Blog - 1st July 2018

It's been a long time since I've written a blog, but figured now is a good time to start sharing some of the experiences and challenges I go through when making games. I'll start with the Monster Siege game. It was inspired by the recent Japanese Godzilla movie. The gradual, inevitable approach of a giant monster seemed suspenseful especially when there was a multitude of tanks blasting it. Why not make a game where you are the underdog and must take out giant monsters?

Elements like original and engaging content would be difficult. I put that aside though and just jumped into making a prototype. Within a few hours I had a proof of concept. Not sure if there was enough to make a game at this stage, but it was cool to watch.

Image of game menu

The game originally looked like the above, very minimal and simple. The monster approached at a steady speed, and when it collided the base it would deduct hit points every second. As the monster approached it took damage from the turrets. This was more like a little movie.

Image of game play

The next stage was to add a GUI for the player to interact with. Cooldown and energy management are fun, and if done right can be easy to learn but hard to master. So I added an energy generation mechanic, and added hitpoints for both the base and monster. To keep the game lean, I decided not to rely on physics to determine if bullets hit. I wanted gatling turrets and tons of things going on the screen at once. To determine damage, I just added called a function would roll a number. If the roll was good, it was reduce existing hit points and update the health bar. Wonder what I will do for damage mitigation? The ideas start flooding in.

Image of game play

And what type of theming should this game have? I thought about a grungy, industrial style would work. And that the monsters should remain as shadows. Not only does it reduce the amount of artwork but more importantly it lets people imagine what the monster is. Allowing people to create their perception would help make this game more interesting and personal. If there is enough to make a game. I felt there was, and the only way to find out was to keep following instinct and create functions as they came to me. Hell, why not try and make a game without planning it out? Be a good experiment.

Blog - 11th July 2018

So the experimental Siege game has been tracking along and it seems to have enough potential to warrant further efforts. The development is turning out different than expected since it is guided by spontaneous ideas instead of a plan. Still, it translates to faster development and the ability to test various things out.

I added various upgrade options for the base, and will be looking at adding some kind of skill tree system later on. The battles are suspenseful, you can feel a lingering doom as the monster approaches unfazed by all the cannon fire. I like the stoic image of the monster, therefore it will be stylised as more of a silhouette leaving the player to guess and imagine the features of the enemy.

Experiment BG1

Giving people freedom to interpret an enemy adds as much depth as a player likes. Also added the other gun types - the key features are rate of fire, accuracy and range. Range is especially important since I plan to make the battlefields larger than a single screen.

Experiment BG2

Each turret has it's uses and unique cooldown. The player will have the freedom to configure any four turrets they like and control which cooldowns they have access to. It also determines how the battle will take place. Will a player prefer to whittle down the enemy from afar? Or rely on burst damage at close range? To make battles more interesting, some enemies will be able to shoot lasers or fireballs from a distance.

All these little features promote more features, the game is writing itself basically.