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Taking stock (and chewing bubble gum)

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...and I'm all out of bubble gum.

Last time I said my plan was to fix a few things, then take stock and see where I'm at -- hence, this journal entry.

I fixed the visual issue I had on the button, where it would fade instead of starting directly at the correct graphic when opening the shop. The fix was to just set the fade duration to 0 except for when I wanted a fade duration.

Object pools were also added, for currency, projectiles and enemies. In the process I lost the ability to spawn different types of enemy, but since I only have 1 for now that's fine. If I add more enemies, I have a plan for getting that functionality in again, fairly trivial.

Restarting the level was a bit more finicky than I had anticipated. Since I have several systems and scripts that communicate/are aware of each other's existence, I had to shuffle things around to make more sense.

It ended up working nicely, with my setup being multiple scenes, and unloading/reloading the gameplay/level scene in order to restart it. It didn't take a lot of time, but there was more Unity fiddling here than a lot of the other things I've implemented.

Sooooo... taking stock! I figured a decent starting point would be simply copying my initial scoping bullet points, and comment them as I go along. Here we go!

  • Intro and outro "cutscenes" (very simple).

    • Nothing done here yet. I'm still wanting something for the intro... Outro might not be all that important (since I have no end-point as it currently stands), but my intro plan I still like.

    • Animated characters (player & enemies). Likely horrible and/or clip-art, 2D. Potentially replaced with bought (3D?) assets as development continues.

      • Not yet animated, but player & enemies are in. Horrible graphics also included (very prominently).

      • Scrolling scenery.

        • Check. Might want to upgrade this slightly with some more layers/parallax effect.

        • Collision detection.

          • Check. Enemies are hit by projectiles and player. Enemies and projectiles also intersect level boundary and die.

          • Simple enemy AI.

            • Check, although too simple. Currently they just move straight ahead. Not sure what I want to do here... make them shoot? Make them go adjust their direction after a certain amount of time?

            • Multiple weapon behaviors (ballistic movement, homing, line-of-sight).

              • Currently only 1 projectile type, the "straight ahead" bullet.

              • HUD/GUI for various bits and pieces (tracking game progress, health, currency, upgrade shop, etc). Text, icons, buttons.

                • Most of this is up and running. If more is needed for more functionality, the UI part is the simple part.

                • Player/weapon stats, affected by upgrades.

                  • Partly. There is a shop, and you can buy some upgrades. Can't currently buy new weapons/projectiles, because they don't exist.

                  • Save/load (with support for multiple profiles).

                    • Nope. Will most likely scrap this.

                    • Simple input system.

                      • Check.

                      • Deploy mainly to PC during development, mobile (Android) near completion.

                        • Currently deploys to PC. Might try Android deployment just to see how painful it is with such a simple project.

                        • Enemy spawn system/ruleset. Possibly some sort of wave editor if needed.

                          • Very simple spawning included, but not robust/good enough by far. Unsure how I want this to behave. No wave editor.

                          • Various effects (sounds, music, particles, etc.).

                            • No work done here yet.

                              All in all, it feels like I've done quite a lot of what I set out to do in terms of systems and mechanics. There's a few things missing and needing more work (different weapons, better/more interesting enemy behavior, etc.), but the systems side of things feel fairly solid.

                              What does not feel good at all, though, is the art side and the actual gameplay side of things. Art-wise, I could try to whip up some slightly better textures (still horrible), and at least make them animate a bit.

                              When it comes to gameplay, I'm not sure... my main objective with this project was to get a better grasp of Unity. I could invest a large chunk of time trying to improve the gameplay, which for a lot of this will mean tweaking values and such, or I could invest that time into new systems/mechanics instead.

                              I'm a bit torn here on what to do.

                              What does the keen reader suggest/think?

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