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.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weakened blaster

After witnessing how utterly over-powered Dave's blaster is (and by testers' demand), we've added a weakness to the blaster to balance the game more. Now there's a reason to let go of the shoot button!