I'm starting a reskin of the bowling game I was working on last year ( Working on a reskin of a game which isn't even live yet, that's weird ) tomorrow, the holidays are over so I've spent a good couple of hours this weekend working on X whilst I've still got time / energy.
Some minor things to start with... the credits have been updated slightly to reflect your input, there's a new section on the title screen called "Notes", which is basically just this blog repeated there. In an ideal world there would be a nice audio commentary but that would take an insane amount of bandwidth, so this is the next best thing ( Maybe a youTube clip with developers commentary at a later date ? )
It's a nice touch and isn't hard to do. It needs some love as I'm not a 100% happy with the presentation ( It's annoying that it's height > 2880 pixels, which means I can't cacheAsBitmap, which in turns means I can't use a gradient mask on it ), but I think it adds to the game overall.
Next up, the explosions are in their final state. Shoved into tilesheets and dropped onto the stage by directly adding the bitmap ( Rather than using a sprite or mc as a container for that bitmap ), which is a sweet tip that Pany posted here. They're animated by using scrollRect ( To just show a small "window" of the tilesheet ) and look pretty damn good. I've got to convert the player's explosion frames to a tilesheet ( It's painfully boring ), but I'm still mulling over exactly how to blow the player up, so that can be put on hold for a little while.
Along with doing the explosion tilesheets FireWorks was fired up and a lot of the existing final images were compressed as 8bit pngs, which dropped the filesize down a bit.
The homing missiles have been optimised too, seeing how no one flagged up any issues with them from the other build it wasn't really needed but it all helps.
Finally, the first baddie type is in. Nice and small "Flockers", which strangely enough are exactly the same as the Flockers in Orbs. Weird that.
They teleport in waves of 5 in a circle, and I'm pleased with them. I need to tweak triggering the player's shield if they teleport in on you, but aside from that they're pretty much done. Oh, the images are place holders before anyone asks.
( Also as I've stressed before over and over, the game play balance isn't done yet. So some levels you'll have cleared all the asteroids and just be sitting there waiting for the baddie waves to appear, other times all the waves will have been destroyed long before you manage to kill the remaining asteroids etc. ).
A good productive weekend for me, as you can see on the X Dev page.
Next up a bit of a tricky one, ideas are more than welcome. I need to allow the player to get power-ups one way or another.
My current thought is to just level up the power-up every level ( The power-ups will all max out at level 5 ), but I'm going to have 3 different types ( Spray, missiles and another one I've not quite sorted out in my head yet ). So how would the player pick which power-up to use ( The mouse wheel would be nice, but then Mac owners are left out in the cold ) ? I'm still in two minds about having a smart bomb, which means the space bar would be used for that.
My original thoughts were to have power-up icons dropped like in Polarity, and the player can shoot them to change the type before collecting them ( Think of the old 19xx shooters ). Perhaps that's the way to go, and just level up the weapon every, or every other, level.
I'm loathe to have a shop in there were you can buy upgrades to your power-ups. It's a lot of extra code and design, and will break the flow. This isn't a game of strategy and missions, it's pure score attack. Even with a shop, it would mean the baddies / asteroids dropping credits for the player to collect, and then there would still be the issue of being able to select the power-up you want to use.
The old style collecting tokens and then selecting a power-up from a list is out ( Nemesis and it's sequels ) because there just isn't the real estate on the screen for a list.
I need to play some old shooters and have a think, but really if you have any ideas please comment me up.