Saturday 27 January 2018

Welcome To Space Year 2018 - Now With More Catgirls And FunBalls

We are so into the future, and it is only another 2 years until the Tokyo Olympics. I can't wait.

Soon ... (ish)

And so to the New Year, which began with great productivity (once the hangover wore off) and "Dry January" commenced. More on that later.

First up was going back over some old ground and changing things ... which to be honest, appears to be 90% of what consumes my development time. I had used a small number of open source/creative commons/CC0/CC-BY images. I ended up stripping these out and replacing them with custom imagery. The most used one was of a cat, which was changed to be a tiger.

I dropped the sole icon I was using from (a really useful resource) and replaced it with my own custom one. This had been for the "Tough Skin" powerup, which during playtesting I had thought was underpowered for a rare item and so doubled the amount of damage it stopped from 10 to 20 percent.

"Tough Skin" Rare Powerup, Now With Less Gauntlet And More Catgirl 

The overall layout of the player's interface/HUD went through another iteration, and a skull was added to the kill/gore gauge which fills up and changes colour until it completes level 4 and a Momento Mori is triggered. Upon this the player becomes invincible for 60 seconds and scoring multiplies by 8  (that's the old 4/8, death/wealth for the Far East), and all attacks now deal critical damage to enemies.

 Object which mounts to the player to signify that the Momento Mori has been activated, and they are now Shinigami, God of Death.

Kinda like this guy but you have to make your own atatatatatatatata sound

I also altered the textures for the Gradius style followers which can be picked up and upgraded via powerups, giving them each a little sheen which passes over them. They are little weapon platforms which follow the player around and increase firepower. I spent a while in the depths of C++ changing their start/stop movement to make them move much smoother than they had before.

I am most proud about getting this gif to loop seamlessly :P

One thing I noticed about collecting offensive and defensive powerups is that there could be a disconnect between the information displayed to the player and what the actual effect is. This is because special attack and defend abilities are triggered using an RNG. The more abilities the player has, the greater chance of an activation. However this doesn't mean that the last powerup will trigger next, so I changed that so that it always triggers on the next attack or defence - thus giving the player a clear idea of the ability of the object which they just picked up.

Collect "Magic Bullet" offensive powerup, immediately see it used on your next attack

And so onto FUNBALLS. If the esoteric words "RoR, /v/, Git Gud and Host When?" mean anything to you, then this should give an inclining as to what comes next.

This is a FunBall. You can tell it's a FunBall due to the word "FUN" written on it and it's murderous grin 

FunBalls are fun - okay, they're not really, they're bombs which some enemies will drop. I also intend to create an unlockable challenge mode when everything will drop FunBalls upon death.

I am using a slightly basic collision and physics system (hello rigidBody) for speed and convenience. FunBalls didn't look very good as standard objects due to sudden rotation changes when they bounced. To combat this I made the object a billboard so that it always faces the camera and used a scrolling texture to give the illusion of smooth, spinning movement. I then created four variations, leaving one central and rotating the others (off-left, off-right and upside down) so that when a number of FunBalls burst from a deceased enemy, they have plenty of variation but the player can always see the grin at some angle.

FunBalls in action! Audio has since been changed.

And upon all of this, there have been numerous little tweaks and changes to how things work, as well as much planning on the data of enemy types as the levels progress (though everyone is still a placeholder cube right now).

Did I mention "Dry January"? My performance at darts really suffered so halfway through the month this kinda happened ... 

Next up, more sorting out data and attack types for enemies, and some considerable reading up on this new fangled thing called PBR.