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Moving Forward

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Funny how things work. I mentioned in my entry yesterday that the current implementation of Disk Drive wasn't satisfactory to me. I decided to play my gam a lot more during the past day or so. I think I actually like it. I've also garnered some opinions from those who tried the prototype (listed in the GD Showcase) that said that the game implementation was fine as-is. I'm starting to agree with them.

I thought about it, and decided that I was going to move forward using the core gameplay as developed in the prototype. The rest of development will be fleshing out the core gameplay into something that could be considered a full game. The current plan is to basically do something like Meteos: different 'arenas' each with slightly different gameplay variables. For example, some arenas would have 4 rings instead of 3, or even 5. Some will have more than 8 holes per ring, or even less. The timer will funcion differently in different arenas, as will the orb spawn rate. Of course, first I had to implement a timer, as it's hard to envision gameplay without it.

A shot of the current gameplay interface. As you can see, it's very primitive. I'm very bad at art, so this is the best I can do until I have my associate in this project begin on the art. As I mentioned in the last journal, you rotate the three rings of orbs until you match orbs together. You can also click on the small ring just inside the three large rings at different intervals to switch orbs between the lines. You press the purple orb in the middle of the screen to destroy all matches on screen. Knowing how to switch different lines and rotate the rings to generate the most matches at once is the key to the gameplay. Trying to do so before time runs out is part of the dynamic, and makes it a real interesting game to play.

You'll notice a long green bar on top. This is the current timer. Basically, the timer counts down as the game progresses, and when it reaches 0, the game will end, as shown here:

You can increase the timer by destroying orbs. You'll also notice the level number listed in the bottom right corner. Like Tetris, this level will increase as you gain matches, and will ultimately speed up the respawning of orbs, and lowerthe amount of time gained by dstroying orbs. Also, the blue rectangle in the lower left corner allows you to spawn orbs at will, in order to generate new matches quickly without wasting time (think Tetris Attack). The catch, of course, is that the timer will move faster if the entire board is filled up, so you have to be sure you know wht you're doing.

There are some issues to resolve currently, but the game plys very well at this point. I look forward to seeing this game in a more complete state as the months pass by.

Code-wise, I'm gonna have to think of approaches to make it more modular. Right now, a lot of stuff is hardcoded, but I can't leave it like that. I figured I'll have to decide how I want to modularize the code now while the codebase is still small. Let's hope the refactoring succeeds.

Anyway, I implore you to make comments on the gameplay, tell me how I can make things deeper if possible. The current game works well, but I'm willing to change it if it makes the game more fun. It all depends on what happens. As of now, this is the current state of the game, and I hope to work on more tmorrow and report on my progress. Thanks for reading :)
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