Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bloodjak v1.3

As I continue to update old games in preparation for potential showcasing, the next one to receive a revision is my old shmup, Bloodjak

I ended up making slight changes to the difficulty, something I've generally tried to avoid in a game with persistent competitive high scores. The first is a bug fix. Spawn rates for the larger ships would cease to increase as they were supposed to later in the game. While fixing this bug means that the player will encounter more powerful enemies in the late game than before, this is how the game was originally meant to be played.

The second is that I've overhauled the sequencing of enemy waves in the early game. Now, the player is introduced to all of the standard enemy types sooner. While this makes the early game harder, it won't only make it more varied, but also make the first two minutes of the game more engaging to a casual festival-attending player

Overall, I think these adjustments to the difficulty are justified. Early game changes to difficulty are slight, and only a handful of players so far have made it to the late game. As long as the scoring system itself is unchanged, the competitive metagame should remain fair between versions.

Parents will be pleased to know that the game now has a pause feature so their kids can run to eat dinner without losing their precious high scores.

Finally, while this feature is currently absent from the publicly available versions, the biggest addition I made to the game is local high score support. As awesome as Gamejolt's online high score tables are, I shouldn't take them for granted and expect that they will exist forever. Furthermore, having internet access at Artscape (and other festivals and conventions) is never a certainty. So, I've got a secret version of the game that records high scores to your computer's very hard drive instead of recording them online. It'll be there when we need it.


Here's  the complete list of changes:
v 1.3
-Wave sequencing redesigned. Generally, different enemy types are introduced sooner!
-Pause functionality added, at the request of my sister-in-law, so my nephew can now stop playing to eat dinner. Press 'P' or 'ESC.'
-Player must now wait upon jacking out to submit score.
-Local high score support added (festival version only).
Bug Fixes
-Fixed a bug where medium and large ship spawn rates would cease to increase after a time.
-Fixed bug where game would crash if you tried to load highscores without an internet connection.
-Fixed muzzle flash rendering bug.

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