Hello everyone, and welcome to this weeks Juicy Dev Blog! So, you're probably wondering why there is no 'Week 38 - Developer Blog' right? Well, I did originally have one that I was going to post, but, I was afraid that it wouldn't have been enough content to be deemed a "Blog" since last week was just A LOT of fiddling around with the Trap Algorithms, and wasn't really ready at the time. However, what I lacked for last week, I will make up this week. And what an exciting week this one will be! It's jam-packed full of awesome new content, power-ups, and more! Anyway, enough babbling, lets get this show on the road!
So, last week I had been working hard on refining the trap algorithm, which ended up being scrapped and created again. I decided to invest more time into the design of it, and articulate tension points throughout game-play. What I mean by that was really think about how to intensify the game during certain points, and then alleviate that tension over specific intervals. Yes, this did take a lot of work to refine, and at this point, I'm basically numbed from it. But hopefully this will be present when playing the game.
I also added a few more power-ups for the player to collect. The first power-up is a 'destroy-all traps' power-up, which felt necessary to add since eventually the traps get overwhelming when left unchecked. Another power-up which has a massive part to play, especially with the 'tension' points, is the 'Mystery Event' power-up. This power-up destroys all traps in the arena, and begins a new event which is randomized. Each event is vastly different, and functions in a way which keeps the player on their toes. By the end of the event, the player is rewarded with a number of power-ups for them to collect before going back to normal. This is to give the game 'variance'... So, I'm just going to go off in a tangent for a second, but after watching a TON of videos about adding randomization efficiently, I stumbled upon a GDC talk about 'rules of the game' which was basically a number of game designers talking about certain rules they followed when designing games (which I would highly recommend checking out!). Anyway, One speaker, who was the lead designer behind 'Jetpack Joyride' and 'Fruit Ninja' (Luke Muscat) spoke about 'variance' and how important it was in games similar to this. It blew my mind realizing I had miss this crucial design goal. So after watching that, I made sure to add as much variance as I could with these power-ups and traps. Hopefully it implicitly visible, but we shall see. Anyway, below is a short video showcasing the 'Mystery Event' power-up. Enjoy!
And here is a short video of the 'Nuke' power-up. This power-up was actually really fun to make, and was super satisfying when picked up. After the traps are destroyed, a pile of coins are spawned in the locations where the traps were. Super fun!
What's that? We aren't done yet!??! You bet we aren't! I had also finalized all of the 'skills' functionality which was such a relief to finish up! One of the skills I had to re-do, since it allowed the player to be immune by electricity, and since one of the 'trap Events' was to avoid electricity, it basically became OP. So, I had to remove it... sad face. Anyway, a new one has taken it's place, and I tell you, it's awesome!
I've also re-designed the 'Pause' banner slightly to show the player their levels as well as what skills they currently have assigned.
On top of all that, I had also added a few more minor tweaks to the Inventory section, and cleaned up some overall bugs.
Phew, that's a-loda content. Hopefully I have made up for last week :).
I'm really happy on the progress I have made with this, and I'm hoping to re-release this through open beta in the next few weeks. I'm planning to launch the game around Easter sometime. At least that will give me enough time to flesh out any other bugs, and market the shit out of the game. For next week, I'm hoping to have the rest of the sound effects working correctly, and then, test this on other devices.
Until next time!
Thanks for reading!
Howdy everyone! Welcome to another Juicy Developer Blog! This week I've managed to complete all of the 'Inventory' scene, and have cleaned up a few bugs with the levelling page. I have been hard at work trying to sort out a more polished version of the controls, but they are being stubborn. So, hopefully, I'll be able to show these controls off next week. Also, I know I mentioned that I would also show off the new and improved trap system... Well, unfortunately, again, due to these stubborn controls, this has put a slight delay on this, so unfortunately, I wont be showcasing any new trap mechanics this week... BUT DON'T FRET! I do have some nice, juicy stuff to still show you all which I am very excited about. Introducing to you all, the CHARACTERS! Now with a shiny new display!
I'm really happy with the outcome of these characters. Not only does this bring them to life, but it also gives the game more volume and polish, and hopefully it will make the player feel somewhat of a connection with the characters they choose.
