Week In Review — Dec 07

Oh, I didn’t see you there! Hello! Got a minute? Then I’ll tell you what I worked on this week:

Difficulty Balancing Set-Up

The start of the week was spent finishing up the Kitty Chopper boss. All its visuals and attacks were complete, but that’s only the beginning. Once a boss is done in that sense, I set it up for difficulty balancing. What do I mean by that? Previously the whole boss was hard-coded, so it behaved like “glow purple, wait 700 milliseconds, charge at Wryn with a speed of 20”, etc. So what I did was make it more like fill-in-the-blanks — “glow purple, wait ___ milliseconds, charge with a speed of ___”, where the blanks get filled in with a different value depending on the difficulty of the game.

There’s a little taste of what it looks like in code. Any value that could make the boss easier or harder gets pulled out and given different values for each difficulty level. Right now each difficulty level has the same value, because I haven’t actually tuned it for those various levels — I’ve just set up the ability to do so. Setting it up is rather tedious so I like getting it out of the way. I’ll come back later and tune each difficulty level… and add audio… and particles… there’s a lot of work still to do.

Minor Enemies

After that, I worked on the second level. Right now it’s about 30% done. I’m not ready to show it (and I don’t want to give everything away) but here are some of the enemies!

Yeeaaah, the Kittehs and Lil’ Guppies make their return as minor enemies! Since I’m using purple for reflectable attacks and yellow for powerful unreflectable attacks, it just kinda seemed meant to be. Also, I don’t know about you, but when I look at that picture I think “huh, the art looks pretty much the same as the original Bleed.” So here’s a comparison image.

I think the new style stays true to the original, but has also come a fair way.

Playtesting and Bit Bazaar!

In a first for Bleed 2, I got my good friend and Rex Rocket co-creator Tyler to playtest what I’ve got so far! I can’t even describe how useful it is to watch someone play your game, especially for the first time. I probably have two full pages of fresh written notes of things to consider after just 30 minutes of playtesting.

And another first, for me this time — I attended my first Toronto Bit Bazaar! It’s is a free event where indie game creators and artists from all over show off their work. It’s full of creative, friendly people and really fun games. I’d highly recommend going if you get a chance. At the very least you’re going to have fun and get inspired.

Death Animations

And that’s about it, but one last thing! I’m adding little death animations to most baddies:

Now they tumble to the ground before they die! I think it’s amusing. They’ll probably still explode when the animation ends (Bleed 1-style) but I haven’t done much particle work yet so right now they just disappear. Also, now that I can control what sprites draw in what order, these death animations always draw behind everything else. So they’re cute, but they never obscure the action.

That’s all for now! And to any school-goers, good luck with exams!