Today I said goodbye to an idea that seemed sweet, but was unable to execute as precisely as was needed. Goodbye Rick O’Shea. Your gun and levels will be missed. You just weren’t up to snuff. Don’t worry, you haven’t been replaced, only removed. So the total level count for gun specific levels will be at 50 which is how many levels that I currently have made.
In other news, I think I’m going to make a playable demo with 10 or so levels and 1 gun unlock. Maybe getting people to play the game will get my home stretch motivation up and running and get me to finish the game modes that I originally wanted to add. Right now I’m convincing myself to just do the 50 levels and call it a day. I really wanted to do 20 more and add a procedural mode though. I just don’t know. The added modes would require a good chunk of time to create.
Time Spent Today – ~30 minutes
Nitpicky shit today. Little minor tweaks for added bullet accuracy. I still didn’t get what I wanted done, but….I’m probably just going to leave it. The game plays.
I don’t know.
Today was a stressful day, and it didn’t help that I couldn’t solve the problem that I was trying to solve on the game.
I got some sounds and animations done for the rack blocks and also tweaked the rocket launcher so that it works like it’s supposed to….or at least I think it does. I’ll have to test it by starting another new game on the phone.
After I get the last levels done, I’ll make a video demo of the game in action.
Time Spent Today: ~3.5 hours
Not much time this morning. Still have to work for a living.
Made a new block I’m calling the “Rack” block. It can only be damaged after blocks attached on all four corners are destroyed. A rack block can be overlaid on any other block aside from the switch blocks. Got them up and running in short order this morning. Now all I need to do is add the animation, and they’ll be golden.
Until next time.
Time Spent Today: ~1 hour + 2.5ish hours
Worked on the game a little more after work. Fixed some little bugs with the rack arms and buffed the heal blocks so they heal faster. I also may have fixed the armored gravity blocks. The mechanics are not 100% what I originally envisioned, but it does make sense.
After those tweaks, I created 10 new levels, some of which are pretty challenging to get a gold ranking on.
I’m on the fence about the ricochet gun now. If I leave it in and fix it, I’ll need to make 10 more levels. If I take it out, I’ll only have to make advanced levels and the other possible featured levels that I’ve been thinking about today. Super secret. Alright, not secret. I was thinking challenge levels that, instead of getting a rank and being allowed 30 seconds to complete, they have shorter amounts of time to complete and you either finish it or you don’t. Challenge levels. The other idea was puzzle levels that can either give you a set amount of shots to complete, or only be finished by doing things in the right order. Both of these modes of play would be fairly simple to incorporate. The only other game type that I really want to add that may be difficult is the randomized rush levels. You get a set amount of levels (3,5,7) that are all randomized based on a difficulty setting that you choose. as soon as you beat one level, the countdown for the next level starts. At the end, your ranks are averaged together, and you get rewards based on your score.
I know I’ve said it before, but…soon. I’ll have something that could be called a game.
The screenshot above is the full play screen interface. The dot to the right is only for PC to be able to track your mouse. The gray blocks are switches that destroy only when all switches are activated, which is denoted by the color change after being hit. The blocks above them are gravity blocks which fall when a space opens beneath them. They deal damage to blocks that they land on which varies depending on the fall distance.
Onward to the work this morning.
I decided to do some morning work on the game again. Very limited time to work on it. I modified the rocket launcher to damage a larger area but to not totally destroy everything within the blast. This makes damage a useful stat and makes the gun feel more powerful.
I also changed the healing and binding blocks to check for gravity blocks, so now if a gravity block falls next to one of these blocks, it will gain the effect.
I changed the slicer bullet to shrink each time it hits a block. This makes it less OP since before you could line up the slicer bullets to hit two rows at a time and potentially do nutso damage. 1 bullet hitting 14 blocks was a bit too much. Now you need to be a pinpoint sniper to do that.
I originally planned on knocking out more levels this morning, but it wasn’t in the cards. I’ll probably make another new block tonight and crank out another 10 levels.
I’m feeling like there needs to be more strategy specific levels. The spray and pray levels with only basic blocks don’t feel anywhere near as fun as the strategy levels.
Until later today when I likely edit this.
Time Spent Today: ~45 minutes
Tried waking up early and working on the game. Doesn’t seem like it worked out too well. I think longer sessions are probably the best for getting things done.
10 more levels though. Hopefully I can start having a little more order to the level making process. It still feels fairly random. Draw a picture and use a mechanic or two somewhere.
Gotta go to work.
