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  Clones Are Fun 10:59 PM -- Thu November 19, 2009  

To wit: Torchlight (PC game) is quite enjoyable! But that's not what I'm blogging about! First off, look over there on the left - the clone of my twitter posts has returned! And speaking of returning, let me return to what I haven't gotten to yet, which is what I'm really here to blog about, and that is...

The new Costume Party tile "Cloning Tank" (which incidentally is, as of this writing, mentioned in the Twitter feed)! It's pretty nifty. It's actually invisible right now, but here's a screenshot of the effect it has:

When you step on the Cloning Tank, it begins recording your movement for 8 seconds, with a visual effect I have not created yet, some kind of laser scanning you as you go. Once the 8 seconds is up, a clone pops out of the tank, exactly duplicating what you did over those 8 seconds. Interestingly, it can even do impossible things, like walk right through a wall if that wall was not there when you recorded. At the end of 8 seconds, the clone vanishes, and a new one starts from the tank again. Any time you step on the tank again, the clone vanishes and you begin recording fresh. There can be any number of Cloning Tanks in a level, and any of them can be recording or playing back at any given time.

It's actually really cool and it's something I just had to create because it got stuck in my head while I listened to a podcast review the newest Ratchet & Clank game (there is something like this in the Clank levels). The same concept is taken more extreme by Chronotron, which I played last year when I went to PAX.

This thing has a million uses, in part because the clones are invulnerable, but absorb bullets, so you can use them to provide covering fire, or just hit buttons like shown in the picture. Originally the tile was a Holodeck (and you can see the clone is transparent like a hologram... but we'll just say he's made of clone goo), but I decided Cloning Tank made more sense because they were solid, and making them not solid would've been more complex while making them less useful.

It's just tons of fun to implement crazy little new things in Costume Party. They always work really quickly and easily. This thing took maybe 2 hours total to get fully tested and working (well, I'm sure it has some horrendous bug hidden in it, but it's tested to beta level anyway).

So when can you experience the madness yourself? Data not available. The Sci-Fi Pack to which this item belongs is not something I'm developing, I was just madly driven to create this particular tile. Still, I have a ton of ideas for that pack, and maybe it will continue to burst forth tile by tile when I can't stop it. I really do want to get that Portal costume done...

And yes, the weird fruit calzone made from leftover pie crust was a really tasty breakfast.
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