Eye in the sky

This week we refactored the flight control system. Heading and velocities are now independent components, allowing us to create entities that rotate and move, like our ship; entities that move but don’t rotate, like… railgun slugs? And entities that rotate but don’t move, like unmanned turrets. We created the later to test our new systems.

They are able to detect nearby targets in range, choose the closest one (AI is just the simplest), set a desired heading so their barrel faces towards the target and rotate:

They don’t shoot, yet. That will depend on the mounted weapon. Firing an energy weapon will require keeping an eye on heat while ballistic/kinetic weapons  require managing ammo and reloading times. We’ll get there.

Fun fact: we can create elite-like gimbal-mounted weapons by simply attaching a turret to our ship and telling what to look for. This one is targeting the planetoid:

mounted turret
R2D2 with a big weapon

 

Furthermore… by separating the current input control system into heading (rotation) and velocity (thrust & strafe) we could easily get manned turrets! And we would be a step closer to this:

Great, kid! Don’t get cocky

 

Across the Universe

Here’s an early prototype of a space flight game we would like to turn into a proper game someday. Plus, it’s also our Christmas and New Year postcard this year! So Happy 2017!

So far we are already able to turn the spaceship with a mouse, accelerate (W), brake (S), strafe left (A) and right (D), fly upwards (Space) and downwards (Left Ctrl) and roll left (Q) and right (E). Yup, it works like a FPS!  We can also shoot our lasers (Left mouse button) and a tractor beam (Right mouse button). We’ll add gamepad control at some point.

Behind the curtains we are also toying with an Entity Component System (ECS) architectural pattern on Unity, and so far we have a good feeling about it. Those gifts swarming around the Christmas tree are nothing but pure data!

Plenty of work ahead and surely lots of fun. And headaches. But that’s what game development is about: solving problems to create fun!

 

Tidying the house up!

2015 was quite an interesting year! We met new people and completed lots of game-related contract jobs, which is our main goal as freelancer game developers. We certainly grew up professionally, finally embracing Trello to organize projects and Toggl to track time. We are quite happy with our workflow now!

Unfortunately, we had not much time left for our own titles. We will try to set some working hours for our own games from now on.

Updating both Slider and Oddy Smog’s Misadventure on iOS and Android has been the first step towards a tidier house. iOS versions were lagging behind, never updated to 64b, which was required by Apply a while ago. This week the update process was completed!

Oddy Smog’s Misadventure now includes a new cog and some minor bug fixes. Choose your flavor! Here are the free versions for Android and iOS.

Slider has been revamped with a new Advanced Mode for seasoned players. When reaching 25.000 points this new mode allows them to play directly in the hardest difficulty, skipping early levels. Plus, it includes two new enemies that will make things more interesting. Get it here!

We also updated some backend code to improve how leaderboards are shown and created some tools for self cross-promotion.

And sure, we should publish Rejuice! on iOS and a remake of Sound Juggler at some point, but not now.

The house is tidy enough, let’s move forward!

Slider [iOS, Android]

Three seconds until the shell blows your hull. Six enemies on the Grid, some protected by shields, one charged with energy and about to blow up.

Two seconds. An item that increases the score multiplier appears. If the Pulse reaches the charged enemy the chain reaction will clear the grid, but you won’t survive this time. Quick, think!

One second. You set your path, a bit convoluted, but it will do, and your ship leaps forward, just a few milliseconds away from death. It slides through the Grid, through your enemies, through the powerup. Your score increases and you break your record.

More entities appear, one shoots a homing missile. Three seconds until it blows your hull…

Available for iOS and Android (free & paid versions)