Essence Showcase - Playback Recordings


This is the fifth post in a series of posts about how the time manipulation mechanics were implemented in Worldline. For the first four, click on any of these:

Worldline's record mechanic is probably tied with reset for the most number of changes something underwent during development. Record not only had lots of slight tweaks, but underwent several complete overhauls before it became how it is now. In order to implement record, we made use of the same code that makes rewind possible. In order to handle rewind, we needed code that could efficiently keep track of an object's state each frame, recording things like position, sprite, health, ect. For rewind, we simply set these properties in reverse each frame instead of recording them. Record is interesting because it makes use of this same feature, but instead of going backwards, we pick a point in the past, and then apply the properties moving forwards, on a duplicate object.

So for the player and enemies, all we do is implement this feature, and then color the duplicate objects red to make it obvious they're clones. When we first implemented this mechanic, it could only support one duplicate. People complained that is was finicky and hard to get the timing right for puzzles, so the mechanic was hardly used. Instead of implementing what we have now, I decided to come up with a brand new idea. Instead, the duplicates with mimic the player's actions directly, ditching the whole actual time manipulation thing.

The idea I was testing in the above image was that you could use your own time manipulation abilities on your recording to solve certain puzzles. This was kinda cool, but players had a hard time figuring it out, and positioning was still tricky. Plus it wasn't nearly as cool as the original implementation. I kept it like this for a while, but eventually I had the idea to use multiple duplicates at once. That way we could keep the original mechanic intact, and it also solved any sort of timing issues, since three duplicates each representing different time frames gave the player plenty of opportunities to solve puzzles that required specific timing. One thing we have planned for the final game is to allow the player to upgrade their recording ability to allow for more than one clone. Although you can't see it in the demo, this is fully implemented:

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