Summer Project: October

Status of the Project

Summer has passed, and I took a break from working on the space artillery game. Not because I had other time commitments (although I did find other ways to fill my days), but rather because I just didn’t see how what I was making was supposed to be fun. Fortunately, stepping back for a while let me get my bearings again, and I did some work in the last couple of days and am much closer to having something I’d consider the early working stages of an enjoyable game.

Changes

Now that I’m not doing physics tests all the time, I re-scaled the solar system so that everything is a lot further away and moves more slowly. This fixes the problem I was having where every time your turn came up you were shooting from a completely new position. While the constant orbital motion is supposed to add a challenge, the player needs to have some ability to make adjustments based on what he saw his missile do the prior turn. I also moved the asteroids into a normally-distributed belt beyond the orbit of the last planet. With both of these changes in place, the only time the collision detection actually gets used is when a missile strikes something. While having planets bounce around like billiards balls was amusing, its time has passed.

Proof

I have prepared a series of screenshots that tell a little story of a red and blue planet trying to kill one another:

Red planet about to shoot:

Red planet about to shoot.

Blue fires his shot as well:

Blue fires his shot as well.

Red defends against a prior shot of blue’s:

Red defends against a prior shot of blue\'s.

Red survives; blue lines up another shot:

Red survives; blue lines up another shot.

As you can see, it takes several turns for a missile to arrive at its target, and you so you can have a lot of them on screen at once. The one that red shoots out of the air to protect itself was fired several turns earlier by blue. I’m still working out things like the best speed for the projectiles. But I definitely had a lot more fun playing this round against myself than I had been at the end of September.

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