We’re about a third of the way into the month and we’ve made good progress. The controls are pretty much complete and we think we’ve nailed down the audio/visual tone of the game. I’m currently working on polishing the engine code and Farcloud is turning in nice graphics and banging tunes.
One of the things I’m most proud of is the bullet time effect, which slows time automatically when a threat comes too close to the player (think Max Payne in a spaceship). This adds a bit of strategy to what would otherwise be pure twitch gameplay, and allows the player to navigate obstacles that wouldn’t be possible in real time. We experimented with various ways of triggering it manually, but decided against it. Not only did it over-complicated the controls, but failed attempts to activate bullet time made the game a bit frustrating.
The controls are about as simple as it gets. Tapping the left half of the screen moves the player left, while tapping the right half moves them right. It still needs tweaking (micro-adjustments can be a bit tricky) but so far I’m really pleased with how it plays. We’re still experimenting with button placement, and we may decide against having visual buttons at all. If we have time I may add accelerometer support, but I’m not a massive fan of all that myself and truthfully Android has only recently gotten good at it.
All in all, things are coming together nicely! We could probably slap a menu screen on it and release it now if we really wanted to, so I think we’re on target to wrap things up by the end of the month.