Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Game Maker Progress 18: Trade Wing

Hello everyone, 

Last week I mentioned I would write about a mini project I have worked on this week. By mini project - the project itself currently has approximately 8 hours worth of work - which is very small. It is more or less a proof of concept of the game-play itself. I'd like to thank my colleagues in particular who provided feedback on the game itself as well as play-tested it!

The game itself is for two players - and the goal of the game is to earn 1,000 cash before your opponent. To do so - you will need to purchase colonies on planets. Each planet (Yellow, Brown, Grey) represent a type of planet. Yellow are civil colonies - these allow you to purchase 2 of the other types of colonies. Brown are agriculture colonies - these allow you to purchase 2 civil colonies. Grey represent mining colonies - these provide the most income from the three planets. 

Each planet provides both an income and expense when purchased. Once players reach certain amounts of cash (100, 300, 600 and 800) two pirates will spawn on a planet owned by each player. These pirates will seek out planets purchased by players and will begin to harass the planet. The owner of the planet will have to pay a higher expense - if the pirate is near their planet. The way you solve this issue is by flying towards the pirates - who will begin to fly away from you. The general strategy is to attempt to push the pirates onto the opposing player - to hopefully increase their expenses, and lower your own. 

That is the game itself in a nut shell. The interface and graphics as you can see above are highly simplistic - overly so. One of the biggest issues raised as the game was played is that both players were not sure what they were doing - since the planets themselves did not look immediately evident. The game-play itself was enjoyed - however the interface and graphics need a large amount of work. This makes sense since from the 8 hours of work - probably around 7 of which was spent coding and designing the game-play; so it makes perfect sense that these turned out to be the issues experienced by the players.

Changing the planet's sprites, making the player's ships more obvious and recognizable and providing the player with more information as to what each planet does - are the major elements that require improvement within this small project. I may spend time fixing up this project further given free time - and I will take another look at the project in terms of play testing if so! 

This was a very interesting mini project to work on - it was essentially a small warming up session to get back into GML coding after the month-long period I had spent prior to starting off the masters as a small rest-time before jumping into the larger workload required in the masters programme!

Until next time,

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