Do You Have Enough Room?

I put some serious hours in on game development this weekend. Tons of additions.

First, the room quantity. I added 15 enemy rooms, 3 empty rooms, and 2 filler rooms. This doesn't seem like much, but there's a reason. As I was iterating on rooms, I was also making some new enemies. 

I decided to leave a couple of the enemies that I already made out of the first 2 levels. This meant that I had a void to fill. I ended up making 5...wait....7 new enemies for the first levels. This allows for more room creation variance.

I started experimenting with painting off the grid with room items. It's making for a much better looking room layout. The first rooms that I made look like poop now. I mean, they looked like poop before, but now next to the new rooms, even more poop.

I created a "room bag" system for floor generation. It's pretty snazzy. Took a long time to get it right due to some redundant code in the room spawner, but I eventually figured it out. Now, levels are created from unique enemy and non-enemy rooms. I still have yet to make room bags for the other room types, but when I decide to, it will be easy since the foundation is already there. This will make the game feel much more fresh on each playthrough. All I need to do is make sure there are enough unique rooms to not allow it to feel samey and to fill 2 levels if the levels use the maximum number of each room type. E-Z-P-Z. All I need is time.

This coming week, the goal is to crank out a bunch of new rooms. Once I get the optimal quantity of rooms done, I can focus on other elements. It's too easy to get ahead of myself when I'm thinking about what I should do next. Baby steps.

Until next time.


Like a Boss

This week, the goal was to make 3 new bosses for Delivery Man. I was able to get 2 of them close to finished. Not too bad. I plan on messing with them a bit and modifying the first boss to make it a bit less cheaty feeling. Some of its movement is jittery and feels unfair.

Working on bosses always feels daunting. After finishing up the 3rd boss, it didn't feel as much daunting as just time consuming.

Time is one of my worst enemies. Due to the amount I have to spend at my day job in order to survive, I don't have as much to work on trying to make a career outside of my day job. Time has to be managed between work and family, and friends, and relaxation. Sitting down for a few hours to work on game development is enjoyable, for sure, but is also not always easy to find time to do. And it feels like there are some things that are best to finish in a single sitting to keep everything fresh.

Enough of my time rant.

This week, after 3 bosses are "done", I'll probably start on some sound effects and music. It's a very important part of a game. I feel that a strong soundtrack can have a massive impact on a game.

I'll also start on some quests. Right now, fetch quests are easy to drop in, since the first quest is already a fetch quest. I'll have to think of a couple more quest types and test them out. I'm thinking a battle room with an optional, more difficult battle could be one. Ooh, hiding a quest item in a room that doesn't look like a quest related room could be good as well.

Quests are fully optional in this game btw. They will all greatly benefit the player to do, though. Incentive to explore and take risks.

Consumable items are on the to-do list as well. I plan on making them .exe files in the game that give you a temporary benefit. Kale and I figured out a cool way to fit them into our intended world theme of the game.

I'm off to get some work done.

Until next time.


More Terrain, More Rooms

This weekend, I decided to work on more room elements. This makes it easier to come up with new rooms since they essentially make duplicate rooms different due to the interaction of items within them.

The blocks that I added were one that is destroyed by bullets, one that is destroyed by bullets but damages you when you touch it, one that explodes when taking enough damage, and one that explodes when taking explosion damage. Just these few blocks allow for much more variance in room creation.

I'm looking forward to these elements that I'm creating having non-programmer art on them. I'm just slapping a quick sprite on them so they don't look like total poop and so that they are identifiable. 

I also added a couple enemy variants this week as well as different on death effects for enemies. This is another example of a slight change making a big difference.

This week I'm probably going to work on the text system for displaying the items that are picked up. It's a definite necessity. I'm going to add some nice easing to the text and text boxes. Should look pretty smooth.

