I have run out of time to finish up Project 12. Bummer. It’s in a playable state, but it does not have the features, graphics, or sounds I had intended to use. You can try it out here: Project 12. I’d estimate that it’s at least a couple weeks from being OK — at least at the level of an old school Atari game.
There’s a new control scheme. Left-click fires your gun and your mouse position determines what direction the player moves and fires. W and S moves forward and back, A and D moves left and right. The goal is the same: get from the start to the finish (the endpoints look like ladders). If you collect all the coins along the way you’ll get bonus points. You’ll also get a bonus if you manage to avoid being detected by all of the enemies on the screen.
I’ve made some relatively big changes to the game in the past 24 hours. I tried a handful of alternative control schemes before settling on the current mouse+WASD setup. The levels were going to be static but it was taking too much time to create the full set, so I switched to randomly generated levels using a modified version of an algorithm for generating random caves, with some additional code that connects all caves so they’re all accessible (ported from my aborted Continue reading
I needed an easy way to keep a set of sprites aligned to a grid, so they’d snap in to place as I move them around, and a way to detect when sprites overlap, to catch errors. Scripts like this probably already exist out there (to be honest I haven’t searched) but I found writing these to be an interesting learning experience. No doubt these scripts are simple, but they’ve been real helpful for me.
I’ve been working on a top-down shooter this month and while it is a ways away from being complete its tentative first level is at least roughly playable. You can see the work in progress here:
Controls: WASD, mouse clicking to shoot.
This game requires the Unity web plugin. Don’t hit the quit button, it doesn’t work in the web player. I’ll update this page roughly daily. When I’m done I plan to post the web player and Windows, Mac, and Linux binaries on the same page, and I’ll give it a real name.
The game is a simple one. Get from the start of the level to the end of the level while eliminating bad guys and finding secrets. There are no secrets at present and there’s only one type of bad guy, that happens to look exactly like you, but it’s a start.
I have a long list of things I want to add to make it more complete, but I doubt I’ll get through everything. The list includes re-theming (I’m thinking the player’ll be a wizard shooting spells and the bad guys will be lizards or something), alternate control schemes, better animation of the player and enemies, several levels, larger boss characters (4-tile large).
I’ve already got some “lessons learned” I can share, based on this experience and past experiences. Lesson one: Before beginning on a game you want to complete, have a good idea of a theme in mind, and always work towards that theme. Most of the time I start my projects with a few game mechanics in my head, and then when they’re mostly done they look and play like crap because there’s no cohesive theme binding them together. If I’m going to be a game designer and developer I need to learn to put design first.
Lesson two: Don’t share ideas too early. It’s easy to feel locked in to an idea once you’ve discussed it with others. It’s also easy to feel like you’ve accomplished something simply by talking about an idea, when in fact ideas are dirt cheap and mostly meaningless without implementation. You can’t show off a portfolio of ideas.