I was going to post this in another thread, and it got too big. In a nutshell, a bit of enthusiasm was expressed for something I was working on, so I’m gonna share. I’m easy.
Originally I wanted to do an updated version of the old text-mode PC “Star Trek” game - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_(text_game)
Obviously text wouldn’t cut it, but I could see the different sensor displays, and figured you could warp around and kill klingons and the like. But - a direct clone (which could still be fun) wasn’t what I wanted - I wanted a mix of that and the old Star Trek Battle Simulation from the arcade - http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=686&page=1#1783
(aside: I like retro, but am almost always disappointed by real retro; part of the thrill of the original arcade games was the risk of “you just put in a quarter, make it last”, and you lose that nowdays. Part of the thrill of the old text Star Trek was “I’m on a computer! I’m on a Computer!”. So - I like to borrow good ideas from retro games, but they need to fit today’s platforms like the iPad…)
So I had those concepts floating around, and I had gotten so far as to make an Enterprise from geometry (poorly), when the Codea Player was announced, and I figured I might actually try to, oh, finish a project for once… (I’m very good at starting, not so good at finishing)
But - this will be on the iPhone too, which doesn’t lend itself to teensy fine control. As well, I don’t really want to use a licensed property like Star Trek - for lots of reasons. I’d be ok if it was me sharing a .codea file, but in something like the Codea Player…
So I started fiddling around with a more “arcade” approach, and a top view because that lets me use the built-in spritepacks, specifically the Tyrian Remastered set. That implies a top-down (or 3/4 at least) view.
Some of you have seen me asking about a scrolling starfield - that’s for this.
So - where am I right now? https://twitter.com/#!/bortels/status/169621698977603584/photo/1
Touch the left and right sides of the screen to turn, the bottom is engine speed. The dot is a placeholder for a planet. That’s it for functionality so far - need to add, at absolute minimum, bad guy aliens and some sort of shoosting.
I tried having two engines for a bit - left and right sides of the screen was sliders, to turn right, you increase left engine… but it was really hard to control. So - abandoned that.
I’m thinking the gameplay would be bad guys coming in from all directions, slowly, toward the planet - they get to it (maybe the drop bombs toward it?), they chew it up or destroy it. You fly about busting their chops. Kill a bunch, yay, and you warp to a harder level (faster/tougher). I was originally thinking about auto-aim phasers (you get close enough, they shoot) and tap-to-shoot photon torpedos (limited supply, but if you stop at the planet they could re-fill), but the plane graphic makes me think more of a strafing kind of thing. I was also thinking shields - you take a hit, they slowly recharge, so if you survive you get health back slowly.
Problem is - Yesterday, no lie, I worked for 14 hours. And while today was “only” 8, 2 of which was a big meeting where I could cheat and play with Codea, I don’t have much free time coming the next few weeks. So - I doubt this will be finished, much less polished, for consideration for Codea Player. Ah well - I’m not writing for that, that was just convenient, I code to code! And share. Maybe an update if it’s good enough.
I am open to suggestions. Can you draw, procedurally, an awesome looking planet? or other useful images (again, procedural until/unless we get sprite import)? Do you think abandoning Trek was a good idea? Have a better idea for a gameplay mechanic? heck, have a good name for it? Speak up. I won’t pretend for a moment I am anything approaching a game designer, and my art, uh, “sucks rocks”. My strengths lie in a willingness to jump in, and inability to comprehend that I can’t do anything I set my mind to. Join me, won’t you?
PS. I loved Star Raiders. Atari 400. Broke many a joystick.