Sunday, 18 December 2011

New gameplay feature and saving system

This week I've tried hard to make a lot of progress since last week was a bit slow, because we had midterms all week at the university. And progress I have made. So let's take a look at what's new. During the week I took some time away from my studies to give Blue Core a new gameplay feature. Some, or most levels will have some special occurrences happening, from time to time, that spice up the gameplay a little bit, and the first such occurrence that I've managed to include is a speed boost. The game basically shoots out a particle of a different colour, indicating that a change is about to take place, as you pick it up, (and you must pick it up or else you lose) the new game mode, whatever it may be, executes. I have made a little video demonstrating how the speed boost works:

That Is not all. During the weekend, I had lots of free time and free food at my disposal, so I was ready to make a big change to the game. So that is why, I decided to implement a game saving system. What this means is, that all the levels are now locked until you have beaten them. When you unlock levels, the information is saved into a file in your game folder, so the next time you run the game it's all still there, just the way you left it. Implementing this whole new system made me change the whole menu mechanics somewhat also. So after giving it a little thought, I realised that the main menu only really needs two options. Play and Quit. Trying to keep it simple here. Pressing the 'play' button will pop you straight into the 'level selection' screen. And for all you brain dead people who can somehow read, pressing the 'quit' button quits the game. And because I had a lot of time on my hands I decided to make a new, prettier main menu:

Ain't she gorgeous? My artistic style has advanced from the early 90's to a bit later into the 90's. Everything else is still the same though, so it looks like the level selection screen and gameplay area are from a completely different game. Doesn't matter though, it's all only temporary. Here is what the level selection screen looks like with 4 levels being unlocked:

The buttons are all bunched up into one corner like that, because after moving to a bigger resolution it made no sense to change the level selection screen layouts. That would be a major waste of time, since it's all going to be replaced sooner or later. But judging by the speed with which the art team is producing new sprites, I'm leaning towards later. The point in this screen shot is functionality. The player can easily see which levels are unlocked, and if he attempts to begin a level that is not unlocked nothing happens. Maybe it would be a good idea to prevent the player from even selecting the greyed out squares. I might implement this later, although it could be quite a challenge.
That is all for now, stay tuned and happy holidays!

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