Implementing these characters was a load of fun as well. Now, I'm not a sponsor for Esoteric or anything, but their Spine2D program is AMAZING! Now, my background is more in line with 3D animation, but allowing me to animate 2D characters using a 3D system really helps me with my creative prowess. If you haven't had a look at Spine2D, I would encourage you to check this out, especially if you are planning on doing 2D animations. Anyway, animating and creating these characters was really fun to do, and I'm looking forward to making more of these guys later down the track.
Another thing I had worked on was refining the Inventory scene. I ended up adding the displays on the side, showing what the player has chosen for their characters as well as their levels. I also added a little info bubble when the player presses over the top of their current skills so that way they know exactly what that skill does. I also added a slight fade effect to the skills so that it isn't too hard to read for when the player chooses their skills. Hopefully with all these effects, it makes the game feel more refined, and more polished.
So, that's basically it in terms of this weeks shenanigans. Next week I'm "hoping" to have these trap mechanics sorted, as well as the controls scheme refined. Let's see if these controls will break to my will!
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Welcome back to another Juicy Developer Blog! So, last week I mentioned that I would showcase the players levelling system (which depended on whether or not I could actually fix the issues I was having). Luckily enough, I did manage to fix what I needed to fix! Woop woop! So without further adieu, I present to you, the new player levelling system!
As you can see, there's been quite an overhaul. The first thing that I removed was the banner which exclaimed the players medals that they unlocked. I figured it wasn't too important for the player at this point, so I decided to remove it from the leveling section, and only have it when everything was done and dusted (at the end with the game over screen). Honestly, I thought having medals was a really cool idea, and I still think that, but I haven't really used these for anything as of yet which i feel could be touched upon... Maybe in a few updates after the game is released... We'll see.
The second thing is that the leveling system now uses an "experience bar" rather than relying purely on the completion of missions, which, before, wasn't really conveyed well. Doing this gives the player more of a chance to unlock new and exciting things faster and fairer. This also explicitly shows how far away the player is to reaching the next level, and gives more a sense of completion compared to before.
Another thing I changed was the missions impact on the player level. Yes, when the game is over, the player receives points towards their next level equal to their score they received, but the missions also give an even greater amount of experience when completed, giving incentive for the player to complete these missions. On top of that, I changed their little icon from a tick box to an actual Star, which I feel is more thematic.
On top of this, I added a new fancy 'chest' effect which explodes with goodies when the player unlocks the next level. 'Hopefully' this will give even more of a sense of urgency to obtain the next level to open that juicy, juicy reward.
Speaking of chests and rewards, I had also revamped the entire reward system to include ways in which to unlock new skills, characters, and power-ups. The older rewards system was still fairly similar to the new one, but was harder to complete since it had that 'mission' wall. At this point, I'm pretty happy with how it's functioning. Just thinking about it makes me want to add more and more!
With all of this said and done though, I feel that this system is a little more clearer and easier to understand than before. Not only that, but hopefully this will be more exciting to gain these levels and obtain these rewards for the player.
Next week I'm hoping to complete the different player displays as well as a new character design! I'll also be looking into revamping the patterns of the traps as well so that the player can experience all the traps relatively quickly. Trying to come up with a new algorithms though for this is going to be pretty tricky, but we will see how we go!
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Before you say anything, yes, I know I'm back for the third time now, even though I said last year that this would be it. But, I'm "hoping" that this time, this will be the last variation of the game before it actually goes public... Hopefully...
Any who, Welcome back to another "unofficial" developer blog! I know the title implies the 35th week (even though it's been weeks since my last post... which was actually last year), but I wanted to keep this development blog series consistent. I didn't want people asking "well what happened to weeks 35 - 40? So, I figured, just to avoid all that, I decided to keep it sequential.
So there has been some incredible development since last we spoke. At the end of last year, I ended up hosting a small competition which allowed anyone who signed up for the beta testing program to test the game and give critical feedback. The prize was a 3D printed miniature of the main character "Colin". This was an amazing opportunity to get valuable feedback as well as know exactly how players would play the game, and what issues they came across. One of the main issues initially was the player controls. It turned out that the static joy-stick was too hard to control, and seemed to miss more than it hit. Another big issue that players found was the lack of information about the "missions" and "character levels". With all this information and more, I ended the competition, gave out the prize to the winner, and pulled the game from beta, so that I could refine it once more. I then ended up take a few weeks break from development just so I could spend more time with the family, and to wrap up the end of another decade...
