Celeste & Forgiveness

Hey all! I originally posted this as a twitter thread on March 12, 2020. I’ve been meaning to back it up in a more readable and findable format for a while now and today felt like as good a day as any.

A short thread on a few Celeste game-feel things :) I don’t think we invented any of these.

1. Coyote Time

You can still jump for a short time after leaving a ledge.

2. Jump Buffering

If you press and hold the jump button a short time before landing, you will jump on the exact frame that you land.

3. Halved-Gravity Jump Peak

This one is hard to see. If you hold the jump button, the top of your jump has half gravity applied. It’s subtle, but this gives you more time to adjust for landing, and also just looks/feels pleasant.

4. Jump Corner Correction

If you bonk your head on a corner, the game tries to wiggle you to the side around it.

5. Dash Corner Correction

Also tough to see, but if you dash sideways and clip a corner, it’ll pop you up onto the ledge.

6. Semi-Solid Popping

We also pop you up onto semi-solid platforms if you dash sideways through them.

7. Lift Momentum Storage

Jumping off a fast-moving platform adds that platform’s momentum to your jump speed. Madeline “stores” this momentum and will still get a boosted jump for a few frames after the platform has stopped moving.

8. Wide Wall-Jump Window

You can actually wall jump 2 pixels from a wall. (That sounds tiny but this is a 320x180-resolution game so that’s a quarter of a tile)

9. Even Wider Super Wall-Jump Window

If you’re doing a “super wall jump” (ie: a wall jump while dashing upward), this is a more precise and demanding maneuver so we let you do it from even further away (I think it’s 5 pixels, which is more than half a tile!)

10. Stamina Refunds

This final one is complicated but very important for Celeste. First, some setup: If you’re grabbing a wall and you jump straight upward, that consumes a lot of stamina. But if you jump away from the wall, that’s a normal wall jump that uses no stamina and pushes you away strongly. These are two very different actions with very similar inputs.

Here’s the trick: If you perform the straight upward jump but then press away from the wall shortly after, the game refunds the stamina spent by the upward jump and belatedly applies the horizontal wall jump force. Or to describe it plainly, there is a grace window where it will convert from one jump type to the other after the fact.

You might have noticed a pattern! All are centered around widening timing/positioning windows, so that everything is fudged a tiny bit in the player’s favor. I think this is a big reason why Celeste can feel kind even though it’s very difficult — it wants you to succeed.

Maddy ❤

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Maddy Thorson

Makes games ❤ Celeste, TowerFall, Give Up Robot, Runman, Untitled Story, Jumper, etc