Painfully Slow

What’s the hold up?

It’s been a really long time since I started working on Orbital Advance (The earliest files and folder I can find are dated 18th of Feb 2015) and It’s not done yet. There’s no real reason why it’s not complete too which is the real kicker here. It’s a simple game, nothing incredibly challenging that I’ve never done before because a lot of the core gameplay was the exact same as in Wrongcoming traffic. There are a few new things I plan on using, such as pickups, Multiple stages and difficulty levels, and Unity ads, which requires a change in the was I design this game.

Unity Ads

As I understand, Unity ads work by playing a 15 second video clip of another game that the user chooses to play to be rewarded in-game by some means. UA provides information programmatically on when a trailer has been fully viewed by a player so you can give them the reward, and when the video has been interrupted or skipped so that you don’t have to. It’s a clever system, but involves you having to adjust the design of the game to fit in some circumstances, such as mine. My plan is to give the players a free powerup for watching an ad, which immediately caused a change in design. The way the game originally used powerups (and still does because I haven’t changed it yet) is spawning them randomly along with the obstacles, and uses them immediately as soon as the player hits them.

This wouldn’t work with UA unless I caused the powerup to be used immediately as soon as the next game starts, which would be annoying if it was a strategic powerup such as invincibility. Now instead, I have to set up some kind of pool of powerups and allow the player to fire them at any stage, which in addition to the large changes I have to make to the powerup coding, needs a UI.

I’ll finish it eventually, but the biggest problem I have at the minute is that I only have ONE powerup type, slowing time.

New Horizons

I recently purchased an android developer licence, so that open up the possibility to even use UA in the first place, because it’s not available for Windows (please vote for this on Unity’s suggestions page by the way). Orbital advance will be my first game on Google Play.

Also, with Unity 5.2 Releasing yesterday, I can now make my games for Windows 10 and potentially for Xbox One if I apply for ID@Xbox, how exciting! One added benefit of becoming an ID@Xbox user would be letting me integrate Xbox Live (Achievements and Leaderboards are the goal for now until I get some experience with networked games) into any Windows 10 store games that I make, which would be excellent. But that’s all a pipe-dream, because the way I see it my games aren’t good enough to apply yet. Maybe when I get this one released I’ll give it a go.

Feature Creep.

One of the driving reasons that I still haven’t gotten this finished yet is that I keep coming up with good ideas, then get bummed out because I realise that I absolutely must get them in to the game, but it will be hard work and take time to do so (Most of them are jotted down on this Trello board for the game). Then I get bored and stop. These days, I’ve even went a whole week without turning on my PC, but that’s largely down to real life commitments (involving currachs, re-igniting my interest in that Currach Game I was prototyping a couple of months ago, but that’s a story for another time)

With my temporarily re-kindled interest in Unity and gamedev, I’ll be making an almighty push in order to get this game done at last, approaching 7 months after I started.

-James

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