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  • On Pain of Death 
  • Wed, Apr 27th 2011, 14:24
    On Pain of Death  

    Grue has very politely pointed out that I haven't been updating as much as I should. In light of this, I have been coerced encouraged to add a new post. So here it is!

    I recently set out to start tinkering with Flash and make a game. This was all pretty new to me, but was easy to get into. I went with FlashPunk as the buzz suggested it was a better general game library than Flixel. The way it handles clipping regions and primitive drawing is a bit annoying, but otherwise it has treated me pretty well so far. I wanted to do something simple as a first project, naturally. While I have a nifty plan for a platformer, I decided it was a little too ambitious for a learn-as-you-go project. Instead I opted to make a puzzle game. In hindsight, the platformer probably would have been quicker and easier. Le sigh.

    True to my history, when making a "sequel" to a game, it has turned into something else entirely, albeit with some common bits and pieces between them. What started as Prismatic Arrows 2 has evolved into Juice Game. It's catchy, I know. But clever names come after clever games. So, without further ado, I present a slightly outdated screenshot from when it didn't work quite right:

    Shabby Screenshot

    Yes, it looks a great deal like Pipe Dream. Yes, they do have a bit in common. No, I assure you they are different games. Pipes are a natural evolution of the old arrow model. Arrows only point to the next piece instead of visually connecting to it, making it harder for the player to parse. They also behave somewhat differently in that they have 3 optional inputs and 1 output. Pipes, by comparison, have 1 input and 1 output and they are reversible. Other fundamental behaviors that needed to be banished:

    * The ability to inject colors at any point in a sequence.
    * The presence of a full spectrum of colors.
    * Blending and matching of those colors.

    The whole thing was a little too clumsy, but it was built around the notion of "Can I make a game using VERGE's MixColor()?" and in that I feel like I succeeded. Juice Game takes the core of Prismatic Arrows (create long chains of interconnecting pieces filled with different colors) and streamlines the experience, making a much more playable game. This is, of course, still a work in progress, but here are some screenshots of it as it stands right this very moment:

    Gameplay Screenshot

    Another Gameplay Screenshot

    Everything is functional. There are a few mechanics I'm still trying to decide which way to go (for now, playtesting will no doubt reveal me for the fool I am). I also need to slap on a fresh coat of sexy as it's pretty rough looking at the moment. Look forward to more details and more screens in a future update.