Networked Space Wars: My May One Game A Month is Online #1GAM

The month is just about over and my attempt at creating a multiplayer game has yielded some interesting results. First of all, I did make a multiplayer game where players can host and join a server and then fly space ships around and blow each other up. I haven’t tested it too excessively, but I know it works on multiple computers over my home wifi. I am not sure how many servers can be created or how many players can join!? Here is a link to the networked Space Wars Online – you will need a friend to join you to make it fun…

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 10.09.20 PM

Game controls:

WASD – Move and Rotate

Space – Fire weapon

-+ Zoom in and out

I couldn’t get points or multiple hits working in time. Every change you make to a networked game seems to break it and require lots of debugging. I hope to refine it in the future and make it more fun. I’d like to be able to show who you are targeting, have ships that can take more than one hit. Selectable types of weapons to use.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 10.08.57 PM

The start page has a place for players to enter their names and also customize their ship color. While not mind blowing, since I am still learning, it took forever just to get these two simple pieces of information to be shared across the multiple players. Colors would not show up for the longest time. I think I am getting the hang of it, the names are an attempt at a larger player management system with a shared scoring system but I need to wrap my head around handling collisions of projectiles and giving credit to the player who shot them. One day!

I used a lot of references to make this thing work –

Paladin Studios Unity Networking Tutorial – helped me figure out RPCs the best…

Palladium Games Unity Networking Tutorial

Unity Cookie networking tutorial -its in Javascript though so I had to change it to C#

Unity Multiplayer Games book by Alan Stagner

Unity Networking book by Lawrence Grant

Thanks to all of you for doing your best to explain a super complicated topic. After going through all that stuff, I can see the need for a few more tutorials. Perhaps if I ever understand it well enough I will give it a try.

Dev Log: Updates on Tap Invasion, SpaceWars, Giant Pixelated Robots and GIFs

#Screenshotsaturday Making gifs is an easier process than I thought! Enjoy this Tap Invasion action gif.

tapinvasiongif

Above is one of my students making an epic run in Tap Invasion.

Dev Log Updates:
My April game (Tap Invasion) has stretched far into May! While the game was mostly completed in May, I wanted to port it to the Android Google Play store and get it out to the mobile audience for which it was designed. In that I succeed by about mid-month. I still need to port it to iOS. It was really created with the iPad in mind.

With that being said, I still am making good on my #1GAM challenge. I originally had noted that my next big attempt would be multiplayer. This weekend I finally got something working! The basic game for May is a multiplayer player vs. player SpaceWars game. It may not be super polished by the end of the month, but my goal is to have a game 4 players can join with one player hosting the server, a bunch of obstacles to fly around and hide behind and a scoring system.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 5.35.39 PM

Currently the game has been tested on the desktop and through the webplayer on a server and both work so far. I will be adding interpolation optimization to the game to make everything smoother  in the next few days and then I will probably publish for folks to try out. Maybe one day I will rig up one of my old computers as an always on server for folks to log on to.

One of my main frustrations has been loading new players with their own perspective camera so that they could all fly around a bigger area on their own. The problem seems to be something a lot of Unity programmers have to deal with. I have tabled it for now, but I am hoping to make the space wars concept a little more massively in the future once I figure this thing out. So in the spirit of completing things in a month, the game now just takes place arena style on one screen with really small players.

Additionally, I came up with a one screen game – sort of smash-brothers meets joust meets explosions. I’ve been calling it Robot Destruction Dome for short. I couldn’t really make it this month because it took me so long to launch Tap Invasion and then learn networking (still learning that!). The RDD would require lots of new pixel art and I want to do it right! Here is my drawing of the game…

robotbrainstorm The guys with the motorcycle helmets are player one and two. They fight an infinite army of procedurally configured robots.

Tap Invasion and Tap Invasion Lite Now on the Google Play store for Android devices

At long last! Tap Invasion and Tap Invasion Lite Now on the Google Play store for Android devices! I’ve even sold a few games!

Free: Click here to go to the Tap Invasion Free Version on Google Play.

Full Game for only $0.99! Click here to go to the Tap Invasion Google Play page.

The store description goes something like this: Fast, addictive retro arcade action! Aliens are attacking Earth again! Tap the invaders as they attempt to destroy your city. How long can you keep the city alive?

Tap Invasion Lite is a DEMO version that gives you the feel for the game and a boss battle. The DEMO has a time limit and only a few of the bad guys. But it does have a boss!

DEMO Features:
– Retro arcade action
– Simple but addictive gameplay
– Power ups!
– 8-bit pixel art transports you back to the 80’s
– Chip tune sound track!

