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My potential entry into the Week of Awesome II
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So the further I get into this the more I am convinced that you can make a game with a dedicated week of work. However I am becoming less and less convinced that 3-4 days is sufficient - which is about the time I've invested in this so far. I just haven't been putting the time on the project I had originally planned for (no excuses, just the facts).
So, my project is currently at approximately the state I had hoped to reach on Thursday, leaving Friday for actually making it a game, Saturday for graphics and sounds type stuff as well as game parameter tweaks from play testing, and Sunday for polish like verifying installation links, title screen / score screen stuff, etc.
But alas ... now I am just hoping Sunday is enough to do Friday's work and make it a game somehow.
I've attached the current zip file if you want to have 2 minutes of entertainment zooming around "space" (aka the North Pole?). It is an XNA game (using the 4.0 refresh version, so you will need the XNA redist installed if you don't have it or the dev tools):
If you have the redist installed and it doesn't run, please let me know with a comment, thanks.
Oh yeah, in case you care ... the thing at the top (the BossWingus - one of Santa's minions) is spawning Scribs (little fliers) which are trying to capture the Heartupiguses ... which you want to save (by flying over them), and then protect (by intercepting the Scribs). There is no score, winning or any such right now ... just flying / intercepting and loosing your 3 scribs ...
The arrow keys are the only controls that matter right now.
And the camera is in "follow" mode, which was how I was going to do things when it was a top-down flier ... but now it should be in a fixed position for the fixed map mode I have now ... its on the todo list.
After loosing an hour yesterday to camera issues, which turned out to be caused by an accidental local variable declaration hiding the desired member variable I am reminded of just how slow coding can actually be, no matter how well your creativity is flowing.
So anyway, here's my extremely underwhelming screen shot of my totally unrevealing current state of the "game".
Those things at the top are Scribs, Santa's bat like fliers. In the middle is the player "ship" (haven't decided if its a toy jet or what. And at the bottom are the Heartupiguses. In this phase (likely the only one I'll "finish") .. the player is trying to save the Heartupiguses. The idea is simple, you "free" them by flying past/over them, and then they follow you at the bottom of the screen. While Scribs show up and try to stop them from escaping. Your main goal is to intercept each Scrib before they can recapture a Heartupigus. The Heartupigus being 1 of the forms the "toys" have before being entrapped by Santa Claus' evil magic.
If the screen shot doesn't look like much yet, well ... that's cause it isn't ... oh the miles to go before I sleep.
So, because me and my game dev friend had been working on some tech related to top-down view games over the weekend ... when the WoA II announced their "topic" I was influenced to focus on ideas for top-down action games (the vision I had been using while working on the weekend was Time Pilot 84 style action).
So the topic was revealed on Monday - "The Toys are Alive" ...
Which got my creative juices flowing, but initially not in an action game sort of way ... but after a few minutes I honed in on my first idea with legs:
The toys are alive, but enslaved - and most people don't know it. Santa Claus is EVIL!!! More specifically an evil mage. Even more specifically Santa Claus was originally St. Nicholas, which everyone knows. However everyone didn't know that he was a mage from a dark and vicious order - bent on controlling the world - and enslaving the toys.
In the fourth century AD the toys aligned with St. Basil sought freedom, but St. Nicholas and his order defeated and ensorceled them. As a side note - St. Basil's Cathedral stands as the only remaining hallowed ground built by the toys. (that might be a setting for the third installment of the game series ...)
Rasputin was the third most powerful mage ever (after St. Nicholas and Count Dracula) and eventually sought to take over control of the order by draining the life energy from humans (previous mages has used toys or animals as familiars ... only Rasputin had broken the sacred vows not to draw magical energies from Human hosts) ... so St. Nicholas sent members of the order to kill Rasputin, but they failed, until finally St. Nicholas had to go personally - fighting Rasputin in an epic mage battle ... but at a heavy cost to himself. After the battle he fled to the arctic with his remaining army of elves to set up a base of operations out of reach of the Russians, rebuilding his power while the world descended into World War I, he also changed his name and appearance in an attempt to avoid retribution for some of his past crimes.
Look at these images if you never noticed the similarities between them:
The game's point is simple. Lead an assault on Santa Clause's north pole base to free the enslaved toys.
BTW. The 3 "planned" games are:
Episode 1. The North Pole - (where the player learns that St. Nicholas is the most powerful evil mage in history and frees the toys from his evil machinations). the game involves using toys to defeat a magical army including Santa's elves and eventually himself.
Episode 2. China - Where the player learns that chairman Mao was Santa Claus' apprentice and leads an assault on the major toy production companies and factories in China to free the toys (again)
Episode 3. Russia - Where the player learns that the order has not gone quietly into defeat and has built an army to assault the toys in their place of power (St. Basil's Cathedral) ... this episode is a game of defense as the toys are assaulted by the army of the dark order.
Now if only I had an army of programmers, artists and sound engineer's to build this game in a week.
Just for those who don't know ... this journal is created specifically to hold my experiences related to the gamedev Week of Awesome II (although I may post after the week, if it relates to that project).
Here are 2 links if you don't know what the Week of Awesome II is:
INFO - https://www.gamedev.net/topic/660249-the-week-of-awesome-ii-the-second-annual-unofficial-gamedev-competition/
PARTICIPANTS - https://www.gamedev.net/topic/661224-the-week-of-awesome-ii-the-competition-thread/
The funny thing is, I'm not sure I'll actually find the time to build and submit an entry. But my long-time development friend is doing one and since I started talking with him about it and working with some basic background tech before hand with him I though I would at least try to see what I could do myself.