Wednesday, January 9, 2013

8-Bit Dimension Alpha 2

The download for the new version can be found here.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday season! After a holiday break and a nice trip that left me pretty sick, I've put the finishing touches on Alpha 2. I just got back home late last night, so I'm in the process of catching up with every thing that I've missed here in New Jersey since I left. After I take care of that and I do a little recovery I plan on starting work on the Beta version of 8-Bit Dimension.

Unfortunately, I can't give an accurate prediction as to when that might be available. School starts again in roughly 2 weeks, as will my work on another project. I've allotted time to complete at least 25% of the necessary work for Beta 1 before my classes start again. As usual, if I find I have more free time than expected, some of that will be put towards expediting the work on Beta 1. Also, as was the case with the last two school semesters, any development schedule will go out the window once school starts, and I'll be lucky to make ANY headway with the game. As a man of my word, I can guarantee that the full version will eventually be up, and it will be up at the soonest possible point.

Now, as for the change log for Alpha v2, I made the following improvements to the game:

- Added controller support. (See below for more information)
- Added a score mechanic.
- Added a set number of lives. A player starts with 2 and may obtain up to 6 extra lives as their score increases. If the player has no extra lives remaining and loses a ball, it will be Game Over.
- Added a level indicator.
- Added a pause feature.
- Added scaling difficulty. The ball will now increase in speed periodically when it collides with blocks. The silver blocks will affect the speed by a greater measure than the colored blocks. In addition, colliding with the upper wall will automatically set the speed of the ball to a new minimum if it hasn't reached that speed yet.
- Added items. (Note: Item effects have not been added to the Alpha version. Rather, it is currently an empty place holder in an effort to get feedback on item appearance rates.)

Controller support is extremely basic as befits an arcade game such as this. As with Mana Clash, it was designed utilizing a traditional NES controller to recapture the retro feel, and there is no way to re-map the buttons in game, so you will have to use your own button remapping software if you are using a different controller.

D-Pad: Controls movement.
Button 0: Fire the spell.
Button 3: Pauses the game.

Beta 1 will focus on item effects and rates. I plan to have several different effects that items will have on game play, and thus will need lots of time to properly implement and test each one. In addition to managing the items, I hope to implement roaming enemies and perhaps a new level, but that will depend solely upon the progress made in getting the items to work properly. As usual, please feel free to give me any constructive criticism you can so that I can continue to improve upon the game.

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