Sunday, April 28, 2013

Space Invaders Cloning

Cloned games tend to come in two main varieties.
1. Exact replicas and should be called replicas, and although I say exact, I actually mean as exact as the developers could manage.
2. Take the games experience and recreate it and add new stuff to this experience. I like to think of these more as an Homage.

Now I have to say here that when I play most of the number 1 type, I am usually disappointed as the new version tends to look like the original and tends to be not quite as good an experience. Though there are very occasionaly those that feel better than the original due to not being an exact copy.

Number 2 is my favourite type to play, but also to create myself. I have done sveral Homages in various forms, and some people think are related to a completly different game, haha. Not sure that is a good or bad thing to be honest. The worst part of this type of game I find is that developers haven't really added anything new that I can see beside a few more powerups , or maye a new type of firepower. If that's gonna be it, I will probably be disappointed with the game when I get to play it. Still, I do tend to find myself drawn to these arcade styles of games myself, and that leads me to...

What am I going to do next? while I await graphics to finish up HoopFighter for the iPad I am busy designing and expanding on several ideas I have. Now Hoopfighter has been a long dev cycle for me and so I would like the next one to be shorter. However in reality I tend to find that I like the feel of a game to be.. just right.. So I really need to make sure my game has less dev time by making the levels simpler in nature, and therefore easier to test. When I created 'A Shooter' for example it took me 2 months or so to code, and then a further 2 months to create and balance the feel for each level vs what firepowers you would/could have, alongside balancing for the additional 2,3 and 4 player modes. I also tend to feel that a lot of arcade style games that people put out, they spend all their time coding in powerups and numerous enemies only to not do much more than random triggering of enemies. And some enemy combinations can be very difficult to play against.

So get on with it I hear ya ask!

I want to do a single screen shooter. I am not truly enamored of the shmups on the iPad and tablets at present. Though of course I cannot possibly play them all. I am sure there are some excellent ones I have not tried yet. In fact there are several I like. But I think there is room for me to do one that will feel different to people. So i started with wanting to pay Homage to Space Invaders. I figured this was an excellent starting point, to look like SI on the first level, and then expanding on every level after that. Only I realised I am worried about possible copyright infringement. So After 11 pages of design I have scrapped that. Still I love several of the over arching ideas I had for the game and so now I am gonna roll them into a new single screen shooter idea.

 The reason for a single screen shooter as opposed to a scrolling one, is two-fold. I do not want to have to work on all those over time triggers and balancing them, wheras on a single screen shooter, I can simply trigger them all and get balancing. It is a MUCH much smaller job. On another not a single screen game will allow the players to see everything at once and know what they face. This is a really great feature when you realise that most people owning tablets have never really played much in the way of shmups. I discovered that with Pellmell and A Shooter on the Xbox360 a while back, and boy was I surprised that players didn't know how to dodge a single trajectory bullet.

So now I have a very new design, incorporating a lot of the new enhancements and treatments I had for the original design. I am quite excited about starting it at some point, and I ave already designed 13 enemies spacecraft. Now I need to move onto the powerups for the players ship and how he earns the powerups that will be of so helpful in killing the alien invasion.

Laters Da Voodoochief

ps. I'll do some pictures at some point.

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