March 25, 2012
We’ve reached a bit of a milestone this week – the tenth post in this series of weekly updates. That means I’m at roughly the 2.5 month mark. Of course I’ve spent considerably more time than that prototyping and working on pre-production elements. Still, I guess it means I’m about 25% of the way through the project.
Since changing tack slightly last week, here what’s been accomplished.
+ Implemented the inventory selection logic (explained below)
+ Implemented walls and explosives
+ Made good progress with level 1 of the demo
This week I’ve been building the first level of the game. Actually, It may not end up being the first level of the final game but it’s certainly the first level of my 5 level gameplay slice. If you missed last weeks post, I’ve essentially decided to build a short 5 level demo of the game (in order to test gameplay mechanics and hopefully show off some gameplay).
Side-lining the level editor is already paying dividends. It’s forced me to implement a few new tile types – the wall and the explosives.
The wall is primarily there to limit player choice (when trying to create a path), forcing them to think a little deeper about the solution. Currently nothing can destroy a wall tile, although I may experiment with this a little.
The explosive tile is a key component to the game since it mitigates some of the elements of luck within the gameplay. The tile queue serves up a new random tile each turn which can be placed anywhere in the level. In order to avoid a situation where you fill the grid with useless tiles, you’ll have access to explosives. These special tiles allow you to destroy any tiles on the grid that you have placed. Of course they’re a bit of a commodity so you’ll want to use them sparingly.
I’ve also focussed a little more on the player inventory. Primarily I’ve been trying to get the controls right. I don’t want to fill the interface with hundreds of buttons so I’m trying to create the right flow for the RPG elements.
Tapping a space in the level places the current tile from the queue. Tapping the inventory allows you to select a tile from your inventory (The game doesn’t have traditional loot such as swords and armour. Tiles are the games valuable items). You tap a tile in your inventory to select it which then closes the inventory. Your next tap will place this tile in a space in the level. Subsequent taps will revert to using tiles from the queue. I can think of a couple of scenarios that still need thought…
- You need to be able to cancel your selection (I’m currently thinking a tap on the next tile in the queue).
- The player will need to be reminded of which tile they have selected from the inventory. The simplest way I can think to achieve this is to temporarily replace the next tile in the queue.
- The player will have to constantly open and close the inventory if they want to place lots of the same tile from their own stash.
The next step is to complete the first level. I still need a few more things to achieve this…
- I need to work on the character models (I have a plan for this)
- I need to get the NPC speech graphics in place
- I need to implement end tile logic
- I need to implement player persistence
- I need to implement the experience point mechanics
Then it’s on to level 2 which involves a whole new tileset (I’m planning a good amount of location variety in the final game so that things don’t get stale visually). I’ll also be implementing the quest logic.
Level 3 will see a new sub-location concept (which I still need to experiment with).
Levels 4 & 5 are reserved for experimenting with quest mechanics and new tiles.
Remember this is a mini-slice of the game so that I can test concepts and present some kind of demo. The final game will have many, many more levels and tricks up its sleeve ;)
Stuff I liked this week
I thought I’d add a new section to these blog posts to share any interesting stuff I find. Here you go…
- http://space.angrybirds.com/launch/ – The Angry Birds Space website. Pretty nifty.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OLqk4aqpXlQ – The Portal 2 postmortem from this years GDC.
- http://www.sauropodstudio.com/dev-diary-number-five-redesigning-the-bricktron-character/ – Really enjoying the Castle Story dev diaries.
- http://www.design3.com/industry-insight – Loads of great game development interviews.
- http://www.indiegamemag.com/dont-get-me-started-on-the-penguins-tiy-talks-upcoming-space-epic-starbound/ – Starbound is looking great.
Until next time.