Making Games: Jack's Beach Blitz Part 4

Making Games: Jack’s Beach Blitz Part 4

Note: I have been working on a game the last few weeks in my spare time to try and hit the Halloween holiday (sic – I know it really is’;t a holiday per se, as we have to work that day, but what the hell). That means I need to be complete with it by this Sunday to have any chance it making a splash before the 31st. I started working with an existing engine to save time. Because of this, I have had to make many concessions in game play because of time and engine limitations. The basic premise: You are Jack, the Jack-O-Lantern and you are on vacation. Your nemesis, the evil Gordon Gruesome keeps kidnapping your girlfriend and on each level you will need to rescue her. The original engine was a Pac Man variant, but I wanted this one to be an arcade shooter in the Wizard of Wor or Gauntlet realm. I am now just about 90% complete. Given that the only similarity between Pac Man and Wizard of Wor is the maze, I this has been quite a struggle. The good thing about using the existing engine is that is is a solid base that has features such as animated tiles, triggers, power-ups, and other customizable game code that other-wise would have had to be completely re-done. The down-side is finding all of the newbie AS3 bugs I put in when I originally wrote this engine and replacing them new bugs that I will complain about next time I try to re-use the engine.

Here is a list of the items I have on my to do list. I have made some good progress since the last time, but I have a ways to go yet.

1. Gun upgrade path and messaging
The only remaining portion is messaging for Ammo low and sounds (90% complete)

2. Missile hitting walls and explosion
Done, but I don’t like the explosion or the position it hits on the tile. I need to have the explosion look better and hit closer to the edge the tile was hit (80% complete)

3. Finish level by rescuing the princess
(100% Complete)

4. Can destroy enemy generators (but a bug exists)
Complete, but I need a new explosion when it is destroyed and sounds. (90% complete)

5. Enemy generator health bar
(100% complete)

6. Can’t shoot enemy until they start moving
(Complete)

7. Change bonus needed and all other lever amount indicators
(Not started)

8. New instructions
(50% Complete).

9. New layout – get rid of timers, and put in ammo count and gun level.
(100% Complete)

10. Use Bratney “Safe Timer” for when “KILL” has been collected.
Need new messaging and sound. (80% complete)

11. Re-do power-ups
Need to change the look of some of them (80% Complete)

12. Make new levels
Level 1 is complete. need 14 more levels. (7% complete)

13. Update the enemy and missile pool code
Not happening this time around.

14. Add in advanced game timer
Done, but when I used updateAfterEvent and a frame rate greater than 40, ONLY ON THE MAC, the Flash player (not in the browser) times out. I have commented out the updates line, but it will go back in some time. (90% complete)

15. Explosion object pool
Not happening this time around.

16. Allow the player character to move against walls.
Player can not smoothly bump up against any surface. (100% Complete)

18. Sound fax and music
Need’s a lot more work (50% complete)

19. Add in tar that needs to be washed off
(100% complete)

20. New title screen, credits, more games design, and screen design
I have spent the bulk of my time doing this as mock-ups and send my lame-ass crap to Mari for clean-up.

21. Key listeners bugs
When I implemented my new key listeners, some how the Paused screen will no longer respond to key events. I need to look into this one. – (50% complete)

22. New bitmap data fx and transitions.
I want to add in some cool fx like matrix bending of the play field or special warp modes. This may not happen in time (Not started)

After updating all of those, I feel that I am only about 80% complete (not scientific, but what the hell). I have to have a 2 level demo done tonight to show to a prospective sponsor, so I will need to book on it to get something playable complete. The biggest problem right now is with the in-game effects. They just are not what I’d like them to be. I need to clean them up so they make a nice impression. I also need to change firing from using the [z] key to using the [spacebar] (for the ease of the player). There are some new tile effects that I need also and some other things that I would normally have a lot of time to fix, but given the short re-design and programming time I gave myself, I will have to do the best I can.

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