Index Card Platforming

So this is something I still haven't done, and I feel bad about it because this game feels kind of incomplete without it, but I need to provide at least one example of a Stage, with at least a handful of Screens, to demonstrate with a Platform Crawl should look like.

Here are a few things that I've considered:

1. Go on a sprite rip website and take a Stage map of a classic retro videogame, and basically just copy that. I would encourage people to do this, but I obviously can't share that on my product (but perhaps on my blog I could...).

2. Use a game making tool such as Super Mario Maker (which sadly I don't own), or some other tile editor. I have no artistic ability, and depending on the platform (pun intended hehe) there may be some legalities, but it's plausible.

3. Index Cards!

I really think this would be my preferred way. I like the idea of just making a rough sketch (it could also be done digitally for use on platforms (again pun intended ;)) such as roll20) on an index card for a given Screen, and linking together a set of Screens for a Stage.

Additionally, this approach allows for some degree of RNG. You can create a handful of Screens for a given Stage and shuffle them in different orders. You can leave enemies or certain obstacles off the index card, and randomly roll on a roll table to determine numbers and kinds of enemies and obstacles, and then maybe a die drop to roughly place them, and use tokens to represent them.

I absolutely think there's something to be said for carefully constructed Stages, but my hope is that a random generation method such as this will be fast and convenient (especially for those of us not artistically inclined such as myself), and also fun. 

In a couple of days I will be heading out of town for a week and have limited availability, but I hope to do some kind of mock-up of this approach in the near future. If this sounds cool and you try it out for yourself, please let me know how it goes!

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