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.

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