1GAM January, second weekend update

Click to go to the Battle Row page
Click to go to the Battle Row page

It’s been a pretty busy week getting the first 1GAM game functional, both in feature sets and all the various times where I had to learn more of the quirks of Unity.  Since last update I’ve added home bases for both sides and a series of bunkers with anti-aircraft guns mounted on them.  I created the bazooka soldier who carries a homing rocket, and created a number of basic VFX and behaviors to support him.  There is now a resource system and a way to deploy units, and I’ve dropped in an UI for static screens, in-game tutorial text, and a HUD to show what units can be bought.  Finally, I’ve got a death and respawn system, and a camera that keeps things in view and doesn’t show things it shouldn’t.

I’ve posted the work-in-progress here:  BATTLE ROW  Note that while I have second-to-second activities, I still haven’t provided quite enough structure to give the player an objective…  You can’t win or lose yet:  That I’ve got to implement this week.

I still have bunkers to implement so they can be captured by soldiers, and given them machineguns that mow down incoming soldiers…  Then make it so tanks or helicopters can clear them out, requiring a two-step process to clear a bunker and giving tanks a more tactical role than a straight soldier-killer.  I think I’ll also need to implement bombs in addition to machineguns, like the original game had.

I’m glad I took something of a known structure for my first major game experiment in Unity, but as I move forward I am starting to appreciate some of the nuances of the original Rescue Raiders.  Given my limited time, I thought I could take parts of the whole and still make an interesting experience… but as I start to assemble everything I realize that the game relies on all these parts to create a compelling whole.  For example, while the original game depleted fuel and ammo, I was hoping to avoid limited resources on my helicopters.  However, without limits, players can fire constantly and hover around the enemy base.  In the original you can pick up and drop soldiers onto the battlefield.  Without this there can be some oversimplicity when combat only occurs on a single battle line.  Finally, the original pitted an enemy helicopter against your own, and writing a helicopter AI is really something I was trying to avoid because there are only two weeks left.  However, that would mean that bazooka soldiers wouldn’t mean much and player tanks wouldn’t have any kind of weakness.  The wild-card that the enemy heli presents is one that means that the battlefront isn’t completely predictable.

This is where some creative tweaking is needed…  If I don’t have time for an enemy helicopter, I think I’ll create a different type of flying enemy such as floating mines or drones.  I may also add some new abilities to tanks such as arced shots and the ability to shell players.  A few more units to buy (as upgrades to existing tanks and soldiers) could really make things more compelling.

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