I had hinted originally that I might need to drop out due to work-related issues, and as it turned out, I had grossly underestimated this issue. To put it in my boss' words: I'm currently doing 3 people's fulltime job (on a single of my projects). Professionally, I put more than 60h/week just to try to get on top of the most pressing issue. Add to this that I'm ALSO freelancing with a few of my clients...
But more importantly, health issues have been going from bad to worse, putting my in a position of constant nausea, headache, vertigo, etc. Sleep deprivation certainly won't help...
But I was looking forward to this year's competition after last year's, and I intend on delivering something even if its not as good as it should be. I already know I won't be able to work on this past Thursday evening, which WILL be my final delivery (eh...) so I had to settle for something simple.
Enough of that, it is called the Week of Awesome, so it's about time I put some 'awesome' back into this week!
"Death is useful".
Coming in, I knew the theme was a trap, at least for me. I've been toying with the ideas of pushing enemies to their death and turn them into gameplay objects for close to a year (as some might remember, my entry from last year allowed the player to permanently modify the gameplay beyond the player's death and I had originally planned to have a section dedicated to pushing obstacles off the board to turn them into helpful objects).
I figured a lot of people would go down that route, so I went with something simpler, knowing that time constraints would allow for something simplistic only.
The core of my idea is simple: the player stands on a platform which is slowly shrinking. Enemies fall from the sky. You need to push enemies to their death so that the platform grows a bit and allows you a bit more survival time. Ultimately, all fall to their doom, but the victor is he who survives the longest.
Simple mechanics, simple execution, just needs a ton of well-balanced elements to work well!
Of course, I have very little time, so we'll see how it turns out, and how much feedback I can implement.
Day 1 was very productive. I ended up figuring out the general concept and re-implement a camera system I had done barely a few weeks ago for another project. Since we are not allowed to re-use anything, I had to re-code everything from scratch, but the logic is pretty much the same overall (although a bit refactored given I knew what I was shooting for this time around).
I did the camera (there's no deadzone yet, but it looks allright), the player/controller input (still raw around the edges, but works so far) and the basic enemy.
So far, controller support is enabled (I used Logitech for testing, but I think it will map out differently on a X-box gamepad). Jumping and dashing (including charged-dashing) work currently, but have yet to be balanced.
On Day 2, I used the original enemy and created variations (the fast one, the tough one, the very tough one, etc.) and a simple spawner system so that all enemies don't start immediately on the board. I also added camera shakers for enemies based on their relative strength and allowed the platform to shrink/grow based on time and kills.
I briefly toyed with the idea of having the playfield rotate around various axis, but given the fixed-angle camera, I felt it introduced too much confusion and generally led the mobs to their death as opposed to providing a challenge. On the bright side, it DID emphasize the use of jumping, but I think I can come up with a mob type that does a better job (if jumping becomes a meaningful way of dodging these crazy teal/cyan enemies!).
There's no denying that the theme is a bit bland right now. The Death of others IS useful in that it furthers your own doom, but there's little more to it. My original goal was to do top-down design this time around, but my availability to this project is too limited to risk that at this point, and I'll have to work with what I've done this far.
There's still a bit of Day 2 left to work on this, but I believe my health will prevent me to add to this today.
Plan for the coming days:
Day 3 (Wednesday) - Art / Sound (if any) and further tweaks to the mobs. Also, if possible, setting the spawn order to something slightly more 'fixed' (tired of getting Purples right at the start given how tough they are, and getting 3 of them makes it very tough to play).
Day 4 (Thursday) - Packaging the build. Adding the splash screen, and UI implementation (quit button, score panel). Delivery.
Wish I had more time :(
The Game so far: