Sooooo…surprisingly (to me anyway) I haven’t procrastinated to the point of abandonment on this thing like I have with every other overly ambitious video game idea I’ve had over the last several years. I haven’t gotten a huge amount done on it this month since I just had final finals and graduation to deal with over the last few weeks, so there hasn’t been a lot of time for it, but I’d say there has still been a decent bit of progress anyway.
One thing I decided to take care of before getting too much further into this lengthy tutorial process was to create all original assets for this thing. The previous background, walls/floors, and bullet sprites were all placeholders that I just found on Google or just ripped right out of Contra. Everything in there is now hand drawn with the single exception of the gun, which is a Photoshop-edited version of the pulse rifle from Aliens. I like how it looks, but it doesn’t really match the rest of the art style does it? Maybe I’ll change it later, we’ll see.
Other additions include an animated menu screen with working New Game and Quit options (title to come later), a camera that follows the character, room transitions (though there are only two rooms right now), a shaking effect to firing the gun (which I’m not sure if I actually like. maybe it’ll feel better once there are sounds or I might just need to tone down the level of shaking a bit, not sure), parallax scrolling background layers, and controller support.
Something I’m not super thrilled with, but am kind of stuck with as part of this tutorial process is the 360 degree aiming. I feel like eight directional firing would be better and easier to control. I don’t think a game like this really needs to control like a dual stick shooter, especially one where you still have to manually press a fire button on top of aiming, but I don’t want to deviate too far from the tutorial model here and end up painting myself into a corner again. Also the character used in the tutorial has little stick figure limbs so the effect of the gun spinning around with his little stick figure nubs on it doesn’t stand out too much, but for my guy I just had to go with no arms because how am I going to have big white drawn arms that don’t look terrible when they start getting twisted around 360 degrees? Again, that wouldn’t be an issue with simple eight direction firing, but this is just going to have to stay like this for now.
Still less than halfway through this tutorial series so there’s still a lot more to go, but I’m feeling pretty good about it still, and I have a lot of ideas about what I’d like to start next. I think I’ll take some good advice I heard recently though and stick to something relatively simple for my first real attempt after this, something like a basic original Contra type side scrolling shooter. Best not to get ahead of myself though. Back to learning…