Game Mechanics

June 8, 2011

I have start off by saying: God I love Cocos2d! It’s been a breeze getting my mechanics up and running. I already have the gameplay pretty much done. See the screenshots below. For now I’m going to try and get this basic version done. All I have left to reach a good gameplay test point is collisions. The built in physics collisions are already working so projectiles can hit planets and alter their orbit. Just need to make it so planets will get destroyed after enough projectiles hit them or when they hit the Sun. Then the last real gameplay hurdle will be implementing the procedural level generation from some file.

Firing a Projectile

3 Projectiles in motion with another on the way

I’ve discussed the game mechanics with Karl (my @Mindsnacks developer friend) and he gave me some great ideas for how the weapons can work to make the gameplay more feasible. The main problem right now is that actually hitting targets with these tiny projectiles will be difficult and making the projectiles larger lessens the scale of the game scene. So we discuss some alternative projectile types. For instance what if each shot fired multiple projectiles like a shot gun?  Another idea I really liked was a laser weapons which shoots a beam in a straight line for a short duration to hit those pesky moving targets. Lastly I would like to implement some kind of explosive but that would not only require a good bit more work but also even more instruction to the player since there would have to be some way of detonating it. At the moment each projectile will have a limited lifetime after which it is removed from the scene.

I don’t know if I’ll get around to having planets create shrapnel upon destruction (except in the sun of course). It would be hard to implement and might make the game to easy if shrapnel is flying around everywhere. With appropriate balance (aka shrapnel lasts a very short time) it might work but I’ll save that till after a first play test.

All in all I feel like a have some good player interaction going. As the player drags out a projectile vector with a touch and drag gesture, the color of the shot source areas goes from blue to red and the vector line itself gets thicker (good old interpolation!). I’m anxious to put it on a device and see if having your finger in the way will be a serious problem when trying to hit targets.

Segue: my (future) boss hooked me up with developer access! I’m going to start downloading  XCode 4 tonight and upgrade once its done (its a huge file and we only have DSL sadly), hopefully it won’t break anything too seriously. Plus I can now easily put my game on a device…once I figure out how to use the credentials. Woot!

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