Weekly Update #12 – Stability

Right, its been a few weeks so lets get straight to what’s been achieved?

+ New GUI elements
+ Reworked tile queue to buffer taps and keep animations in sync
+ Wrote two transitions – one for the end of a level (puzzle) and one for the transition to a level within a level (more on that another time)
+ Basic graphics for level-up screen
+ Changed the way an inventory tile works. It now remains active until you dismiss it (or it auto-dismisses if the tile quantity reaches zero)
+ Started to draft a tile crafting (sort of) mechanism. This may sound like a huge feature but its actually a potential solution to a gameplay problem
+ Coded 2 basic fail states and 1 win state
+ Added basic menus for restarting the level and returning to the map screen
+ Tapping the timer takes it immediately to zero and begins player movement. A second tap increases the player movement speed.

Honestly, I had intended to focus on the character levelling side of things but I ended up just working on a bunch of random, less exciting stuff. The past few weeks have mainly focussed around the stability of the core gameplay mechanics. Level 1 is getting to the point where its giving a good indication of the minute-to-minute gameplay. As a result, its throwing up some issues with gameplay flow. A good example is my original inventory implementation which allowed for the placement of a single item before returning to the queue. I’ve revisited this and the chosen inventory item now stays in play until cancelled.

This may not seem very important but its these gameplay details that heavily impact the quality of the final game. Its balancing the good with the bad. Keeping the inventory item in play adds complexity to the controls (something I’m trying hard to avoid) but on the positive side it decreases frustration (and multiple taps) during gameplay.

I said I’d share an image in each of these updates. Here’s one showing the aforementioned queue and inventory selection system.

I need a few more things before I can move on to level 2.

  • Player persistence – I’m currently thinking of using SQLite 3 for persistence.
  • Basic character levelling – For now i’ll just implement the experience points and levelling (sans rewards).

That’s about it I think. There are still plenty of secondary concepts that need implementing

  • Loot
  • Gold (or some form of in-game currency – I’m not talking about freemium, I just mean a system for purchasing in-game items – like in most roleplaying games)
  • Shops
  • Quests
  • Tile crafting (this will add an element of resource management to the game which could be quite interesting)

By then I expect to have a 5-level demo that showcases the majority of the games features. After that its back to the level editor, content creation, graphics, story, sounds, music, and really thinking about the special tile types.

No one said game development was easy :)

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