24 April 2016

Space Game Prototype

Hi Guys

Straight to playable game.

This ones been going through my head for a while now, Ive been wanting to do an on rails space sim similar to Star Fox 64 for a good couple of years, but never really got off the ground. Sorry about the lack of progress gifs to start with, the dev on this one was spread out over several months and started before I thought to start a blog

I decided to start from scratch again with a small mobile game, with only one axis of movement. I was never really able to get my head around 3d modelling so discovering MagicaVoxel really saved me (models in Gap it Bit 2.5d were created in it too). The models I did originally make where what kept me away from pushing on with this project.

For the controls I decided to do a fixed lane approach. similar to old arcade games (see Tempest and Zaxxon). Keeps the simplicity down, and makes it very easy to work with mobile controls.

With the shooting I created a model of the bolt in a way that I felt it should look. Added lighting to to it, and then particles on collision. I did have issues with the bolts over killing the enemies and granting additional score, This was due to using if (EnemyLife <= 0) rather than if (EnemyLife == 0). It meant that 2 rounds hitting at the same time, was able to run the death script twice.

Later on I felt that the bullet wasnt really what I was after, it was the right kind of idea but not all the way there. So it got changed to a small cube, with a collision box several orders on magnitude larger, with the texture set to Legacy/Self Illumn/Defuse. Then added a small particle trail, and it was bang on to what I was after. I also changed all the explosion particles to use the same. Light em up. The main lighting for the game was also changed to a low intensity setting and blue to get a better effect on the ship models.

I also ended up changing the lighting so it doesnt appear on the lanes, and they no longer cast shadows the lines between them isnt so dark.

Next up was some basic AI. First one I set up was a ship that follows you into your lane. Which I only put on the smaller ships. I also setup the movement so that an enemy ship couldnt move left into the side of you. I also set it up to have the same slight rotation/tilt that the player has when moving. I had to set it up to do an extra 5 deg over the player movement, as it was too subtle at the standard rate.

Next step on the AI was to get them shooting. Now we have 2 enemies that shot, and 2 that follow you. All 4 having a different combo of each setting.

All that was left before uploading the prototype is to enable the shield, and crank up the ship health a little to make it more enjoyable.

The prototype is available on itch.io to play in your browser or download to Android.
Let me know if you think I should keep developing it into a full fledged game.


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