3 Buttons to Complicate my Week

Well, was back at uni this week after a break that always ends up being too short.  I’m glad to be back into the thick of it again, although i didn’t miss scripting one bit.  I promised myself i would make 3-5 games over the break among other things, but didn’t quite get there with only 2 games made.  I think its normal to wish you could’ve or should’ve done more on your break.  One thing i’m disappointed in was that i didn’t create any levels at all, none in Unity or UDK.  I’m hoping i can make that up over this trimester, seeing some of the amazing builds from the likes of Tor Frick, Tavani Giacomo or Robert Briscoe makes me wish i had more time to spend on it.

The week started off by pushing us right into the thick of it with a game brief, “3 Buttons to Stand the Test of Time” that required us to think of a concept, create a elevator pitch for it and present it the next day.  Too easy.  The concept i came up with is a top down, tower defence game.  At least i call it a tower defence game as i can’t think of anything else to compare it too.  Goalkeeper game maybe?  Anyway I’ve locked myself in my cave the entire week making this game, because thats how long we’ve been given to do it, a week.  Eating fishbones and scraps pushed under the door, as i grow paler from lack of sunlight.  You know, a typical game developers life.

I’m glad i didn’t over scope this game, everything has gone according to plan for the most part.  Today i finished up the last polish of the game which was some balance tweaks to the resource management mechanics and the enemy wave spawn behaviours.  Unfortunately i couldn’t quite figure them out as well as i would’ve liked.  For my resource management, i wanted a non-linear interpolation of the increase rate with my resources.  Meaning the when the resource was close to zero it would recharge quickly but as it increased, the rate at which it increased would slow down.  Unfortunately the last time i did those sort’ve equations was about 15 years ago and havent needed to use them until now.  Yayee! for industrialised education system.  I did the best i could by playing around with some divisions and multiplications but its not as polished as i wanted it to be and khan academy wasted about 3 hours of my time.

Asteroid wave spawner was the last thing i fine tuned.  I basically ended up doing a lot of nested arrays that each has their own unique spawn attributes.  I know there has to be a better and more efficient way of doing but i think its a bit beyond me at the moment.  I found some video’s of object pooling which seem to be what i need but im not sure.  It costs me a lot more time and effort then the average joe to understand and implement code, but im getting there.

I’ve got the game to as far as i can mentally take it, tomorrow i’ll see what sort’ve of feedback i get and fine-tune it from there.  But I’m getting the munchies to build a level.


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