Thursday, 28 December 2017

Final Touches...?

Most people who played the game weren't aware of the goals of the game when initially playing it. And most people won't play the tutorial before giving the game a go either. So I've added these explicit goal hints to some of the levels. It's a flag that I set in the editor for each level, and at the moment the game displays a message in English only, with the number of stars the user has to pick up and the number of spacemen, robots, aliens that need a ride. Then after three or so seconds it fades away.

I've also tweaked the end-of-level screen with some colours, green for success, red for failure and added the number of attempts so far.

And finally I've fixed a bunch of issues in the tutorial, to make it even usable. The engine is switched off right until the end, so the rocket doesn't go flying about before the user reads the whole thing, the order of the messages was changed, and a few other issues.

Now I'm working on submitting a version to iTunes Connect... Is this the final corner?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Finally the Arrow!

If there's one thing that all the 3 people who've ever played this game have asked for, it's an arrow pointing to where they should go next.

The phone's screen is a small window into a "vast" universe. You've just loaded a passenger and he told you which planet he wants to go to, but you have no idea of where that is. So from now on, in Easy and Medium difficulty levels, you'll see a yellow arrow bouncing in the direction of the destination planet. On Medium, the arrow is only there for 3 seconds.


I've also changed the menu background from a 3 layer parallax of some really wide images of stars to a particle emitter and some nebulae images. It has a clean synthetic look, and the stars move individually and more fluidly.

Before / After

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Taking my mind off the business plan...

... I've made a game poster and launch image! :D

It was mostly created using assets from the game and some hand warped text, all in Affinity Designer – great app! Object manipulation is so direct and you get instant feedback that you feel so much more in control.

I call it retro-naīve-pulp-scifi style. Obviously inspired by comic books from the 1940's.

* I'm a developer, not a designer.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Oh no, I'm adding Power Ups

Just when you thought the game was near ready, I decided to have a go with adding Power Ups, maybe even the kind of gems you can get with in-app purchases.

So far I only have three in-game buttons with ammo counts on them, and when they're empty, they slide away.

At the moment they don't do anything other than count down and slide away. But here's what I want to do with them:

- Top one should buy you some time to finish your level. Maybe 10 to 20 seconds.
- Middle one hits all enemies on screen with a blast. I guess that will be for UFOs only. Maybe it switches off blackholes, comets, sunflares for a while too.
- The one at the bottom turns on protection against lasers and collisions for a little while.

Configure that Rocket!

One idea I've had for a long time is to be able to configure the rocket by tuning variables like power, steering, weight and strength. That's just what I've done with this first version of the Rocket Configurator. You get to it from the Play screen:

Power is obvious. Steering effectively gives it more powerful steering jets, turning the ship more quickly. Weight makes the rocket lighter and direction changes easier. Strength is how well it handles collisions with rocks and planets.

The player can't max out all four variables. If each variable has a range of 0..1, the sum of all can only go up to 2 and the default is [0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5].

It would possibly, maybe, be cool to have this configurator on the Apple watch and be able to change it at any time. But that's a stretch goal.