end of October Challange… I failed

Posted by (twitter: @cp_kayelgee)
November 1st, 2014 8:44 am

October Challange is over and I have to admit I failed it.

But I guess I’ll just handle this like a normal ludum dare and switch from compo to jam by doing the unofficial October-November-December Challange 😀

But let’s look at what I got done in the last weeks.

Sadly I made very little progress in week 3 :(. Part of it because I was busy with life and part of it because I got sick and wouldn’t feel like doing anything at all after coming home from work. *sigh*

Finishing this by the 31. seemed so unrealistic at this point.

So what did you actually get done in week 3?

As I said I made a little progress so that actually means I did something. I played around a little with the visual design of my menus and ended up with this.

Report_menu_visual

It’s simple but I like it. That’s the only tangible progress this week. But of course while I’m not writing code or making graphics I was thinking about what to do next. Actually I’m doing more of that then actual work 😀

It’s more or less decided that the Station Screen will go. It’s really not working that well with touch devices in mind. Even on the PC I’m not that happy with it. If upgrading parts of the station would have some visual effects then maybe this screen could stay, at least in the PC version, but even then not as a whole different screen.

So I’ll scrap that and try to implement the features into the main screen.  Which is not an easy task. There are certain criteria the “new Station Screen” will have to fulfil.

  • Don’t clutter the screen while closed. It’s already a little loaded with the header and the time controls.
  • When opened, take up as little space as possible.
  • Usable on mobile. Text has to be readable on small screens. Icons are more desirable but the meaning needs to be clear.
  • Show all the relevant information.

How do I achieve these? First of all I think that the left thumb should only be used for the time controls so I’ll have to make some kind of menu in the lower right corner. Also I need some general menu(sound setting, end game) aswell so I’ll try to combine these two.

I have some kind of scrollable menu with icons in mind. Something like this on the right:

report_mockup_sidemenu

It should be possible to tap an icon and open the menu. As I don’t want to clutter the screen I’ll try to make icons which are further away smaller. Because of this I also want a tap  and hold mechanic which let’s you scroll the menu in a wheel of fortune style. While doing the scrolling the menu of the icon in the center(I’ll have a pointer there) will open up automatically.

Form week 4 till end

Here I was in the final week plus some extra. I orignially had planned to be finished by the end of week 4 but that seemed not to happen.

Most of my time was put into adding some visual feedback and eye candy. Ships at the station now orbit the station. When  a rebellion happens a visual effect shows it. Planets don’t grow instantaneous anymore. A ship selling something at a planet has also a visual effect now.

After that I went and made a beta build. I distributed this to some friends and let them play it and played it myself. I had to fix many bugs. These bugs actually took up the rest of the time I put into it.

Where to go from here?

Why am I not done? Well good question. First of all I haven’t got the menu finished to replace the station screen. With this I could’ve said that the game which I had originally in mind was done(except maybe some additional visuals). Something like a 1.0 release. But I’m not sure I want to stop there. There are a few points I want to work on in the additional time.

The game is hard to understand for a beginner. I want to add a proper tutorial or maybe a campaing which introduces one mechanic at a time. With a campaign the current game would be a free game mode where you should be able to customize what mechanics you want to have activated.

Without the campaign there is little sense to play for more then 50 days. I would like to indroduce some mechanics which change this. I might have to cap the upgrades. Maybe the universe will start to form alliances and peace might spread. I’m not sure. I want to spend more time playing with the game design here.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll follow me till the end 😀

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