Which is to say: not graphics or content complete. So brace yourself for a painfully similar screenshot:
But the two tiny changes you do see represent pretty much everything else I needed to get done for the game to make sense: you can now scan enemies when they’re not looking to steal the details of their weapons, then use that info to rebuild their guns, shields and engines when they’re dead.
I’m happy I’ve got to this point, but there’s a lot more to do. I have a choice of a few fairly major areas to work on, and I’ll list them in my current priority order:
- Player guidance: Even in an ultra quick experimental game I don’t think this step is remotely skippable. If I don’t get a few basic tutorial messages in to explain how to play the game, no amount of readmes will ever make up for it.
- Balance: Bots of random strength spawn in random positions. So that kinda sucks. I just need a few lines of code to make weaker ones spawn near the player, tougher ones further away, and to make certain configurations excitingly rare. This’ll have a big effect on how much fun it is to play.
- Environment: I’d like to add water around the edges to make this an island, and possibly a fortress wall at the top.
- Objective: Right now there’s no long term objective. Ideally I’d like to have you scanning and stealing parts until you’re strong enough to assualt a fortified wall to the north and escape.
- Graphics: I must at least make some proper plasma blasts, and ideally add explosion effects and a better player bot. I also need to take one more go at making snow look less awful – I’d like to make it grainy and randomise the ‘dunes’ a bit.
- Extra feature: scale. I’d really like to have double- and half-size bots roaming around, with accordingly different toughness and speed.
The reason graphics is so low is that the time it takes is such a wildcard – sometimes I get something bad right away, other times it takes me hours to make something bad.
Let me know if you think my priority order is nuts.
Current title idea: Scanno Domini. Other scan puns welcome.