Thursday, December 25, 2014

Defining paths

Fixed the bug. It all boils down to one or two lines of code in the end. The following images shows the possible paths the flying enemies can take in each of the arena.

We define the way-points in Tiled. The generated level files (.json) are then loaded into the game where we run the way-points through our algorithm and create a graph of interconnected points you see above.

Epic fail

So I spent a good part of the day writing code for setting up waypoints for our upcoming flying-type enemy for Spacejacked. This is what happened when I finally started testing if the waypoints are correctly linked.


My goal for the week is to finish up a new enemy by the end of the week for this week's stable build. Wish us luck~

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Creating a tag in git

Annotated tag:
git tag -a pre-alpha-v0.1 -m "First public build"
git push --tags

First Review of Spacejacked (WHAT?!)

As was previously mentioned, we released our first pre-alpha build to gather feedback. So far there has been zero response - with the exception of one published review.

Thanks Alexandru, for the review!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Working on a new enemy

 Was going to go to the office to work for the day, then decided at the last minute that I'd just animate from home. Worked on smoothing the animation for our new flying-type enemy (designed by Victoria). It's a good thing Victoria provided 3 key frames, makes things a lot easier.

Next up would be coding some basic path-finding and attacking behaviors. I should also work a little faster >.<

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Preparing a playable build

We still think Spacejacked's far from ready for showing, but it's decided that we should just release the pre-alpha to gather feedback (and to motivate ourselves).

Things we are seriously considering to change or add in future builds:

  • Redo tutorial by integrating it into single player mode.
  • Storyline
  • Engineers room (upgrade + sleeping*)
We are releasing the pre-alpha in a couple of days. Stay tuned!

*Yes, sleeping could become a feature.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Death Cabin is not dead

Feels like we're in a little bit of a slump lately.

The constant bombardment of deadlines from work and school has put a strain on the development of Spacejacked - progress has been minimal for an entire month now. Jon observed it was a sign of burn-out.

Sheet. We don't need that now. It would be hilarious(ly sad) for a project to fail not because of a lack of budget or poor sales, but a lack of motivation. Addressing this issue, we've set up a weekly schedule indicating that we are to prepare a weekly playable build of Spacejacked, as well as to review our older games for player feedback (we'll never know when we want to expand upon any of them).

In addition, we've also imposed upon ourselves the need to do a game jam once every 2 months, to occasionally keep our minds off Spacejacked. I suppose H.T.P is the first of the jams.

Here's hoping this would keep things going.

Speaking of keeping things going, Death Cabin isn't dead!

Friday, December 5, 2014

UI work

Just working on creating some assets for It Came From The Deep.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mock up

Jon and I had a discussion about the urge to release a game, and how we know Spacejacked will not be launching in the immediate future, given our ambitions for the project. We then decided to once again work on a side project that would be much smaller in scope - something we can finish in a relatively short amount of time just by setting aside a little time for it every week.

The game is "It came from the Deep", something we attempted but quickly abandoned in one of the previous Ludum Dare attempts. Jon's concept was simple, play as a person at war with a beast from the deep sea as you fight it all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

From that concept, I've come up with a simple mockup (as above), and penned down the core game design. That said, I haven't gotten far with the coding due to other ... commitments (meeting with friends + catching up on my part-time work). I should probably note down the various aspects of the game in more details so Jon and I can better work on the game asap.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Added a slightly bouncy effect

Look really closely at the text instruction popping up above the player's head. Subtle yes?

Here's how it used to look:

I'm attempting to squeeze in as much polish into the presentation as possible until jon returns from his hiatus (exams!!!) so we can talk about implementing some of our bigger features.

At the moment CS is working on a wave editor (joy!) while talking to a few individuals for our monetary needs. Victoria still puts in some work into Spacejacked whenever she could find the time to lessen our work load. Also she's working on another promotional poster at the moment =)! 

Auto-METAL collection

After receiving feedback stating that there wasn't enough time to collect all the metal in the given time frame between waves, I made it such that all the metal are automatically collected after a wave.

That said, I don't think this feature is necessary for the initial part of the game, and is more suited as an upgrade - which is why I've made the feature easily toggleable. I suppose before long we'll have to work on the upgrade system as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I didn't manage to achieve much. It's like I've some kind of a mental block.
Anyhoo, finally put in the new look of the health dispenser (designed by Victoria), yay.

Also did some animation for the dispenser, but we will not be using it for some time (it's for a major game feature that we haven't quite have the time energy to work on yet).


Friday, November 21, 2014

Shooting animation in action

I should be working on cutscene >.<

New animation (finally)

Been wanting to do this for a long time. Just finished an animation for our main character, Dave.
Here's Dave pointing into the direction the blaster will be shooting at.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Spacejacked promo art!

Spacejacked by vickie-believe on deviantART

Victoria did a promo artwork for Spacejacked!

