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Archive for February, 2014

Loops game – update 2

February 6, 2014 Leave a comment

The game was lacking an ending, so it now has an ‘audience satisfaction meter’. The aim of the game is to keep the audience entertained and thrilled with stunts. If you fail to keep performing stunts and flying through the hoops the audience’s satisfaction will drop. The level is complete when the audience satisfaction meter is filled.

The meter needs a cool name, so maybe I’ll call it the ‘Thrill-o-meter’.

Screenshot of a stunt flying game

Screenshot of the stunt flying game showing the ‘thrill-o-meter’

Loops game – update 1

February 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Over the past few days I’ve continued adding features to the stunt plane, looping game.

Features added

  • wind pump – scenery object to avoid.
  • barn – scenery object to avoid, and points can be gained by flying through the barn.
  • background – parallax scrolling background.
  • smoke trail – pressing the left arrow key releases a smoke trail from the plane. I’d like this to be useful in the game, but haven’t got a definite purpose for it yet.
  • other plane – an object to avoid.
  • scoring – points are scored for going through hoops. Double points are scored for performing a loop-the-loop and passing through a hoop whilst upside down. Points can be scored for flying through the barn.
  • inertial movement – more realistic movement of the plane. The plane also tilts as it pulls up and dives.
Stunt plane game

Screenshot of the game so far

Debugging

Some problems I ran into during construction of the game.

  •  The explosion effect when the plane crashes was occurring in the wrong position when the plane was performing a loop. I fixed this by embedding the explosion object inside the aeroplane animation.
  • the smoke was appearing on the outside of the barn if activated whilst flying though the barn. This was fixed by removing the front of the barn from the display objects, drawing the smoke and then adding the front of the barn again so that it appeared on top of the smoke.
  • the barn and wind pump kept overlapping when randomly placed in the game. I added a function to check for overlaps and reassign a random position to the wind pump.

Future updates

  • I need to increase the difficulty of the game as it is quite easy to amass points without crashing. I may add more objects to avoid, such as a flock of birds and change the scoring so that you have to complete a certain number of stunts within a time limit to continue.
  • Title screen, end sequence, etc. I’ll probably create an animated start screen with the aeroplane taking off and a final screen when the game has been completed.
  • Sound effects and music. Upbeat ‘flying’ music. Engine sounds. Cow and chicken sounds as you fly through the barn.
  • Incidental / environment animations. A chicken that flies out of the barn. Clouds. People on the ground.
  • I may port the game to Android tablet, implementing on-screen controls or tilt controls to move the plane.

Play the game – UP and DOWN arrows to move. SPACE to loop.

February Game – Loops

February 2, 2014 Leave a comment

I awaited this month’s #1GAM theme with baited breath, hoping it would fit with my plans for my long term game projects, however the theme of ‘Loops’ just didn’t seem to fit at all. Brainstorming with my kids, we came up with ideas such as a ‘Tempest’ style shooter, a rollercoaster game and finally an aerobatics game.

Concept sketch of flying game

Concept sketch of flying game

Grabbing my sketchbook I scribbled down a quick idea – a side scrolling flying game where you fly through hoops to gain points, perform loop-the-loops for bonus points, whilst avoiding crashing into buildings and flocks of birds.

Next I had a quick search for existing similar games, coming across the fantastic Stunt Pilot on Miniclip. While this looked like a fun and playable game, it had a different control system from what I intended and also different challenges for the player.

Next I started a simple proof-of-concept prototype in Adobe Flash, with some block graphics. After that was working successfully I added a scrolling background and a nice clipart image of a biplane before making a screen recording of the work in progress. There’s still a lot of work to do to make this a playable game, but I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. Having participated in #1GAM for over a year I’ve found that the practice has made me much quicker at coding and resolving bugs – even anticipating problem areas well before coding begins. If anything, #1GAM has been an amazing workout for the mental muscles!

Here’s the result so far after only an hour of work.