I took a couple of weeks off from doing these updates because the holidays, and a couple weeks before that because I forgot. But, it’s a new year, so back to trying to write a thing every week, especially because I want to talk about what my plans are for this year.
Last year was really a year of transition for me. Dropping a project that I had been working on for over a year to focus on more manageable projects, finishing my last Flashpunk based project and moving fully over to Unity, focusing more on 3D, and getting Venusian Vengeance onto Steam all contributed to this. A lot of what I did last year was in order to give myself a foundation for this year, and now I intend to build on that foundation.
In addition to working on Cold Vengeance, my goal for the year is to get back to the sort of rapid development I did before starting Bandits and Bounties. I have a ton of concepts for small-to-medium sized games that I plan to work on, and with the base code I put together last year, I should be able to quickly prototype ideas. We might even see the return of some familiar faces…
The first one of those I’ve already started. I’ve been wanting to do something with a camera inspired by the one in Captain Toad, where you can freely rotate the camera around the entire stage. I’ve already got the basics of the game up and running, and plan to have a prototype done by the end of this coming week, at which point it will mostly be a matter of adding more enemies and levels.
And, of course, I’ve been continuing to work on Cold Vengeance. I started the year off by working on a set piece which was one of the first areas of the game I had planned. I wanted the first city level to end in a park with a little bridge that enemies would attack you from.
I’m very excited about this year, and I think I have a lot of great stuff in store for you all. This is going to be fun!
Once again forgot last week’s post, so here’s a double-week wrap-up.
I’ve been spending most of my time working on my base code. I’ve been learning how to extend the unity editor. I started simple with a button that adds waypoints to make it easier to make enemy patrol routes. I also made it so there’s a dotted line between waypoints.
I’ve also been working on dialogue and cutscene editors.
Meanwhile, work continues on Cold Vengeance.
I started working on a new environment, which is a desert. I also added a way for enemies to be airdropped into the level.
I’ve also been working on a mysterious foe who may very well be Sgt. Dagger’s most dangerous rival. Here’s a sneak peak:
This week has been mostly spent working on my base code. Just a bunch of bits and pieces that will be useful eventually. I added a shop interface system (something I never had in the old base code) and code for push blocks. The latter turned out to be more difficult in Unity than I expected since I have to work with and around unity’s physics system, but after a few days, I finally got it working.
I’ve also been continuing to work on Minibosses for Cold Vengeance. The fun thing about both Unity and working with 3D models is it’s fairly easy to quickly prototype enemies in a very modular way. This miniboss went from concept to playable over the course of about a couple hours.
I’ve also been tweaking how melee enemies work, specifically the Barbarians. Becauase of how the game works, It would be frustrating to the player if enemies could attack from the back or the sides (since the player can’t aim behind themselves). Before, barbarians would charge at the player, and if they didn’t hit, just kind of run past. Now they’ll back up and try to get back in front of the player before charging again.
Meanwhile, Ben’s been hard at work creating concept art for further minibosses.
Currently Listening: Bananamour – Kevin Ayers
So, I missed last week’s update because of Indiecade, so this update is going to cover two weeks.
First up, I had a design meeting with Ben to brainstorm minibosses for Cold Vengeance. Now that there’s a mechanic to lock the player into a certain area, there’s a lot more we can do to create interesting combat encounters. Here are some images from that design session:
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on some more stuff for my base code. Working on dialogue, the inventory system, basic objects like ladders and pushable blocks, and also a 3D Map screen:
And, to close, I also worked on some explosion effects for Cold Vengeance
So, first up, a playable build of Occupy Space is now available to play for free on itch.io: http://malec2b.itch.io/occupy-space
This week was spent doing a fair amount of planning. Planning for Cold Vengeance, and how I want to change the level design based on the movement stoppers (the answer is minibosses. More on that next week…). Also planning for my base code to better facilitate me quickly starting new projects.
I’ve also started working on a new environment for Cold Vengeance. It’s based on the Pacific Coast Highway, and will be used for a motorcycle level.
One of the main things I did in Venusian Vengeance is add a mechanic where you’ll occasionally be stopped from progressing and have to defeat all the enemies in the area to continue. Not only does this give me better control of pacing encounters (like the stopped screens in Cold Vengeance) but it also gives me more freedom to include bosses and minibosses that I don’t want the player to just be able to run/fly past.
You’ll also notice in those images that I added a visual effect where you’ll see how many points you got from each enemy you kill.
Last week I mentioned I was working on a small game, and that I’d have something to show this week. Well, I do. The game is an arena shmup where, rather than destroy enemy ships, your projectiles disable their movement, which means each enemy you hit will stay on screen making your life more difficult. The disabled enemies will also hurl insults and threats at you. Expect a playable build some time next week.
Skipped the Sunday update last week, but at least this week’s update is actually on Sunday!
I’ve been working some more on the look of Cold Vengeance. Learning more about how to texture models as I go. I’ve also changed how the fog works from exponential to linear. This allows me to more directly control the cutoff point (which is helpful since I only want the player to see enemies within combat range) and lets me set a starting point for the fog, so that colors aren’t as washed out.
Also, enemies can now drop powerups. The player can hold up to two powerups at a time, and can level up each powerup by grabbing multiple of the same type:
Now that Ninja Outbreak is finished, I’m doing something which I haven’t done in a while: quickly make a small game. I’m not quite ready to get into the details, but it will probably be well on its way to being done by next week’s update, so keep an eye out for that. I’m hoping to get back into the rapid development habit for side projects while I’m working on Cold Vengeance.
Once again this update comes a day late, but I have a good reason this time for being late. Or, depending on how you look at it, more of a reason I should have done this on time yesterday. Because yesterday I released Ninja Outbreak!
Finally my top-down straight-faced (up until it isn’t) Godfrey Ho-inspired Survival-Horror Action-Adventure game is available for the world to stare in vague confusion at. Yes, this may be the least marketable game I’ve ever tried to sell, but hopefully it will find its audience of weirdos.
If you think you might be that weirdo, you can purchase Ninja Outbreak on itch.io or using this widget:
The Dragon’s Fire Burns Hot
Work continues on Cold Vengeance. I spent a lot of the week working on new enemies. Here’s a robot spider and a flame thrower robot.
I also worked on planning and blocking more levels.
And, of course, putting the finishing touches on Ninja Outbreak, which will be coming out this Sunday!
I have spent much of this week planning, outlining and blocking levels for Cold Vengeance. The process roughly mirrors the process I used for Venusian Vengeance (which I wrote about in my Level Design Primer series)
I have a rough outline of the overall game. This includes the level order, environment types, which enemies get introduced in which levels, stuff like that. I have more detailed outlines of about a third of the levels. From there, I’ve begun blocking a few of the levels. I’ve been spreading out the levels I block, so I get the feel for each environment type. So far I’ve done rough passes on 2 city levels, a canyon level, and some preliminary work on a forest level.
Here’s an image of an in-progress level.
One of the reasons I decided to do one of the canyon levels so early on is it highlights the game’s verticality, so I wanted to get a feel for designing levels with multiple teirs that the player can move between.
I’ve also been working on more enemies, including this Gun Turtle here:
As well as some environment models. As I mentioned in the last post, I’m using a combination of modeling the overall shape of the level, and also modeling objects which will be placed within the level. Here are some pieces that I can use to build ruins:
Meanwhile, on the Ninja Outbreak front, I’ve been continuing to test the game, get other people to test the game, and tweak and fix accordingly. Don’t forget to vote for it on Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=355603149