Installed and ran Stencyl... and all of my haxeflixel projects stopped compiling!

Turns out, the path to the haxe libraries had been changed. It took me a while to locate the .haxelib file (~/.haxelib), and revert the path. Everything's back to normal now!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Animated screen filter!

Made the grainy screen filter animate.

Also, finally the time of the week to work on Spacejacked again... after a night's sleep.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cutscene system

We've finally started on designing a cutscene system for Spacejacked (that is, we're going to focus a little more on the narrative aspect of the game). It's still really early in the works >.<

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Finally finished implementing the shotgun on the bus ride home last night ;)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A short mention on Game Maker News Bite

Spacejacked has been mentioned!

"Spacejacked makes the interesting promise of combining the tower defense genre with platforming and shooting action, and has been in progress for quite a few months now. We hope that the increased number of screenshots being posted in the last month to twitter means the game is near completion, as it looks great."
-Game Maker News Bite

Thanks, Game Maker News Bite!
We're working as hard as we can on the game :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A minor task long overdue

Additional visual feedback when upgrading turrets. Was aiming to finish this last Saturday. But better late then never ;)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Here's something...

that's achieved by spending 20 minutes a day coding while on my way to work.

The crazy recoil was added to balance the powerful nature of the machine gun.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A little note on recent playtesting

It seems all the effort spent improving the controls, ui, and balancing is slowly paying off. In earlier builds of Spacejacked, we've often witnessed players having much trouble getting used to the game - they often spend the first few minutes running around aimlessly in the wrong arena as the game continues to proceed and leave them behind.

After an entire weekend (and more) redesigning the waves for the game, I got the aid of a friend to help playtest the game and observed that he was genuinely having fun. We even discussed the strategy on beating the game. Barely a week after, an ex-classmate, who happened to play a build of our game, told me that he "quite like" Spacejacked - that it is interesting, though a little too fast paced and relentless for him.

All of these responses have been a far cry from the reactions to the game in the past. All of the testing, and reiterations of the design is slowly proving to come into fruition.

Furthermore, jon is now in contact with a music composer whose music we really like, so it looks like we're finally starting to kick things up a notch.

The game is still far from done. But I think we're headed in the right direction.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spacejacked gameplay gif

What is Spacejacked? Why, it's only the most hectic (exaggeration) arena-shooter cum tower-defence hybrid!

I'm still working on the balancing. I doubt it'll be ready by the time of igf submission. But hey, we'll just submit what we have and make the best of things ;).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bug fix.

Finally synced the laser turret's charging animation to its charging-time variable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Part-Time Job commences

And so I'm back to working part-time at Springloaded~
And this time I get to code the game play!

Part time job aside, for Spacejacked, I'm still working on how to simplify the wave creation process. Looks like a tough case to crack.

One more week to our next milestone (IGF submission).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Project Midpoint Retrospective

It's been almost 6 months since the conceptualization of Spacejacked and we're at the stage of development where we're no longer fretting over missing core mechanics that we've yet to implement. That said, there are still plenty missing from the game, and everyday we ask ourselves how we can make our game more fun, how we can better balance the game.

We now have a playable game that looks polished, feels smooth, and dare I say, brimming with potential - but otherwise lacking content, balance and variety (game turns monotonous after awhile). It's probably safe to say that we are at the halfway point of the project. Jon suggested we write a post about the progress of the game over the months, so here goes.

After having worked on Blue Giant for a good half-year, we decided that we wanted to halt development on the ill-fated project because development of the metroidvania would take too long, and we did not then have the resources to make such a game.

Blue Giant

On 23 April, we finalized a new game idea that has a smaller scope (though it later turned out that the idea was still pretty darn ambitious). The new game would be a tower defence arena shooter hyrid. In addition to making the switch from as3 to haxe, we managed to come up with the basic controls for character navigation on day 1:

We continued working on the controls for the next 2 weeks:

At this point it became apparent that we're relying on our artist, Victoria, too much. She was unable to keep up with the workload required. So we switched to a style where I'd be able to help her with animation and some of the artwork.

Here's the original style:

Here's the mockup I did (which incidentally was picked up for a short feature on indiestatik's screenshotsaturday picks):

Victoria adapted to the new art style and I was able to help her with the animations. CS was busy with coding the turrets, and Jon busy with other critical game mechanics, such as teleportation, enemy spawning, and transition between different arenas. Within the next 2 weeks, we were able to create a (barely playable) prototype for Casual Connect Singapore.

Of course, the game was also rife with bugs:

Over the next few months we would be constantly refining the controls and UI.

Added more types of alien scum:

We also added a 3rd arena:

And the never-ending affair with polish:

And there we have it. 5 and a half months worth of struggle and excitement condensed into a few short paragraphs and a series of images ;) There is still much to be done however, so...

Back. To. Work.