Thursday, 28 June 2012

Mac Version and Future Plans

The Mac version of 'Starfire - Ares Assault' was released yesterday. So far, not many downloads but it has only been pushed out via a few forums. Anyone with a Mac - please let me know if it works OK and feel free to leave comments.

From initial feedback it's clear that my strategy of always using the desktop resolution isn't working. Think I was being a bit overly optimistic there!

Also, quite a few players have criticised the difficulty. This is a trap I've fallen into previously with Gravity Core.

Based on this, the development tasks for the game are:
  • Difficulty level rebalancing
    • Settings from 'Normal' difficulty will be moved to 'Hard'
    • Slower enemies (on lower difficulties)
    • Less damage from enemy bullets (ditto)
    • Smaller groups of enemies (ditto)
  • Longer invulnerability when respawning
  • Warning message when destroyer is approaching
  • Screen resolution choice
  • Performance settings - nebula density and shrapnel density
Hopefully these changes will make the game more accessible in gameplay terms and variety of machines it can be played on.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Starfire - Ares Assault has been released for a few days now.

Players seem to like it generally and have complimented the visuals and music. I still seem to be falling into the trap of making games that are too hard.

The consensus seems to be that the first boss in Starfire is too tough. Not very scientific as no-one has said it ISN'T too tough!

If you're playing Starfire, please let me know whether you think the first boss is too tough... and please let me know if is ISN'T.

Any other comments are also welcome.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Game Released Live - Phew!

The game is now released live:

Only the Windows version is available at the moment. I still need to complete final testing on the Mac build and package it up for release.

The website still needs a lot of work. It is rather cosmetically challenged at the moment.

Comments are welcome. If you like the game please 'Like' it on Facebook or follow me on Twitter:
I have a difficult decision to make soon - which game next?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Soooo Close

Getting painfully close to release now. The installer for PC is built and the company/game logos have been added into the game. The game also has a final name, which is a bonus!

The subtitle of the game (Ares Assault) is derived from the piece of music I have used as a basis for the game (Holst's Mars). For those of you not into ancient mythology, Ares is the Greek God of War, whereas Mars is the Roman God of War. The power of the music certainly gets your pulse pounding when you're playing the game. The swooping attack of the Dreadnought near the end of the game still gives me the willies!

The task list is now down to 5, except that I'm about to add 3 minor issues that require fix before release :-(

Just Mac installation package, documentation, website and more testing after that. Releasing this game has been much easier than Gravity Core as I already have everything in place and can 'borrow' installer scripts and the like.

When this game is complete, I have some non-game work to do, then I have the difficult 'next game' decision to make. The next game will be more complex than 'Starfire: Ares Assault' and will be shareware like Gravity Core.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Pox and the Finish Line

This week's development time has been somewhat curtailed by our little boy having Chicken Pox. The small person seems to be pretty much better now. I managed to get in a few hours work thanks to family taking up some of the sprog watching duties.

The majority of the work completed has been around balancing. The game was still pretty brutal on the easier difficulties. There's still some work to be done in this area.

The issues/tasks log is now down to 8 items. Most of these are tweaks, balancing and website/documentation.

Hope to have the beta version of the game released next week... hope this isn't developer optimism.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Scoring, Lives and Game Over (Man)

Most of the scoring, lives and game over code is done. I still have some animations to implement as well as bonus lives and score bonus for lives left at the end of the game.

After this, the majority of the work is testing, balancing and getting the website, documentation, installer etc. done.

No matter how many pieces of software I build, I always forget how much work is involved in crossing the finish line! Nearly there...