An Actual Guide to Making Platformers

Wow. Another platforming guide. Seems generic, doesn’t it?
Well, I’ve been searching through platformer related guides here, and noticed that most of them are either for something very specific or not actual guides. Sooooo since I’m insane, I decided to write my own!


Gameplay

1. Start Simple
All platformer maps should start relatively simple or “easy.” If the very first jump of your map is very complex or difficult, people will be less likely to continue playing.
2. Scale Difficulty Properly
As the game goes on, the gameplay should get more intense and/or difficult. This should also be consistent, instead of the difficulty oscillating up and down. Another option would be to make the entire map generally the same difficulty, but this could make it seem less rewarding to beat.
3. Change Directions
Never make repetitive gameplay like shown in the following image.


Instead, change up how the platformer goes. You can make the player drop down, loop around previous parts of the map, or make some jumps going straight up. Sometimes, you can add buttons to force the player to go in different directions and spice up the gameplay.

4. Do’s and Dont’s
Never make jumps/falls where the player can’t see the outcome. If you’re going to do so, add an arrow to signify where the player should go. If you’re going to make any jump remotely confusing, add and arrow or a notification telling where the player should go. If a player gets to a point where they don’t know where to go, they’ll most likely be confused and annoyed. (this will be updated in the future)


Visuals

1. Prop Variety
ALWAYS USE DIFFERENT PROPS!!! There are hundreds of props in Gimkit Creative, way too much for anyone to not have prop variety. Some props, like shown below, work for almost any theme.
Screenshot 2024-04-29 at 4.08.58 PM

You can always flip and slightly rotate props, but don’t do so for every prop. I don’t recommend tinting props.
Some props that are severely underused:

2. Decoration Style Consistency
Keep your decoration style consistent. If you have a bunch of floating props like in Don’t Look Down, keep it that way. If you have props grounded on terrain or other props, keep it that way. If you like decorating with barriers, be sure to maintain this style of decoration throughout the entire game.
3. Change Themes
Change the theme of your platformer once in a while. Even if you want your game to be set in some specific biome, you can still vary the theme. I’ll use Ascent of Mt. Snowy as an example. In the beginning, I added more artificial props. Later on, the props shift to become more natural. Including varying signs of human/gim interaction is a easy way to change the theme, such as outposts and buildings.
4. Structuring
Terrain is a good way to make decoration. Unless you’re really stingy with terrain, you shouldn’t make too many one-block thick platforms. Making sky islands like shown below is a good option. You could experiment with different structures such as giant terrain pillars.

5. Responsible Decoration
Please don’t spam props all over the screen, completely obstructing the player’s vision. Also, try not to confuse players with props that do and don’t have collision. I like to make every single prop have no collision, unless necessary for gameplay.


Miscellaneous

1. Communication Variety
Vary how text is shown in your game. Use popups for large amounts of text, notifications for environment changes or small pieces of text, and actual text devices
for… signs.
2. Unique Mechanics
Add some lore or NPCs. Whatever doesn’t directly impact you in a normal top-down game, you can add to platformers. You could also add collectibles, like coins.
3. Scoring
Most games should have some form of scoring. Whether its a simple point system to keep track of how far someone is, or another type of score that’s completely separate from the platformer, you should always add something for players to compete for. Why? So people have an incentive to play longer!
4. Lobby
The lobby of your game is important. Very important. Chances are, if you have a mediocre lobby, people will see it and think the rest of the game isn’t worth playing. Try to use eye catching colors, big text (not too big), and a good amount of props. However, you shouldn’t flood the entire floor of your lobby with props, because it’ll make your game seem cluttered.


Yay, end of guide. If you really read all that, thanks!

20 Likes

nice (yes i read that fast)

i think you should also credit other guides like this:

5 Likes

WOOOOOOOOOO!!! Top Z’s first guide! Nice job, and may there be many more!

4 Likes

This was entirely original, and doesn’t need credits because of that.

2 Likes

ig so then

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Hooray, it has released!

4 Likes

I would suggest decorating the islands more on the sides, as it looks a little plain


But other than that, this is a great guide!

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i agree. i feel like that isnt deco- some reason (don’t blame me i thought that would be smth different and I’m not calling out) try adding props (SOMEHOW) to make it look just a teeny tiny better!

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I know, I usually add props. The point of the image was to show the structuring of the island and how terrain can be used. I felt like adding props would take all the attention away from the terrain…

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-oh- okie. understandable. It would look cool if you put a pic of it with terrain tho. try that

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I think the sky island looks good :slight_smile:

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@HP7divergent46THG12 Try “I think the island looks cool, and it looks like a familiar game I know.”

Or do I just sound like a nerd :nerd_face: ._.

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why do ppl always say this…

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Just updated this so its more like a guide and less misleading.
I’m bumping this at the worst possible time… (night)
Yes this is a bump

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suggestion make props with no collision, and then put barriers a little bit under, so when a player jumps on plants it seems like they are jumping behind/in the plant

Mmm, I do say my good sir “@top-z” , this guide is truly phenomenal and thy deserves a reward, but alas I do not currently have anything of which suits you besides all of england. Here you are my good sir.

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England is not for yours to give,
Unlike you I live in England Because you said that you probably don’t live in the UK

And also
Winning party by constituencies in yesterday UK election : europe
you would have to deal with the UK and this

I will translate that to old english:
“Hmm, I do say my good sire “@top-z”, this guide is truly wondrous and thou deserveth a reward, but alas I do not currently possess aught that befits thee saveth for all of England. Here you are, my good sire.”

3 Likes

that is so off-topic…

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Epic guide! Maybe add something about ways to vary gameplay, since I think one of the more common flaws of most platformer maps is that it’s mostly very repetitive simple jumps, even if the direction is changing.

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Didn’t I put an image for that? I did explain how…
Could you elaborate on what I should add/change?