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Saturday, 24 November 2018

Games development update 24/11/2018

I made quite a bit of progress on the game this week. All of the required elements are in, aside from one enemy type and some power ups, and I've started working on the difficulty curve and level scaling. 

The game now has all ten bosses in place, and these have a different number of companions each level to protect them up to level 5 at the moment. I've also added an extra life counter that triggers every 20,000 points and a corresponding effect to go with it.

In relation to the YouTube channel and the live streams, I decided to wipe out all of the "tutorial" type videos. This is because I wasn't happy with them. I felt that I started well, but as the game got more complex I started to find it harder to explain what I was doing. So, I've decided that from now on the stream will be simply a gamedev live stream and I'll upload weekly dev-vlogs to YouTube and share them on here to go along with these little text updates. 

The first one is a bit rushed, but here it is:

That's it for this week. I'll be back with some more updates soon!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Games development update 17/11/2018

It's only a text update for this week as I'm going to start doing something a little different with the live streams next week.

The idea behind the live streams was to record each one and share it to YouTube as a development diary. Unfortunately, I think that this idea isn't great as it means people have to sit through an up to 2 hour long video every day to see what I've been doing. So, I've decided to condense the live streams down into a weekly "dev vlog" that I'll upload to YouTube every Saturday staring next week.

This week I spent some time redesigning the sprites for enemies, player and bosses. I wanted to move away from the Master System-ish look that the game had previously and more towards an 80's arcade style look.It still requires a bit of work, but it's getting there.

The game now has three properly working levels with the game getting progressively more difficult through each one. The idea is to include 10 levels with a boss at the end of nine of them until you reach the "super boss" on the final stage. The enemy spawn rate still requires some tuning to keep the game engaging without letting the difficulty get too hard on the earlier stages.

I started working on the ground levels, but I've not found an elegant way of incorporating them into the level design yet, so they've been shelved for the moment. The code is in the game, but there's nothing to trigger them just yet.

Okay, so that's it for this week. Now I'm off to play Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Games development update 10/11/2018

There are no video dev diaries for this week as I wasn't really able to spend much time on Twitch. I did, however, manage to do some development on BlasterMax and here's this weeks update:

Boss sprite being created
The game now has three bosses with different behavior for each one. The first boss moves left and right while firing at the player, the second boss moves and fires the same as the first but creates a shield between itself and the player to prevent you from shooting it, and the third has the same movement but is backed up by two circular enemies that take turns attacking the player. All three bosses currently have the same sprite, but I'm working on making each one look different.

I've now got the level progression working properly, with the game starting with the red enemies on level 1, red and blue on level 2 and red, blue and yellow on level 3. There are also a UFO enemy and a bomber enemy that appear randomly starting from level 2.

I want to add more sound effects to the game so that different enemies have a different sound when shot. This is a fairly easy process to complete and I'll probably get onto sorting this out next week.

I also want to add some ground levels at some point. This is only an idea at this point, so it's not a definite addition yet, but I've laid out some ideas for ground based enemies, tanks and gun turrets, that I can look at including on later levels.

The schedule for next week is to do three games development live streams on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These will be at the usual time of 1pm until 3pm UK time. I may also look to add some evening streams, as I've now got a desk mic that allows me to stream while not wearing my headset, so I can now hear if I'm needed elsewhere. The only drawback of the desk mic is my mechanical keyboard is quite loud and it sounds like it's feeding off the suffering of human souls when I type, so I may have to look at getting a quieter keyboard.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Games development update 03/11/2018

I started the games development live stream last week with the aim being to run it like a tutorial series for newcomers to learn the basics of making 2d retro games in Game Maker Studio using GML. It's going well, but I don't think I'm very good at explaining things properly, so I'm going to change the format slightly by still steaming development and trying to talk through the process, so people can follow along, but without the added pressure of trying to pace it like a tutorial. This is mainly because I'm finding it a bit hard to be on camera, coding and talking about what I'm doing all at the same time, and also because I'm probably skipping over stuff and making it a bit hard for beginners to follow.

So, what's the current state of the game so far? Well, I've compiled a playlist of all of this weeks dev streams that takes you through the processes of starting with a blank canvas and getting things working. The game currently has one proper stage with a boss that spawns at the end of that stage.

Level 1 boss
On the first level the player has to destroy 10 enemies, not counting asteroids, and that triggers the boss encounter to end the level. After that the kill total rises by 5 each level until the player hits level 10 where the final boss appears. Once the final boss is defeated the game will end.

My biggest priority at the moment is getting all the enemies and bosses built and moving around, then I'm going to get to work on the level progression so that the game gets slightly more difficult each level. I basically want to add a modifier to the enemy speed variable that increases by a small amount each level. I'll get on with this when I'm back on stream on Monday.