After promising to be more open about Legend of Gigatron’s development, I’ve been silent for weeks. There has been a lot of progress on the game, but it’s still far from completion. The world is being built differently than Fluid or Inferno, which both utilize the same basic level elements, and I’m not using the kinda-too-complex physics system from Bombcats/PPG. That means a lot of all-new code, and an all-new editor. The editor is fully functional, so world-building will be sufficiently quick. In case you’re wondering about the room size, it’s 17×11 tiles. I’m trying to use lots of prime numbers in the game rather than sticking to multiples of 2 for everything. So there will be 7 crystals to collect (in 7 dungeons), for example.
The design of the game is pretty much set, with the full player progression planned out and mostly functional. I’m always open to adding or cutting functionality if the need arises, but the design of the game has been one of the easiest aspects so far. I was worried that it might be difficult to strike a balance between paying homage to Zelda and being original, but that hasn’t been the case.
The most difficult part of development has been figuring out the visuals. I seem to have settled on an art direction for the game, but I’m not quite ready to show screenshots or video yet. A lot of work has gone into making the transitions from screen-to-screen look visually appealing, since you’ll be seeing lots of screen transitions. Making all of the elements of the world, player, items, effects, and obstacles look cohesive has taken a lot of time and iteration, and I’m not close to done yet.
It That A Dragon?
Originally, Gigatron–aka the player–was going to be a tank. Tanks are pretty easy to make look cool. But at the urging of my wife, Gigatron is now an adorable fire-breathing dragon-like creature. Gigatron shuffles around the screen and shoots fireballs of various sorts and looks way cooler than a tank (which I did try first) and fits the world much better too. The level of detail is currently closer to Fluid’s fish (Streak) than the cats in Bombcats, and I hope to keep it that way. Animation can be very time-consuming, which is why I generally avoid living characters in my games. Having the game look fairly abstract in many aspects will hopefully let me get away with less detail and animation on Gigatron and the enemies.
A Blackhole of Quality
Not going overboard on visual quality is one of the hardest things to do with this game, but it’s something I have to do if I want to get it done. The rabbit hole goes so far down that it would years for me to complete the game if I tried to do the game’s art the way I think it would look best. Part of that’s because of the time required, and part of that’s because my art skills are limited. If it’s really successful, I would love to make a sequel with amazing art. For the original Legend of Gigatron, I’m going to have to settle for unique and hopefully cool art instead.
Rather than keep talking about art, I’ll create a short teaser trailer showing off what I’ve been doing so far for my next blog post. That will hopefully be in a couple weeks if all goes well.
Radiangames has officially submitted the paperwork to become a corporation in Illinois. After that’s approved, I’ll push ahead with getting Inferno 2 distributed on Steam. Legend of Gigatron should follow a month or two later, with ports to iOS/Android coming after the Steam version.
One more quick note: If you haven’t picked up Bombcats SE on iPhone, you should do so now. It’s going to be removed from the App Store by Chillingo since sales are so low. I could republish Bombcats SE on iOS myself, but that’s very low priority. The Android versions will still be available.