Plerion is difficult to describe. Basically there is an energy source in the center of the screen that increasing sends energy burst fireballs off to the edges of the screen. The player must tap or click the edges of screen to send their own energy blast to stop the bursts from going past. It works best on a touch screen since you don’t have to move a mouse, but I am putting up a web version for fun. Also, I am still finishing this, so while the basics are there, its unbalanced and super difficult to go very far. I am thinking of having distinguishable levels, perhaps a more pattern based energy release, and eventually a sense that one can master the game. At the moment, I think it feels way too difficult and confusing. But… its pretty and there are explosions!! Here is a link to Plerion.
It’s not perfect – missiles don’t really work in multiplayer because of targeting. I have to rewrite the way I handle missiles to get that to work. They work fine against AI enemies tho.
The controls have changed a little – F or Right Mouse for Missiles. Space or Left Mouse for lasers. Mouse Look to steer. Q-E to strafe.
Update: On further testing – I think I made the multiplayer cooperative… can’t seem to hurt the other player due to the collision detection. Didn’t want players to blow themselves up with their own missiles. I will fix this in the next update. Perhaps I need to add a teams dialogue to the log in screen.
I’ve added better(?) AI, explosions, sound effects as well as hit points and a score to the game. It might be getting too complex for the webplayer soon. We may need to switch to stand alone PC/Mac downloads. Here is a link to the web version of Space Wars…
Rewatching the video, I notice the AI is doing a lot of spinning. I am still trying to figure out how to make the AI better, I’ve tried a lot of things. Sometimes it works great, sometimes it does random silly things while it works out its rotation. I plan to implement a waypoint patrol ai, a search ai, a follow/guard ai and a defend area ai soon… Those will be sooner rather than later. Further on I’d like to have goal oriented AI and preferred targets where AI will assess enemy ships and decide what is the most important target. Fighters set to skirmish mode will rate other fighters highly as potential targets, but other fighters whose mission is to destroy a space station or carrier might skip other fighters to prioritize travel and attack their main target. This will be important as ships diversify, we can have capital ships chasing every little fighter buzzing around them if there is an enemy cap ship pumping them full of lasers…
Also up for the AI will be factions so that some AI bots can be on the player’s team. Then the real space war will commence…
#Screenshotsaturday Making gifs is an easier process than I thought! Enjoy this Tap Invasion action gif.
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.
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…
The guys with the motorcycle helmets are player one and two. They fight an infinite army of procedurally configured robots.
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.
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 what Tap Invasion looks like right now. Almost feels like a complete game. Polish, polish, polish!
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.