Wednesday, March 20, 2013

8-Bit Dimension Beta 1

The download for the new version can be found here.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, I somehow found the time to wrap up Beta 1 this week. Oh, the wonders of having free time that can be spent on stuff other than homework! Unfortunately, there are a few very minor bugs that I plan on fixing for Beta 2. All of the known bugs involve the "Sticky" item, and while I got all of the major bugs fixed (One of which would crash the game.) a few small minor bugs remain that don't impact game play too heavily. The known bugs will be detailed at the end of the post.

For those of you who play the game, the focus of this version is the inclusion of four different functioning items. Please let me know what you think of them, and their balance on game play which may be tweaked before release.

Here is the change log to  Beta 1. It's surprisingly small for an upgrade from Alpha to Beta:

- Added four new items to affect game play.
- The green item will split a single spell into three separate spells. Please note that this effect does not stack with itself, and if you have more than one spell active, you will only earn points for obtaining more of this item.
- The red item will increase the size of your shield by 50%. Changing levels or losing a life will reset this effect. Please note that the effects of this item are not cumulative. Obtaining more red items after your shield's size has been increased will have no effect and only grant points.
- The blue item will slow down the speed of all balls on screen by a fair amount. In order to keep the pace of the game moving, there is a minimum speed in place, thus, obtaining enough blue items will eventually have no effect if this minimum speed is reached.
- The yellow item will make your shield "sticky" and thus, catch any spells that make contact with it. Simply press the launch button again to fire your spells. This effect will fade upon changing levels or losing a life.

Known Bugs:

- Currently, while holding a spell under the effects of the "Sticky" item, if you move your paddle up against a wall, you may notice a small shift in the spells resting on the shield.
- The angle calculations when firing a spell while under the effects of the "Sticky" item are slightly off and may on rare occasion yield unexpected results.
- Speed is reset to it's starting value when ever a spell is fired while under the effects of the "Sticky" item.

Beta 2 will hit sometime over the summer as I know that nothing short of a miracle would allow me to finish it before the end of spring break. Especially when you factor in time to receive feedback and possibly fix any new issues that may be discovered. With Beta 2 I plan on fixing the bugs with the sticky item, and introducing three more, much rarer items. If time and testing permits, I will hopefully also have enemies added to the game, in at least some basic form. Please let me know what you think of the game! Any and all criticisms and comments are welcome as I move this game into its final phases.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ever Have One of Those Months...

... where you've had a fever for over a week straight?

This is probably the most sick I've ever been over an extended period of time. I've been pretty much bed ridden since March 2nd, and my productivity in all things has essentially hit zero. In fact, the only reason why I'm able to post up this blog entry is because I just woke up a few hours ago and I need to occupy myself with something that doesn't take too much mental energy until I can rest again. Still, at least I can talk about what's been going on this past month.

First up, I have a few screenshots to show for the game I'm working on in my Game Design class. Enjoy!

Here we have a simple terrain.

And the top-down view.

This Terrain I roughed out in a few hours for the tactical RPG I'm working on. Oh how I wish I had more time to work on this game. Sadly, my Data Structures class seems to hog every possible second it can like the greedy class it is. I may have more to show next month, but don't count on it.

Next up, 8-Bit Dimension! The game I wish I had the time to finish already. I haven't been able to put any effort into it since before the semester started, but I'm determined to put some time aside next week when spring break begins. At present due to my illness I'll need to spend significant time catching up on all of my school work, so I expect to bring Beta1 from about 50% done to some where around 75% done. I had hoped to finish Beta1 during Spring Break to allow a lengthy period for Q&A while I wrap up the semester, but it looks like right now I will have to try and wrap up the entire thing in the early summer. On the plus side, I finally found someone willing to do sound for the game, so expect sound some where down the pipeline at or before final release.

Finally, the mystery Android game I talked about last month is well under way. Due to the entire team being students, we're taking a slow and steady approach to working on the game until the semester ends, at which point it will pretty much become a full-time job in the hopes we can meet a September release. We have a studio name chosen which means you can either expect to see the name of this blog change, or a new one crop up in the next month or two, and the project name (which has absolutely no bearing on the final game) should be decided when we meet on Saturday to go over our progress over the past month. I hope to reveal both to the public as soon as possible, but with the matter of studio name that will have to remain under wraps until it's formally established and we purchase a domain for it. Who cares about a studio name any way?

Well, my cough is acting up again so I should be getting back to bed. Sorry I didn't have more to share, but I promise you there's a lot of exciting stuff waiting just beyond the horizon. Now of only the semester were over so I could get to work on all this stuff like a man possessed! Till next time, stay well, and if you have a fever for more than 4 days, well, I hope you have health insurance!