Lazy Robots - complete level functionality

June 28, 2012

Woo hoo! I am officially back on the horse!

Today I sat down and did some serious coding (amid bouts of Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy), designing and implementing end of the level UI. So now I have a level select screen, which you can click on to enter actual functional levels with win and lose conditions (essentially you either get the boxes to the goals and can move on to the next level, or you go over your energy quota and have to back up or reset) which then take you to other levels or back to the level select menu.

Okay, okay, this is good. Like, really good. It feels good to actually be doing something productive again. After I quit Diablo last week, I kind of went on a Binding of Isaac bender that lasted another week, what with the expansion, then the patch to the expansion that essentially doubled the difficulty of the game. I haven't 100%ed the thing yet, but I've done enough that I can scale back my playing while still feeling satisfied. My only complaint with the game is that in order to get to the last level, you have to have a specific trinket that only drops in about half my playthroughs, which is really frustrating. Hopefully a future patch will remove that restriction. I mean, I had a killer setup with the blue baby that would have rolled the last level, but I couldn't find the Polaroid, so it was a non-starter. Total lameness.

Anyway, what was I talking about? See how these games distract me so? Right, so coding progress being made...I know two weeks ago, I set my completion goal to be a month, but I am revising that slightly. I'm going on a two-week vacation July 22nd - a little over 3 weeks - so my new plan is to be done by then. I don't know if I will actually submit it to gaming sites then, or wait until I get back, since I want to address any bugs or complaints people might have right away. I will maybe just have some beta testing at that point? Invite friends to play the game and find bugs? Yes, let's do that. Beta testing starting July 22nd. That sounds like a plan. You see, my hot wife is also operating on a July 22nd deadline to send her novel to an agent, so hopefully we'll be able to inspire each other to get some work done.

I'm really excited about actually having complete levels, though. It allows me to now focus on level design and story text, which should be a fun creative outlet. Here's a video of the second level, first failing and then succeeding. Note I also put in a skip dialogue button so that I wouldn't have to read the dialogue every time I tested a level.

All right, so let's make a list of everything left to do:
1. Level design and dialogue for, like, 45 more levels.
2. Minor functionality changes for "Overtime" levels (no quota, just a target energy sum for all overtime levels combined).
3. Pop-up dialogue for multiple failures in a row (inspired by the Lost Vikings).
4. Main menu implementation.
5. Animations for main menu and level select.
6. In-game robot animations when moving boxes.
7. File writing and reading for game progress.
8. User-created level functionality (not sure if this will get done by July).
9. Achievements and possible Easter-egg dialogue.
10. Music composition and implementation (plus mute button).

Hmm, that seems like a lot. I guess we'll just have to see if my goal is achievable.

Also, now that I've looked at it for a while, I really don't like the color scheme of the menu buttons. Very tacky.

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