At this point, I feel as if I have the technical and artistic questions behind A. CYBORG sorted.
There are various other technical things I’d like to do, but these were the big open questions. At this point, I really need to nail down the design of the game. It’s wobbled around a bit — originally it was a much more wordy tale of our doughty heroine confronting both her loopy, troublesome creator Dr. Grand-Mal and a suspiciously nonspecific alien invasion, then I sort of pared it down to a virtually story-free After Burner clone since it felt like creating all those story sequences would get in the way of playing a game that’s maybe ten or twenty minutes long at the absolute most, then I got all like “meh, I dunno” which is where I stand now.
I would like to do something with a bit of character and dialog, especially since that’s the kind of game I like the most and Neon Galaxy had none of that. Deep down though this is just a very simple arcade game and I don’t know if that’s plausible without totally overwhelming the game itself.
There are some interesting things I could do with the engine. The obstacle system could be used to make a hand-designed stage for the player to dodge through or pretty much any kind of crazy obstacle course a la Sega’s Galaxy Force. And there’s nothing keeping enemies in the air, either — a trivial “flight plan” could place installations on the ground, and setting up multi-part boss enemies wouldn’t be all that tough either. I can picture a 3-D Super Scaler take on 1943, say, attacking aircraft and then descending to the surface to take on warships with lots of gun turrets and whatnot.
And then of course there’s crossing these with the concept of a world map and multiple environments, which the whole engine is based around. There could be a branching tree of stages like Outrun, or it could be linear and more story-focused, or even have a map of stages that you could freely move around.
Too many choices! Like I said, I dunno. Before I do any more work with this concept I’m going to have to really sit back and nail one down.
New smoke trail particle behavior in A. CYBORG. I think I’ll keep it.
I’ve checked in the new enemy management code and am pretty happy with it. I can come up with arbitrary enemy movements, spawn them whenever I want, and even have them fire missiles when ordered to by the flight plan. The old code managing enemies in waves and trying to spawn different types is gone and good riddance to it.
It might actually be worth breaking Pixen out again now to draw some better enemies and fix up the kinda hideous cloud sprite I use everywhere.
Tch, not gonna have anything flashy worth posting for Screenshot Saturday this week. I’m finally buckling down and sorting out enemy behavior in A. CYBORG, and pretty much throwing out all the stuff I’d implemented up until now with “wave” objects that controlled spawning, a variety of C++ classes defining different behaviors, and so forth. Instead I’m following something like this plan:
I have to decide what’ll govern enemies’ decision to fire at the player, but it’s quite possible that can just go in the cFlightPlan as well. Again, there’s nothing sophisticated about these guys; they just need a simple scripted motion and that’s it. There are going to be a few genuinely sophisticated enemies — bosses, if nothing else — but those guys are going to have unique, hand-crafted behavior so I’m okay with giving them unique, hand-crafted code as well.
I kind of wish that Screenshot Saturday was Screenshot Sunday, since I usually don’t have anything that isn’t totally programmer art hackage by the end of Saturday. But anyway, I’ve implemented a fairly robust obstacle system in A. CYBORG. These will be used for bonus stages, not dissimilar to how it works in After Burner, although as per the world map I posted a while back you’ll only traverse one obstacle stage (out of four possible) in any single playthrough.
Oh, and, uh… I finally got around to updating the game window’s title bar. Yeah.
That should do for now.
Did a decent amount of work on A. CYBORG this weekend. A lot of it was getting enemy missiles functioning at all (remind me to write a post on that; short form, every “realistic” motion style looked horrible, and only the total cheating one worked out) and making smoke trails and the player missile dynamics less awful. A particularly interesting thing, though, was finally trying to nail down a new look for the heroine’s sprites. My goals, as I mentioned about a zillion years ago, are that a) her pose needs to be less stiff and more dynamic, and b) her design needs to be less noisy and easier to read. So here’s what I did:
While it still needs tweaking, I think this is going in the right direction.