This week we are a little light on stuff to show but that’s never stopped us before! We’ve got another slimy space race to show you guys. Designing alien races is so much fun that we’ll probably have a ton that we’ll never end up using but the process keeps us sharp and allows us to keep brainstorming up ideas! This week we put together a pretty scary race!
Here’s The Whurms! I always liked the idea of just classic alien monsters so I came up with these guys. They are super smart space worms that have built slave-robot bodies to do most of their mundane tasks while their evil and cunning brains can get to work on more pressing matters.
If you guys recall last week we had a brief video of a whurmish gun snake taking a path down the screen, this is an instance of the ship being created before the race was. Nick and I just wanted to get a snakey looking ship in the game shooting stuff so we put one together and then decided to cram a race in there. The gun snake ended up looking pretty interesting so that also got us thinking about what else we could do with that kind of behavior. First off since the ship itself isn’t one piece it’s modular we could mix and match the entire ship’s weapons and keep experimenting with body combinations until we find the ones that are the most interesting to deal with!
Well that’ll be it for this week’s Dev-Blog! we’ve been implementing ideas into the game and have started experimenting with different control systems. Thanks for stopping by and checking out what we’ve been up to, and remember to keep those singularity cannons on full-auto!
This week has been an interesting one! We’re helping out a local studio with some work, but we can’t talk about it. How’s that for a dev-blog huh? Not to worry, we’ve also been doing some work on Star Razer, so we’ll just talk about that!
So for Star Razer I’ve been working on a way to get enemies appearing on screen in an interesting way. Currently, the enemies follow simple paths, and each control point on the path has some information on whether to turn on the weapons, change the animation state, etc. The paths itself is a simple spline through these points to insure smooth enemy movements. Each entity spawned on the path can have a local offset (relative to the path) or an absolute offset (which moves the entire path).
We combine a few of these paths into one group, which then gets assigned a difficulty. In the level description we can create a sequence of randomly selected groups, based on the current difficulty in the level. Hopefully this will mean that we’ll get fun gameplay that is never exactly the same!
Pretty straightforward stuff, really, but the results are quite cool, as you can see in the video below.
Alright, it’s a short one this week, but hopefully it was still interesting to read about what we’re up to!
This week we have yet another blast from the art side of things! So strap into your cockpit and take aim at these weird ideas!
Typically I’m much more creative when it comes to characters so designing top-down fighters was becoming challenging and I was getting frustrated. To solve this problem I decided to try a new approach by designing the race or pilot before the ship so i could try and cram all the goofy characteristics of the creature into their ships!
Back when we started development on Starrazer we wanted there to be a mole race with a bunch of mining ships and laser drills and stuff. I proceeded to draw a bunch of said equipment but it really felt like they were missing something. So with the redux of Starrazer I took another shot at their design by first tackling what these weird things would look like outside of the ship. It may not look like much of the gross mole-thing got into the ship designs but it made me feel better about the final designs after getting in that first, loose sketch of the monsters.
Rough Ship Creation:
We also wanted to create some “Hero” ships with some more complexity. We are experimenting with how ships will look made out of multiple parts. Each race would have a lego-grab bag of pieces so we could combine everything in different configurations. This would (hopefully) keep every sector looking proper as well as giving it a good amount of variety. Also we could use these pieces to create large combinations of composite ships that could be used as enemies or inspirations for more bad guys!
Tackling top-down has been a little tricky, but it’s been fun re-visiting some of my favorite old SHMUPS and seeing how they handled various art problems.
And another week screams by here at Slick! Nick’s been hard at work re-writing the weapon system in his engine to be able to handle more varied firing mechanics and a whole bunch of other stuff! So be sure to warp in next week to check up on our progress while we continue to craft a totally cool cosmic experience! Thanks so much for stopping by and be sure to keep those phase-disruptors disrupting!
Another Dev-Blog has warped in, weapons still hot! This week we have a few more rough ideas we’ve visualized and begun implementing into the Waanderful Engine!
We wanted to get a grasp of what the player would be doing during their star-conquest so figured out a loop involving all the cool weapons! We want to create a constantly changing arsenal in our space-shooter so the player should get used to unloading on their enemies, ejecting the empty module, then snagging a new one. We were also considering using ammunition but have recently thought that limiting cool weapons is kinda lame.
Ship Set up!
Here’s some more ideas on how ships could be handled. We were initially thinking that we’d add layers of armor plating on a vulnerable skeleton of a ship and then attach weapons to them as well that could be shot off. That actually ended up being really insane on the coding side and we opted for a more familiar approach and are now trying to simply spawn hook-able power ups from specific destroyed ships.
Another thing we noticed art side when creating enemies is that everything looks TERRIBLE from the top. It’s hard to get things looking as “fun” as we did in Shellrazer simply because of the perspective. I’ve been experimenting with a few different ideas on the art side but it is an unseen and rather interesting problem to be having.
And another week star-screams by here at Slick! Thanks as always for dropping by and checking up on us and going through our development process as we hammer out another fun time! Until next time keep those sweet space lasers from overheating friends!
I almost can’t believe it: Slick Entertainment is a decade old! In the last 10 years we’ve made a bunch of great games, and I am super proud of what we’ve achieved with our small team: 4 fun games, custom C++ engine on 6 different platforms, 3 games feature online multiplayer, all hand-drawn art for […]