Echoes+ V5 is out now. It mainly fixes a bug on some Windows 8.1 machines although I took the opportunity to tweak a couple of other things too based on early feedback.
V5 release notes:
– Windows 8.1 crash fixed
– Overly sensitive joypad controls on menus fixed
– The “back” button on joypad now works on menus
– Improved visibility of player shield colours (green = active, red = less than 3 seconds remaining)
– Some Trials targets adjusted
A belated Happy New Year to all. Hopefully it’s a good one.
So time for a project re-cap. In the New Year I decided to add to my existing workload by seeing how quickly I could port echoes+ to my new multi-platform game engine. Previously it was only released on XBox Live Indie Games and played by about 3 people, but I’ve had a lot of requests for a PC port so why not… and we might as well do a Mac, iOS & Android version at the same time.
I must admit it wasn’t a project I was particularly looking forward to doing as this would effectively be the third time I’d written it, albeit with extra game modes and bells and whistles that weren’t in the original PC version. However I used my own scripting system in the XBox360 version that I’m also using in my new game engine so about 95% of it worked simply by dropping the scripts in the relevant directories. Result.
So gameplay wise the PC version at least seems to be working as intended with all 6 game modes fully playable. I still need to tweak the HUD to suit the new target devices, update the menus and add device specific controls, but expect a multi-platform echoes+ in the future.
echoes+ on PC, Mac, iOS & Android…
I’ll post an update on 1982 & feedback in a day or two.
I didn’t want to spam this blog with too many updates (see the forums for that), just important stuff that someone might actually find remotely interesting, but I don’t think I’ve quite got the balance right yet. No updates in 2 months? Poor.
I have been busy though. The feedback test project I mentioned earlier has gone through a lot of changes until I finally got the gameplay mechanic into something like a playable state. It’s been a tough project to tweak and get everything balanced nicely, but hugely enjoyable to work on. Endlessly tweaking gameplay is kind of my thing and the challenge of turning the basic idea behind feedback into something resembling a playable game has been really satisfying.
The central gameplay mechanic is that the enemies only react to your actions. Because those reactions are all predictable, it plays differently to most shmups in that getting through tougher levels can be like solving a puzzle….even if that’s a high speed puzzle with a screen full of enemy ships raining bullets down on you. Shmup or puzzle game, the gameplay might take some time to click and it wont appeal to everyone, but experimenting a little is fun.
Somethings I like messing with are gameplay and difficulty that react to player actions. Sometimes in a small way like the way I spawn powerups in DUOtris (near death you get a lot more helpful powerup drops) and then in mono where the difficulty is based entirely off the players actions in the game.
So….I decided to experiment with going one step further and having everything in game a reaction to what the player does…..feedback see.
I’m using a basic Space Invaders game to test the idea, but that will change when I see the reactive gameplay mechanic in action and get a feel for what it is best suited to.
Anyway progress: All placeholder graphics and sound fx are done and the scripts necessary to load them into the game are written. I have about a dozen enemy ideas written down and a rough logo idea (yes, all my graphics are “rough”).
Today we should get some enemies on screen and bullets. Lots of bullets.
Hopefully Apple announce some nice new MacBook Pros tomorrow so I can get the other versions of 1982 finished and finally release it on all 4 platforms (PC, Mac, iOS & Android).
In the meantime I thought I’d work on a little demo of a game idea I’ve had for a while that really needs testing before I know whether it works or not. I’ve a feeling it wont work as well in reality as it does in my head, what does, but there’s only one way to know for sure.
So tonight I’m starting work on feedback by creating some placeholder media so I can get to scripting the gameplay as soon as possible. Regular updates incoming…
Well I was going to write a lengthy post on where the idea for 1982 came from, the inspirations and development to date, but games are a visual medium so I figure a bunch of screenshots can say all that better than I possibly can.
After a long illness enforced break and subsequent (and ongoing) go-slow it’s time to open the doors to the zoo again.
I’ve cleaned out the cages and given everything a fresh lick of paint in readiness for the first new title “1982”. (Rumours that it gets its name from when I started coding it are untrue….although it feels like that at times.)
Next up I’ll post a summary of development to date.