There have been a number of requests, so I’ve releasing a playable version of the AKR2 Alpha I made a video for a few months ago. Turns out it was easier than I had anticipated.
Arrow Keys: Movement
Backspace: Change Powerup
Mouse: Navigate Menu & Map
This is the version of AKR2 I started almost immediately after AKR1 became successful. As you can see, I was already more capable a game maker. But it still wasn’t up to the standard I wanted for the sequel, due to my not quite up to task programming skills and lack of planning, so I cancelled production after only one level.
For a couple of years I held off on starting up development again. My benchmark was, I wanted to be able to make the enemies know not to walk off ledges without hardcoding in limits for each instance. Seems laughably simple to me now. But I needed the game to one up the first one in every way.
It was easier to put up than I thought because there was already a mechanism for switching powerups implemented that I had forgotten about, which saved me a lot of digging through nearly decade old code. I was also able to snag the Actionscript 1 preloader from AKR1. Reusing the image from the AKR2 Alpha video made this write up the only real work involved with putting it up.
Why I scrapped it:
The powerups in the Alpha version are mostly pretty crappy. The fireball plows through enemies and is overpowered. The hammer is way too hard to land a hit with, since you can only throw one at a time. With the exception of the wing, most of the rest of the attacks had pitiful range and no real applications. Many of them would work better in a Kirby style game, but in a Mario game where getting hit once loses your ability, the learning curve is too steep. And even when you get used to them, they still suck.
The physics are also pretty wonky. Koopa runs more like Sonic than Mario, taking something like 8 block lengths to stop from full speed. And people called the finished AKR2 slippery! The jumping is weirdly floaty, which together with the running makes for a very difficult time platforming. I was really excited to have actual momentum in my physics, but I never took the time to get it feeling right.
Then there’s the camera. It’s locked onto a position centered just above Koopa’s head. So when you jump, you lose sight of the ground, and even worse, any enemies you may be attempting to stomp. It’s also far too zoomed in. I went with 40×40 blocks instead of the previous game’s 32×30 (don’t ask) to make the math easier, but it resulted in having too few blocks on the screen at one time, making it hard to see what’s coming. I tried making the screen bigger, but it lagged pretty badly (this was 2006, so computers sucked, and my coding wasn’t especially efficient) so I ended up going for a more traditional power of two based size for the actual game, 32×32. Why I stuck with the default Flash stage size, I can’t explain.
Long story short, I wasn’t satisfied with this build, so I scrapped it.
Back in the far off almost ten years ago, there existed something called Newgrounds Magazine. It was an offshoot of NG that infrequently published articles about creators and other such things. One section of NG mag was called Alphas, and users could post WIP games and movies there to get feedback and generate hype.
I posted this game (minus the powerup changing by keystroke) many years ago. Users could vote for most anticipated Alphas, and if I recall correctly, AKR2 did very well for itself, boosted by the popularity of the first game.
So if you think you’ve played this before, it was probably NG mag where you found it.