Category Archives: Game design

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.12

I suppose its that time of the fortnight already: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.12 [3.46MB] is released!
In this version:

  1. Two new weapon types for enemy; homing missiles and laser!
  2. Changes to the Tactical Display:
    1. Added a radar to show approaching enemies
    2. Added pop-up notifications to the side of the screen to display incidental info.
  3. Something of an overhaul in Campaign mode and the way the heuristics are applied. Every player has target planets that its fleets will go after, makin the fleets less individuals and hopefully making their movements a bit less erratic.
  4. You can now quit a level by pushing Escape two times, once to prime the hyperspace jump engines and a second time to actually start the countdown to the jump.
  5. And most importantly: added a bit of sparkle to the explosions.

“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>

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.11

For those who can count it comes as no surprise that Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.11 [3.45MB] is out!

In this version:

  1. New enemy type; Smatter. It multiplies.
  2. Some GUI changes in the Campaign mode:
    • radiobuttons to configure the display the size of planets, planet names and production level.
    • Smaller Back button, which takes you to the Campaign options page.
    • You can now choose up to 14 enemies in Campaign mode.
  3. Explosions can be configured (a bit) in the assets file.

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.10.5

Looks like sex is back on the menu boys! Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.10.5 [3.45MB] is out!

In this version:

  1. In Campaign mode you can now choose between 1-10 enemies. Oh yeah!
  2. A default wavepattern is now attached to the enemyships that don’t have one specified in Assets file. Now you can try out different enemy graphics with minimal effort.
  3. Re-factoring and general tweaking all around.

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.10

Apologies for keeping such a boring Blog these days, but it’s the big one o’. Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.10 [3.45MB]. You just have to ask how good is this going to get?

In this version:

  1. Added radar coverage to the Campaign mode. Now enemy planets are seen only when close enough. Because of my low OpenGL-fu this radar coverage is not shown on the map, I couldn’t get the drawing routine fast enough. (NOTE: I give myself no points for this, but it does defy certain boundaries of common sense.)
  2. The map in Campaign mode should be more tidy now, redundancys have been removed. Also planets that have a full production capacity are shown in brighter color, and the actual production capacity is shown for the planets where its not full.
  3. PNG-reading routine now reads and saves the actual color information, so trying out new kinds of enemy ships should be relatively easy.
  4. Other bits and pieces.

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.9.5

I hope you are not getting bored yet! The new version of Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.9.5 [3.45MB] is out! This one is a pretty heavily optimized version. That’s the good part of being an amateur, you can gain ridiculous amounts of improvement just by being lousy enough to begin with!

In this version:

  1. Heavy optimization in the drawing routine. This version should be a few times more efficient in drawing than previous versions.
    1. Moved from using triangles to drawing pixels and just use points and set their size accordingly.
    2. Reduced the number of glBegin() and glEnd calls.
  2. Fixed the PNG-reading routine, which should read any PNG-file without hiccups (assuming it has the right colors).
  3. Added a fuel component to Campaign mode. Now the player has a certain amount of fuel that limits to how far he can fly and replenishes at own planets only.

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.9

Only a day late. I hope no one passed out from holding their breath. Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.9 [3.45] Due to extensive demand, only one digital copy per person allowed!

In this version:

  1. Added a new special location to the Campaign mode which after a successful visit gives your production efficiency a boost.
  2. The heuristics for fleet movements in Campaign mode have been tweaked. E.g. planets with low production draw additional fleets to be converted into factories to boost their production.
  3. More Enemy appearances are now read from PNG-files as well as some wave-spesific attributes are read from assets-file. This means that everything is new and terrible again!

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.8

I suppose you suspected this: A new version of Goldwingu is out now! Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.8 (3.45MB).

In this version:

  1. Added a settings page for Campaign mode, where the number of enemy, neutral and own planets can be set.
  2. Added a new non-planetary location-type in Campaign mode. After successful visit it rewards the player with an upgrade.
  3. More awesomer explosions!

Release: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.7

They had to postpone apocalypse so that this version could be released! Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.7 (3.44MB). Get it before we run out of copies!

In this version:

  1. Number of changes to the Campaign mode:
    • Fleets colonizing planets now leave a small part of the fleet for guard duty.
    • Planets have a certain threshold for fleet strength that the fleets try to fulfill.
    • Fleets also try to merge together to form bigger fleets.
  2. Various other fixes for GUI, bugs, balancing and to the heuristics.

And with that, I’m taking a small Christmas break, the next version can be expected to be released on 11th of January 2013.