I’m in an unusual-feeling place now where YES, THE MISSION is almost shippable!
But I can’t really ship it yet. I want to get in some last testing rounds for any sneaky bugs. E3 also just happened, so everybody will be wrapped up in all the news pouring out from there.
So I’m waiting a little bit… And in the mean time, I’m of course still working on the game. I started on the stuff I wanted to do for minor releases, as well as other things that came up:
- Added shading to vine tile, because it was flat and looked sad. Compare these before and after screenshots! It took me a year to get around to doing this, wow…
- Modified the title menu so it was less crowded. With the FORUMS item, it got to be too much. So I separated it into two menus, and there’s more room to breathe. I placed the FORUMS on the main menu (and not the options menu) because I hope it’ll be important enough to warrant that position.
- Reload/charge meter for gun. This is as fresh as can be – I just finished it up yesterday. But I’m not sold on putting it in the game. The reason I made it is because there are people who are annoyed at the slowness of the shooting. With this little UI, I was hoping to mitigate that feeling. However, I feel it really doesn’t fit with the aesthetic of the rest of the game. I don’t know how I could dress it up so it fits. So for now, it is not in the final game. Let me know if you feel it should be.
- Panning of sound effects based on the position of their source! Now, when you shoot something on the right side of the screen, your stereo speakers will produce the shot sound from the right speaker only. Experts say this increases immersion. I say it gives a nice feeling of space to the game. I had noticed this effect over a decade back in CHRONO TRIGGER, and loved it. I am happy to now have the same effect in my own game!
- Code cleaning. The kind of stuff that makes programmers happy, but has little effect on the game itself… most of the time.
What am I up to from here on out? I’m starting work on more music for the game. There are only two tracks right now: the title, and the surface battle. I had planned on finishing more tracks for future minor releases, but I have some time now! I had planted the seeds for each of the 3 remaining tracks about 6-12 months ago, so we will see what has germinated in my mind.
It’s been a busy few months for me due to family stuff, but I’ve continued to work on the Foundry colors little by little. And actually I did a fair amount of reworking of the art itself, unifying the indestructible tiles across areas and adding more contrast to the Foundry palette. Check it out!
Gifs made with nice little tool GifGear! :)
Much less abrasive on the eyes, and much easier to read! So now it looks much better when I run the game on my Mac.
Sadly when I tried it out on my TV, the colors throughout the game looked atrocious. Now I have to say that I did some manual recoloring, because the colors are changed when packed using TexturePacker. The reason for this is that Macs by default use “Generic RGB” color space instead of the standard sRGB, while TexturePacker naturally assumes sRGB. Anyway, since I had already made all the assets in the Generic RGB, I just recolored the packed files. But now they look poor on my TV. So that’s what’s bugging me right now. Any input and/or suggestions on this are super welcome – I’m out of my element here!
Also finalizing some stuff in relation to the framework I’m using, OpenFL. For about a year now, it has had Legacy and Next modes, with the former being more mature in most areas and the latter having a unified codebase. Projects could be set up to still use Legacy and then switch to Next when the time was right for them. I’ve been working on moving THE MISSION over to work 100% with Next, and I think I have it all done now :D
So what does this mean? I need to figure out this color stuff, maybe even switch back to not recoloring the packed spritesheets (since they looked acceptable on my TV). And then I’ll be done with version 1.0 of this game, and ready to prepare for actual release! Look forward to it!
I finished the molten death animations! Check out the sweet gif!
That’s pretty much all I’ve done in the last couple of weeks. It took more time than I expected, and I’ve gotten quite busy as well.
Next thing is to figure out a new palette for the Foundry. It’s too saturated and actually hurts the eyes. Luckily it’s a fairly easy batch job to apply the colors. The difficulty is in finding the right colors. Wish me luck! Continue reading
I’ve hit a bit of a slow period in developing THE MISSION. The next big thing to do is animations for when the players are ensnared in vines, but it feels like an insurmountable wall right now. Which it isn’t, of course, it just feels like it is. So I’ve been slowly working on other things besides these animations.
Such as impact effects! I watched this interesting talk of Jan Willem Nijman on adding effects and details to games in order to improve the way they feel and play, and the main thing I took away for THE MISSION was to add some effect for regular shots hitting walls. So here you go!
It is indeed a recycling of the flare effect when two shots collide, but that’s such a rare occurrence that I think it fine to reuse the animation. The visual effect is drawn from those in Robotech, although I can’t find the actual reference. I thought it was awesome when I was a kid, and it’s stuck with me since!
I spent a fair bit of time on animations for the vines regrowing, and the leaf detail variations as well. Although now I’m having some issues with the animations themselves. As you can see in the gif, they happen irregularly, for some reason. Very mysterious! They work elsewhere just fine, so I don’t know what that’s about just yet. But I’ll figure it out.
The work continues!
The grass is pretty simple and is just flipped if a player goes through it. I might make more varied alternates if I have some time later on.
I also like that the grass can serve as cover!
One of the few things left to do for the planet surface levels is the animation for when an avatar gets sawed. Here’s a WIP GIF showing a blocked animation with the base color. This was a test to see how the animation could look like, and then I used the test to implement some additional physics for it. Thoughts are welcome!