Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Second Game: Dodge & Shoot

Low quality resized screenshot of the game. Read the post to find out where to play it! There's also a video embedded below!

When I posted previously about my first game, Capture the Frog, I mentioned that one of my school assignments was to make another game, and as such, I'd be revealing it around April-ish as that's when my school year ended. Well it's May now, so I'm a bit late with this, but here is my second game: Dodge & Shoot. It can be played here on Kongregate or here on Newgrounds.

Dodge & Shoot is a simple side-scrolling 2D space shooter in which you control a ship that dodges and shoots enemies until the time runs out. The assignment itself that this was made for had us students choose between making a 2D space shooter, an escape the room game, or a flip and match card game. Alongside making Dodge & Shoot, I actually also made a simple flip and match game. While the game itself is functional, it still only uses placeholder assets, and as such, I'm not going to post it yet. Maybe one of these days I'll polish it up and put it online.

Now, I realize Dodge & Shoot is pretty crappy. The visual assets are pretty bad, there's no music (unless you can consider the game over or game winning "chimes" to be music), there's only one level, and you can only fire once before you have to wait for a meter to fill up so you can fire again. Most of those things can be chalked up to trying to get this done alongside my other school work, but the firing once mechanic is my bad. In early versions of the game, you could fire as much as you wanted, but I found that it made things way too easy. Rather than trying to balance things by making it so that enemies need more than one hit to go down, I decided to limit the amount the player could shoot. This also went hand in hand with the fact that I learned how to make a little charge meter, and I shoehorned it into the game (I knew how to make loading bars in the past for preloaders, though, so this was really a repurposing of old knowledge). While I think this results in an interesting case of the game being more about dodging than shooting, I realize it is not necessarily that much fun. I've learned the error of my ways. If I end up doing another shooter, I'll remember not to force arbitrary limits on the player unless it seems truly necessary.

Two games are now under my belt. Both are nothing special, but they are steps toward the future. I've learned new things by working on both, and I will apply that knowledge to future endeavours. Wish me luck.

Here's a gameplay video if you wanna look before you touch:

(Direct YouTube link)

(Sidenote: I also made a gameplay video for Capture the Frog. You can find it here or also embedded in the blog post about Capture the Frog.)