menu
Monthly Archives: September 2014

Procedurally Generated Asteroids!

I added procedurally generated asteroids!  It makes the asteroids level much more interesting.  I will probably add the chance for more interesting things like lazer satalites or magnetic probes or something later.  Either way, never see the same Asteroids level twice!

asteroids003

The size, orientation, initial rotation, direction, and mass of the asteroids are generated each round.  The mass is based on the size of the asteroid so smaller ones will be easy to push around.  Currently the algorithm is based on size.  It feels pretty good. I wonder if the most accurate mass algorithm would be something like size3 or something.  Dunno, what do you guys think?

asteroids002

For anyone interested in the positioning algorithm, here is what I did.  First I pick a random number between 0 and 13.  that is how many asteroids can show up for this round.  Then I randomize the size between two constants.  Then I check at random points withing the screen dimensions to see where I can put an asteroid where it won’t cause trouble.  If the space is clear then I generate the asteroid.  If not, I go through the loop again with a different set of data.  To check if a position is clear I use a sphere check to make sure it did not collide with another asteroid.  If it did it would send them both flying away at warp speed causing a chain reaction with the other objects turning the asteroid field into grenade shrapnel and the round would end in a very explosive tie.  The sphere check has it’s size modified to the size of the asteroid to make sure that we are checking the bounds properly.  I could have just used the maximum size of an asteroid to do my sphere checks but then the generation wouldn’t be as dynamic and random.  For instance you would never see three tiny asteroids sitting next to each other.  I wanted the spawn points to be protected too, so players didn’t spawn inside a giant rock.  In order to do this I put a collider around the start point flagged as a trigger so that nothing would collide with it but the sphere check.  I also had to mask out some other triggers I was using for gameplay reasons.

asteroids001

IndieGames.com covered HardLander!

Check out the Indigames.com coverage of HardLander! You can check out the article here but here is what they had to say.

Couch co-op and local multiplayer vs games are making a huge comeback as of late, which is great because now we get four-player games like Hard Lander. While it’s already out on the Ouya, Soulareus Games has launched aGreenlight page to get the Windows and Mac version up on Steam.

Flying and landing your ship is the name of the game in Hard Lander, though it’s not as simple as it sounds. The trigger causes your ship to lift off — the longer you hold, the more powerful it thrusts. You have a directional thruster used through the stick — it’s weak but it can direct your path. The interplay between these is tricky, but it’s a lot of fun to maneuver your spacecraft. The main body of your ship is incredibly fragile. Landing on it or crashing it into a competitor will result in death. Bounce off your boosters or the bottom of your ship, though, and you’ll be fine. The last ship flying wins the round.

One of the coolest things about playing this was the stages. Sometimes you’ll need to navigate through narrow spaces or onto platforms to kill the other ships. Other times you’ll need to land butt-down on the arm of a laser-firing satellite and knock it spinning in a direction away from you. The strength and longevity of games like this lie in the options, so hopefully there will be more than a few different, creative stages to do battle on.

The game will be on the showfloor during IndieCade in October, and was featured by Ouya Presents (embedded above) as well. The Ouya versioncosts $5, which is the price same as the alpha version that’s up on Desura.

HardLander: Competitive Local Multiplayer Version 0.85 Released!

Have more fun with your friends this weekend with improvements to ship physics and Sumo! Shove your friends into a laser wall and show them who’s boss. The ships are now easier to control for beginners and faster and more nimble for veterans. More fun for everybody!Level changes

This build removes slow mo from the SUMO level which allows some different stratagies such as shoving like this!

aOdPtxz

A little bit of explanation of how Slowmo works is needed. In most levels once a player wins by being the last person standing, there is a slow mo that lasts a couple seconds. This is fun because it adds a bit of punch to the victory, but also because if you die during this slow mo the round is a tie. This gives other players that would have lost something to root for and causes lots of cheering at the expense of the might be winner which makes the game more fun. However, in Sumo it’s fun to be able to push the player out of the ring. However, with Slowmo on this almost always resulted in a tie. This is possible because in Sumo ship to ship destruction is disabled so pushing is a valid option. I think this makes the level a lot more fun and interesting.Gameplay changes

Hard Lander has always been a bit top-heavy. This can be fun because it requires a high level of skill to balance without crashing. However durring playtesting I realized that this makes the learning curve a bit too high for new players. So I reduced the mass of the top of the ship by 30%.

