It's been a slog to get to where we are now but we're finally starting to find our feet with content creation for the game. We now have some pretty strong deadlines to work to if we're going to get the game completed by our deadline of April/May this year.
As part of that we've decided to go back to weekly updates about our development progress and share some of the exciting new features were developing for future updates. In this update we're hoping to add at least 3 new areas to play through. Two will have new features while one will use some existing features in a new way!
Today I'm going to talk a bit about Billy the (robot) Bull and his own special level.
Originally the level was supposed to be a take on American Football. There would be some kind of "Space Ball" that the players could pass between them and a great big tackling robot would attack whichever player currently had the ball.
The first problem with this was the ball. Adding another networked physics object to the game made our brains freeze up, especially if it was to bounce and come to rest all in the same way on both machines. So we decided that the ball was a no go but we still really liked the idea that there would be some kind of chasing and cooperative play associated with that.
Secondly the whole tackler robot didn't really fit much into what we'd made so far. Luckily we hadn't gone so far to make any models or much code at this point so we decided to completely change it.Thinking about what kind of animal charges rhinos and bulls immediately came to mind. Bulls especially as they loosly fitted in with the farming in space theme we were going for. Next was the ball issue, we didn't want anything that could be misinterpreted either end of the game so instead came up with something which was even more fun.
Attention hats make noise and shine lights that annoy Billy the Bull and make him chase you until a) he can't see you anymore or b) your hat is turned off and your team mate's is turned on, at which point he'll chase your team mate instead!
You might be thinking: Why do you want Billy to chase you in the first place?
Billy is quite tough and will mow down pretty much anything in his path when he's annoyed. And to progress to the next area you'll need to destroy a series of power pylons that are powering a laser door. If you're clever and quick you'll be able to get Billy to charge at you, then move out of the way at the last moment so that he destroys a pilon rather than you! Keeping Billy on his toes and chasing both of you is the challenge and while it's not easy it is a lot of fun to play!
So that's Billy and his level, it still needs a bit of a polish but it's almost ready to be played.
Next week I'll be talking about Pies!
Don't forget to check out Space Farmers on Desura.