As we posted on our new year resolution post, we are trying again for the One Game A Month challenge this year. We had made an attempt to do so last year, but only managed to get through February. But even those games were not ones that we actually worked on that year.
This year, we are actually going to go for it. As such, we have finished our first game for the year, Dragon Canyon. Dragon Canyon is a game in so much as there is gameplay, a scoring mechanism and an end condition. It isn’t a complete game in that it is missing a few things.
Before I get into all that, I wanted to explain the history of this game. It kind of fits into the mold of my previous entries into One Game A Month. Both of those were dragon themed and fairly simple. Dragon Canyon is kind of a successor to Dragon Fire in many respects. It is a shooter and you play as a dragon shooting various flying monsters. But it is very different from it too.
For one, Dragon Canyon allows the player to choose which dragon they want to play. Each dragon has its own projectile as well. With Dragon Fire, the player was given a dragon at random and all dragons fired the same thing.
Additionally, Dragon Fire restricted the player to only left and right movement. The player was unable to travel vertically. This has changed with Dragon Canyon. Along these same lines, rather than a top to bottom shooter, Dragon Canyon is a bottom up shooter.
Finally, the enemy behavior is greatly altered. With Dragon Fire, all enemies appeared at the bottom and flew straight up. In Dragon Canyon, I wanted to add variety to the enemies, not just in looks but in how they act. So I have some very basic enemy behaviors in the game. There are four enemy types and each behaves slightly differently.
I would like to expand on this game in the future. I love to play shooters like this from time to time and it could be a lot of fun when improved. I had originally started the game idea as a test for Ouya development. So the goal is to add controller support as well as play for up to four players. I would also consider increasing the screen resolution to allow for full use of HD televisions.
I also need to add a lot more variety to enemies and their behaviors. As of right now, there are no enemies that shoot back and that is something that needs to change. There are also a lot more movement patterns to experiment with.
I also want to further differentiate the player dragons. While it is great that they look different and have different projectiles, I would love to add special moves that are unique to each dragon.
The background is something else that really needs to improve. I want to add a scrolling background to the game as well as different stages with their own enemies. Each stage could be themed around the different dragons.
Outside of all that, the other improvements to the game would include sound and music, pixel perfect collision detection and player health and lives.
Overall, it isn’t that bad of a prototype to be used as my January entry into One Game A Month. I look forward to working on my February entry.