Player Thoughts – Orbital Projectiles

Every week, RSKGames submits a lovely review of that week’s game!
If you’d like to have your own thoughts posted in similar bloggy posts, you can either email them, post them as a comment, or let me know via Twitter.

RSKGames

Title: Well chosen title for the game. The blend of the pink and yellow circle between the blue title looks great.

The title was a bit of a struggle. Anything involving missiles and orbits seemed to be taken, already! I finally found this title, and with less than 400 google results, it seemed a good choice.
(Or maybe, since the name has so few results, perhaps that makes it a bad idea for a title..!?)
The colourscheme was done using Harry’s Filter, which I recently re-installed, having not used it in years!

A simple case of..
1. Draw text
2. Harry’s Filters – Gradients -> Triple (Hit Jump a few times until you get something nice)
3. Add Bevel
Job done!!

Gameplay: The parabolic orbital motion of the projectile looks very natural. The rotation of the projectile along the orbital path looks very smooth.

The physics of the missiles were re-written about half-a-dozen times, over just the course of a few days.
A few “realistic” physics paths were coded, but most of those resulted in your being able to lose your missile into the depths of space!
In the end, the game uses cheated arcadey physics. The missile doesn’t “slingshot” around the planet, or anything like that. It simply goes up and then back down, and moves “horizontally” based on the direction you’ve aimed.
In the end, the simpler cheated none-physics felt much more stable than having “proper” physics.

The game is very difficult, I couldn’t last more than 80 to 90 seconds. A projectile touchdown indicator on the planet surface would have made the game easier and a bit longer.

I actually tried that, but found it made the game a bit “too” easy.
I tried to find a middleground, but inevitably came up empty.

At any given time only 3 projectiles can be fired in succession, which makes it necessary to aim correctly. After 50 seconds the enemy walkers overwhelm the player by coming in both the directions at a faster rate.

I found that if you get your timing just right, you can have a constant “boom-boom-boom” with the three projectile firing at regular intervals.
I’ve found that’s the best technique for aiming, since you have a constant barrage of bombs going off.

Effects: The three different smoke colors with decreasing sizes for each color is very well done. A very unique and pleasing smoke effect.

About bloomin’ time I used that smoke! It was the very first particle I added to the new framework, and it’s pretty much sat there unused for the past 5 months.
I’ve tried using it in various places, but the smoke gets very smokey and overwhelming!!
Expect to see more of the smoke in future, though. It’s in the framework, and ready to be used!

Scoring: As the game gets over very fast couldn’t figure out correctly what could lead to better scores. Sometimes found that hitting walkers without wasting projectiles in between leads to better scores, but I am not sure.

The score is simply a case of “The closer your missile is to the walker, the more points you get”
Perhaps a little mean, given the lack of exact targeting, but it makes for a nice spread of scores for the scoreboards 😀

Sound: The projectile sound effect is too good. Background score is short and fast and fits the urgency of the gameplay.

Audio was very last minute, but did indeed turn out quite well. Only 3 sound effects, and yet that’s more than enough!
The music was created a week or two ago, so wasn’t specifically designed for this game. It still fits, though 😀