Dec 30, 2018 - day 579
While the festive season is still not around, It's time for me to get back to the project!
Now, giving myself a fixed deadline, I have no other excuses but to quit procrastinate & work!
The deadline will be January 30, 2019.
I just have to work through all the essential parts like levels , even regardless of quality.
It may not be good looking... But hell-- It's taking a bit too long for a demo release!
Now-- get back to work!
Nov 28, 2018 - day 547
Here is today's development .
Cracks, like walls --are to simply block the path. And the alien can not walk through them.
Now I'm not using too much blocks/walls for desert levels because it doesn't look very good (the "3d" block effects don't look good especially on realm 2)
Cactuses, They function like cracks too: blocking the path, but are also decorating the stage.
Adding these alien cactuses and suddenly the stage doesn't seem so boring now.
That's about it. Almost all the game elements are introduced for the upcoming ver0.5 demo.
Now speaking of which...
The Demo Release... When?
I can't pick a date yet. Sorry.
However, the game's reaching another stage of development and still going (even slowly)
Whats left are the menu & all 12 level designs (including tutorials)
the Demo might or might not be ready on December :( But I'll do what I can.
The following month I'll be working on the menu's visuals and functions.
Also, December is just around the corner. Everyone's pretty busy now.
Then, I will try to post one more dev log for the season! XD
Nov 12, 2018 - day 531
I've finished this visual enhancement for the week.
In case you don't know: The alien's antenna is used for detecting landmines.
I added the flashing to make it more recognizable to the player when detecting mines.
(flash is sync-ed with beeping "siren" the antenna makes, it flash quicker when closer to a landmine.)
Landmines are really a nuisance as you have to play the guessing game & slows down the gameplay.
Therefore it's preferable not to spread'em all across the place.
Too much of them will frustrates the players.
Next log, I'll introduce a new blockage element "cracks" for the desert levels (realm 2).
Oct 5, 2018 - Day 493
First of all, let's look at what i did for this week.
I'm able to finished this interface draft to show you.
It looks okay for some, but lacks something... It sort of fits the theme but not quite...
I want the skin to look sci-fi-ish, but this looks more like circuitry than what I envisioned. :(
However I feel that the visual can be better, but I think it'll improve once the game getting into beta stage.
Generally, I prefer simplicity & functionality over pointless details.
For that, Making elaborate visuals feels taxing... kinda.
Ver0.5 Release Postponed...
I've only had little progress on the development in this few weeks.
Map sprites still , menu unfinished, and demo levels are not even touched yet.
Thus I can't confirm a deadline...yet.
Once again, sorry for not being as productive as I can be. My focus is shifted lately: I have to attend to a new side-venture of micro cryptocurrency earning, that's all I can say.
I hope i will shift back my focus & do what I can in this mouth, hopefully get an announcement for v0.5 release soon (at least)
I'll call for it when it's done.
Sept 13, 2018 - day 471
This will be a brief log.
Already half-way revamping all the alien sprites-- removing black lines and add shading.
Let's list down the things left to do.
So there's still a large amount of work to be done.
Demo 2 release may probably to be postponed towards October mind you.
Next log will be about 'interface skins'.
Aug 25, 2018 - day 452
Nothing much to show you this time. I was distracted by life and stuffs. :(
My work pace is affected, and it really drags the game development.
But I REALLY DON'T want the official v1.0 to be released next year :( I have other plans to do.
Therefore, things have to come out quicker. I need this type of pressure! (can't believe I wrote this)
So, here's the plan on the demo 2 release:
The demo release will be ver0.5 alpha-- instead of ver0.6 pre-beta !
What's Available in Alien Maze Demo 2 (v0.5):
Unlike Demo 1 in Scirra Arcade, which is a one-time version; Demo 2 (v0.5) is update-able.
This Demo 2 is meant to be continuously updated till ver 0.6, which will include the 3rd realm & another 4 levels + tutorial.
For the deadline to publish this... maybe by the end of September?
I will probably put the demo on Scirra Arcade, itch.io & GameJolt (since they accept alpha/beta versions)
That's all guys.
I've noticed there's a constant 20-40 of you visiting every week. Thank you.
However I'm might not be always able to put out information every month, though.
:) :) :)
Aug 7, 2018 - day 434
A short vlog to showcase what I've finished lately.
What appeared to be a hole on the ground is a terrifying creature that eats any living beings near it's path.
