It turns out Sir Sapo has emerged from the depths of the Blue Zoo, with a covertly coded basic vertical scrolling engine ala 1942 and roughly 50% of all games ever made.
So it's not original, but what the hell, it's a reasonably small-scale game project.
Sir Sapo no doubt has a detailed journal entry brewing for the engine, which he'll probably share after escaping survival training. If he still has use of his hands, that is.
He did give me the game file, so I'll share with you what I know, and some critiques on this version. Here's the first screenshots ever published, ever:
Wow. Look at that... wait, space is gray?.
An epic battle of Pixels vs. Eyes.
The carrier is the coolest thing there, probably because it was drawn by a pretty cool guy.
My job is basically to "come up with gameplay and stuff," as well as modestly improve Sir Sapo's programmer art, not that it isn't the pinnacle of awesome...
Part of my job is come up with a story, which at the scope we're looking at is little more than a premise. Why are you fighting enormous hordes of enemies? Because...
Because your carrier was destroyed while on mission in a "disputed zone," and you need to fight your way back to a friendly outpost since you don't have a FTL drive, or warp core, or whatever. Point is, you're SOL.
We're shooting for about 5-6 missions, maybe 5 minutes apiece. Yah, epic scope is not the goal here, making a complete game that is fairly enjoyable is. The first mission is going to be you launching from your carrier, escorting an AWACS trying to pick up enemy transmissions. When you get back, you find your carrier cut in half, leaving you all alone with your Wingman and the AWACS.
You then have a couple missions fighting standard enemies, the Archangelesk Dominion, a mission fighting space pirates in an asteroid field, a semi-final boss, then hopefully a super-neato choice between final missions, the details which are super secret. Or we haven't thought of them yet, either way.
Sir Sapo took it upon himself to create placeholder art, so for now I'm trying to take what he's made and make it, you know, 'fancy' and stuff. Later, we'll be cooperating in coming up with new units, but until then...
Improvement? You be the judge.
This is a "scout," which tries to track the player's x-position while firing. I actually don't know much about it, as it's not implemented in the version I got. Um, it's a work in progress. NOTE: For some reason, Firefox is blurring the crap out of the big versions for me, so sorry if it's doing it for you.
This is the "AWACS," your good buddy for the duration of the came. Basically, it provides the player with supplemental abilities, namely an EMP pulse that freezes all enemies, making them easy targets.
I was actually pretty impressed with how the original looked (Sir Sapo said he read 'my' book). I ended up just adding shading, for the most part.
This is a gunship, a more powerful enemy that for the time being tracks your movement with it's two main guns, making it a bitchin' hard enemy at the moment. What's interesting is that the best strategy is to maneuver directly in front of it, so you can shoot it point blank while being in the "dead zone" between the guns. Right now it's waaaay to hard for public consumption (it's a good rule in my experience that if something is hard for you, the average user is absolutely screwed.)
Well, we're rolling with vertical scroller, so there's not an incredible amount of innovation to be had. You can enemies come down from the top, and shoot. You can have enemies that come from the left or right. If you go crazy, they can even come up from the bottom! Okay there's stationary enemies, too, and ones that stay on screen until destroyed (mini-bosses).
Okay, so it's a little more complicated than that, does anybody have any suggestions for some cool (free) top down games online? Or any ideas for enemies? We're open to suggestions.
Next entry I'll have an illustrated extravaganza of possible enemies, so don't miss your chance to win fame and glory on the internets by giving us a good, perhaps even great, idea. Please?