the ocean. Think about it. Magnetic levitation may seem like magic, but if you've heard of maglev trains, that's just that - magnetic levitation. What's more is that scientists have been able to get a real live frog to levitate. This is what is known today, the year 2011. Think of what year 2073 might have, 61 years into the future. Yep, all those platforms and things use trackless magnetic levitation. Air taxis are essentially the transportation of the future. They are basically a cross between an interstate bus and a wingless airplane. On the outside, air taxis look like a bus except for the front which sort of resembles an airplane. The front is like an airplane for aerodynamics. Air taxis have a wide range of speeds from as low as 60 mph (96.56 km/h) to as high as 720 mph (1158.73 km/h). This particular air taxi has 96 mph (154.5 km/h) for its speed, on the slow end. The story has more explanations on air taxis if you're interested to know.

One new element you may have noticed in this scene is the addition of a new piece of onscreen data - height. This has been planned for quite a while and I've only recently added it, waiting for my cough to go away from a recent cold. The air meter and boss HP meter are the only things that remain to be added. 2 other adjustments involve the coin with the score being changed slightly and the fact I'd like the hands on the clock for the timer to be animated as well. As small as the hands are though, it won't really be all that much.

Air taxi is the game's first vehicular-themed world. These worlds involve scenery constantly zipping by. In the case of air taxi, being over the Sentus Archipelago, it's a bunch of islands. There are 35 total islands. Some islands are very close to the action. Others are very far away and hard to see. However, islands and a lot of ocean water are not the only things you'll see in the background.

Air Taxi - platform levels drifting by 1

Date: Aug 20, 2011
Screenshot #170: One of the most interesting aspects of vehicular-based worlds is that, yep, you're seeing that in the image right, platform levels will go by. Some platform levels are fairly close, others are far away. A complete set of 16 platform levels is present - 10 regular, 1 boss, 3 jumbo, 1 supersize, and 1 tutorial level. If you've watched the YouTube video directly above, you can get a good idea on how far apart platform levels are actually spaced - about 3 1/2 kiloblocks (114,688 CU, 3.186 miles, or 5.127 kilometers) for regular levels and more yet for the jumbo and supersize levels with an overall average of 4 kiloblocks (131,072 CU, 3.641 miles, or 5.859 kilometers). At least you can get an idea on what levels in Platform Masters will look like, to some extent.

Unlike the platform levels you'll be racing to the goal platform on, these platform levels cannot have animation due to memory limitations and my memory management system in replacement of malloc. Having dynamic platforms will significantly increase the memory usage. Thus, these platform levels in the background cannot have anything that moves, including enemies. Other hazards and game objects can still be present though, provided that they have a static form. Springs may be animated, but they only do so when jumped on and thus they're fine.

Since this platform level goes into the water, and the platform level is 800 feet (243.84 meters) away, you can't see the parts underwater at all. Thus, it appears that the platform level seems to have some parts missing.

Unlike what this platform level hints to, however, the ocean water in this world is very dangerous. Because falling in cuts your speed in half, you won't be able to return to the air taxi at all. The water is basically a bottomless pit so don't jump in. Water pools enclosed by platforms, however, is safe, aside from the usual danger of drowning.