Big Spiky Death Balls – Project Spikes 27/09 Update

I’ve finished the fourth level and improved the existing three slightly with features from this update. Firstly, I’ve added large spike balls. They’re rather deadly and tend to fall on your head.

spikes-15They were pretty fun to experiment with with positioning, along with Unity’s physic materials (especially the bouncy one) to make them hop around the stage like kangaroos on meth. I also added mini posters/ billboards that warn the player of dangers ahead, and one at the start of each level to tell you the level number.

spikes-16

If you wondered what the player looks like in my scene view, he’s a bright purple capsule. He’s a little bit feminine and proud of it.

I’ve used some existing objects to devise new traps for the player – you’ll have to find them for yourself though! Along with this comes a new health bar, which is much more colourful (and hence, better) than before; it’s a nicer way of displaying remaining lives and health. There’s a few new features such as a start screen and pause screen; the latter of the two is accessed through the escape key. The cursor stays frozen in the centre of the screen and hidden while the game in unpaused, meaning it won’t stray from the game window and interfere with other applications.

spikes-17Also, as some players pointed out, some moving platforms used to stutter when stood on, but this has been fixed now by updating their position in the FixedUpdate() function rather than Update(), as the former is ran before the latter. Turrets have also been improved, as their bullets get destroyed after coming into contact with any collider, not just the player, and they aim better.

CHANGELIST / TR;DR
-Added large spiky balls of death and physic materials
-Added a fourth level
-Added small warning posters
-New trap variants
-New health bar
-New start menu
-New pause menu -  press "esc"
-Fixed bullets only being destroyed after hitting player and turrets' aiming
-Fixed stuttering platforms

For next update, I will be finishing up World 1 and perhaps starting work on World 2. The fifth and final level in this world will be a bit bigger than the previous ones, and feature a puzzle in order to advance forward. So far, it looks promising.

If you want to try the game out, the link is the same as it always has been: play it here! And thanks for playing!

The Actual Actual Plan. Sorry For All The Vaporware!

Okay. I swear this time, I have a plan for real. I was dawdling about at home the other day and stumbled upon a video that explained why people sometimes have trouble completing projects (much like myself). One of the main reasons was over-ambition. I thought I’d be able to make a game full of unheard-of ideas, fantastic graphical displays and bug-free gameplay. However, I found myself at a dead end when small changes to one script started to completely ruin others, forcing me to pull back some changes and eventually, I decided to put my tower defense game on hold too, for a while. I’ve gone back to the drawing board, and found an idea that works: trying to make the most basic game I can, with a super-simple graphical scheme, focusing on the gameplay and trying to make the game more entertaining and much longer. So, now I’m working a new game where the objective is to get from the spawn point to a cube located somewhere in the level, and I will slowly start to add new gameplay elements and hazards as the player progresses. It has been codenamed “Project Spike” for now, as the first and only hazard so far is the spike.

spikes-1In fact, this is the first level. Just get to the goal, simple as that. The levels do increase in complexity, and so far I have included small platforms, some of which move, which means there are some minor jumping puzzles (don’t worry, they’ll get worse. Everyone loves jumping puzzles.), as well as spikes in the later levels. They are in no way challenging, but currently they teach the player simple game mechanics that will feature later on.

spikes-2This, in contrast, is level 7, where there are many spikes and more challenging jumps and moving panels. This method of level design is actually quite a lot of fun for me, as I can place more hazards and remove them at will to find the perfect balance of fun and challenge. I plan to have more worlds, which will each feature an important new mechanic, for example turrets (which I can take from my tower defense game) and some kind of pitfall or tripwire traps. The spikes take 10 health of the player each (so two spikes together will take 20 health), but the groups of 5 spikes are an insta-kill. The player has 100 health at the beginning (which I will show graphically at some point), and 5 lives. Falling off the level is also an insta-kill, and will respawn the player at the start of the level. Losing all of your lives will eventually cause a Game Over screen to appear.

spikes-3My favourite graphical part of the game so far is actually the advance cube; I simply made a .png of a swirly cube thing (it was originally going to be simply an outline, but my hand slipped and I messed it up, but it looked cool, and this was the result of a couple minutes’ work), made a material with the transparent/cutout/diffuse shader, and this fancy-looking cube is the result (well, it’s one cube in another actually).

spikes-4

In every level you’ll also be able to find a ‘Secret’, a collectible item that should be hard to find. It’s a re-coloured advance cube, and it looks rather attractive. It’s currently not actually able to be picked up, but the locations of them won’t change, so if you find some, great going! I’ve not yet put them in every level (at the time of writing, there are only actually two), but they will be in every level at some point.

Most importantly, I actually worked out how to make a Unity Web Player build of the game and host it through my Dropbox, so you can try it out right now hereCurrently, there really is not much to see, but I will be adding many more levels over the coming weeks, and perhaps I will actually get this project done!