Another mixed bag of ups and downs in the development world this week! Positives range from FINALLY nailing the HUD so it looks “the business”, to implementing weapon damage for the standard “gun” weapon to the special weapons I’ve coded so far. Testing the various aspects of the game now is fun and the gameplay mechanics side of things is really starting to show itself. It’s becoming possible to tweak various settings etc. to enable a smoother/more playable game and an overall better gameplay experience.
I’ve also implemented my first two Nano-tech upgrade. Invisibility & ECM. Invisibility is surprisingly fun to play with. Imagine being chased by your opponent who has a missile ready to roll when all of a sudden you disappear and he doesn’t know where you are! Of course, YOU don’t know where you are either, but that adds to the fun factor. Thinking you have devilishly escaped death only to fly into a wall can be hilarious, believe me, I’ve done it. Several times.
ECM is a laugh too – though needs bug fixing. Essentially the thought behind ECM is that it disables your opponents craft momentarily which could be hilarious if they are zipping along at a fair pace! The bugs can actually be quite funny, and the main one at the moment is that the ECM doesn’t turn off! So as soon as it’s “fired” your opponent can never regain control of their ship. MWA HA HAA! Actually, no, that is a tad unfair!
This week I have also been exploring various routes to get the game to market and its all very much at the discussion stage but some of the potential avenues we have open to us are quite interesting, and could open a few doors. All very hush-hush but, again, a positive step forward for us.
On the flipside, the main downside for me at the moment is the looming inevitability that at some point in the VERY near future I’m going to have to port this to C++. Its not that I don’t understand C++, I feel like I have a pretty good “grasp” of it, its just getting started with a piece of code. Once I get started Ill be fine. I guess I just need to bite the bullet and make a start, I have all the software I need to develop in that environment but I think it’s just the “something new and different” thing that’s putting me off at the moment. That and the fact that myself and the C++ compiler have never been best friends. I like my cosy Blitz dev environment holding my hand and pointing out nicely any errors in my code. C++ just tends to bring its shotgun and shoots you down time and time again!
Time is still so precious and I don’t feel like I have enough of it! The entire game has been developed with an hour here and there and so progress has been slow. Having said that when you do finally get to a stage where you can sit back and look at the game and acknowledge that it is actually quite fun to play it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside! Finally being able to sit down and have a two player “scrap” is not very far away, and I’m looking forward to dukeing it out with some friends soon to do more bug testing. Next step will then be to implement more of the weapons & Nano-tech stuff to finally get to alpha stage!
I also found a small amount of time to play the trial of Gravity Crash too the other day – top game! Its quite amazing the similarities between that and Project Blast! from the basic control mechanism to the level editor through to some of the weapons, the multiplayer set up etc. etc. It feels good to know that it was well received (generally) as it is a good indicator to how Blast! will be received as and when it finally gets released! I feel like I need to play more of it to get a proper feel, however I’m very impressed with what I have seen so far!
With the holiday season approaching fast, I want to cram as much dev time into Blast! as possible (as its unlikely Ill do much whilst I’m eating and drinking copious amounts along with playing with all my nice new toys!). Still aiming for a Q1 release next year, but again, its good not having that pressure on you to release too early! So with that Ill bid you all farewell till next week, keeeeeeep Blastin’! © Corny Catchphrases 2009 Ltd.