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A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left

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I'm most certain that this week has felt longer than it should have felt. On the plus side, we (as in Stardock) did release Sins of a Solar Empire; a game which, aside from the occasional pre-release testing and feedback, I had no part in developing. This fact does not deter Shacknews members from congratulating me on an "excellent game," though, despite my attempts to rectify the notion that I had any part in it. One particular user said:
Not only do you get an awesome 4x RTS, but you also keep Mittense employed, and ensure his continued addiction to crystal meth!
While another said:
Purchased. Take the family out mittense. (Congrats on the game btw)
Had I only known years ago that taking credit for a game's development was this easy, I would've started falsely pimping my name for various sure-fire hits years ago. On a more serious note, though, go buy Sins of a Solar Empire now so that I may pay off my student loans then pay for food for my scrawny self. Seriously. I'm 6' and 150lbs. Feel bad for that to the point where my student loans will magically disappear. Into thin air. Like the monetary debt equivalent to pixie dust. Or cocaine in a mob den.

This isn't begging so much as it is emotional blackmail.

Asplode! has seen a decent amount of development this week at the expense of sleep and, what is most likely more noticeable, my mental well being. When I originally envisioned the asplosion combo idea for the game, I had thought of it as a huge chain reaction of enemies where each enemy in the chain would set off its own explosion which would instantly kill any enemy in a certain radius -- an idea which I now realize I probably acquired from the audiovisually superb Every Extend Extra Extreme. What I realized after going through all the code setup for the necessary routines to execute this vision is that it would, almost entirely, defeat the purpose of the game I was actually in the process of developing. It would actively hurt the meth-inspired twitch gameplay to which I so dearly aspire to achieving. After careful spontaneously-occurring reconsideration I changed the combo system so that every pentabomb would set off an asplosion combo (and no other enemy could). The real point multipliers, then, would become exponentially higher (2^x) for every pentabomb in an asplosion combo. So if you happen to get a particularly high point enemy or two in a combo of four pentabombs, you're looking an 8x multiplier on top of whatever constant point multiplier you have as a player. Every enemy involved in a combo will also emit a shockwave to serve as a visual indication that they were part of a combo; I will enhance this later with some score-based text indicating the results of combo as well, I think.

Aside from the combo stuff, I've also implemented a basic score display along with tweaking a lot of the various particle effects. Here are this week's screens (with the last pair being the most recent):

And, finally, one of my absolute favorite game journalists, Chris Remo, has either left or been fired from his gig as Editor-In-Chief as Shacknews after his three year stint where the site has grown from a list of links and screenshots posted throughout the day to a very oft-updated site with a ton of resources, "heart", and original content. Over that time it has become my most-visited and most often read gaming site and his departure (in whatever form it took) from the site and, potentially, from game journalism as a whole is particularly saddening. So, here's to him. And, if nothing else, game journalism still has a beacon of hope in the ridiculously talented and personable Jeff Green.
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