State of Play #6

Introduction

Since the last dev blog we posted back in October, we’ve been hard at work on Electro Bobble. Most of the changes and new features have been behind-the-scenes, with a lot of tweaks and performance optimisations and suchlike. I’m not going to cover everything here, as a lot of it isn’t going to be of interest to most people, but I’ll mention the most important changes, and of course the new bosses and enemies!

In addition to Electro Bobble, I’m happy to be able to announce our new game, Equaliser! Equaliser is slated for release in the first half of 2013 – read more about it here!

New Bosses

We’ve added three new bosses, bringing the total boss count up to four. We still have another two or three to do, and the end-game boss, all of which will come in the next couple of weeks. The new bosses are:

Mr. HappySad

Mr. HappySad is an electro-meanie who is docile and generally happy. However, once you start shooting him he gets rather upset and clones himself to form a ring of minions that shoot waves of dangerous bullets at you until he calms down again!

Mr. HappySad Mr. HappySad

The Mischievous Cloud

The Mischievous Cloud is exactly that. A rogue cloud who thrives on causes mischief. He alternates between unleashing torrents of toxic rain and rapidly hitting random areas of the screen with devastating lightning strikes.

The Mischievous Cloud The Mischievous Cloud

The Mothership

The Mothership is the queen of the flying saucer electro-meanies. She releases waves of flying saucers to attack you, and will try to knock you to your death using her tractor beam!

The Mothership The Mothership

New Enemy

We’ve added a new enemy with it’s own unique movement style. The “Invader” electro-meanie takes its inspiration from a certain very popular game from the past. Can you guess which one?

Invader Electro-Meanies Invader Electro-Meanies

New Bobble Colours

In addition to the standard blue Bobble that we’ve shown in previous screenshots, we’ve also added two new colour choices for your Bobble, chosen from a new menu:

Bobble Colour Choice

Other Tweaks and Changes

  • Added lightning strikes to the background ambiance to coincide with the thunder sound effects and cloud-flashes. This is just cosmetic, but it looks pretty cool!
  • Added a trail to the player when in motion. Again, just cosmetic.
  • Added new messages on picking up drops such as gun upgrades, extra lives and the fall bar.
  • Updated the textures for some of the enemies and their respective bullets to make them sharper and more in-tune with the rest of the game.
  • Added the options menu to allow setting the volume of the various audio tracks, windows resolution and full-screen options.
  • Changed the shield trigger key to one that isn’t already being used (oops!)
  • Optimised the particle engine to increase performance, and consolidated several of the particle emitters into one, massively reducing the particle budget for the game without actually removing any particles.

Future Development

As mentioned earlier, we still have some bosses and the end-game boss to add to Electro Bobble. In addition to the bosses we are going to add more enemies and weapons and spend some time tweaking the procedural generation code that spawns enemies and drops to try and get the ideal balance between not too easy but not so incredibly hard that it’s impossible. We also have music tracks and sound effects to produce, and lots of general polishing to do. We’re also still weighing up our options for distribution platform.

We’re planning on making an alpha / review build available within the next couple of weeks, and are hoping to release Electro Bobble some time in December.

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