Genesis: Nearing the Surface

Week 4 already.  That was fast.  My 2D Top Down Shooter ‘Tango Tangent’, I’ve affectionately named it is due at the end of this.  With pride I have completed the majority of things that I needed to.  Life system, numerous AI behaviours that spawn faster as time passes, Pick-Ups.  These are such simple basic mechanics, but being able to build them yourself is a real achievement.  But even with these great systems, without feedback, the game is incredibly bland.  So this week I dedicated to implementing sound and visual feedback mechanisms that would ‘juice’ my game up.

First things first; audio.  Out of all the feedback mechanisms I figured audio to be the easiest to implement therefore I tackled it first.  I implemented background music first and boy did it have an impact.  Where once I was falling asleep playing my game, with background music I immediately pepped up, it was an amazing difference to gameplay.  After this I implemented ‘laserfire’ audio then some basic explosions.  Surprisingly I spent more time searching or scouring to be more accurate, for suitable audio files on the internet then I did implementing it in my game.  However, I ran into a problem when I tried to implement a player death sound.  Immediately I knew what was wrong, my player game object was being destroyed before the audio was played.  Despite knowing what was wrong it still took me the better part of 2 hours to figure out how to get it working.  The way I managed to get it working was by disabling the renderer and putting a timer on the ‘Destroy()’ function.  That way the player gameobject was destroyed after the sound had finished playing.

With my audio done it was time to sort out visual feedback.  The two main forms of visual feedback I wanted to use were, particle effects and text pop-up’s.  I had never played around with particle systems but I knew I wanted a coloured particle system on enemy collisions and player death.  After watching some videos I played around with the particle renderer.  Implementing it was much the same as the audio, so after configuring the colours and particle behaviour to my liking my game now provided the visual queues needed for the collisions.  The text.gui’s were tricky.  Spawning it in wasn’t a problem but to give it some behaviour and then destroy it was a little more complicated then I first thought, but I eventually overcame this and got it working.

Finally, to finish my project off I needed to construct a menu screen and a game over screen.  I wanted to do something special for my start screen, having ship sprites moving across the screen at varying speeds in and out of formations with epic background music did the trick.  My game over screen was a nightmare though.  I couldn’t figure out how to save my data, therefore I couldn’t create a high score table.  Some of my GUI labels were also behaving weird and not actually appearing in the position I was telling them too.  I know its something to do with player preferences, but with time running out I have to claim defeat on the scoreboard and try and figure out player prefs for the next assessment.

Well my first assessment is now officially a game and I can breath a sigh of relief.  My next assessment is a first person shooter, and for next week im going to build a character controller and a basic enemy system.

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