|Yeah, I don’t think that would work very well with only one person.|
For the same reasons, this update is just another text + screenshots update instead of the video update I had planned earlier, which would have shown the game as it is now in action and demonstrated the audio as well (mostly the newly added sound effects). I guess that will have to wait for another time.
Anyways, there are four things I would like to talk about today: New HUD, Title Screen, Vector Stuff and Shaders.
First up, I’ve made some changes to the gameplay and HUD (the two are related). Below is a screenshot of the current in-game display:
You will see that the HUD now takes up both the topmost and bottommost portions of the display, making the levels themselves slightly shorter. First, let’s have a closer look at the top HUD:
|New top HUD|
And for comparison, let’s throw up the old HUD here as well:
|Old HUD is old.|
- A score counter is now where the life counter used to be in the top-left. Previously I wanted the score to be tallied at the end of each level (in the style of games such as Battle City and Ice Climber). However, I’m making some changes to the scoring system that would make that tally system impractical, such as rewarding more points per spirit returned to the shelter/jail in a single trip (think along the lines of Pac-Man‘s scoring system when you eat multiple ghosts in a row). I may still have an end-of-level score tally for bonus levels.
- Remaing spirit counters are now where the round counter used to be in the top-center (not to be confused with the in-hand spirit counter just below the score). In the original round flow, all the “target” spirits you needed to capture for a particular round appeared at the beginning of that round. There was a maximum of 5 spirits you needed to capture per round; I felt that this number was too low and made each round too short. Increasing the maximum number made the level too crowded when you also take the “nuisance” spirits (i.e. the ones that you don’t need to capture) and hungry/vagrant ghosts into account. Also, it was also balanced out by the spirits clumping together, making it easier to capture more in a single “trip”. My solution for this is to have a 4-5 on-screen spirit limit and then spawn more when the number on-screen falls below the limit (much like Pengo and Battle City, again). The remaining spirit counters show how many spirits have yet to be spawned.
Now let’s look at the bottom HUD:
|New bottom HUD|
|What? It didn’t say “Coin chute required” in the system requirements!
I want my quarters back!
|Two down, four more to go.|
Shaders are coming coming to GameMaker: Studio 1.2, which is just around the corner. I can wait to see what kind of 2D graphical hijinks I’ll get into when it does, such as better CRT monitor simulation. (Maybe?)