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they don't like proportional jumps, but I do ?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by gamekitteh, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. gamekitteh


    Aug 24, 2018
    In my 2D platformer the main thing my playtesters dislike is proprtional jumping. They say it pulls them down on jumps. But I like this because it gives more control over jumps. What to do? It isn't really an error because it only did that if you pushed the button short. Playtesters that said this were on keyboard and not informed to hold for longer jumps.
  2. Antypodish


    Apr 29, 2014
    You did play testing for a reason.
    Judge weather you want stick to your mechanics, or you want to listen players feedback. Consider something intuitive vs control. In the end, they are your potential customers, not you alike. You are dev. so you have different angle of view at your game. What may seems for you comfortable, for others may be frustrating.

    But also, keep in mind, that you don't want follow every received single request for new feature, as you wont be able to finish your game :)


    Jun 1, 2017
    well just inform to that a long hold = longer jump.
  4. JoeStrout


    Jan 14, 2011
    That's so odd. I've never before heard of anyone disliking proportional jumps (by which I assume you mean, you jump higher if you hold the button down longer). This has been a basic mechanic since Super Mario Bros 1! You'd have to go back to something like Donkey Kong to find non-proportional jumps, and if you tried to do that in any platformer today, I guarantee players would show up at your house with torches and pitchforks.

    So, my first reaction is to ignore the whiners on this one.

    My second reaction is a bit more nuanced. Look at the new-player experience on the very first level, and make sure it leads the users gently through learning the control scheme. There should be gaps or obstacles they have to jump to progress, but which do not kill you if you fail; you just go back and try again. The first one should be small enough to hop over with a little tap; the next one should require a longer jump (holding the button). If you don't already have something like this, maybe that will help.
  5. newjerseyrunner


    Jul 20, 2017
    Teach the player your scheme right at the beginning and force them to use it. This is Super Mario 1-1. You can not get past the third pipe if you don't figure out that holding jump makes you jump higher.
  6. YBtheS


    Feb 22, 2016
    I agree with the rest that you should inform the player about that mechanic whether it be in an explicit or implicit way. Also, if it doesn't break the game, you could have a setting to turn on/off proportional jumps.
  7. Volcanicus


    Jan 6, 2018
    Guys... guys. Guys. Guys listen. I have the best idea. Guys listen. I have the best idea ever. Guys. Put a red guy with no proportional jumping and a green guy that has proportional jumping. Guys. Red and Green guys!!

    (inspired by wings in my back legs)

    EDIT: Prototype around 4-5 characters with varying jumps and ask your playtesters which feels best and to order them by preference.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  8. Serinx


    Mar 31, 2014
    It might not just be the fact that you have proportional jumping, it might just not feel right to the players.
    This is something that could be implemented in a million different ways, so it may just require some tweaking.

    example 1:
    Tapping jump makes you jump 1m high
    Holding jump for more than 0.1s makes you jump 2m
    Holding jump for more than 0.2s makes you jump 3m

    example 2:
    you will jump 1m for every 0.1s you hold the button, up to a maximum of 5m
    in this case, tapping would be either a tiny jump, or no jump at all

    some methods will give you more control, but be less predictable and more difficult to master or understand.
    You need to strike a good balance between the two.
  9. Joe-Censored


    Mar 26, 2013
    I'm guessing understanding this feature isn't really required to play through the first half of your game, and you never explain it to the player. Probably what is happening is the players aren't understanding why sometimes they jump higher than other times, making jumps feel unpredictable. Also, proportional jumping is relatively rare on keyboard controlled games compared to games made for gamepad controllers.
    SparrowsNest and JoeStrout like this.
  10. hippocoder


    Digital Ape Moderator

    Apr 11, 2010
    Proportional jumping has gone out of fashion and I don't do it either these days. It's also raising the skill cap for no real reason (it doesn't make the game better).

    I used to do it in my old platformers but nowadays its much preferable to have a sense of determinism. You can always have mild air control to compensate for lack of proportional jumping.

    I'm assuming the game is not hardcore. If it's totally hardcore then proportional jump control is a decent enough design, however it could be people rejecting how it feels - your implementation - rather than the concept itself.
    Martin_H, Ryiah, SparrowsNest and 2 others like this.
  11. Volcanicus


    Jan 6, 2018
    Well, platformers have gone out of fashion in general. I don't think it is a skill but rather a reflex. The more you press down jump, the higher or more in the air you want to be.
    Ryiah, angrypenguin and JoeStrout like this.
  12. angrypenguin


    Dec 29, 2011
    For as long as this is the case any change to the jumping itself is jumping the gun. You have no idea how well it works if people didn't know to use it. Your problem isn't with the jumping, it's with your communication, which you've identified yourself right here.

    So don't change anything about the jumping yet. Iterate on your communication design until people are trying to use the jumping properly. Once they're doing that then start worrying about whether the jumping itself is good.

    This would be highly dependent on the game design, though. Add hazards to your ceilings or certain types of physics interactions and now getting a jump just right, rather than as high or long as possible, is an important part of the player skillset.
  13. Antypodish


    Apr 29, 2014
    I actually like games, where I can decide, how high I want to jump. It adds much of verity to game play.
    Sure, not suitable for every game.
    Yet there is actually many games with such jumps. But to be honest, I played just few years back. So anything changed since then?
    Avoiding hitting ceiling or spikes, can be fun, if executed right.
    And all that on keyboard.
    JoeStrout and angrypenguin like this.