They seem fast and invincible, still you can avoid them "strategically" (they only grab what's near on their 4 directions). And in special cases you can even able to slip through their tongues when you "turbo-up" (you have to get a 'Neutrino' by chance)
There you have it.
I'll work on revamping the walk sprites, hopefully show some progress next time.
(my schedule is quite far behind). sorry
July 21, 2018 -- day 416
Today let's look into Realm 2 stage design.
Mabarossa is a desert place with minimal building constructions (for scout & research purpose) and ruins. It also have few natural hazards, and also a lot of hidden traps to kill critters(if there's one in the game) or trespassers!
'Classic prince of persia'-esque spike traps, only less gruesome.
Could use a better name though. These monsters grab nearby organisms (you alien) and eat them!
You have to be careful not to place yourself next to them.
'Think-pad' is more likely XD. It stops time when you step on it & allows you to trace & pre-plan your walking path. Since it's a more advanced game mechanic, this will not appear in Realm 1 until in Realm 2.
Don't forget about landmines!
The warning signs from your antenna is there to save your poor alien life.
For extra, here's a new Alien death animation: falling into the abyss.
Notice I work quite slow lately, but believe me i'm picking up the pace.
Next log I'll re-work on the alien's 'walk' sprites: removing black outlines & add shadings.
July 5, 2018 -- day 400
This couple of months I will be working on the graphics primarily. (sometimes new map music track when idea comes) I do procrastinate every once a while, but I'll keep working on the checklist.
Today, let's dealt into some new stage elements & decos.
(I try not use much animated GIFs from now on cos' of my limited web storage space)
Push Blocks & Bonus Pads are not new & were already introduced so I'll skip them here.
I don't want to make them stand out like a stage element, so I use 'embossing' as floor design & keep the shapes as minimal as possible. They may serves as a outlining for entrance/path way (or to shape an area for attention) I might try a few other designs though...
The realm of 'Bluzoul' is blue, shiny, ethereal and full of crystals hanging around. Giant crystals are just background props, showing some atmosphere about the realm.
I wonder if these sprites are good enough... I'll try a few new crystal variations, with tiny crystals spurting out from the roots.
Just glass floor for an alternative floor look (only for parts of area.) The color gradients are NOT right and will need some adjustment.
a new element for the realm-1 stages. Don't try to go onto them and you'll be fine.
This will not appear on early stages but later.
I think there's more than enough elements for this realm. In future decisions, some stage elements may be used on other Realms. But first, I'll have to design all game elements in all 3 Realms-- so that I could sort them out later.
On next log, I'll try show something from Realm 2 - red planet 'Mabarossa'. (at least a few game elements and decos)
Until then, everyone.
June 25, 2018 -- day 390
This game, being in hiatus for such a long time and now to carry on once again... feels like looking at someone else's leftover project :|
Where do I begin?
Well, first problem I faced is: I don't like how the current game plays.
The 'demo 1' of this game I made last year... plays more like a 'action game' than a 'puzzler'. Very little puzzle solving elements... I wasn't pleased because it's not what i envisioned it to be.
Therefore I want some changes on gameplay. But I still can't find the right element for it. :(
There's also some ideas I have but worried that they may be too far out.
One example is: whether I should build an in-game map editor or not.
It's on my mind for quite some time.
Letting the players build their own custom map is an exciting feature.
However this could very much be a feature creep and further slow down my game development.
If I really think about how the coding would be, I realize it could be even harder to code a map editor than the already pre-made levels. Also so much 'conditions' and code "intertwining" involved.
As a rookie game coder. I know that this surely takes more than I could chew.
Conclusion: Exciting, but take lots of time and coding skill, so... NO for now. Perhaps it's too early to think about. I can't agree to do what I'm not ready for.
What I should work on first
While writing this log, I've eventually cleared out some dilemma.
Now, instead of guessing what to do about the gameplay and wasting more time, I could've just work on what I can do first -- Visuals (since they have little to none collocation despite the game direction)
So to make things simple, here's the list.
- Draft Stage Sprites (flooring, decorative etc)
- Alien Sprites Revamp (add shadings & remove black outlines)
- Menu Interface & System
This should be my first priority for the next few weeks. I'll at least work on these until I have a clearer gameplay direction.
Okay-- now I have focus :)
So that's all for the log. Stay tuned for new log on next week.