I’ve been very busy recently so the dev diary has been the thing that takes a back seat (again). Also I have never liked releasing things this early in case people aren’t impressed/ interested, or simply because I don’t want negative feedback. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the whole point of doing the development publicly. So let’s get it over with…
Ok – Prototypes. I’ve never bothered prototyping games before, and to tell the truth am not going to start now. The idea behind prototypes is to get all of the hard work (i.e. making the game fun) out of the way. Basically if the game isn’t fun as a quick and dirty demo, then it won’t be fun when it has all the graphics done, it’ll just look better.
In the commercial world, if the game isn’t fun at the prototype stage then it can be dropped before too much money is spent on it.
I won’t be doing that.
I’ll just keep working until people say they think the game is ok.
So I’m now making my “prototypes”.
Because it’s a prototype you’ll have to use your imagination. There are no graphics whatsoever, everything is done with simple shapes which will be replaced with proper models once this stage is complete. This means that currently you, the game player, are represented by a box (the player character) inside a semi transparent sphere (your collision radius or, in gameplay terms, your shield). All of the bad guys are spheres.
Get it here
I actually kept delaying this post. Whenever I’ve been working on games I have only ever put out demos when I felt there was something worth playing, a significant game that was suitably polished. However, in the end, I remembered the whole point of this dev diary is to get feedback as the game progresses moulding it into the ultimate in electronic entertainment. That said please remember that their currently isn’t much to play. Hopefully this will be resolved in future revisions of the prototype.
- Keyboard : Arrows to move, Space to shoot
- Joystick/ Joypad : Control stick/pad to move, button 1 to shoot
- Mouse : Move mouse to move, left mouse button to shoot (the mouse sucks – don’t bother)
What do I think?
To tell the truth, in my opinion (please give yours too), it’s not very good. At the moment the enemies totally lack any type of character. Obviously they’re just spheres, but they don’t react to the players actions at all and just move in very rigid patterns. Also the controls are very rough around the edges and need tweaking or enhancing.
Something I think is quite cool, and want to develop more, is to make everything react to everything else (physics based). At the moment bullets collide with players pushing them around, and when the characters bump into each other they move in the correct way. I’m not sure how much fun this will be but I’m going to try it out anyway and can always change things later (the beauty of a prototype).
Over the next few weeks I want to sort out the controls so that all entry methods work in an enjoyable way (keyboard, joystick and mouse) and also to play with the enemies making them easier to create (from a code point of view) and more enjoyable to play against.
Looking forward (and slightly concerned) to hearing what you think.