These updates were not too extremely necessary, but I felt like I should make them at some point. And the last few days have been that “some point”. So here is the rundown on Dragon Canyon‘s updates.
These were some updates that I wanted to put into the game since I created it. I didn’t think the game was right when it was first released and wanted to make a few changes.
The first one was just the size of the game window. It was way too wide. I needed to scale that back considerably. The game play just didn’t lend itself to such a wide area. If the game were to be released as a four player game, I could easily see a much wider game area to be a necessity.
The next update was a simple high score mechanism. The game now tracks your personal best score, in the current play session. If you refresh the browser window or close it, your score will be lost. But it will at least let you challenge yourself a bit better.
The final update is one that it badly needed, pixel perfect collision detection. The game originally just used hit boxes based on the size of the sprite. This led to a lot of transparent pixels overlapping transparent pixels causing a collision. This led to a lot of awful deaths and some seriously crazy shots. So now, the actual opaque portions have to overlap to count as a hit. Much better.
If I were to make this into a full fledged game, I would certainly add more. I would like it to be multiplayer. That would require more monsters and a larger play area. I also need scrolling backgrounds. Multiple levels with their own monsters and backgrounds. A greater variety of monsters with a greater variety of attack patterns would be awesome. This would also include monsters that shoot back. Boss monsters would add another bit of flair. Controller support would be great as playing multiplayer on a single keyboard just doesn’t work right. I would also add health and special attacks. This would make the game more interesting a varied. Of course I would also add animations, sound effects and music to the list too.
Come to think of it, this is pretty far from a “complete” game.
Dragon Canyon, OneGameAMonth
Every month, there is a meeting of Oklahoma Game Developers. This gives anyone attending an opportunity to show off their projects. So we took some time to show off our progress on Demon’s Hex and our January One Game A Month entry, Dragon Canyon.
We plan on showing off each of our One Game A Month entries at each meeting this year. It gives us a goal and a deadline for completion. Something that we didn’t have last year when we tried it.
You can see everything else that happened at the meetup over at OKGamDev.com.
Updates and Status
Demon's Hex, Dragon Canyon, Meetups, OneGameAMonth
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.
Development, Goals and Deadlines
Dragon Canyon, OneGameAMonth