The last couple of days I have been focusing on the procedural level generation. One of the main philosophies that builds the foundation of this game is the idea that every game you play should be different. That means that we want you to encounter different enemies and different patterns every time you play, while at the same time we want the difficulty level to be constant. It is therefore easy to say that this mechanic will be the heart of the game.
Although the system is not fully functional yet, the underlying system is already in place. Right now we are focusing on getting more content fitted into the game, so we can actually start seeing more and more difference.
The workings of the procedure can be explained easily using a nice metaphor. When you start the game from the main menu, Chuck Norris is being called in. He has the current highscore, so he doesn’t want you to overtake him in score. However, we have kindly asked him not to cheat, so he is only allowed to spend a certain amount of credits for every “level”. Every time you survive a level, the amount of credits increases, resulting in the game becoming more difficult over time. Based on the amount of credits, Chuck can make a choice on the nature of the level, now he just has to fill the spots with different enemies.
Unfortunately, Chuck doesn’t really have a creative mind, so he has hired several designers to design the enemies with him (pardon me: for him). Every designer has its own specialty. If you tell them how many credits they can spend, they will put together a nice enemy for you. The start with a simple enemy template and add some bits and pieces to it to make sure it fits the requested difficulty. The completed blueprint is then sent to a factory. The robots in the factory can now use the blueprint to build enemies. After telling them in what pattern to fly, the enemies are off to kill you.
Besides working on programming these core features, we have also met yet another awesome person which will help us with structuring the game design and art. We are working towards getting the first pieces of concept art done by the end of the week, as to decide how exactly the finished game will look. In the next days we will also be working in finishing the level generation code and setting up the basis for some future features.
172 commits, 2642 lines of code, 9 liters of coke and 17 awesome