AND NOW, I'M BACK IN ACTION! The first thing I did to start the year off was to identify all of the key issues that the players mentioned during the beta testing. I also found a few personal issues which I wanted to fix as well. For the last few weeks I have been working on implementing a few character progression system which physically told the player what their level was, and what experience they needed in order to progress to the next level. This stuff is still being tested, so I wont really showcase that this week. However, what I can show you all is the new 'Character Skills' system!
That's right! You heard bird turd, a new character skill system which allows players to unlock and assign new skills to their characters in order to increase their chance of surviving. The skill system was implemented to add another layer of depth to the game which seemed to be lacking before. The skills unlock at different levels, and function differently to one another. Some skills allow the player a chance to destroy an obstacle when hit, while another skill allows the player a chance to revive when killed. There are many more different types of skills the player can unlock, but I'll let you discover that yourself. Here is a snippet of what this system looks like.
As you can see there has been not only Skills which have been implemented, but a new Inventory Scene as well! Such new! Much wow! No more with that awkward rolling inventory board which dragged across the 'shop' page (although, I did like that). Now, the player has a dedicated page specifically for choosing their characters, levels, and skills. I still have a few small things to add such as the display of the chosen character/ level on either side of the screen (those floating wooden boards), and the main character display to change when the player chooses another character, as well as HUD information on what each skill does, and possibly a small tutorial on how to apply the skills, but besides that, I think its done! Hopefully people will find this more intuitive than before!
Again, I have done a few more things on top of this, but I'll save that for next week! I can't wait to show you the new leveling system, and how the rewards are displayed. Hopefully you will like that too!
But anyway, welcome back once again to a new season of the 'Juicy Development Blog' (I should make my own TV show at this rate...). Until next time!
Thanks for reading!
Hello Everyone and welcome back to the latest (and possibly the last) Juicy Developer Blog. Wow, what a journey it's been. Do I have some fun and exciting stuff to show you all today! First off, I would like to say thank you to all of you who have followed me through this fun, yet precarious journey, I really appreciate it. I've learnt even more developing this game than my last, and I hope you have as well! Ok, enough mushy stuff, let's get into it.
These last few weeks I've been working hard on finalizing the missions system. After days of endless testing, I believe it has fully come to fruition. Sure, there still may be a few kinks in it, but I'm sure they will be fleshed during the testing phases.
During the development of the missions, I needed to take into account the clarity of what mission a player was currently on, and ways to show them what they are up to at any given time during game-play. In order to achieve that, I incorporated the missions inside the pause menu, as well as showing the mission initially when the player first starts the game (similar to jet-pack joyride). Of course, I needed to redesign the menu, but this was no problem at all.
Initial Mission banner when the game first starts.
Redesigned Pause banner.
I also wanted the player to know if they have completed a mission while playing the game without them having to check every second. So, I implemented a small drop-down banner on the side of the screen which tells the player that they have completed a mission.
During the 'Game Over' sequence, the player is then reminded what they had done during the game, and reward them if they completed all three missions.
Rewards are based on the players current level. The higher the level, the better the reward. Eventually I want to incorporate other rewards such as characters, levels, and more!
If the player had completed all missions, then old missions will be replaced by new ones. I eventually want to add more missions to the game, but for now, there should be enough to satisfy the player.
Here is the final game-play of the missions system. Hope you like it! If you have any suggestions, let me know.
So now that all the mechanics have been implemented into the game, and the game-play is well on it's way to being refined, it is now time to implement the sounds and music. I may or may not do another Dev Blog about this, so I'll see how we go. Otherwise, I want to thank you again for following me through this journey. It's been wild! A whole lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, highs, and lows, and I hope that you will join me in the release of Just Survive: Arena. Keep a close eye out for my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages about this. More information will be coming soon!
On a side note, if you wish to be a part of the testing phase, please don't hesitate to contact me through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or even email! I would really love to get your input on this and refine whatever I can to satisfy the target market.
Besides that, stay tuned for more info about JSA in the coming weeks!
Until then, Thank you all for keeping up with these posts. I really appreciate it!
Lindsay is a solo game developer, designing and creating games that he hopes all will enjoy.