Thursday, January 23, 2014

Smash Clash Update

It's finally here!!! This update focus on the mechanics, speed, menus and stability of the game. So don't expect more content from it. In my last post I put out some things to look for in the update, but here's a list of everything which was changed in depth.

  One of the main problems in the last version was that there was no way of telling who was winning and who was losing. Now there's a nice quick way to see how you're stacking up against your opponents. Gain one point for a kill, and lose one for a death.

Winner is declared
  May seem like a small thing, but this actually makes the game seem more like a You can actually see if you won afterwards.

Quick fall (jam joystick down)
  This subtle change in physics has improve the gameplay drastically. It keeps players closer to the ground, and adds more depth to the game as you have more options while not on the ground.

More particles
  I doubled the particles, and added more in new areas. The result is a simply beautiful effect.

Bigger Hitboxes
Hitboxes are bigger now due to difficulty of controlling a character on a mobile device. This may or may not be a permanent change, please email me if you have feedback about this.

Download Size
  Download size was SIGNIFICANTLY reduced by using image compressing techniques.

Beautiful title screen
  Enough said. Just install the game and look at it when it's animated.

Two player local mode (early version, mostly for tablets)
  By this, I mean that there are two sets of controls on one screen. So you can play your friend on the same device! It's really early in development, so don't expect much...yet!

Online mode (early version)
  This is going to be an amazing part of the game. It does not work very well yet, but it does work!

Upgrade to Corona's graphics 2.0 engine
  This was the longest part of developing this version. Nearly half of the code had to be redone in order to support Corona's new APIs, and it was well worth it. The game runs so much faster even with twice the amount of rendering! This has reduced lag, increased the game's ability to display more particles, run better on slower devices and so much more!

  The menus are currently in the process of a complete makeover. The title screen looks awesome, but the rest of the menus are still in the old, gross version. Hopefully by the next update all of the menu screens will be redone, but meanwhile, you'll just have to work with the old ones. Also I've added the singleplayer screen where you can choose from various levels to earn stars from. It doesn't work yet, but it's there and some parts work.

Bug fixes
  Ledge glitch fixed. Some people reported that backing up into a ledge caused the character to stand while floating in the air. This has been fixed and you can now grab the ledge while facing away from it. Please email me if you see this glitch come up again.
  Up smash glitch fixed. The red character (we think we might call him Flare), used to always be propelled to the right during his up+b attack. This has been fixed.
  Spawn glitch fixed. Sometimes a character would spawn and be rendered useless and not able to move. This one took forever to fix.
  Jump button position fix. It's now on the top.

Updates will be delivered over Google Play within the next few days. Happy testing :D


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Monday, January 13, 2014

Some New Thoughts

It's been awhile since I've posted, so here's a quick status on how Smash Clash's development is going.

Graphics 2.0
One of the major things which will be changed in 0.3.1 alpha is that I'm converting the entire game to support the newest version of Corona SDK. This will allow me to take advantage of their new graphics 2.0 engine which includes water effects, better transitions, 2.5D effects and just an overall faster performance with the game. With these abilities, you can expect to see more particle effects in the future (yay particles) and a higher frame rate if you're using an older device.

Local Multiplayer
This allows two players to play on one device. This game mode will be primarily used for tablets due to screen size, but for now I'm going to keep it in the phone version to let testers tell me what they think. There're currently some issues which I'm working on resolving, such as the act pushing down a buttons, causes the other player's buttons to be released! But keep in mind these kinks will be smoothed out as development progresses.

Online Multiplayer
Here we go! This is a main component of Smash Clash, and what many have been waiting for! A few weeks ago I got the first version of online to work on the Samsung S3 and Note 2. Both were connected to 4G in the mall and had no problem maintaining a stable connection and sending and receiving data. The current problem I'm facing with online is predictive code. If you're familiar with the mechanics of online multiplayer, you'll know that all games you play which have an "real time" online mode, are pretty much just creating an illusion of real time. No matter how fast your internet speed is, there'll always be some lag, and that lag has to be compensated for. The trick is to smooth out the game by predicting where your opponent is so it doesn't appear to lag.

Gameplay Changes
Ledges can now be grabbed if you're not facing it, and while many don't like this ability, it's necessary because of the difficulty in moving a player on a phone.

At the end of the game, a pop up appears declaring the winner.

The score is kept track of in the HUD. You lose a point for dying, and gain one for killing. Simple enough.

I'm hoping to finish the code to make a "fast fall" possible. You'd simply slam the joy stick down while in mid air to fall more quickly. Haven't implemented this yet, but you can expect it in the update.

Clash attacks will hopefully be finished at the time of the update. This allows characters to charge an attack by double tapping an attack button. If you fully charge an attack, well...let's just say you're opponent won't be happy.

Singleplayer mode has the addiction of an "Event Match" mode. It has levels similar to those of Angry Birds, where there's rows of levels that you try to receive three stars in each. Next update will not allow the testers to try the levels, but they can preview the menu for selecting them.

There may or may not be another stage added...depends how much time I got. The art for a dungeon level is finished, I just need to code it. Oh, and we have awesome music for it :D

Big Fixes
Yeah. Not much here. You probably won't notice any of these being fixed. That's the sad part of being a developer.


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