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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Still Alive

Yes, I'm still alive, and yes, I'm still working on the game.  The past couple of months I've been feeling a bit burnt out, and just wanted to take a break.  So a friend and I decided to learn how to do networking in C#, by creating a multiplayer Asteroids game, in our free time.  The upside is that as a result, I can copy over the mechanisms into Beyond Beyaan.  We're still not done, there's a lot of stability issues (it crashes or corrupts some memory for some reason), but we're slowly getting there.  So once everything else are done for Beyond Beyaan (including AI), I'll start looking into adding multiplayer.  Here's a screenshot from that game:

Me vs Gold and Repulser Asteroids

I'm going to name it "Asteroids of Beyaan" since it uses the same artwork from Beyond Beyaan :)  I may put it up on Desura as well if there's enough interest.  What the game features:

Physics - Asteroids bounce off each other, unlike most asteroids game, making for a hectic mayhem.  The harder an asteroid impacts your ship, the more damage it deals to you.

Upgradeable ships (5 different ship sizes to choose from, with 18 different artwork per size, and various upgrades like rotation, acceleration, speed, shield, etc)

11 different types of asteroids, each with their distinctive color.  They are:
Gray - Your regular boring old asteroid.
Clumpy - Upon impact with each other, they clumps together to form a bigger asteroid.
Magnetic - When you draw close to this asteroid, it suddenly accelerates to your position due to magnetic attraction, very deadly
Explosive - Instead of splitting into smaller asteroids when destroyed, this generates a shockwave that damages everything nearby
Black - Same as Gray, but Black.  Why? Well, the background is black, so requires a sharp eye for this one.
Dense - Very dense meaning other asteroids bounce off it without affecting it much.  Also harder to destroy.
Gravitic - Pulls everything nearby towards it
Zippy - Low mass equals high velocity, they're speeding bullets bouncing off everywhere.  Watch out for them!
Repulser - Opposite of Gravitic, pushes everything away from it.
Phasing - This asteroid phases in/out of our dimension.  When phased out, doesn't interact physically with other asteroids.
Gold - Gives a lot moola for your troubles (you use money to buy upgrades)


Anyway, back on subject of Beyond Beyaan.  There were three main reasons why I was feeling burnt out.

First one is that Beyond Beyaan at its current state is simply not fun to play because it requires all components to be in place before it's playable and fun.  Hence my "break" in making an asteroids game.

Second, my family and I got sick a lot over the holidays, most of them minor colds, but enough to hinder my work.  I even got shingles :(

Third is the UI.  I've been trying to create the Planet Overview screen, trying to cram everything into 800x600, the minimum resolution that the game supports.  No matter what I do, it won't fit, or don't look good.  Finally. this week, I decided that I'll just make my life easier, and expand the min resolution to at least 1150 by 600 (any resolutions bigger than this will be supported).  This has helped me get back into the game.

Here's a preview of the planets view: