Dev Diary : Feature Set

Now that I have a rough game design worked out I need to start figuring out what features will be included in the game.

The feature should be thought of as a baseline to work towards. New things may be added, and items may be changed, but in general this is the guide to which the game will be made.

General Features

First things first – the general features. These are the things that will decide the programming language and the recommended specification computer for playing the game.

  • 24 levels
  • 2 Game modes, Story and Arcade
  • Basic physics system - everything affects everything else, explosions move nearby objects, bullets force pushes objects, player bumps into and moves objects.
  • 3D graphics
  • 32-bit color

I must admit I already know what I will be using to program the game. I have used Blitz3d for all of my sale games so far and I will continue to use it for the forseeable future, but if I was working in a team with more knowledgable programmers this part would be more important.

Gameplay Features

Basic features out of the way, now I’m going to list the gameplay features. What type of game is it? How will it play?

  • Side scrolling shoot em up
    • Story Mode – the story will be integrated into the game with simple notes & objectives at the start of each level
    • Arcade Mode – A single level shoot ’em up. Rather than telling a story the objective is to get as many points as possible by killing as many enemies as possible. The more enemies you destroy the harder they become.
  • Many types of enemy – some ideas for enemies to face off against are listed below.
    • basic grunt – static - shoots at you randomly
    • advanced grunt – moves up and down - shoots at you randomly
    • big grunt – static, more powerful than basic, shoots regular stream of bullets
    • big grunt with babies – static with orbiting basic grunts
    • patrol bot – moves horizontally scanning level for intruders… you!
    • gun emplacement – fixed on floor/ ceiling
    • kamikaze – doesn’t shoot - heads straight for you , explodes on impact - can be used against enemy bots
    • floating mines, not an enemy but must be avoided, explodes on impact
    • hit n run - crap fire power but very fast
    • cloaked/ stealth - only totally visible when shooting/ being shot, otherwise visible as a shimmer – predator stylee
    • spread bomb launcher – shoot a bomb in the air that splinters into multiple shards
  • Collectables - destroyed enemies throw out items to be collected for points which can be spent on items in the store. Occasionally throw out extra health?
  • Level objectives – the majority of the levels will be the basic ‘kill everything that moves’ variety, but these will be interspersed with a selection of the following.
    • destroy boss monster – boss’s require specific tactics to beat
    • destroy specific objects – generators, research terminals
    • Survival – survive the onslaught of a series of obsessive enemies intent on your destruction
    • rescue - kill everything except specified person/ object
  • Store/ Shop between levels – upgrade rocket pack and gun. Things that could be upgraded…
    • rocket pack speed
    • gun reload speed
    • gun accuracy
    • bullet strength
    • gun power (bullet speed)
    • rocket pack shield (health)
    • extras
      • orbit droids (extra firepower)
      • double shield

What Else?

To make the game interesting I want try and introduce something new at least every other level, this means either a new enemy or a new mission/ gameplay type. The basic game will be ‘fly around shooting stuff’ but there should be other things to break up the pace of the game adding interest and a reason to continue playing. One of the best games of recent times for this is Hamsterball by Raptisoft. Not in the slightest bit related to my game, Hamsterball does the level progression really nicely. Every single level offers something totally different to the player making it a very enjoyable game. In fact Hap Hazard, also availalble on, is also very good at this.

I think the store will be very important to the game. It will be a very simple affair but upgrading in games is very very rewarding. Two of the better examples of this would be MotherLoad and Puppy Invaders. Both are, superficially, incredibly simple games but adding the ability to upgrade your vehicle adds an extra layer of tactics and depth making the games very hard to put down. With any luck I will be able to achieve a similar amount of immersion in this game.

Was it good/ useful/ a load of old rubbish? Let me know on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

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