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  • Writer's pictureFire Totem Games

Ship Defense - Kenney Jam 2019 - Dev Log Day 3

After a good night of sleep I'm ready to write the last devlog for this game. At least for now, because the Kenney Jam 2019 is over.

The last day started with fixing some minor bugs from the day before and making animations and effects look a little better. I replaced the old jammer animation which scaled a very low resolution crosshair (couldn't find a better 2d ring in the assets :D) with using circles that emit in a burst and move with the same speed in radial direction.

Old animation:

New animation:

After that I changed the ground of the treasure island to make it not look like it is pulsating. No idea who mentioned this weird behaviour but thank you ;)

Old animation:

New animation:

Then I added a small but very important animation to the money for the event of it changing (buying something or earning money for defeating enemies). It is very important to give the players small visual hints in case something has changed.

In the meantime a lot of sound effects were finished by Brian and adding them to the game really changed how the game felt. I'm not going to post any of the sound files here. Just go and play the game and you will know what I mean. He also finished the main music and made it loop way better. He then created a different music track for the menu and an overlay music track for the water which really makes you feel that the waves are crashing against the islands :D

Now came the most annoying part also very crucial part: Tweaking and balancing the levels. This can really make or break a game and I'm always taking my fair amount of time during game jams to make it as good as possible. Not too easy but also not to hard, so that the player has some sort of challenge in completing my games. Unfortunately it is IMPOSSIBLE to fit the needs of all players, because of the big gap between casual players and pro players. So my tweaking is most of the time a little bit more on the easier side to give more players the chance to enjoy my game.

Back to the tweaking of the levels now. I decided to introduce the weapons and enemies during the 4 levels that I designed the day before. So having 5 weapons I decided to give the player 2 at the start (cannon and sniper) and introduce a new weapon in each of the following levels. For the 3 enemies in the game I decided to start with the normal enemy and introduce one in level 2 and one in level 3 and then show all 3 in the final level.

The first thing I did was reducing the speed of the enemies to slow down the gameplay a little bit and give the player more time to react. Then I tweaked level 1 which took way longer than expected but even if you don't play that well you will finish it.

Level 2 was a little trickier to tweak because there should already be some challenge involved. After the jam was over I learned that you could easily exploit it but hey, not enough time to test out all the combinations of weapons you could go for.

Level 3 also turned out to be easily exploited with combining jammers and swords, but hey the player has to find that out first :D

Level 4 was then just a crazy put all the stuff in and let the player have some fun :D The time was really short at that point and tweaking 3 enemies and 5 weapons together with the level layout was a crazy task.

If I ever feel the need to keep working on this game, I have to plan A LOT of time for tweaking, especially if there are a lot of levels and new enemies and weapons. The concept of the game is really nice and watching the ships move and shoot is more entertaining than just having stationary towers/turrets. 


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