Beatfense: The beginning

As we said in the last post, this is a little project to be developed by one person in a couple of months. Because of that, it can’t be a gigant game!

This project (and this devlog) aims to show the development of a game from its concept to its publication in the App Store. Like our previous three games, it will be developed in Unity3 + C#, focusing on iOs devices.

Let’s see the concept:

Beatfense sketch, when it was BeatfenCe
Beatfense sketch, when it was BeatfenCe

While everything is shown in that sketch in a nice handwritten Spanish, the concept is quite simple. It’s some kind of Tetris (place random pieces in a grid) mixed with Tower Defense (the player must create a defensive structure against incoming enemies), all within a nice musical setting (the grid behaves like a sequencer). We have to prevent enemies from reaching the Core, the bottom row of the Grid.

At this point we are still not sure about the name:

  • BeatfenSe – Beat, because of rythm, and Defense, because of Tower Defense.
  • BeatfenCe – Some kind of fence made of sound… quite poetic. It was the original name.

So we have a Grid of a given size, not decided yet; a certain Pulse that is transmited by grid Cells and a set of random appearing Items that will react to the pulse in different ways. The Pulse does not harm enemies, it simply activates items (shaping some kind of power grid). The player will place Items on the Grid as they become available (as in Tetris pieces, one by one)

At first sight, we have to begin by implementing a grid that behaves like Conway’s Game of Life (that is, a cellular automaton) with some differences. There’s this pulse that is transmited from cell to cell; when a cell receives an incoming pulse, two things may happen:

  • The Cell is empty, so it forwards the Pulse to neighbouring cells.
  • The Cell contains an Item (e.g. a Repeater), which absorbs the Pulse and reacts to it.

And this is exactly what we have done in Alpha Build 1. The grid is already working: cells update with a certain frequency and forward incoming pulses properly. When the pulse dies, a new one is created in the Core. Repeaters are shown as cubes with little floating spheres that indicate the pulse transmission direction. The scene is not interactive, yet.

First test with a Unity scene exported to Flash

We tried exporting Rain,Sand,Stars as is, the whole game, but while it launches and runs there are many audio and graphical problems. Nevertheless, it doesn’t look SO bad, and we’ve already identified some issues (like materials using mobile/vertexlit turning to black)

Quite artsy, but audio is just broken.

So we choosed a simpler scene, and it works quite well! Try it! Blue particles will follow your cursor.

We still receive contract jobs that require Flash. Whenever technically possible we offer HTML5, but now that our favourite tool exports to Flash… well, many projects will become much easier to produce!

Just another tool in our belts!