Player Thoughts – Card of Testing

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Title: Looking at the game screenshot I figured that the game background looks like the screen in 80s/90s TV when there was no program. Had to look up Wikipedia to get the technical name for such screens as “Test Card”. “Card of Testing” title made sense after that.

Yeay! Testcards!!!
I’ve always loved the functionality of these things, and trying to code one that works in any given screen resolution/ratio is somewhat of a challenge.
The last time I coded one it mostly got unused as simply the unseen credits screen on my games. This time, I dared to make it playable.

Gameplay: After many weeks of level based games with 4 lives to get through the game, this week’s game is a single screen, one life game. Grid based 4 way non stop movement needs a little time to getting used to. Firing only in the direction of the movement makes the game play interesting. The difficulty settings is well managed with tougher enemies getting spawned at different times in easy/normal/hard levels.

I do love a good insta-death mechanic! I know lots of people don’t, but when it feels right, it has its place.
I switched on the “Move until you turn” option because initially it was FAR too easy to hold back at the edge of the screen, and spam the enemies to death! By adding constant-movement into the mix, and ensuring you only shoot in the direction you’re moving, I managed to get a nice mix of death and destruction out of it.
It’s certainly no “SpikeDislike Risk/Reward”, but it’s better than just camping in the corner, blasting everything to pieces.

Scoring: I was just shooting remaining in small patch and getting 5 points for each enemy. By releasing the greenish yellow diamonds with 10 points score after each kill, the game makes the player take risk and move around to collect them. This balances the game well.

The 10-point tokens was VERY last minute, as I only added that in, this very morning!! If you check out the various screenshots you’ll notice no tokens, and also that the enemies don’t have their “Center Spot”.
The enemies only collide with their center spot, but I needed larger (easier to see!) simpler enemies. Rather than make their collision detection so much larger, I simplified it by making on the center spots be colliding.
I’m not sure if people will “see” that, or whether they’ll complain that the big squares keep passing through them!!
Time will tell, I suppose.

Music: Background score starting with a single tone and moving to a techno beat is pretty good. Found the sound effects on collecting the 10 points a bit muffled. There are 2 background scores in the sfx folder but I don’t think I heard “Breaded.ogg” in the game.

When the Testcard first came onscreen, it usually appeared with a TestTone, which then traditionally switched out for some classical music or otherwise, after a short while.

I was aiming for that sort of feel, with this week’s “Choon”, although I doubt everyone will get that reference! 😀

As for Breaded.. Oops!!
Breaded is part of my framework, and is a simple test mp3/ogg, for checking the music works in various scenarios. I usually delete the file before finishing off the final compiles.
I rushed a bit, this morning 😀

Overall a totally unique game well executed.

The uniqueness made all the more special with the inclusion of a Testcard. If the game had been on a generic starfield, I’m not sure it’d have felt as good.