Monday, June 29, 2015

Missle Tow!

This week's game is Missle Tow! GET IT?? Okay, so I have to apologize for that joke, and I also have to apologize for posting this so late! (Monday at 2:30am doesn't quite count as Sunday).

Whoo boy, I wish I had started this before Friday. You'll definitely be able to see that there are a lot of places where some extra love could have benefited this game. Like adding level boundaries. Or better handling what happens to your character when it flies into a wall:

(The answer, by the way, is that you go careening into the air. Don't worry though - jumping will reset your movement pretty reliably).

I can tell when I'm really into the game I'm making when I find myself spending a lot of time taking screenshots of it, and I took a lot of screenshots of Missle Tow. I also spent a lot of time getting the character and the missiles to feel just right (and I didn't even quite get it where I want, either), and I really like the way the two movement systems interact. The player makes super sharp turns, and the missiles can turn on a dime too, but their movement is way more fluid. Makes for some pretty screenshots:

I really pushed for there to be fun ways to interact with the missiles. Getting chased by them was only so engaging, and I always knew I wanted to emulate that moment in movies when the ace pilot shakes the heat-seeking missiles by fooling them into a wall or canyonside... or into the enemy's face. So I always knew that I was going to be having the players bring the missiles to goal-zones. The hurdle-barriers came along when I realized it was really fun to be able to jump through narrow gaps with the missles right behind you.

Actually, I lied in that earlier paragraph (Blogs written at 2:30am tend to become a bit unhinged), my very first idea for Missile Tow was that you would just be this arrow that can turn at high speeds, but only by jumping. I really wanted that dichotomy of movement, where you get someting for giving up something else. In this case, you give up maneuverability for speed, and you need to time your jumps for just when you need to turn, so there was a nice little game there too. That's the system at the heart of Missle Tow, and I figured the rest out from there once I saw how it was actually working in Unity.

Speaking of Unity, you might notice that I've finally moved into Unity 5.1 for these game-a-weeks. And that represented its own hurdles. For one thing, you may notice a little development console appear on your screen when you destroy the goals. This apparently only appears for people who have the Unity editor installed on their machines, and there's also apparently nothing I can do to disable it. I may have that wrong. I did the research at 2:00am.

Play Missle Tow here!

Menu music by CynicMusic. Level music by JobroMedia. Both songs used under this license.

P.S. I swear that that saxophone track seemed like the most fitting music I had while I was making this. I apologize for any bleeding ears.

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