Last month’s theme was STEALTH. I wasn’t really into this idea of a theme, so I decided not to participate. Until I did. Upon sketching up some ideas I decided to go with a stealth bomber concept and started to draw some stuff and write some code. In retrospect, I didn’t do too much new stuff. The turn-based gameplay is one, but it was a use of a boolean variable and some attention given to animations and sounds. I tried to streamline my code by using Room End and Destroy events, going through interlinked objects (like a turret base object has a top object, a top has a shadow object…) but this still led to strange bugs, and I still had to find a sure way to handle these. Some variables switching values still failed sometimes (in a random fashion, which is beyond my understanding) despite me putting in a frame or two delay so the specific variable could change, but to no avail. I still sometimes had to do roundabout code, fake objects so the code worked as smoothly as possible. Regarding the closing end of the game jam event, I wasn’t able to fix some stuff. I tried to use the Configurations options in GMS2, which means that I was able to define versions like “Test version” “No test version”, and I could set macros to run on that version. So, having hotkeys for testing and writing out information won’t work in the other version. I tried to make an object handling all object related info so it’s a little bit of optimization.
The game’s about controlling a stealth bomber, having (too much) information on the dashboard to look at, and tactically choosing where to move. Everything moves only when the player moves: projectiles, rockets, radars, and the turrets.
I made a briefing room where the player can read about the objectives and see a miniature version of the next level. Also, after finishing a level, fuel and repair costs can be checked alongside the remaining money.
Upon entering most levels, and since I wasn’t able to make too many of them, some sort of tutorial awaits the player to help understand how to play. It may seem too much, but otherwise I would have had to dump all the information at once and that would’ve been much more overwhelming. Still, the player can learn about moves and fuel, hull capacity and taking damage, having been detected by a radar, having been fired at. When completing a mission by flying over the exit area, the mission ends with an evaluation of the mission. The main objective is always a do-or-die situation, meaning that running out of fuel or taking too much damage automatically fails the mission. Secondary and bonus objectives are optional, but completing them earns money which is needed to continue. With secret missions I decided that they can be revealed only when completing them. Those need some extra attention to details and using the equipment of the bomber.
In the game, by pressing SPACE or ENTER, the player can see a tactical version of the surroundings. It shows passable and impassable grid spaces, writes the names of specific objects and brings forth the targets so they can be seen better. I made it so the player cannot decide where to bomb, but mission control specifies the targets and the player has to fly over the red, blue and yellow targets in order to bomb them. In some missions, mission control can specify to ask for reporting what target will be bombed. That can be done with buttons 1-2-3 (on the left side of keyboard). Enemy structures are the radars, those have a cone of vision. Should the player enter one of those, the radar activates turrets, flak cannons or rocket bays and those turn on the bomber and start firing. Rocket soldiers have a circle and they fire the most dangerous projectiles in the game. RPG rockets fly over terrain and close on the bomber rapidly. All other projectiles are stopped and destroyed by obstacles (mountain walls). The bomber is equipped with 3 flares to protect itself from rockets. By pressing F, a couple of flares are fired behind the bomber. I made ammo trucks which is are moving targets. As they can leave the map, carrying their own targets, these are optional to destroy. I made some structures, if they have a target under them, that makes them a bombing target. I made some exploding barrels, which can be used to make a chain reaction effect. I had some ideas with them in mind though I couldn’t explore those further because of the shortness of time. Also, my darling girlfriend, Allegra, drew some level layouts for me, but unfortunately I could only build one of them, so we can thank her for level 6. 🙂
There are three types of bombs in the game. Normal bombs, which drop by themselves or via carpet bombing (round and square red targets), these explode on impact, destroying the target and the structure placed on it. Electromagnetic Pulse bombs (blue target), which create an electric discharge, immobilizing anything they touch. The bomber would take half of its hull’s value as damage should it linger in the explosion. And finally: a tactical nuke bomb, with a somewhat bigger explosion area. Only the inner part is deadly to everything, even for the bomber. An outer ring only destroys oil barrels, rocket soldiers and vehicles.
This month, I have to take a break from HEJ as I am not just exhausted but I also have things to take care of. Of course, this has to happen in the month when my theme own idea is the selected theme: ‘About your favorite YouTuber’. I may do some planning, drawing stuff, but as I would mostly use Ghouly’s code, it’s the art that needs attention. But it’s not a priority. I can finish it some other time.