Woohoo! First game is done! Download it here:
Yes, I shrunk the size from last time by deleting a bunch of textures I wasn’t using. Here are a few screenshots from this latest version to entice you to download it:
I’m mostly happy with how it turned out. I still like the concept, but the mechanics need a lot of tuning to be more fun. Mostly it consists of: shoot randomly and… watch the puzzle solve itself. It’s interesting from a programming and conceptual point of view, but I think much less fun for the gamer. It’s also not nearly as tactical as I was hoping. When the planets don’t move, it’s incredibly easy. When they do move, they move so fast that getting hits through is random and it becomes extremely difficult aside from spraying the field. If ammo were limited, this would be incredibly frustrating. With unlimited ammo, being tactical is pointless when you can just spray and pray.
I once read that when making games, there are three types of fun:
- Fun for the gamer.
- Fun for the programmer.
- Fun for the computer.
I feel like Tactical Space falls too much into buckets 2 and 3, and not enough of bucket 1. Lesson learned for next time!
Additional lessons learned:
- I need a tool to start handling my sprite sheets. The Milkshake editor doesn’t cut it when sprite sheets are changing with assets. Assets I don’t end up using that I want to remove are a bit of a pain. I was able to do it easily manually this time, but only because this is a very small project. I’m going to try to integrate TexturePacker into my process.
- IrfanView is a cool concept but handles PNG transparency like the ’90’s. Disappointed.
- With many bullets on the screen, performance comes to a crawl. I think because Farseer Physics is way overkill for this game (radius distance collision would have been perfect) and because I think I’m supposed to scale the world to non-real-size (0.1 maybe) and I’m not currently doing that. I may even switch over to polygon collision soon.
- I need a re-useable library of my common stuff. I’ve now made so many quick hack games that I’m starting to see what’s reusable across games.
I don’t currently have the source uploaded anywhere but am willing to get it posted (or emailed) if people want it.
Until next time!
(Tech notes: written in .NET 4, XNA, Visual Studio 2012, IceCream engine, Indie Graphics Builder sprites.)