Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Big update / big bugs

Things didn't work out as planned today, and I've spent most of the day hitting X again.

I think this is going to be pretty brief as it's just gone 2:50 am and I'm pretty dead on my feet. Main changes are the asteroids now use the bitmap technique as mentioned in the last blog ( Not final images, and the way they animate shows up the circle to circle collision checks quite badly, the final images will animate in such a way as to hide that ), the baddies drop an icon which can be shot to select your power-up ( Again placeholders. The final images will be a lot more colour coded to make it much easier ).

I've decided after a long think today, and some great ideas posted in yesterdays comments ( Vex, didn't reply there mate, but I really liked your timer based idea, but I think for a web game I have to strip away complications as much as possible. Too tired to go into depth right now why that idea could be complicated, bug me in the comments if you really want me to justify it  ), I've opted for something quite straight forward.
A power-up icon is dropped after killing 20 baddies. You can shoot it to change it to a power-up you want, and then collect it. Every time you collect one you boost it's power ( Shown by the 3 new indicators at the bottom left ). Tomorrow ( Today ) I'll add the option to press space to change what power-up you're currently using ( Space was being reserved for a possible smart bomb, but I figure the player is going to have enough fire power as it is ).
Also the pulse weapon hasn't been coded yet, so collecting the icon with a little star on will break things. Not every build I post was going to be nice and neat I'm afraid.

I've also played with the difficulty curve a bit, and it's coming together a lot more. I've got at least one more baddie type in mind, maybe two ( And a third has just come to mind, but I've got to draw a line somewhere ), and then I should really be able to have a big push to finalise when things are triggered, how many shots they take to kill, how much energy you lose etc.
Also the asteroids themselves may drop point based collectables, as there's no combo system in this game, and I do want to give the player an incentive to move rather than just spin on the spot.

Despite my bloodshot eyes it's coming together nicely now, I'm finally starting to get a real feel for how I want it to play. A couple more days of giving it a really big push and we should be looking at something a lot more final.


Comments (4) -

  • ickydime

    1/6/2009 1:54:02 PM |

    Wow, its really coming together!  

    I like the new asteroids. Definitely look more polished. I know you are tweaking the animation... is there any way to make them rotate in random angles?  Having them all rotate the same way seems a bit off.

    I finally am accepting the controls :)   Seems to feel fine now, I think there is just a bit of a learning curve or possibly a forgetting curve to switch from the old way.

    Enjoyed the baddies swarm at the end of the later levels.  I do feel like it should be a bit more difficult though, possibly speed them up at later levels...  or just take care of that with the new baddies you are adding.

    Great work man!

  • Jeff Fulton

    1/6/2009 9:46:43 PM |


    I just finally had a chance to try out build 11, and it is looking and playing really nice! Where did you get the rock animations? Did nGfx do them, or did you make them yourself? They look amazing. Also, the red particle looking parts to the explosion, are those canned and part of the explode tile sheet, or are those actual particles? Circle to circle is going to be difficult for those oblong rocks, so some type of bitmap collisions might solve that problem.

  • Squize

    1/6/2009 10:31:18 PM |

    Cheers Icky babe, glad the controls are feeling less alien now, although I think I'm committed to providing an alternative ( joy ).
    The levels do need a little bit more tweaking, that's going to be the tricky bit, as I do find the game really easy atm ( Until around level 8, then it goes mental ).

    Hey Jeff, well done for pulling yourself away from the 360 :)
    The asteroids are from the Xenon 2000 package, which was a series of coding tuts that some PC mag ran years ago ( 8 I'd guess ) by the Bitmap Bros. themselves ( Found the link: )
    I've often used those images for placeholders, they just look so great.

    So no, not final images, but def. what we're looking at making, although without the harsh change in size that it currently has.

    The particles are particles, it's the same routine as Orbs, just with the fade down running at different speeds.

    Thanks for the feedback both of you, it's always great to read.

  • Jeff

    1/7/2009 5:19:38 AM |

    I've been downloading and playing game demos all night long (after both kids and Jeanne has gone to bed)! It's a blast! I thin Left For Dead will be great is I can ever get a better DSL or Fiber connection. I currently can't get better than 1.5MB while Steve can get 15MB. Anyway, Xbox Live is certainly keeping me from doing more work on my games =)

    Cheers on the Bitmap bros images. They do look great. I'm sure you will come up with something just as cool on your own.

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