Seahorse Brawl Game Status
Seahorse Brawl has yet to be completed. Yes, I have been working on it since July and yes, I thought I was almost done way back at the beginning of August. But in retrospect I was not almost done. I was almost done with an anemic, depthless version of what Seahorse Brawl was to become. What I mean is, I originally had a much simpler plan for the game and I had almost completed that. But then I decided I wanted to put the extra work into it to make it more elaborate. I may have gotten a little carried away.
Why Making this Game is Taking So Long
The main reason I have spent so much time on this game is that I have an insatiable desire to improve artwork and add more details. I have redone almost all the art elements of the game and added a lot of new art. Originally there was going to be only one miniboss figure that came out several times, but I decided to create several unique minibosses instead. I thought it would be too repetitive beating the same miniboss over and over and I wanted to create more characters for the game. Once I committed to this change in the game there was a lot more work to be done. However, I focused on letting the game world flourish, rather than just aiming for completion.
I have also had some problems with the Actionscript coding along the way, and it was causing all kinds of glitches in the game at one point. It took a long time to figure out the problem, but once I did, it seemed like such an obvious mistake. I have finished almost all the coding, so those problems seem distant compared to the artistic challenges I am dealing with now.
The ending in particular has become much more of a creaive challenge than I expected to face. This is mainly because I have decided to include an animated ending to the game story, rather than just a “You’ve Won” screen. I have to decide what that ending will be and how I will present it to the player. Animated conclusions to the game story always feel really rewarding to me, so I wanted to include that in this game even though it has very simple gameplay.
I am very close to finishing the actual game, but then I have to work on creating music and sound effects. So much work goes into a game!
Additions to Game
Some things I have spent a lot of time on:
- Establishing a concept and developing a storyline behind the game
- Art for 5 unique minibosses with unique missiles and movement
- Creating individual Actionscript classes for each miniboss and each type of missile
- Small animated details throughout game
- End of game dialogue and animated closing scene of story
Making Music for the Game
Making music for the game is going to be a challenge. I have not created any music in the past, but I am determined to create my own for my games. I don’t want to have to scour the internet for free music, deal with copyright issues, or settle for music that does not really fit my vision of the game. I really like electronic music and would like to learn to create it anyway. However, it may take me a really long time to figure out the technical stuff and create a track I am happy with. But that is part of the journey to gaining the skills I want to have to complete a game entirely on my own.
Enjoying the Long Development Process and Learning
I am happy to have spent such a long time with this game because I have learned a lot. Spending more time with the code and troubleshooting when problems came up helped me to understand Actionscript 2.0 better. (Haven’t gotten to Actionscript 3.0 yet.) I developed the habit of thinking about the problems to determine where they were originating from in the code, which helped me to tackle big, seemingly mysterious, problems. I have become somewhat of a code scavenger in the process of building this game, studying all kinds of Flash tutorials and hunting through Actionscript forums. I’ve pieced together code and a lot of times what I’ve tried hasn’t worked. But through this process I’ve come to understand what does work. Learning how to code just this one type of game with Actionscript 2.0 has given me the basic knowledge I need for building many other games.
Developing the artwork and the story have also been important to me and the way I think about game development. At one point, I made the decision to make the game much more elaborate and it was then that designing a game that felt whole and bedazzling became more important than just finishing a game as quickly as possible. Telling a story, however simple, through the game has motivated me to work on the details of the game and has made the whole process a lot more fun too. I have really enjoyed playing with the silliness and absurdity of the game concept. Though the gameplay is far from original, I hope that the charm of Seahorse Brawl is amusing and enchanting to players.
Here is a peek into Seahorse Brawl:
One More Website Re-design
I have redesigned the Magenta Galaxy website one more time because I wanted it to be simple, yet atmospheric. I didn’t really achieve this with the first redesign, but I am pretty happy with the latest look. It is not as SEO friendly, with all the images for navigation and such, but I am willing to sacrifice for the sake of aesthetics. I didn’t like how the text font would change depending on the browser, and the font choice is limited to begin with for website text. Now everything on the site has a uniform look across all browsers, except for some minor color differences. There are still some minor design changes I am going to make but it will do for now!
Other Games in Progress
I began working on a second game as a sort of break from Seahorse Brawl, but now that second project has been left hanging. It it a Winter themed game so it is time sensitive. Can’t spend four months on that one! I actually might not work on finishing it right now because the code is difficult and I am not sure if I could finish it in time for the Winter season. I am having trouble figuring out the code for shooting a bow and arrow – both the physics involved with creating wind drag on the arrow and creating a variable velocity depending on how long the mouse is held down. I would really like to include both of those features in the game and I think they will take me a while to figure out, so I might just have to wait until next Winter to release the game. We’ll see! I may just start on an easier game concept when I am done with Seahorse Brawl.