Sunday, August 25, 2013

V1.2.1 Beta - Select screens and stuff

...are apparently far more complicated than expected. Thank god it's done now.

Click here to download Blastorium:Recoded v1.2.1 Beta

So this update brings you the select screen! ...and more or less nothing else. But don't get me wrong, this single select screen page is probably more troublesome than implementing mines (definitely worth it though).

Now you can pick 3 weapons from a pool of... 3 weapons. Well, at least you can decide their order
As you can see, the single select screen covers both weapon selection (top half) and stage selection (bottom half). I did thought of making them separate to give more space for each part to contain more information (Such as what a weapon does, what effects does this stage/arena has, etc) but ended up mixing them together for design and efficiency purposes. As for the extra information, I decided to group it into a single "encyclopedia" page, which I'll work on later.

Not pictured: awesome scroll effect
The lower half was less technical-complex (I have to consider less input types and less constraints compared to weapons, which must not allow duplicate pickings and stuff), but more visually challenging to pull off, with alternating opacity and size relative to distance to the center as well as the minimaps' alternating movement speed, which for some reason requires like 15 tries to look good and clean enough.

Either way, this is a pretty major development, probably more significant than how it looks at first glance. My production speed (Which is more or less 10 days from the last update) is still not satisfactory, but isn't really bad either considering how much of a change this is.

First of all, a select screen means I no longer need to use the terminal (the one you previously need to enter a number to in order to start the game). This solves a major inconvenience from previous versions, which is the fact that you have to restart to change stages.

Another point is that the select screen is fully compatible for future updates. I can now start adding weapons to the game, since you can now actually choose your arsenal. Changing the system from fixed-3-weapons to dynamic is not very simple when you code as horribly as I do. And of course, there's the invisible-for-now prerequisite system which will require you to play a considerable amount and racking up numbers before unlocking any weapon other than the first three. Unlockable content is the probably the best thing ever invented in games :)

Either way, having the select screen finally done and working fine greatly opens up the way for development. I still have to implement sound, but unlike this screen I could delay sound in order to prioritize gameplay. Next update might or might not come soon (most likely the latter though), but when it does, you can look forward to seeing the first of the 9 unlockable weapons!


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