If it's one thing that has been a common theme in my work it's bad graphics. I can't draw to save my life and everybody who has seen my futile attempts knows this. I just don't have a good head for arranging the elements of a figure. I wind up with bodies out of proportion, faces that look like over sized emoticons, and weird looking eyes that just don't feel right.
So here I am thinking that the flixel February thing would be perfect for someone of my artistic talent.
My first pass at sprite graphics looked so bad even at pitiful sizes of at most 24x24 pixels made me feel like I was 5 years old hoping that mommy would put it on the refrigerator. It hit me when I realized that I wanted a serpentine dragon that animated in a spiral. I wanted it to look like it was spiraling forward. After several attempts I gave up realizing that I just couldn't translate the image in my head to a physical reality. Space just doesn't seem to match up when I mentally zoom in on a detail to render it on physical medium.
Ultimately I abandoned the sprites in favor of something more dynamic. I created a system that would allow me to assemble a dragon out of a selection of parts. The dragon now had hand drawn head and wing graphics, but that's it. The body is animated through the use of small scale physics. It behaves like a rag doll with the tail moving about depending on how the head is moving. I think it looks a hell of a lot better than my pathetic attempts at hand drawing stuff. With the new system I can make dragons of arbitrary length and have their bodies and tails move in more flowing manner, something I could never get with static frames of poorly drawn sprite animation. This will allow me to have a wider array of recognizable enemies with different behaviors without having to spend time drawing all of them.
After releasing two mediocre remakes of games that were high-tech back in 1982 I've finally decided to get back into Flash games with something original.
So, I have decided to prepare an entry for the flixel February contest. I've decided to make a shmup (Shoot 'em up) for this game. I'm going to try for something along the lines of the Touhou shooters like Perfect Cherry Blossom. The idea is simple: lots of bullets everywhere being fired in cool looking patterns. So far I've worked out the simple enemies and the bullet pattern firing. So now I'm working on a level editor.
Most flixel games are tile based. That is not the case for this genre. The levels are defined as time lines (for example enemies will come in at 1:30, 1:45, and 1:50 and all follow a path). Needing a good challenge I've set about at making this time line editor so that I can add enemies more easily. I'm hoping to have a beta posted on the dumping grounds by the end of next week so that I can get some feedback.
Since a lot of energy has gone into the shmup framework to power this game I am considering releasing the framework and level editor as open source tools so that other people can benefit from my work. So far this game has been pretty fun to make. I've been using the opportunity to study up on languages outside of my comfort zone of C++ and getting to know ActionScript 3.0 and C# better.
Wish me luck! I'll keep posting my progress here as I get further along.
Well, I just fixed some serious performance issues in my Night Stalker remake and changed the hard mode music. It should be ready for some new life since I expect it to get a bit more traffic. I am planning to release another remake: Vectron. I'm anticipating some clickage on older works through portal publicity so the improvements should improve my old work's score.