Thousander Club Update: May 7th

For this week’s Thousander Club update:

Game Hours: 262.25 (previous year) + 96.75 (current year) = 359 / 1000
Game Ideas: 616 (previous year) + 33 (current year) = 649 / 1000

Monday and Tuesday: I took the time to look through my code and figure out the best way to implement temporary invulnerability. It was great because Tuesday morning I spent about 30 minutes actually coding the feature. I did it simply by hiding and showing the sprite. Later I implemented a way to earn an extra ship every 10,000 points.

I also threw in a cheat that lets me immediately destroy all of the aliens in a wave at once, earning all of the points for the kills. It is a lot easier to test that I can earn an extra ship if I didn’t have to play through four levels every time.

Wednesday: I tweaked a few variables to see if I can improve the feeling of the game a bit. I’ll have to do more experimentation here. I also added some string to the yarn balls to make it more obvious what they are. I added a difficulty menu, which was tougher to do than I thought. I need to overhaul the menu code.

Thursday: Added the different difficulty settings. I may have to change what actually makes one setting different from another, but at least someone can choose something easier or harder if they want.

That night, I transferred the game to my laptop so I can show off the new features to the people at the local LUG. I found out that temporary invulnerability didn’t look right. It must have something to do with either the LCD display or the refresh rate or the fact that the laptop is dual core. Whatever was the cause, the ship was either completely hidden or completely visible during the temporary invulnerability state, so it was definitely wrong. After a quick change to the code, the ship slowly fades back into view when invulnerable. Not only does it work on all machines, it looks much cooler! A similar problem was occurring with the yarn balls. They didn’t seem to rotate properly, and the trailing strings didn’t seem to flow. Friday night I attempted to fix it by not updating the animations as often.

The good news is that people were starting to recognize the yarn balls as yarn balls. B-)

I did get a few of the same < title="Do You Listen to Feature Requests: Previous Post" href="https://www.gbgames.com/blog/?p=621">requests, such as power-ups and shielding. I didn’t think it made too much sense to have shielding, but I thought of something better and funnier: flying fish. Fish with pilot hats. They fly across the screen, and when they get hit, maybe you have to catch them to get a power-up.

Friday morning I experimented with rapid fire. I just increased the speed of the player’s shot to see how well it played. It made the levels much easier, but it also seemed to make it more responsive. When the kittens are near the top of the screen, it just takes longer to shoot them, and so the action seems really slow. I don’t think I can make it a permanent change, but I can see providing a rapid fire power-up. Now I have a new decision to make: is rapid fire a temporary power-up, or do you get to keep it until you lose a ship? I suppose if I make it last until you lose a ship, I would need some other power-ups in the game as well.

At this point, I’m starting to think that these features can always go into v2.0. I could spend another few months just getting all of these features working properly, but I could have released the game and gotten a lot more feedback in those months.

4 comments to Thousander Club Update: May 7th

  • time limited rapid fire. Make sure they see the time limit though.

    As far as the cheat… why not make it so that most of the aliens are killed, but a few left standing, so you can actually test the score reaching the number as normal. I mean you could get alot of points and your extra guy with that cheat key and yet, in a real game where people can’t cheat, maybe the extra ship doesn’t actually trigger? So this way if you do most except for a row or part of a row, you can actually test out the extra life quicker, and yet still have a good idea that it will work for people not using the cheat.

    BTW if they want powerups and a shield, give them powerups and a shield. Actually the shield should be a time-limited powerup as well. They shouldn’t normally get the shield, but if they get the powerup they get about 3-5 seconds of shield time.

    Keith

  • You won’t be making the first space invaders game with kittens in it. Have you played Die Die Galaxy (http://www13.ocn.ne.jp/~ba2deck/zoni/zoni_sono4.html)? Its pretty fun. The idea is to kill as many evil cats in one shot as possible, and you have very limited ammo. Windows only though, so you might not be able to check it out.

  • Keith: I’m actually implementing a powerup for rapid fire. I can generalize it to allow different powerups easily.

    Impossible: The screen shot looks great. I tried it in Wine, but I think it uses DirectX for graphics, which apparently aren’t well supported yet. I tried it on my laptop, which has Windows XP on it, though. I think I beat it. I don’t know. I got what looked like a bottle. Then it started over. Are there only four levels? It’s quick fun!

  • Yeah its a really quick game with 4 levels. It has some replayability when it comes to getting highscores, so I played through it a few times when it first came out.