Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Critical Beatdown

In the immortal words of the UMC's Kool Keith, we're hoping to "take your brain to another dimension" with our current project. Well, maybe not your brain, but certainly your thumbs/swiping finger. We've been busy working on RGCD.DEV's follow up to r0x Extended Play on odd weekends and evenings for a few months now, and it's finally at the stage where we have something to show (mainly thanks to the artistic talents of Folmer Kelly). So, here we go. Children of the Earth, meet Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat.

I've already given the game's background a brief introduction in a previous news post, but I never properly explained what it actually was or how it plays. So before we continue, if a picture speaks a thousand words then a video must be worth a million. Observe and discuss. (Warning! Flashing images follow!)

Ok, well that was a bit bonkers wasn't it? There's a lot of stuff broken in this WIP build - most notably being that I recorded myself playing in multi-player mode on my own - but to be fair, the point of this video was simply to illustrate the core mechanics. You see, the main game engine of Pan-Dimensional Conga-Combat (Conga from this point on) is pretty much feature complete; the basic framework for both single player and multi-player is done, the scoring system is almost there, we have waves and formations, chargeable mega-lasers, portal closing and player respawning. All of that is working, and to be honest the game is already a ton of fun. It's a bit insane, but definitely fun.

So what's next on the roadmap? Essentially one word; content. We need more waves and formations, more intelligent enemy portal handling and more focused/designed structure. Oh, and you see those animated backgrounds? They are all done tile by tile - and yeah, more of those. Luckily I've taken next week off work to get a load of this stuff done, whilst Jamie hopefully integrates the enigmatic and oft-discussed 'tube.exe' and optimises, fixes and improves a load of stuff. And we've not even started with the achievements systems for various platforms, relative swipe controls, front end, menus, tutorials ... but let's not think about that right now.

With any luck, the next time I upload a video of the game I'll be able to show off some tiles from one of the other three dimensions - this current set is from the Temple dimension, but there are also Techno, Magma and Jungle ones to add, each with their own soundtrack. Which neatly leads me on to the next big addition we're working on; timelines.

At the moment, we have a temporary 'spawner' object that randomly spams enemies, waves, patterns and portals onto the screen at varied intervals, but our goal is to give the game a more rhythmic feel by using event timelines that are in time with the music, so everything happens on the beat. This will take quite some work to get right, but I think that the end result will be worth the effort. Conga's soundtrack deserves it too; being one of the strongest features of the game it makes sense to emphasise its importance accordingly.

So there you have it. Conga is definitely coming - and hopefully you people are going to love it. If you have any questions, use the box below or drop us a line on the bird.