Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lander and Rockets and Mutants - Oh My!

I have some sort of action shooter going now. I have implemented a system to allow landers to find and abduct humans. They then rise up and when they get high enough they turn into mutants. If this sounds like Defender by Williams, that's because it's an exact copy of the gameplay dynamic. The reason I have done this is, is because I need a benchmark to create my final game from.

My game is about aliens attacking Earth and the player must stop them - so it made sense to me to emulate the gameplay from Defender to get the ball rolling. It represented various challenges from a coding point of view which I achieved.

I have mocked up a launch pad as the first mission finds the player attempting to protect the humans as they prepare to launch a rocket into space. I purchased some sci-fi buildings from and made my own Saturn V rocket in about 1 hour. The rocket will change later.

I forgot to record audio in the following clip, which are rips from Defender. The reason I'm doing this is to build an arcade soundscape and then at the end replace it with my sounds. Arcade game sounds used to be very simplistic but because of this, they were very carefully designed to give the player audio clues about the state of the game. I want to copy this idea. Here's a video of the action so far.

Video: BRAVE FGE TGE Integration

I have also begun my endeavours into speed paints. These are used to mock up a concept and the idea is to attempt to finish one in less that 3 hours. I grabbed a few tutorials off the net and came up with this image as my first ever speed paint. I will get better over time, but it allows me to visualise what the level is going to look like before actually modelling it.

It was a battle of wills when I started this. For some reason my Wacom tablet and Corel Photopaint don't like each other so when I released the pen it kept drawing. I got extremely pissed off and tried on my faster computer - still same laggy problem. So I switched over to GIMP which is pressure sensitive tolerant and managed to complete the image. Some of the shadows are dodgy and I need to add mood by recolouring, but this will do for now.

I have a map of the new level drawn up (will post when neater) which outlines how the mission will play out. Trucks will move missiles, shields, crew and refuel to depots. The player can use the missiles and shields, and the crew and fuel go to the rocket. Little men meet the trucks and do the loading and unloading. The aliens attempt to eat the humans, and if the player doesn't protect the army and depots they quickly run out of weapons and die. It's about resource management on an arcade scale. The player doesn't control it like Command and Conquer but it does play out like that.

So the player flys around shooting bad guys, and trying to keep as many humans alive to allow them proceed with their own mission. Should be a hoot! Next update I will hopeful upload a tech demo for every one to play.