I know it's been awhile since I last made a dev diary. I've been working steadily, but it took me a long time to get enough of my "Outlaws of Gravity" to be able to offer a working prototype. Quite a bit has changed since the last version! Note, too, that this is an executable file. I do plan eventually to make this playable in a browser, but there's some issues with inputs that I haven't worked out yet. The standalone versions allow the user to setup their own controls for joysticks, so that's what I'm going with for the time being. There's no online multiplayer (yet), so it shouldn't be an issue anyway. Download the prototype here. Okay, so here's what's new:
1. Choice of ships. I downloaded a "star fighters" pack from the assets store for $30. I got about 8 or so ships and was able to use all but one of them (it was oriented differently than the others, and I couldn't figure out how to change it).
2. Each ship type has a different speed, hull, energy, and bonus damage variable.
3. There are now three types of weapons: Cannon ball (your basic shot), Guided Missiles, and MIRVs. Guided missiles and MIRVs are controlled by the joystick; simply fire one, and your ship controls are now controlling the missile. If you hit the fire button while the missile is in the air, it explodes, doing splash damage to whatever is nearby (including you, so be careful). If it's a MIRV, it explodes into multiple cannon balls, which shoot off in random directions.
The different weapons have cooldown periods based on strength. The idea is that your ship's reactors have to build the projectiles, and of course it takes longer to build a missile than a simple cannon ball. I've tried some initial variables, but still need some refinement with the formulas.
4. The ships can now "thrust." Note--this isn't free movement. Your ship is constrained to an orbit. However, you can move within that orbit, rotating and moving around the planet. This is very useful for aiming as well as dodging enemy shots!
5. Joysticks required. I haven't implemented a system for joysticks or keyboards yet...Frankly, the interface just screams for an Xbox 360 controller, which I find a helluva lot more fun than a keyboard for this. I actually don't own two gamepads, so I haven't been able to fully test the multiplayer yet. However, unless I've made a silly typo somewhere, it should fine with two Xbox 360 joysticks, which I assume most people are using these days for their PC gamepads.
6. Some sounds. I haven't added music yet, and only a few basic sounds. I plan to add a lot more later.
7. Way more planets. I worked out a way to make "rings" and multiple planets per ring. I've worked hard to try to make sure that they aren't too close together, though there might still be some issues there. IMO, these additional planets make the game way more fun to play.
1. Instead of using the mouse to select each player's starting planet, use the gamepad somehow.
2. More sounds/music
3. Title screen, instructions, etc.
1. Online multiplayer. I would *love* to have this functionality, but unfortunately it may not be possible for someone of my limited ability. I paid $100 for something called "Fieldkit Readymatch" that was supposed to reduce it to a non-brainer, but that was wrong. I tried for hours and hours and couldn't even get their demo to work. And my request for a refund was met with silence...GRRR. I'll probably try it again, though, and if it still fails, I have a "Smartfox Server" to fall back on. The downside of that is that I have to run the server myself--which utterly sucks. Plus, it's a LOT more complicated to setup, and will probably take weeks (months?) of trial and error to get it working.
2. More weapon types. I think a game like this only gets more fun with different kinds of weapons! It wouldn't be too hard to add a laser weapon, for instance, and maybe different kinds of missiles. I also thought about having a "store" and some way to accumulate money between matches, so that you could buy additional weapons and upgrades for your ship.
3. AI so you can play this single player. Again, something well beyond my ability at the moment, but obviously possible.
So, that's it for now, please download and give it a shot--preferably with a partner! I strongly suggest you use the default 1024 x 768 resolution, since the other resolutions mess up the interface for whatever reason.