Entries in flash game (8)

Thursday
Aug302012

Beast Feast - Ludum Dare 24 Jam Postmortem

 

So... I programmed a game in less than 72 hours. It's totally playable and, dare I say... decent. I was recruited for this Ludum Dare by the one and only UndergroundPixel at almost the last possible minute and we quickly got to work. The theme was evolution and our idea was simple: You are a monster that drops bombs that kill other monsters that you then eat to evolve. I honestly expected that we would come up with something more complex and slim it down as we ran out of time, but we genuinely delieverd on our original idea. Probably a result of starting with something so simple.

The first thing I set out to do was create some really solid 8-direction controls with basic acceleration, deceleration, and smoothing. Some people might disagree with this decision in an attempt to retain the "retro" feel of the game, but I wanted it to feel more deliberate and not just a thrown together binary system. I spent probably the first couple hours getting it just right, though that is more a result of my very basic programming skills.

After that I quickly adapted some of the movement code for the first enemy AI. I spent a TON of time getting the little orange guy just right. We wanted him to have a certain amount of random motion, but at the same time we wanted him to pursue you if you got too close. To acheive this I gave him a small radius in which he is more "attracted" to you. Otherwise he moves with trajectories of varying degree, reorienting himself in your general direction after hitting walls. The key was making him somewhat unpredictable so that even in later levels he might pose a challege among large numbers of enemies.

When I was finally happy with the little orange guy I started iterating on him to create big red and the croc man. With big red I made him much more aggressive and accurate. To counter act that difficulty increase I made him stop every few seconds and get "angry", stomping up and down... a chance to prepare yourself for his next charge. With croc man I just turned that following behavior up as close to 11 as I could while still making him defeatable.

To mix up those enemies a bit I threw in some more standard fare. Some random 4-directional movers and random vector movers (purple slug and pink slug). The bouncing ghost was going to have a more fluid bouncing motion, but I kind of ran out of time with him and he just became a 4-direction mover with periodic pauses. Oh well.

After all the movement was done I played around with the spawning rates to get a decent difficulty curve, but all of that ended up being tied directly to your "evolution" level. The spawn rates go up if you are doing well (evolving) and go down if you are doing poorly (devolving). The challenge then is to work your way up to the highest evolution level (50 meat) in the shortest time possible. I really like the way this turned out because you can never really lose, you only get set back from your end goal. I think the best time I ever managed was about 145 seconds.

The animations for the evolutions caused me some considerable headache later in the process, but I eventually got things straightened out. I topped things off with the bomb mechanic which I knew would be simple to do from my experience doing the remote bombs in Protobotic (which will hopefully be out soon). After that it was just minor graphical polish (the moving crowd, start and end screens, and enemy animations) and we were at the finish line. There was one bug at the last minute that made you unable to restart the game after completing one round, but we pushed through it and made the deadline without stressing too much.

There have been some great suggestions after posting the game including having ranged enemies, powerups, and leaderboards; but the truth is that we purposely avoided those things from the beginning so as not to get bogged down. We acheived our goals and now we might actually take some time to flesh out some of those suggestions.

Check out our Ludum Dare entry for yourself here. Play the embedded version here on my site or on Kongregate. Props to UndergroundPixel and his friends for all the art, sound, and other design work.

Monday
Oct102011

LMB Giant Update!

I've been pretty silent over the last month or so concerning Laser Missile Bomb, but I finally have some news. I've been diligently adding numerous features and squashing even more numerous bugs which has pressed me to finally release a new demo build. The resolution for the game has changed so I can't embed the demo itself in my blog, but I have started a new design document website for the game so that everyone can see behind the scenes of the game's development. Run on over to https://sites.google.com/site/lasermissilebomb/current-build to play the current build of the game RIGHT NOW! Don't get too excited though because there is not much there in the way of puzzles. It's really just a single room that features every single gameplay mechanic that I have so far managed to implement.

If I had to guess, I am probably about 90% feature-complete. After everything is working correctly I'm going to be adding a few more visual enhancements and starting on sound design. After that it is level design, level design, level design. Who knows, I might even start a kickstarter to pump some lifeblood into this project.

I really appreciate the support I have heard from a few people so if you like what I'm doing (or even if you don't) I want to hear about it! Let me know what you think of the game and I will work to adjust things based on your feedback. Thanks!

Wednesday
Sep072011

LMB Current Features Demo

Alright everyone, prepare yourselves for a new build of Laser Missile Bomb. This build is simply a demo of all the current features I have in the game. Some are new so here is a break down of things to try out in this little sandbox:

Place a bomb on a pressure switch
Hit a wall switch with a missile
Block a laser with a push block or mirror block
Shoot the red side of the prism with a laser

I'm sure you can find plenty of ways to mess around. In case you have forgotten the controls are listed below.

Controls:
WASD to move
Left Click to shoot lasers
Spacebar to shoot missiles
E to drop a bomb and E again to make it explode

Monday
Aug222011

LMB Bug fixes and better bombs

Today marks a pretty big milestone in the development of Laser Missile Bomb. The game finally lives up to it's namesake with fully functional lasers, missiles, and bombs. I also fixed a bunch of bugs pertaining to the pressure switches. If you lay a bomb on a pressure switch it will now activate the switch correctly (though this does make this test puzzle room much easier). You can also push blocks on to pressure switches to activate them as well.

Programming the switches has been the most frustrating part of the last couple weeks. I'm still learning a lot when it comes to programming, but I'm extremely proud of the fact that I have always managed to find solutions to my problems. The next big hurdle for LMB is going to be implementing more puzzle mechanics such as prisms (split lasers into multiple lasers), missile switches (same as the laser switches but only activated by missile collisions), pushable mirror blocks (like the blue block but lasers will bounce off of it), rotating doors (self-explanitory), and tons more super fun stuff.

Controls:
WASD to move
Left Click to shoot lasers
Spacebar to shoot missiles
E to drop a bomb and E again to make it explode

Sunday
Aug142011

LMB Puzzle Teaser

Alright everybody... I have been hard at work the last week or so getting some simple switches in Laser Missile Bomb so that I can demonstrate how the game will actually play. Right now the entire level only utilizes the laser as a puzzle solving mechanic; however, the missile and the bomb (still placeholder art) are somewhat functional. The controls are listed below... see if you can get out of the room.

WASD to move
Left Click to shoot lasers
Spacebar to shoot missiles
E to drop a bomb and E again to make it explode

Remember you can bounce your lasers off of the yellow mirrors ;) There are quite a few bugs with the missile and bomb right now so please just don't pay any attention to that... (For example, don't use a bomb on a pressure switch). I would love to know what you think of the game so far. Post in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.