“Put the Wine Glass Down and Tell Us Something”

Happy half-birthday to everyone! To break the monotony of endless and boring release notifications I thought I’d share a little something about what I’ve been doing lately.

As all of you well know I have been very keen on the idea of the Tactical Display (TD) in Goldwingu even though I haven’t yet done much anything with it. This week I have concentrated on realizing the potential behind it. My problems have so far been two-fold; what to present to the player through TD and how to present it.

Of course in a game the answer to the “what” should be something relevant to the game and its purpose. I have thought about replacing bottom game GUI with TD to have a nice clean screen. This is a nice approach, but the score isn’t really part of the game world as such so in my mind it wouldn’t fit well as part of TD. This is a rather small problem. More of a problem has been what other info to include in to the TD. So far my answers are:

  1. A radar to show approaching enemies -> this requires some changes to the way levels are built at the moment, but I think a rather nice idea. This provided it makes sense for the player to view the info -> balancing of the levels becomes more important.
  2. Information about the condition and make of various components of the ship. -> changes to the way the player entity is built BUT would probably necessitate gameplay mechanics that would be meaningful e.g. broken components changing the way the ship functions, if you don’t have a working hyperdrive, you’re stuck here. Also and perhaps the ability to e.g. change warheads to your missiles, would anyone be interested in some cluster bömps?
  3. Information on various incidents. Let’s say Goldwingu announces that a jumpgate is forming, you fire up the TD to see that it’s a capital ship with two escort ships and it’s time to hope that your hyperdrive is fixed soon.

The answer to “how” has been more up to my technical abilities, which are still on a quite an amateur level. I’ve managed to come up with a working radar, which of course leaves much to desire, but I like the way it works. I’ve also added support for text messages jumping from the side of the screen which would be perfect for various announcements: “Jumpgate forming”, “Glamdring missiles have been deployed”.

Coming soon this Friday, you will see what the meaning of this all will be. And it will change everything you know about anything so far. </movieteaser guy>