Sunday, January 22, 2017

I've got a title! ...and a serious case of Feature Creep

Finally, my first game has a name: Bit.Bash!

My first game was just a breakout/arkanoid clone, but Bit.Bash evolved into more than that. It is  a game about breaking down corrupted data blocks to troubleshoot a computer in the 80s.  You play as the person who "jacks-in" into the malfunctioning computer and tries to fix it with this new software designed for recovering data by breaking up the corrupted sectors. Why such a theme? Because what pseudo-80s game doesn't need an outrageous theme! That's why!

It took me a loooooong time to come up with the title. I had the theme/backstory in mind almost from the very beginning, but no title. I wanted something that was reminiscent of both the brickbraker gameplay as well as the game's theme and art style.

So, I settled on using a computer term and a word somewhat connected with the gameplay and separated them by a dot (because computer file naming conventions!). I want to keep that formula for the rest of the games in the series, but we'll see how that will go. Oh yeah, I plan on making a series of games, all connected by the theme and the narrative, basically in the same universe. It is yet another vision of grandeur I have. I got so far without an idea about gamedev, so it is possible I will get there as well. That is, if I won't get lost in the limbo of...

Feature Creep

For the past days I was mostly working on the start screen above (which started with a tweetjam from electricgryphon) and some gameplay tweaks, when I should have been focusing on adding the big features. I think it seemed a little to overwhelming...again.

I just wanted to add too much stuff. At some point I decided that I need arkanoid style bosses and some moving enemies. After adding the title screen, I wanted flavor text. And, that was on top of a better random generator, multiball, redoing graphics, etc. I was suffering from a serious case of feature creep and I had to draw the line somewhere, otherwise, I would never finish my first game.

So, I decided to make a proper TODO list inside the file. I think it will be a jarring reminder to stay focused. To be honest, the game is playable from start to finish right now, but I think I can make it a bit better. After some thinking, I have narrowed the extra feature list down to three big things, and that's it. I am not allowing myself to add any more. I need to release this thing to the wild and let it be. This is the whole point of gamedev, right? Actually releasing a game.

After those three features the game will be done. Well, I also need to do sound, but I might ask someone to contribute music, and maybe the sounds if I am lucky. Learning the tracker might be something I need to learn next time...

For now I am diving back to Oli414's textbox library trying to change it so it works for my game.

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