As the jam neared the end, I realized I needed to get the game in a fully playable state, finish the menu, and make sure the win/lose conditions worked. As a result, we weren’t able to get a few things in. Cameron had even made the assets for the next enemy we were going to put in the game, but ultimately failed to do so. I decided I should release our ideas and talk about what we were going to do, because that’s interesting, right? Eh, maybe.
Early draft of the game, getting core functionality in
The next two assets to be put in were these two. The fish is a moon fish, and the image on the left is a collection of eggs. The goal of the moon fish was to wander the screen aimlessly, occasionally spawning this ball of eggs. If you fail to destroy the ball of eggs before they hatch, a school of baby moon fish erupt from it and swarm you. We’re talking 30-50 mini moon fish, with one goal in mind: attack that jellyfish because it’s after our momma. The light for the moon fish would most likely end up being a bright orange, fading to white, then back. Not too intense, more of a dimmer light, to help express the notion that it’s not a threat.
We also wanted to add some lights to the salp, but I knew that was going to get messy with the way I imagined it (only have lights the connections of salp, rather than the salp nodes themselves), and I never got around to implementing that feature. But you can see the salp above, they were pretty interesting by themselves without having to put any lights on it. Speaking of lights, I implemented a system that we hardly scratched the surface of. Lights have three properties in this engine: radius, intensity/alpha, and color. You can assign as many of these as you want to a single light, as well as a time, and it will linearly interpolate between the values, allowing for a range of effects. We did end up utilizing it in a few spots, but overall was a pretty big waste of time for what could have been a great addition to certain spots in the game.
The boss introduces itself with a ripple effect (thanks Kyle Pulver for the shader!) and pushes the player out of the way (one of those little extra polish things I put in there that makes me feel all giddy inside). I wanted to do it for all enemies, but unfortunately I added it to the boss and not the base enemy class, and didn’t feel like ripping apart the code to add it to all of them. Everything worked fine, so why break it even more? Plus, I did try adding it to salp, and it looked awful.
We originally also planned for multiple bosses. The second boss was going to be a multiple portion boss, as I like to call it, where it has armored body parts, and the body parts become vulnerable after a while, and then you can shoot one of them off, revealing a little nest of enemy fish that swim from the newly created wound.
Another enemy we were prototyping was the starfish. We found this really cool starfish and wanted to dynamically create starfish with 3-6 arms, each of them shooting bullets out. This enemy would just wander aimlessly, bounce off of other enemies, and add a new dynamic that I feel was missing from the finished game. The starfish (typo’d it starwish at first, which is a pretty neat name) would have been broken into two images – one that would be the base body, and then another with the arms. I really like the inside design in this starfish, which is why I chose it. Not too sure we’d have the additional tentacles coming out of it, though.
The above jellyfish was our original reference art for the jelly. I was going to program some sort of tentacle script that would allow me to create some nifty tentacles coming out from this jellyfish. In the final version, it’s obviously not there, mainly because I realized I had no idea how to do it in a way that would look good. Or even exactly how to draw something like that using the Otter engine. It would have been an amazing addition to the game, especially if I would have gone all out and made the tentacles themselves glow, illuminating the area around it. The jellyfish also had one other thing I wanted to add, which would have made aiming even more impossible than it already was, and that was to have it swim in a sin wave-esq shape, to give it more of a swimming motion.
That’s it for this post! Check out the game if you’re interested, and I’ll try doing another post next weekend if I can think of anything. Happy Saturday!