Quick update on DN8. Since we last had one of our little chats I've basically being throwing content in there. World 7 ( Of 12 ) is in now. You may be wondering why its taking so long, I mean its only a shooter ?
Due to the branching level system ( Which was simplified a couple of days ago, I was losing my sanity ) it means for each new world I have to code a background effect, between 2 and 4 power-ups as well as the baddie attack waves ( Along with any new baddies which may be needed ). Throw in testing with each possible power-up combo, and its 2/3 days per world, which is far from quick.
The other day I did 3 world backgrounds in one big hit, so only 2 left to do. Four more levels worth of baddies, and I think around 8/10 power-ups. New code wise it's mainly the challenges left, and then just bits and pieces like the preloader, pause mode, mute button and whatever else I've forgotten.
It's become a bit of a slog this week, but the end is in sight. Hopefully there will be a big fat beta on Friday for you all to play with.
New things, new things, new things.
What are they ?
Let me shove a picture in here and tell you.
What have we got here then. The energy bar I mentioned last time, Matthew's Graze bar as suggested via the comments ( Ta mate ), a proper player sprite at last, sporting this years must have rear pod attachment.
The baddies actually shoot now, we're not in bullet hell just yet, but we will be. There are side pods too, as well as side and diagonal shots. With a lot of bullets and particles on screen it looks beautifully mental, and it's creeping closer to what I want.
Also a lot of the sound effects are in, plus in-game music. The music is a combination of 7 or so drum loops and bass ones, running at 175bpm, and randomly mixed together, which surprisingly works really well. I'm getting closer to the dream of a 100% random game so I don't have to produce any assets at all.
Next up is doing the attack waves for world 4 and then that's all complete, only another 8 to go... I wish I hadn't written that down, that seems like so far away right now.
Every day this week so far seems to have been more productive than the last. It's so rare work being like this that I've really got to make the most of it.
Let's start with the screen shot that makes the game look really crap, before going on with what's new.
Ok, we've got a HUD in there at last, with a nice colourwash effect running through it. Combo's have been added ( X03 in the background there ), there's a procedural baddie generator in now which randomly generates baddies for us ( The player ship is going to need a make over to make it match with the new chunky style ), I've increased the fire rate which has made a huge difference to the playability, the attack wave plotter has had new features added to it which allows different patterns, double shot weapons are in as well as an energy bar ( Not shown in the grab as you have to evolve to get it ) and the game loop is in place, so you can lose your lives > go to a game over screen > start again.
All that this week, not bad. And yet it still looks like shit in screen grabs. Let me get to the half way point regards levels and content and then I'll post up a demo, it's a bit too early yet.
The levels are starting to go into DN8. Today has been mostly spent trying to replicate an old school dot tunnel effect. Only took three total re-writes and a chat with Olli, but so worth it.
Like the rest of the game, it doesn't seem to screen shot that well ( Unless of course I could be lying, and the game does look as poor as it does in static shots and I'm just bigging it up to you ).
Not sure what to tackle next, adding the combo points in may be nice little eye-candy task, but with auto-fire I'm not sure how exactly they're going to work, the hud would be a good thing to go in so we can start scoring, or maybe the baddies shooting at the player.
Anyway I better get back to it, I'm well behind where I wanted to be.
Dropped the collision routines in today, basically ripped the code from X as it's a good fit for this game. Unbelievably it took less than an hour and pretty much worked first [ Couple ] of times trying.
Spent more time on the explosions, which to be honest don't look all that in a screen grab, but work well when running. I'm aiming for a really over the top swallow your tongue whilst having a fit look.
Once I throw some combo text in there it should look nice and busy.
We're getting close to having a vertical slice in place.
Time for a quick catch up on DN8. It's been a bit of a slow week hence the lack of updates, but it's finally starting to take shape.
Since last time we've got a player sprite in there, which just follows the mouse on the horizontal, nice simple stuff. I added in some player bullets which really didn't take much time ( Although I feel there's going to be some re-factoring when it comes to the power-ups ), and fresh off the press are the baddies. At last.
Normally for baddie waves I take an ultra simple approach. Open a fla, draw a nice curve, turn it into a guide, tween a sprite along that guide and spit out the coords as an array, drop that into the game and its job done.
I started doing it this way again for DN8, but for the life of me I couldn't get it to follow the guide properly. After about 5 minutes of swearing at Flash ( Not my fault obviously ) I decided that we're going to have mathematically created waves. Yes, my lack of patience has created a ton more work.
At present the game only handles Bézier curves, but they sure do look pretty. To create a pattern I just do the following:
That's for the actual wave ( Curve ), and then we just
triggerTime being when we want the wave to run, waveReference being the first array with the curve parameters in, baddieType just because, NumberOfBaddies is so we only have to calculate one curve and have as many baddies as we want following it, and GapBetweenEachBaddie being a delay in frames before triggering the next baddie ( So say we have 10 baddies, to stop them all appearing at once we can set GapBetweenEachBaddie to frameRate*2 to leave a two second pause between each coming in ).
There is a bit more in there which is possible due to using curves like this, but I don't want to splurge it all into your face in one go, we need a bit of mystery in our relationship don't we.
Today was the start of the level select, never one of my favourite things to code to be honest.
As you can see we've got a flowchart kinda thing going on there. The plan is that going down the different branches lets you evolve in different ways, so some may make your ship faster at the cost of shields, others will give you a certain weapon type etc.
That's about it really. By putting this in place and having the first node clickable I can make a start on the actual game tomorrow. I'm painfully linear when it comes to coding, I like to develop a game in the order you'd actually see it. It gives me a chance to dwell on what I actually want in there and nailing the title screens look & feel early gives me some focus.
Maybe more tomorrow if there's anything worth showing, I think this post is pushing against the door of pointless, so if there's nothing of interest I'll keep it to myself ( Or rather post it on Twitter / Facebook, as that's what those places are for ).