The second 24 of 48

Posted by (twitter: @dikidoom)
August 27th, 2012 6:06 am

Yesterdays rush left no room for a blog post, so this is a bit belated –
but the game is finished, and you can give it a whirl here!

After I got the prototype running, I used the second day to gradually extended the gameplay mechanics (just ‘driving’ at that point) to include crashing and jumping, to construct an actual goal: to drive without crashing, by jumping over obstacles if necessary. A few fidgety bugs held progress back a bit (more of that in a post-mortem later), so it was already early afternoon before I got around to thinking about content: better graphics and sound, and the level should ‘evolve’ in a more interesting way than just ‘swirls’ 😛

I started with sounds to set the overall mood, which should evoke a technologic/aggressive flair similar to WipeOut. In fact, the direct inspiration for the music was the badass song “The Nine” by Bad Company. Counter to my initial assumptions, I had to resort to Cubase for the music, which took a substantial chunk of time. Even worse, it was super effective! and left the graphics and level design seriously lacking in comparison 😛
So I set out to remedy that by including different track types: straight, gapped, linear, …

Although these were technically implemented rather fast thanks to JavaScripts flexibility, complexity began to run high – while time ran low. With less than 2h left, proper sequencing and balancing seemed out of reach, so I left the levels ‘swirling’ randomly. Instead, a frantic redesign of the player ship and a title & logo were thrown together.

As soon as the graphics were in, the differences between them became incredibly jarring: the clean-cut low-res sprites of the prototype clashed with the higher fidelity of the player ship. To reconcile the two, the entire game resolution was turned down to 320 x 240 – which united them in a nice old-school look that fit the action nicely.

All in all, a lot of compromises had to be made to finish in time, so that the result is still closer to a prototype than a polished game. However, I think it was actually helpful having to cut corners. Instead of labouring indefinitely over every detail, things were thrown together fast to get a quick view of the whole – which was instrumental in discovering big flaws early on. The experience was very educational, and I hope that some of you might even enjoy the game :)


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