Category Archives: Game design

New Version: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.4 (Codename Aatos)

The highly anticipated new version of Goldwingu is out: Goldwingu2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.4 (Codename Aatos) You have no chance to not download! Make your time!

Release notes snippage:

– Added menu-buttons for basic navigation in the start GUI.
– Added an options page were you can change key-bindings.
– Changed how explosions are handled.
– Fixed pausing to really pause the game (including internal timers for the game objects).

Day 4: New Version: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.3

Yet another day, yet another version: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.3

Snippage from the poorly written Release Notes:

– Medals now displayed at the top of the screen and listed after Game over.
– Tactical display shows Shield recharge rate and marks enemies that are one shot away from being reduced to their constituent particles.
– Players ships representation (sprite if you like) is now read from file (assets).
– Revised the short game help text as well as added a mention about the author.

Day 3: New Version: Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.2

The new version of Goldwingu 2: Episode 1; Means to End v.0.2 is now out. Get it while it’s still lukewarm!

Snippage from the Release Notes:

– Added the fundamentals of a tactical display. Currently shows just accuracy rating for the player.
– New enemy types appear first on the level, until a new enemy type is introduced.
– Slowest speed for player has been increased to 6 from 4, medium speed slowed down 14 from 16 and fastest speed slowed down from 32 to 30.
– Added medals (=achievements) for accuracy and another for clearing every enemy on a bonus level.

Day 2: Balancing and Rhythm

Now that I have (at least) solved my personally biggest gripe about Goldwingu, I’ll concentrate on something that is slightly more embarrassing from a game design point-of-view but slightly less embarrassing from a programmers point-of-view; balancing and rhythm.

As it stands now, Goldwingu has almost no rhythm to it. Balancing is purely just adding more stuff until the player or his machine croaks. The games needs to have rhythm to itself within a level and between levels. On the latter I’ve thought about adding a special level every 5 levels that really just offers a short breather and bonus points (and maybe a chance to calibrate your weapons).

Within a level I think the rhythm should be rising. It starts out slow and builds up, first slowly. On later levels the build up would reach absurd levels, dying down shortly before the end.  I wouldn’t put it past me that a level might contain a number of these build ups all within one bigger build up.  Done like this, the problem will seem almost trivial. I have a bad feeling this won’t be the case for real though. At least the order of the enemies (and shuffling of) will need thinking.

Balancing is, thanks to the many factors involved, slightly less trivial to solve. So far I’ve made the following choices:

  1. I made the first enemy and its bullets faster and more numerous.
  2. The difference between players ships speeds isn’t uneven. Currently the relative speeds are: 0.004, 0.016, 0.032. I just know I’ll get sleepless nights over this…

Part of the balancing is also the rewards, which includes the blessed explosions, plenty to tinker there. Also coming up are achievements or medals, which will provide a way to get better weaponry and equipment.

Day 0: Better Explosions!

I fire up Eclipse once again. Nothing has been gained so far and all my losses have only made me mad! But getting mad doesn’t mean you should lose your eye on the target. There is much to be done and multiplayer campaign mode is one of them but you have to start with essentials, better explosions.

When humans have a basic need for seeing that they make a difference in the world, the enjoyment a computer game can provide resides on its ability to give that feeling. When the most frequent form of interaction in your game is: push of a button -> the ship representing you emitting a bullet -> said bullet hitting an enemy -> explosion, it pays to make that interaction as rewarding as possible.

That means better explosions! Shit must get broken! This is what happens in the original Goldwingu, but it isn’t enough, it’s just random movement of the pixels that made up the enemy ship, there is no apparent force behind it. Better explosions should give you:

  1. An application of force (e.g. acceleration, perhaps affects on other entities)
  2. Awesome display of the color range from bright yellow to dark red.
  3. Badass sound effects.

Right now I’m concentrating on #1, with the others following in that order.

Birth of a Game Design Super Villain!

Assembly 2012 (Summer) Gamedev compo entries have now been published. I believe this makes me now a published game author…

EDIT: The votes are in, I came in last. Fools! You don’t know what you’re playing with, you don’t know what you have awakened! The Bane of awesome gameplay and top-notch audio-visual implementation shall soon devour your souls leaving only bare, quivering, well-entertained husk of a human being left!

Finnish Game Jam, Pt.2

Okay, the jam is almost over, our game is finished. Fire! To deadify! Your rivals! I am quite satisfied what our team of three accomplished in just 48 hours. We hadn’t met before and there was nothing ready before the jam. I felt it kind of unfortunate that I, almost immediately after the theme for the jam and the voluntary accomplishments were announced, came up with the game idea.

Unfortunate in the sense that in a happening like this, it might be a bit risky to hang yourself on an idea right-off-the-bat. Fortunately the idea carried us to the end. And stop reading this and try out the game!