Try it out and then buy the FULL version to get all the cool features below…

Cool Features of the FULL GAME:
– More Retro arcade action
– Simple but addictive gameplay
– Infinite levels – if you can tap fast enough!
– Randomized levels with increasing speeds and difficulty
– 5 bosses to destroy
– Power ups!
– 8-bit pixel art transports you back to the 80’s
– Chip tune sound track!
– Top Score Board – Can you beat your friend’s score?
– No in-app purchases!

Please support indie games and me! I make games for fun, but its also fun to be paid for your creative works!

Let’s Call April’s #1GAM Finished: Tap Invasion Post Mortem

April is coming to a close and with it, my 5th “1 Game a Month” game must be called complete. Can I endlessly tinker with it? Sure. Did I sort of want the Blue Eyes to split apart into baby bad guys like those Zelda enemies? Yes. Should the game have ten more bosses? Should Level 12-13 be winnable? Will anyone other than me see the level 10 boss? Who knows, but it is April 3oth and it is time for Tap Invasion to be called finished. Here is the link to Tap Invasion.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 5.48.15 PM

While May will probably see me embark on a month long quest to make a massively multiplayer procedurally generated infinite terrain RPG with exploration, self aware AI, fully original 3D characters, crafting everything in the game, modding and Occulus Rift support. Or maybe a multiplayer Pong clone?

Post Mortem:

What went well:

  • I had an initial idea for something with simple controls but Space Invaders-like and I think I’ve accomplished that goal.
  • I got the basic concept up and running in a day!
  • I was happy with my code design allowing me to easily add new enemies and other features.
  • 5 bosses, 5 enemies, 2 power ups – the game feels varied and polished.
  • I really like the soundtrack – but I hope to make my own music someday.
  • Most people who have given feed back say it’s simple to learn and addictive!
  • Making pixel art went pretty well – I think its cool, but who knows what other people think. I may continue this route for my future Space Wars games.
  • I have a lot of cool reusuable code – Top Score Board!
  • I sorta got touch controls to work, but still trying to get Unity Remote to work or get the game on my Android phone.

What went not so well:

  • Relearning PHP/MySQL and figuring out how to get it all working with Unity ate up a whole week!
  • Original score board code was super complicated.
  • My game controller object is super bloated.
  • The music is a little memory intense.
  • The game seems to get unbeatable – much better balanced now but could use a little more.
  • Trying to port to Android and iOS may be impossible!?

Tap Invasion Update! New enemies, bosses and power ups!

We are getting closer to the finish I think! The game is balanced enough that it’s possible to get past the first 10 levels. There are two power ups now to help along the way and they appear more frequently. One rebuilds the city and the other destroys *almost* all the enemies on the board.

newversionscreenshot422

 

Each bad guy has its own unique spin. The green ones are the standard but they move faster as the game goes on. Same with the reds but they go side to side. The orange are like the reds but tougher. The blue are slow but hard to kill. The gray ones are a like blues, but with a twist. The level 8 and 10 bosses are a bit of a surprise I think.

Here is the link to Tap Invasion… 

Tap Invasion: Updated Demo with bad guys and bosses!

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 8.58.50 PM

Here is the updated version of the game so far. Still some polishing to do, but I think it is coming along well! The game difficulty gets epically unbalanced by level 6. Most players can get there and then are completely destroyed–so I will have to adjust how the algorithms work around that point to keep the intensity but not make it impossible. Also a few more offensive power ups might help even the field a little.

Here is the link to Tap Invasion.

Level 6 of Tap Invasion-the game so far #screenshotsaturday

Here is what Tap Invasion looks like right now. Almost feels like a complete game. Polish, polish, polish!

tapinvasionl6

I’ve added 3 types of bad guys, a boss–soon to be 3 bosses–, destroyable city that represents your life, remixed particles that match the game better–more pixel arty. There are also 2 powerups in the works-rebuild city powerup is in the left top corner-it’s like getting an extra life.

Tap Invasion – Simple Space Shooter Early Look

tapinvaderscreenshot

My April #1GAM is going to be a mobile space shooter meets wack-a-mole game called Tap Invasion. I don’t think the name is taken and if not, I will attempt to release it on the Android Store and maybe the Mac Store as well. I am posting the WIP of the game just to show how it progresses over time. I’ve got recognizable place holder graphics for now. I think I will be adding a cityscape to the bottom that will get destroyed when aliens crash into it. I guess the way to lose will be to lose all the buildings of the city. Currently the game is infinite, but I may institute levels, a couple different enemies, enemy movement more like Galaga. The idea is to add touch controls so the best way for me to emulate that on my computer is the mouse, so just click on bad guys to blow them up.

Click here to play the EARLY demo of Tap Invasion.