The combination of the internet and a clear schedule is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have complete access to all the tutorials, forums and coding resources you can ever need. On the other, you have access to unlimited cat gifs. So I constantly find myself checking email, scanning Twitter and generally following the rabbit hole to see where it goes.
And you look up and it’s 11am already. Things like this blog are time consuming ( but enjoyable, and in many ways, constructive for me to write and reign in my thought process). I often find productivity comes in waves – you can be stuck on a small problem for a long time and you tend to become discouraged and seek distraction. When the problem is solved, you might then churn out a huge section of code and feel really good about where you’re at. I often find myself wrestling with my tools, because while you may have done everything before – it’s rare you have done everything in exactly the same combination. Space shooter with Facebook connection? RPG using a PHP backend? Isometric tile based racer? All possible, but the combination of mixing code can take time.
And here’s where I’m at. Learning Box2D while racing to build a game in 14 days has proved to be challenging so far. I’m a little behind as to where I want to be – however progress moves along.
Yesterday I implemented some lovely screen capture code and mixed it with a blur filter, so now when the game ends, it fades to a blur and brings up the game over screen. I’ve also added some menu navigation and the game overlay ( where your objective, high score, time left etc will sit ) and I’ve tweaked the physics on the Iceblocks to give them a bit more weight. So that’s nice.
Two small victories from yesterday. Firstly, I’ve convinced the amazing musician Adrian Galassi ( seriously, check out his stuff on SoundCloud , you’ll want to work with him on your next game project too ) to write a track for the game – a jaunty little fisherman’s jig. Music adds so much to a game, it cannot be stressed how important it is.
The other victory – I may have come up with a name for the game….which I shall reveal tomorrow. I need to mull it over for a day and see if it sticks. The title of a game is probably at least as important as anything else you might put in a game – add puns, add alliteration, and for Pete’s sake try to avoid making it generic – you want to capture the public’s attention and you’ve really only got 2 seconds to do it. Writing a WW2 adventure game? Call of Shooters is bad, For King and Country is better ( if a little melodramatic ).
So what’s up for today in our little Ice fishing boat game? Today, let’s not get stuck in the ice too much – don’t sweat the small stuff and keep the momentum going.
Well, today I want to turn what’s currently a fun experiment into a full game cycle. At the moment, the player taps to release blocks onto the screen and stack them. The objective is to stack a certain number before the timer runs out – if one of them falls in the water , it’s game over. It’s simple but it really works so far – the next step is to improve and add a bit of complexity to it. I’m going to throw in a ‘guide piece’ which will change every second. You tap the screen, that guide piece is what you’ll get. Occasionally the piece may change into the image of a bomb which will end your ice block adventures faster than you can say “Iceberg ahead, Captain!”
Anyway, that’s it for now. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.