Sunday, April 5, 2009

Skies Of Fury: Progress Report and Feature Breakdown

Breakdown of all new features displayed in the video since last website update about the game after the jump.

This video comprises about half of Level 1 on the default difficulty setting. Level design is credited to Nick Wasilewski and Steven Mond.

0:04 - though not very readable due to the low quality of the video upload, the player now has a heads-up display in the lower-left and lower-right corners of the screen. This HUD displays lives remaining and score on the left (in green), and the amount of available Overdrive on the lower right (in yellow-orange; Overdrive will be elaborated upon below).

0:05 - any time the player starts or respawns after death, he is given a brief grace period of invincibility. This lasts for a little over three seconds and is indicated to the player by the background fluctuating to a turquoise color.

0:06 - explosions added into the game. The game chooses at random between sixteen different explosion spritesheets.

0:10 - a new enemy type, the Scout. Low health, but has a rapid-fire laser cannon as its weapon rather than the standard purple blob. A bit of an aside, one of the things we're currently working on is adding more variety to the in-game projectiles.

0:11 - by holding down Left Shift (or A on the XBOX360 controller), the player enters "Overdrive" mode. While in Overdrive, the player moves twice as fast and his primary weapon fires twice as many shots. In addition, the background color fluctuates to orange to give the player a visual cue that he is in Overdrive mode. The player begins the game with no Overdrive, but earns Overdrive by killing enemies.

0:17 - when the player is hit by an incoming projectile, he becomes vulnerable to being killed. This vulnerability is made evident by the loud warning horn, flashing "DANGER" text at the bottom of the screen, and the fluctuation of the screen color to red.

0:18 - the player's primary weapon receives upgrades as the player scores more points. Currently the points threshold is squished for debugging purposes. Here we see the player fires four forward shots simultaneously.

0:25 - another upgrade, this time sideways-firing shots.

0:29 - two more upgrades are visible (remember I said the points scale for upgrades was squished; I wasn't kidding, heh); the player fires shots backwards from the reverse of the ship, and a single orbiter circles around the player's ship. The orbiter fires shots at a slow rate, but the orbiter's shots will home in on the closest enemy.

0:32 - another new enemy, the Heavy ship, makes an appearance. Its behavior, however, is not yet final.

0:36 - the player now has two orbiters as the result of another upgrade. The second orbiter behaves the same as the first orbiter.

0:43 - a third new enemy, the Doom Rocket, appears. The Doom Rocket flies in a single predetermined direction, dropping bombs off as it flies through the scene. The bombs explode and generate a massive number of projectiles in all directions.

1:00 - a fourth new enemy (if you can catch a glimpse of it, it moves incredibly fast), the Net. The Net enters the screen based on the player's current x-position and flies at a rapid rate towards the player. The Net can harm the player with either the electric beam that exists between the two subship pieces it is comprised of, or simply ramming the player. The Net has no projectile weapons, however.

1:01 - when the player dies, the background color fluctuates to black until the player is revived.

1:28 - just before the video fades out, we see the fifth new enemy at the top of the screen on both sides, the Cloud Cannon. This is a stationary enemy which constantly fires projectiles in a single direction.

With this update, most of the key gameplay features of SoF are implemented, the notable exceptions being the player's alternate weapon and a finalized boss enemy (or enemies, if times allows). Once these is implemented, level design, game balancing, and bug-squashing will become the primary areas of focus.

SoF remains on track for completion by the SGD End-of-Semester Expo.

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