An UnCONVENTIONal Weapon

Posted by (twitter: @micahcowan)
April 17th, 2015 10:35 pm

Happy to see Unconventional Weapon made it, as it’s the only finalist theme where I already had a decently clear picture what I might do with it.

Was thinking I’d do a sort of top-down shooter, except instead of bullets, you’re armed with a ball-and-chain kind of morning-star-like weapon, where you have to whip it into the bad guys, or whip it around to block bullets and such.

To boost the theme (and humor!) values a bit, I also thought that, instead of a ball at the end of a chain, maybe you’re at a comics/anime type convention, and you’ve got your younger sibling at the end of the tether, slinging it around, knocking over booths and cosplayers. Because, you know, then you have both an Unconventional Weapon, and also an Un-Convention-al Weapon. 😉

Technologies I plan to use include:

  • HTML5 Canvas + JavaScript
  • Possibly some pieces from the CreateJS library (probably SoundJS at least).
  • The Vim (Libre Software text editor)
  • GIMP (Libre Software image editing app)
  • InkScape (Libre Software vector graphics app)
  • Audacity (Libre Software sound editor)
  • Reason by Propellerhead Software (for music)
  • Yamaha NU1 hybrid upright piano (to control Reason)

This will be the second time I’ve been involved with Ludum Dare: the first time was for LD #30, where my entry was a vaguely Puzzle Bobble-like game called Friendly Baubles. As before, I plan on doing the 48-hour compo.

Current milestones plan is roughly:

  • Get the player and weapon basic mechanics working. Player sprite and ball pulled along by tether. No “slack tether” effect, no fancy graphics, but tuned physics for the ball (and possibly elasticity in the tether?)
  • Add baddies and bullets with basic “shape” graphics, to test attacks and shielding with tethered ball.
  • Add real graphics, basic levels, sound effects
  • Music score
  • As many improvements as I can fit in the remaining time.

I’m kind of stoked right now, because last time around I couldn’t find my copy  of Reason 4 to write music with, so I just plonked something out on my digital-hybrid upright-action piano. Couldn’t find it this time, either, but I bought the upgrade to Reason 8 (download), found my MIDI gear after a bit of hunting, tied it to my hybrid upright, and everything’s working the way I need it to. Now I just have to hope I actually end up with enough time to bang out some soundtrack, heh. :)


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