Last time I told you that I was toying with the idea of implementing some diet RPG elements into the game and I’ve received very positive feedback every time I uttered these thoughts (although not at McDonald’s but that’s a whole different story). So I thought I get my hands dirty and right away and rip open again the patient fresh from surgery that is my game.
And since that’s a pretty big and critical task to implant some pounds of new mechanics without hurting all the other still healthy organs in it is a rather hairy task, I did what every one-person game developer and unlicensed basement surgeon does:
I wasn’t quite procrastinating but also not really doing some trailblazing programming but something in between, as my change notes reveal. I updated the sprites, rewrote some big portions of code and added new visual features entirely without adding much or anything at all to the core gameplay. I still got the samey old enemies and spawning behavior as in alpha 0.0.17 (and currently I am in alpha 0.0.22). But hey, what the game now lacks in new gameplay it really makes up in zazzy graphics! Here’s an excerpt of my change notes:
• New sprites based on 3D models instead of pixeled by hand
• Introduced customizable lens flare class
• Bigger sprites - yay!
• Player spawns particles when taking hits
• Visual & auditive feedback when low on health (smoke & beeper)
• Reworked particle system for enemy explosions
• Lens flares can obey to background parallax layers, although without occlusion support
• Completely rewrote background generation and parallax handling
• Introduced vignettes & other overlay effects
• New logo screen visuals and sound
• New title screen background
• Introduced 1920 × 1080 mode by default
• Game can be paused
• Groundwork for custom key bindings
Below you can see the evolution the graphics wen through so far from alpha 0.0.17…
So a lot went into improved graphics and memory optimization to fend off the looming RPG-implementation. Why? Because of this familiar situation: Malcolm in the Middle - Hal fixes kitchen light.
Essentially this means for me that I need to know how long the game will be in terms of stages, bosses, variety, etc.. This means I should come up with a good narrative framing or, even better, a backstory that carries the game yet makes the game design decisions seem natural and straight forward. It also means that I need to some practical stuff like designing and coding the GUI overlays for the leveling-up stuff (and you probably can guess how much I “enjoy” coding GUI stuff). I mean, it’s bearable but I already see heaps of changes for it on the horizon and haven’t had the nerve to put up with that and just dig in, plow through and fix bugs later. But soon there will be the day where I pick it up.
Speaking of trying to avoid the inevitable: I started with messing around with trixles for the mentioned UI overlays recently and we’ll see how it goes from there. Basically I am thinking of the GUI of “Skyrim” along with “Gradius” gets trapped in a blender and an chopped up, so here’s a little draft.
Because the gameplay didn’t change much at all I won’t be compiling and uploading a playable version for y’all. If some of you still want to play with the nice graphics as featured in the latest video, well, maybe I can be convinced to do it. But no request, no alpha.