Also, as I was typing this, a group of rooms got deleted and the action could not be undone. My latest backup was from a few days ago. Missing 6 rooms now. Not a huge deal since I doubt I'll be keeping any of the rooms that I've made thus far, but it's still annoying. Going to learn how to set up source control very soon.

Until next time.


Dess M-8 Dudes

For those who don't know, I released a mobile game a couple years ago called Dess M-8. It wasn't very good, but I had some fun with it on the later levels. Since it was a complete game, I had assets. I wanted to make followers in the new game that I'm working on so I decided to use the Dess M-8 main ship.

I ended up making 5 different ships...

5 different ship styles and gun types that are unlockable in Dess M-8. Once I created the core code to ease the bots in when you pick up their item, make them smoothly idle around the player, and face enemies or the player depending on their state, it was easy to iterate new followers. It's simply making a new bullet if necessary, modifying shot speed/frequency/damage, giving the player variables to know which bot they picked up, and making sure the room spawner doesn't try to grab it on floor clear. Boom. Done. It takes about 5-10 minutes to create and test a new follower. This is super exciting. This means that if I think of a strange fire pattern or bullet type, I can give it to a follower and have a new little drone ready to go.

I'm considering making a bonus for getting all of the Dess M-8 ships. Maybe a voltron style combo drone that fires all of the bullets at once. Maybe it could fly towards enemies as well instead of waiting to shoot when they're in range. There are lots of maybes in game development. XD

I think the next thing I'll probably toy with is "chance" bullets with special effects. Bonus damage or damage over time on hit could be cool. Create a secondary "expertise" stat that when increased allows the "chance" bullets to appear more often. Basically just better RNG.

I'm feeling the game come together much better with the introduction of new items with effects beyond increasing damage, speed, fire rate, and health. This is going to be half of the bread and butter of the game. It's what will lead to zany and/or overpowered runs. The other half of the bread and butter is going to be the quest system. I have a good feeling about the quest content. I think it's going to add lots of risk/reward, exploration, and mystery to the game.

I'm still trying to nail down the lore to the game. I have a world thought out, I just need a story to give the player purpose. I'll make that my goal for tonight. Create a quick backstory and endgame.

Until next time.


Water Tiling and the Bane of My Existence

I've been putting in lots of work on "Delivery Man" lately. I've even started working on some art assets to try to expedite the process. 

Still finding some glitches in the tile code when I went to make that little video. I think it's looking pretty decent though. I know it's just water, but it's a step in the right direction. I based it off of the Pedro Medeiros tutorial. That guy has some great stuff.

On to the bane...Water sprites and tiling are not it; It's collisions and pathfinding. I've been working on this for a flippin month, and still have yet to find a reliable way to keep enemies from getting stuck in objects and each other. I have a pretty decent pathfinding script (though it makes enemies move in little circles when another enemy is blocking it's path). The main issue is showing up with these 2 phase chaser enemies that I'm working on. When they go into their dormant phase after taking X damage, they're confusing the other enemies (hence the swirly movement). It's almost like I need to make them act like floor items and be able to be pushed by other enemies and no longer avoided when they're in that dormant phase. they're also either coming out of the dormant phase full of piss and vinegar going way too fast, or they exit the phase and accelerate very slowly. It's really strange. Also, the size of the enemy changes when it goes dormant, which causes issues when it changes back into its normal size. I just made the hitbox universal for now, but it'll need to be fixed. Currently you can shoot through the top of the enemy without hitting it.

Player movement is good. That's something to be thankful for. The day I figure out enemies, I'm going to celebrate.

I'm thinking about making some vlog posts with more frequent updates on Delivery Man soon. Keep your eyes open for that.

Also, Salt Assault didn't reach the minimum IndieGoGo funding amount to claim any funds. I think I'll probably pay for a tiny print for myself. I kinda just want to have a nice copy for myself. Not sad about it. I just don't know how to market.

Going to keep cracking on Delivery Man until I have a nice vertical slice of level 1.

Until next time.


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