Beatfense – Alpha 2

Three main features have been added this week:

– A targeting reticle: as Beatfense will be played mainly on touch devices, it’s important to be able to seamlessly choose the Cell where you want to place an Item. So in a way similar to how Plants vs. Zombies does it, we show a cross-like reticle across the Grid. We may consider adding diagonals too…

– We have an abstract ‘Item’ object now. That is, something you are given (like Tetris pieces) and that you may place on a Cell of the Grid. For testing purposes, we have also created a random Repeater (Items that retransmit Pulse when activated) generator.

– We also decided to use a Singleton that handles and registers user interaction. This is specially useful to reduce messages between objects. Cells, for example, tell this User Interface object they are being clicked, so it stores their row and column. That way, cells will simply read this two values from the User Interface Singleton  while the mouse is being pressed. If their own row or column coincides with those stored in the User Interface Singleton, they will turn blue, shaping the targeting reticle.

Better watch it! You’ll see the reticle at the beginning, in Cyan. The ‘Next Item’ is shown on the top of the screen.  After a few Repeaters have been placed, the whole thing looks both chaotic and hypnotic! You may also notice that Repeaters can’t shoot twice during the same cycle. They have to wait for the next Pulse to be created, in order to avoid infinite loops.

We will reduce Repeater’s transmit directions to a predefined set. Choosing directions randomly increases gameplay and decision complexity: there are way too many combinations! Players must be able to learn the set of available Repeaters. That way they can create structures that require a certain Repeater, as we used to do in Tetris while waiting for the long piece.

We are also considering different layouts for the Grid: vertical? horizontal?  We’ll see!

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