Four By… Two?

You read that right! A brand new game mode is coming your way – Four By Two plays very differently that the existing two modes, as it relies on split-second reaction times and feels a heck of a lot more tense.

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It’s real tense when the game’s all sped up. My high score is 32. How rubbish!

The spawning is a little different for Four By Two, as only single tiles spawn at any one time. However, the gap between tiles spawning is random, which adds to the tension. I’m not too sure what other kinds of mode I can add. Perhaps a ‘Futile’ mode, where you’re stuck forever in a 1×1 square, unable to move, with a score of zero? But that would be stupid, and I’m already sadistic enough with this new mode. I’m thinking of doing more fancy stuff with the camera next, such as zooming in and out.

What improvements are there?

On top of this new mode, there’s a couple tweaks too. You may have noticed before how sometimes a couple more tiles spawned after you die? Well, I had a word with the bit of code that made that happen, and he’s going to be doing a lot less breathing nowadays, so now tiles won’t crowd the right-hand side of the screen after death.

Also, occasionally tiles would spawn in a way that meant you had to move three spaces in one timestep, which was utterly impossible (and rage-inducing at times); now, that won’t happen, because tile sets with only one ‘entrance’ on the top or bottom won’t spawn after tile sets with a singular, opposite ‘exit’. For me, it’s a huge improvement, because I no longer feel cheated by the spawning algorithm.

On top of that, you can now pres ‘esc’ in the middle of a game to die instantly, if you so wish. It’s much quicker than waiting for a tile to appear and take you out.

Are there any other new additions?

Yep! There’s a Credits page (which really does need to be fleshed out with more stuff, because so far I’m the only one credited in it), and the framework is up for an options system, complete with an options menu. However, that’s not yet complete, so the button on the main menu won’t work, but the system will work as required in the background.

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I’m stereotypically British, so of course tea needs to be a credit.

Well that’s all for this update! You can go download this latest addition at the usual place. Have fun playing!

-Daniel

Oh, and there’s this, too:

Four By Eight – High Score Chasing

It’s that irregularly-scheduled time of the sometimes-week-sometimes-month again! You know what I mean: update time!

What’s in today’s update, Daniel?

Since you asked so politely, I guess I’ll have to answer you. You know the score counter in the corner that used to count how many tiles you’d avoided? Well, now those high scores are actually saved! So now, you’ll be able to gloat about your score of 391, right before someone else comes along and shows you their score of 392. Every damn time. The scores are separate for each game mode too.

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The third high score looks like a kitten face. Who can be mad at that?

The enemy tile spawning is much more diverse than before, although as before, it’s not truly random. It’s sorta semi-random, as there’s a bunch of predefined patterns of tiles that I created, and it’s those patterns which spawn randomly. In the previous update there were 16 possible patterns, but now there’s 58 wacky and wonderful arrangements. Ergo, more varied tile spawning. And everyone likes variety!

That sure sounds exciting! Surely there can’t be much else, right?

Well that’s where you’re wrong! Now, when you die in a flurry of floaty pink squares, rather than having to click one of the buttons that appear, you can press escape to go back to the menu, or if you’re like me and you *must* beat your previous score, you can press the spacebar or enter to try again. It’s slightly more elegant than using the mouse, although that’s still possible.

The main menu also looks a little different. Every element, whether it be a button or a part of the title, is now on a tile, so it fits the theme of the rest of the game (and confirms I’ve gone completely insane for tiles).

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Tiles are definitely what’s hot right now.

So the menu’s still pretty bare, but less bare. And I bet you can’t wait to see what’s under that Coming Soon button! I sure can’t! There are a few things coming soon, such as a way to look at all your leaderboards for every game mode, an options menu, and a new game mode. You’ll have to wait until next update to see what it is though! You can download the game from the usual place, on the IndieDB page, when the download is uploaded and approved. When it’s finally up, have fun trying it out.

-Daniel

Lasers and Why Gravity is Hard to Change

Just to start with, today won’t have an update, just a sneak peak about upcoming features and stuff I want to add, but will be difficult to implement. First of all, the next update will have a vastly better Laser Gun; much like the previous one improved the Force Gun, with a new animation controller, new model, new everything, I’ve now done the same for the Laser Gun.

spikes-73I’ve also been busy adding lots of scenery to each level. So far all of World 1 is complete, and some of World 2 as well. Basically, I’ve added a roof and some scaffolding-type blocks to make the whole place look more facility-like. Along with that I’ve added some decorative textures that light up and look like they’re moving, but you’ll have to wait and see what they’re like.

Gravity is a constant, and it’s really bugging me *lol puns*

But the main reason why this update’s taking a while is because I want to add a new type of gun, one that switches the direction of gravity. Changing gravity for physics object is literally one line’s code worth of work, but I want to be able to turn the character controller round too, which is proving to be much more difficult. I may just make the gun turn gravity for physics objects around for now, but that’s much less fun than being able to drop down onto a faraway ceiling, which is the feature I’m going for here.

The system doesn’t work

Also I’ve been trying to add a timer and score counter for different types of level and game modes (such as a time trial mode), however I’ve run into trouble with how the system will work. Long story short: it doesn’t. I’m not entirely sure how the score should relate to the time, and how timed levels should be, if I implement them. Also I’m unsure whether any actions you take in the game should give the player points, and if so, which actions. Another problem I had was with the display, as the built-in Unity OnGUI stuff is horrible, but I’m unsure of how to implement my own GUI for this. I’ll have a score system eventually, but if you have any ideas on how to go about it, they’d help a lot.

These are some of the many problems I face when adding new features, such as how to add them, how to make sure everything works, but also how fun it ends up being. Things such as lives, which seemed fun to begin with, ended up detracting from the gameplay a lot, stopping the “one more go” approach to solving puzzles. That’s extremely counter-intuitive, when you think about it. I’m also considering getting rid of gravits, as they also seem to make little sense. Feel free to leave our views on where I should take this below.