Last week's development update blog ended up being a bit of a nightmare for several reasons:
- We had too much stuff to talk about, so it took hours to collate all of the information and write up. This also meant some bits and pieces had to be missed out.
- The blog was REALLY long, so we felt that people wouldn't want to read so much information at once.
- We were trying to write it from two different perspectives, which ended up reading badly and we then had to unify everything. But it was difficult to decide how to divide up each of the weekly updates.
So, from this point on we're taking a slightly different approach. This entire week we've been posting smaller, bite-sized blog posts about things that we feel are news worthy/interesting, and we're going to keep these weekly updates: A) Much shorter and B) Much more to the point / less personal.
Hopefully this'll make it easier for us to write about the stuff that's interesting, without it taking up our entire working week and you guys won't die of boredom reading them :)
So, as usual, here's a look at Defendy Rocket at the end of week #3:
Changes this week
- Dave went back and did a pass on some of the rockets. You can read about some of that process here: Designing (and redesigning) the rockets.
- We completely re-wrote the system we use to spawn the rocket waves. This ended up taking several days earlier this week and there was a lot of problems along the way that we needed to solve. The entire system is now also data driven by external spreadsheets, which is going to save us a LOT of time in the long run. You can also read about the design process of that system here: Design problems: Rocket Spawning.
- As part of the spawning overhaul, we also completely reworked the 'anticipation' system (the system that shows the rockets coming in from the back of the screen. It took several attempts (and we still have work ongoing with this), but it's now a lot more obvious what's coming in and what the shape of the wave will be.
- Dave spent a lot of time this week working on improving the music. You can get a taste of it in the video, above. We also iterated on the systems that drive the selection of each piece of music.
- We've added a system called 'intensity' which is basically how intense the difficulty of the game is at any point. This is hooked to both the music and gameplay systems. The idea is to increase the intensity as the player progresses through the game, spawning more difficult waves of rockets and having the music reflect this.
- We put a new difficulty system into the game. We plan to have three difficulty modes (Easy/Medium/Hard). The player will need to complete each mode to unlock the next one.
- We've now implemented a first pass ingame/pause menu (accessible by a small pause button in the corner of the screen). This lets the player resume the game, restart the current level and return to the main menu.
- We added some additional options to the debug menu to help us test system quicker, especially on mobile.
- We've spent some time working on the weakpoint systems for the mega rockets. This is still ongoing, but we're close to having all of the functionality implemented.
- The floor grid is now affected by the time dilation mechanic.
- We spent some time trying to solve the Unreal 4.8 'gif problem' (see last weeks update). Still no luck.
For next week we're hoping to address the following:
- A huge pass on the frontend / ingame UI.
- Finish up work on the spawning/anticipation system (we've got some issues to solve/tweaks to make).
- Finish up work on the mega rocket.
- Implement the shield/gameplay on the large rocket.
- Implement some better rocket waves, at least for easy mode.
- Start working on the new scoring system (finally).
- Re-work the colour scheme of the enemy rockets.