Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[SBX] Updates and Changes

Well it was a nice weekend and earlier time this week, have a nice Wednesday off so I am able to get some work done on SBX.  I received 2 e-mails from some people earlier this week and was able to establish a contact with a recruiter even though I wasn't what he was looking for.  It's nice to hear feedback on people about what to do.  I posted on a group site in LinkedIN asking for advice and it was nice to hear from people in the industry what I am already doing:  Make a nice portfolio, get peoples attention.  So I figure I will start working on getting a website made to host my work, rather than a YYG profile, at least it would look a bit more professional.

So I have made some baseline changes before continuing on to finish out the game.  The things I wanted to get done this week were:
1.  New Text Boxes
2.  Re-Work the Auto Shop
3.  New Profile Selection Menu
4.  Harder Bosses
5.  Add Checkpoints
6.  Fix some bugs with Crazy Ball

I decided to scratch number 5, as I really want to keep the game arcade style and somewhat difficult, but I want to adjust the difficulty UP on a few bosses as feedback from players said that the bosses were way easier than the level itself.
The big one for number 4 was level 3.  You could sit in the back and avoid the spikes and just relax back there.  I added some ships that now spawn at the back ends and will charge along the back line at you to make you move... or die.   This makes the boss a little more dynamic and it makes you plan out:  Ok the spikes just set back, they probably won't kill me right now... i can avoid these guys.

There will be additional adjustments for boss difficulty in the future: Namely: Level 2 boss, Level 5 boss, Level 6 boss.   I might change some things about level 7, but for now the difficulty is alright.

For the new text boxes, I had been using the default gross grey boxes before, but with a simple activation code at the start of the game I adjusted the fonts, colors, and backgrounds of the boxes.

I also re-worked the auto shop.  Before it was gimmicky and you had to click an icon to select an item.  Now you can just select any item and it will equip it.  It will also show you which items on the left side is equipped with a dark background and lighter text.  Here are 2 photos of before and after:


The whole auto shop is streamlined and much easier and intuitive to use.

Also I re worked the profile menu.  I jumped into Paint.NET and designed a nice looking menu system to use.  The old looked like:
and the new looks much spiffier:
I have started using Papyrus for most of the menu fonts, as it looks nice and separates menu and message items from other fonts used to mark things in the game.

The Intro scene featuring my logo has been reworked as well.  Before I had a kind of stupid looking logo that was very rough, but I changed it to look a little more professional.

Before and After:

I used an actual picture of a wakeskate and edited it to work with the image.  The result is a crisp, beautiful logo instead of the crappy one I had drawn before.

Also I adjusted some things for the crazy ball and it works much smoother than before.

Reflecting over this game, I now see how I will have to re-work things in the future to better organize and streamline my work.  No one could really steal my game files, because so much random stuff is going on in all my objects.  This being my first full length game, I realize the limitations of the way I was doing things before and the way I will need to proceed in the future.  Unless I get some more stability issues when the game is finished, I probably won't go back through and streamline all the code as the game isn't big enough to warrant that, but I have learned a ton from reflecting over my code and use of Drag and Drop.  Future games will be created entirely in GML to increase the workflow and edit-ability of my games.

EDIT:  Also I just added a new movement system for SBX  - it looks much nicer now and the movement is way more fluid.

Thank you for reading and hope you like SBX so far!


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