After another review of my game (and more importantly its UI layout) a few things were found to change. Some of these are a result of recent changes, some were ideas I had before but either never implemented or changed to something else.
The first change I made which led to some of the other changes was actually a programming change. In the play scene for pre-made levels there is a level select element. The up and down options could be held down to cycle through the levels without constantly clicking/tapping. But it only went at one speed. I changed that so that it sped up as time progressed. Took a bit of coding to get all the proper flags in place, but now you can get much farther much faster than the old version, without sacrificing accuracy for short jumps.
Knock on Changes
The first big change that the improved level select caused was to the “Next Level” and “Previous Level” buttons. Previously I had those two buttons in the lower corners of the screen so you could jump to new levels freely. But back then the level select was… clunky. Now that level select is more smooth those buttons don’t need to be available all the time. But I did still have a use for a “Next Level” button. It now shows up during the “Level Complete” state of the game, around the center of the screen. This is to give the player a direction to go after they complete a level.
A few other minor changes have also been made, but two major changes/reversions are also being considered. First is one likely to happen and stick around: auto level changes from the level select. Right now, after navigating to the desired level number the player must press another button to actually go to that level. The proposed change will cause the level change to occur as soon as the level up/down button is not being pressed. The second change is a bit less likely, removing the Main Menu level select.
Right now I have a level select screen in the main menu before starting pre-made levels proper. But that screen also has some useful info about uncompleted levels that can guide the player on what level they want to do. So I am very reluctant to remove it. More likely is that I will change the select method to match the one in the play area scene.