Designing a game around the action

Super Copter - in game shot

Super Copter - in game shot

With Super Copter I approached the project from a different angle. Instead of coming up with a design and then setting down the code I decided to implement the absolute core that I would like from the game. This included:

  • Scrolling landscape
  • Rapid fire lasers
  • Player bombs
  • Moving targets
  • Static ground targets

And that was pretty much it. I’d already designed the framework for the game (although I confess the code is quite ugly compared to some of the new developments I’ve been involved with – I’ll get around to bringing the game framework up to date soon) so I just wanted to drop in some sprites and have fun hitting the fire/bomb buttons to see if I could get a feel for a game design.

As a kid I enjoyed Defender, Falcon Patrol, Neoclyps, Attack of the Mutant Camels and countless other side scrolling shooters. They each had one thing in common – frantic action. I want to maintain this and therefore HAD to have rapid fire on the missiles. I’m still undecided as to the bomb descent, it seems a little harsh just diagonally thrusting the missile to the ground. Something a little more graceful with an arced descent might be more satisfactory for the player; as would a puff of sand as the missile strikes the ground. I’m ironing that stuff out just now. Thankfully the framework fully implements this animation without any new code.

So my time just now is taken up with playing this endless loop and waiting for a game idea to pop out.

Take a look at the current build here: Super Copter and drop me a line if you can think of a cool angle for the game.

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