This changes the ship behavior in two ways:

  • The ship how has a lower center of gravity. This means that it will very slightly self balance when you are pointing up. So if you are pointing straight up you will not tip over. Hopefully this makes it a little easier to get over the first hump of the learning curve which is not tipping over. Landing is now a ‘tiny’ bit easier as well.
  • Since the ship is a bit lighter you can now turn a bit faster and accelerate faster. This is more fun for advanced players as you feel more nimble. Make no mistake, this game is still very hard to master and is very satisfying to fly once you get the hang of it.

Bug Fixes:

  • pesky asteroid collider fixed.

HardLander on Steam GreenLight!

Just published to Steam Greenlight! Let the popularity contest begin! If you feel up to it, and it looks like something you would like to play with your friends give it a vote. Durring pax, which doubled as an amazing volume of playtesting, I noticed a couple bugs.

  • Rarely in 4 player 2 ships will spawn at the same place either destroying each other instantly or going into a Thelma and Loise style barrel roll off a cliff or into a wall.
  • On Asteroids, there is one asteroid that has a collider that is too big for the graphic. I will work on fixing both of these this week.
  • I noticed another issue which isn’t a bug but that I want to address.  In the level asteroids, there are nothing but rocks flying around and other players.  If the players are playing defensive they won’t move much, which happens a lot with new players.  As a result sometimes the level goes on too long, way longer then most of the other levels.  I got this feedback from CGDC but It didn’t sink in until I saw it at PAX.  I was thinking that I could make asteroids fly in from no where after a set time but then I would have to make an alert system so you knew it was coming, and that might take a bit of work.  I always try to fix a problem in the least amount of work.  It’s probably due to laziness but it makes me feel better to think of it as a Occam’s Razor kind of thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam’s_razor). The solution I am going to try is to have the large center asteroid look like it’s modded out with some metal lazers or something.  Then put a few lights on it.  When all the lights turn on, then a few lazers will turn on.  The lasers use raycasting so they will hit other asteroids and hopefully it looks cool and will effectively shorten the level by introducing more challenge after a time.  It will also make the level a bit more dynamic.

HardLander v0.84 released

New Death Sphere and aim-able Laser

Fresh from showing at PAX Prime, the new show build is now available! If you have an itch for super competitive local multiplayer games, you owe it to yourself to check it out! Version 0.84 continues on the competitive vision of hard lander by giving you more control over the environment as you master your piloting skills.

In the level Death Sphere, you can turn on up to 3 lasers and by touching the activation pads. You can then proceed to get the sphere spinning by hitting the protruding laser canon with the back of your ship just right, all but ensuring a full screen wipe of your upset but impressed opponents. NewLaserSphere001

Continue on to laser lab where you can precisely control the direction of a mounted laser beam based on your position on the laser pad. If you’ve mastered the crab walk (which is shown in the first challange level) you will be able to slide across the pad, sweeping the entire bottom of the level. But watch out because an observant player may be up to your tricks and screen wrap on top of you before you ensure your victory.

NewLaserLab002If this looks like something you want to play, pick it up on Desura or play it on your OUYA!

HardLander at PAX Prime 2014

Fresh from showing at PAX Prime, the new show build is now available!  If you have an itch for super competitive local multiplayer games, you owe it to yourself to check it out!  Version 0.84 continues on the competitive vision of HardLander by giving you more control over the environment as you master your piloting skills.

In the level Death Sphere, you can turn on up to 3 lasers and by touching the activation pads.  You can then proceed to get the sphere spinning by hitting the protruding laser canon with the back of your ship just right, all but ensuring a full screen wipe of your upset but impressed opponents.

Continue on to laser lab where you can precisely control the direction of a mounted laser beam based on your position on the laser pad.  If you’ve mastered the crab walk (which is shown in the first challenge level) you will be able to slide across the pad, sweeping the entire bottom of the level.  But watch out because an observant player may be up to your tricks and screen wrap on top of you before you ensure your victory.