The games basic platforming mechanics (gravity, collision, run&jump;) were from an early game prototype I made in September. The actual development on FYRKANT started on the 23rd Spetember, when I imported the some mechanics and assets from the prototype, into a new project that I named ‘Astro Shooter'. I made the graphics into a grayscale retro broken-screen (with RGB-shift and noise) using grayscale sprites and shaders.
The early work was focused a lot on resolution (eventually went for 768x432 and 16x16 tiles), fullscreen scaling, etc. The first weapon implemented was the standard ‘knife'.
The white player uses the knife attack. I really liked this style, but the CRT/scanlines-effects became to much after a while. Maybe I'll leave it as an easter egg in the final game!
I continued working on different types of CRT-like-shaders, but eventually I abandoned them all for a cleaner look that game less headache. After that, the game also got more and more color. 4 player were in the game quite early, although a robust control system came much later. I also implemented variable jump height early on, since this is important in a platform game where the players has to maneuver precisely.
Some random jumping/hunting action. There is a lot of fun moments when the hunter becomes the hunted, based on power-up pickups.
I implemented sound (made with Sfxr) and music quite early. I made the games only music track (so far) in FamiTracker; a supercool tracker program that emulates the soundchip of the NES. You can listen to the song here:
The spawn system works by that several predetermined spawn-points are defined for each level, and when a player dies, a random point is selected and the player is spawned there. For the power-up spawns I choose I slightly less safe spawn system; the power-up boxes can be spawned any place in the level not occupied by walls.
A lot of time has been spent on creating the power-ups, of which most have very different function. I will talk more about, and show, the current set of 13 power-ups in an upcoming post. The level wall sprites are beautified with grass and brown dirt automatically, just by, for every wall object, checking if there is another wall object around it.
When the match mechanics (i.e., scoring system) was implemented, the players suddenly got a goal, and the thing was really starting to become a game. After many different ideas, I settled with the current version where the players fight for 20 available kills, with negative points for dying. It has been working fine in game tests, but I might tweak it, and possibly add other game modes as well.
The score screen. A kill (heart) = 2 points, a death (skull) = -1 point. If two players have the same score, the one with most kills wins.
In the middle to end of October I worked a lot on adding new levels and power-ups, and finalizing the scoring system. Then I didn't work on the game for over two months...When I got back to development on the 29th December, I made some changes based on feedback from play testers, mainly made the matches less chaotic and easier to follow. Then early Januari I made the games menu system and pause menu.
The player selection screen where players can change to a random color. This screen also senses if you have controllers plugged in or not!
I will probably add a couple of more levels, and at least one more game mode. Some more music and voice-over will maybe also be made. I am unsure how much more power-ups I will make, there are ideas for at least 15 more, but they take a lot of time to implement.