14. March 2009 15:12 by Squize

Only two more updates to go after this one, we're nearly there.

It's actually getting tricky now, as it's so close to being a final game, what I can and can't post. I don't want to give the whole thing away, but then I don't want to shut the door too early on you guys who have followed from the start.

In saying that the roadmap is as follows,
* build 19, the latest one, features the sound and music along with a couple of graphical tweaks and fixes.
* build 20, options so the new control modes can be tested.
* build 21, the global stats ( We've got something really sweet in mind that we're both really excited about. Not excited about the code, but the results should be way sexy ).

And then that should be it in terms of public releases. In my head I want the game to be finished next Friday, and then it'll just be a case of seeing what we're going to do with it.

For this build I've put a watermark in there. I was in two minds what to do, but I opted for the less sweary version ( I was going to put a harsh word onto the background, but figured that could just backfire ).
I'm not overly happy about having to do it, or rather feeling like I have to do it, but if it stops the game being spread in a beta version then all well and good.

Nearly there. It's really mad to think that it's just build 19. I've had some half days on it, and big breaks where real work has got in the way, but I've really not cheated ( ie worked on it for extra days but not said. I've had to "join" half days together rather than post builds after only working a couple of hours on it ) and to do a game like this in 19/20 full working days is pretty cool.
It shows what can be achieved if you have a real joy for the project, as opposed to an extended slog, and having pretty much complete creative control over it makes such a difference in terms of dev time.
We're going to have a really in-depth post mortem about this and see how we can transfer these things to client work to improve turn around.

Squize.

Comments (6) -

jim m. 3/14/2009 7:21:09 PM #
jim m.

The game is looking & feeling pretty badass. It's interesting to play on a Cintiq/Pen Input device. Makes firing much accurate, especially with the pulse powerup,

Hahahaha, I just clicked on the Medals screen. Hilarious.

4k competition game was great too.

Our Battle Carts is almost done. I have to debug some sound code myself, which isn't exactly fun.

Paul 3/14/2009 11:07:15 PM #
Paul

Very slick presentation and a nice twist on an old theme. I found it hard to pick up power ups as they get destroyed by your own weapon fire and your initial weapon shoots too quickly to not hit the power up pods. I would love to see this move towards a Sinistar type game with a larger map and a secondary objective.

John Cotterell 3/15/2009 8:07:52 AM #
John Cotterell

Hi Squize,

It's looking great, really great!

I got stuck at the end of level 8, it just sat there thinking i hadn't killed everything.
Also, the green blobby weapon left a few trails/artifacts that didn't look intentional.

Auto-pause is a great feature, btw.

John

Squize 3/15/2009 5:54:56 PM #
Squize

Thanks for the good words Jim. I dunno about a Pen device, with a 360 controller it's pretty damn special Smile

Also good to hear that Battle Carts is nearly done, that's been going on as long as the bowling game that I just can't shake off no matter what I do ( Tomorrow should be the last day. Again ).

Thanks for the feedback Paul.
As to the power-ups, they half a "half life" for want of a better term, and shooting them does actually increase that time slightly.
With something like a power-up I always think it's important to have some risk to that reward, so you have to put yourself in a slightly dangerous situation to collect them, which isn't made any easier by the ships control method.
It's a case of if you want those goodies, then prepare to put yourself in the firing line for them.

The whole objective / mission / making it bigger thing, I know I'm going to be hit with that when it comes to sponsorship ( Which I really can take or leave luckily enough ), but it feels like the Flash game world has a real fracture down the middle of it.
You either have "cheap" pick-up and play games, a game anyone can get and enjoy for a couple of minutes before never going back ( Mouse avoiders spring to mind ) or if it's got more to it than that, then it needs expanding with customisable upgrades and shops and missions and a load more other things.
I really don't subscribe to that ( Sorry Paul, this feels like a rant aimed at you, it's really not, just a subject that's concerned me for a while ).

X is just asteroids. It's 4 meg 'cause we've got a pretty flv running on the title screen, and some nice rendered images, and a classical music piece etc. but it's still only asteroids.
Hopefully tweaked to play better, but all the same, it is what it is ( That's twice I've written that in the past couple of days, there must be some underlying theme to that that's bugging me. Guess my subconscious will tell me what it is one day ). We could have made a game that played exactly the same in around a 100k, everything on top of that is just the love.
I don't want it to have any more depth than it actually needs. As a pick and play blaster it's pretty good. If I were to shoe-horn in a shop, or a collect items in a specific order ( A la Bomb Jack for example ) mechanic, all of a sudden it's got that extra layer of complexity that I don't think it warrants / deserves / needs.

I'm more than happy to put it out there and say "It's asteroids, nothing more, don't be fooled 'cause it's pretty" and hopefully people will get that and not feel cheated because it looks like a "bigger" game but actually falls somewhere bang in the middle of that fracture.

Hey John, hope you're on the mend mate.
That bug you had at the end of level 8 isn't good to hear at this stage ( And the fact I've never had it, and I've played this to death ).
One thing I have had though is an asteroid floating around in a straight line just off screen, which is what I'm guessing this is.

The pulse ( Green blobby ) weapon doesn't update the main canvas' damage map. To explain that a bit better, you know when you have a bitmap and you just copy pixels into it then use colorMatrixFilter to fade it down every frame ( eg what I've done on the particles ), well I do a simple damage map on that so I'm not just blindly running the filter on the whole 800x600 bitmap ( Try the game with show redraw regions on ), and the pulse weapon doesn't update that properly yet ( It's the only bug on my to do list, which is quite amazing ).

Thanks guys for taking the time to post, I'm off now to post about build 20

Paul 3/15/2009 11:36:00 PM #
Paul

No problem. It depends on where your focus is. But does high presentation deserve high concept - hell yes =)

Squize 3/16/2009 1:15:26 PM #
Squize

Smile

Love the way you managed to reply to my novel in under 10 words and say everything that needed to be said.

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