Until next time.
Time Spent Today: 1 hour
I made a couple new blocks today. What’s awesome, is that I still have a couple more ideas aside from these. When I start throwing together those last levels, I’ll have lots of options.
I did a little sound work on these blocks as well. I had to change a few from the original ideas, but it was definitely for the better.
I have 3 more block ideas that I’ll have to do sometime over the next few days. Hopefully I can come up with more at work tomorrow too. The way I see it, if I have to throw away some decent ideas in the end, the finished product will be all the stronger. It also leaves room for expansion/sequel material.
I didn’t end up making any levels today, but what I did finish has me hyped again. It’s a roller coaster of hype for me this last week or so. It’s hard to have a decent day at work. All I think about is how much more productive I would feel doing something that I care about.
It’ll happen eventually. I just need to keep at it.
Until next time.
Time Spent Today: ~2.5 hours
I made 10 new levels today. I added a new solid block just for testing. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I’m feeling like I need some mechanically new blocks. At least 2 or 3 more. If not for anything else but to make it easier for me to come up with level designs. If I’m going to be pumping out 50 more levels, I’m going to have to have more options. I have an idea for one block that will probably be kind of annoying, but it’s an idea at least. Now I just need a couple more to keep things fresh. I still have yet to include the non-block mechanic of temporary stat boost areas, but I’m not too sure if I want to include them in the main levels or just in the potential procedural level section, since those levels are going to be pretty all-over-the-place anyway.
Whelp, I think it’s decided. New blocks on the next session.
Also, I kind of feel like I need to tighten up the ricochet gun. The built in bounce in Game Maker sucks. It makes the gun feel very random. I don’t really feel like I want that to be the case. Sure, some randomness will happen with a gun that has bouncy bullets, but at least the first bounce should be spot on and easier to calculate. I’ll have to look into how to make that work properly.
So, it’s still slowly coming together. The level unlocks are working as intended, as well as the level select menu, as far as I can tell. I’ll try to crank out something new tomorrow as well since I’ve kept it brief today. Tired. Busy day at my survival job.
Until next time.
Time Spent Today: ~1 hour
I didn’t quite have enough time to finish the new level select screen today. I have a good chunk of it functional, but it still needs quite a bit of work. It turns out that adding sub categories and 60 more levels can make things more complicated. Who knew!?
Not much time to update now. Food is waiting.
Soon…More thorough updates.
Time Spent Today: ~6 hours (+ ~2 hours)
*edit- did some more work on it after food and movie.
Today went better than expected. I got things done quicker, and I believe more efficiently than I originally expected.
I added a view of the scores on all levels that are unlocked on the level select screen. This was just something that I found I wanted after playing through the game a couple times.
I also added a current level display in the corner of each level that you’re currently playing. This will help people remember which level layouts that they like in case they wanted to play them again. For instance, level 9 has a really cool chain reaction with bombs. People may want to do that again just for the sweet sound that it makes.
So, that got done, as well as some strange bugs that I had with the timer. It’s coming together really well.
I think I’m going to either add a few new mechanics next, (power up zones, guns, or blocks), or I may just start the level iteration process for gun specific levels. Maing levels will probably be the most satisfying, but if I make new mechanics, I want to be able to include them in levels during the design process. I suppose adding them in later wouldn’t be that bad. I dunno.
I’m off until…probably Saturday morning. I’m getting psyched!
Time Spent Today: ~3 hours
Tonight was rough. What seemed like it should have been a simple undertaking, turned into a major ordeal. The way that Game Maker handles variables that call other variables is strange. If it is checking the variable, it works totally fine. If you try to modify the variable, it thinks that the object that is calling the script or variable within the variable is the parent object and since it’s not, errors out. It’s flippin’ weird. So I had to make a bunch of scripts to do what seems like a single script should have been able to do.
Also, this gun attribute screen that I’m messing with, had some random bugs that just kind of ironed themselves out after opening and looking at the scripts that were attached to it. It’s like it had the wrong scripts in memory or something and didn’t save the prior changes.
I had similar issues at work today, and it honestly has me quite stressed out. Near tears at points.
I also created a table to calculate a rough estimate of time it will take to defeat a level with certain blocks in it. This should make level creating a little less random and chaotic, requiring less level repeats to get it right. I plan on making lots of levels, so I think this tool will be very helpful.
I’m burnt out for tonight, and I may take a day or two off of game making stuff to do some soul searching and just chill out.
Until next time.
Time Spent Tonight: ~4 hours