The new project, it is Match Three

For my latest project I’ve been working on building a basic match three game - I’ve never built one, so it seems like good practice (and it’s a nice, well-documented idea that I can iterate on).

I focused at the start on building something that looked basic but still decent, and then adding as much juice as possible to animations and sequences - I think the results have already paid off, and I’m excited to see how it all pans out once the project is done.

It’s not quite ready for primetime, so I’ve only got some gifs to show off.

This is what it looks like when you try to make a non-scoring (no matches) move:

Originally the idea was to procedurally generate challenges for you to play, so the sidebar of the game was information about your challenge as well as a timer for you to complete it. The game has changed a little bit, but this is what that used to look like:

There was going to be a screen where you got to choose how you wanted to play:
 
The next version is going to be a lot better, though.

This is actually a bug in my match removal code - it’s too aggressive, and you can see it removing the orange tile underneath the yellow match:
(I’m working on fixing it right now).

And lastly, here’s a little shot of the “you lost” screen, which is full of swoops and fades.
  

Looking forward to having a finished build of this soon! But for now, just gifs.
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Leaves and bezier curves

I came across this natural icon set and decided to spend a little bit of time seeing if I could animate leaves falling. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out for only an hour spent, although we’ll see what I end up using it in.

 
(Click to add another leaf in the SWF)
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Playtest Iteration 2

It's 2 because I forgot to upload iteration 1 (although the only change there was the minimap, which you also get here).

Other things that have changed:

- Ships now start at least 20% away from the edges of the map, instead of being able to spawn right at the corner and instantly die.

- A sound plays when you score a hit on the other ship

- Controller axis now have deadzones, so that movement feels a little better (I hope).

- There's a pause screen! Start/space to pause. Start/space to unpause. I hope this was not surprising.

The UI still looks pretty bad, but I'll get back to that later.

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Finally playtestable

It sort of feels like reaching the end of a very long tunnel, but this is a build of spacefight that's feature complete. I added keyboard controls, as well as a way for you to select whether you were playing one player or two player. There are a lot of parts of the UI that could use polish, but - I've got something I can get people to play and give feedback on now.

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Afterburners and Turrets

It's been a while! This build has a functioning afterburner, as well as turrets that will try to help the other player take you out (right now they just shoot at whatever is closest to them and looks like a ship).

All the old bugs are still there, and it's becoming pretty clear that I need to rework some of the UI and make it clearer that the screens are split; there used to be a black divider line, but that appears to have gotten lost in the transition to a black background. More work to do, there.

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A wild build appears!

I've made a lot of progress on Spacefight, so it seemed like time to do up another build (it looks drastically different from the build before). While I haven't had time to add any props to give you more to focus on than the other player and there's a really ugly UI, it's still much different from before. Here's everything I can think of that's changed:

1. The background stars are now colorful.

2. The background now has parallax.

3. Another weapon has been added (you can swap weapons with the triangle button)

4. Screen dimensions changed so that the play area is square for both players.

5. Ships are a little smaller now (maybe too small?)

6. Really bad programmer UI (only some of it works - more will come).

7. Players are now randomly placed, instead of being directly diagonal from each other.

8. The compass is a lot worse.

9. There is no ninth thing.

10. Bullets now properly come from the center of your ship, instead of being offset to the right.

11. Ships now have health and don't die instantly when they get hit (this is important for some of the props I have in mind).

Known issues:

1. The machine gun sounds like a lawnmower.

2. There is a noticeable slow-down when the garbage collector kicks in.

3. The afterburner part of the UI does nothing!

4. There is no out-of-bounds notification; you can fly out of bounds and then the background gets very boring.

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Taking shape

It's been a while! This build has:

- Programmer art
- Better feeling ship acceleration/inertia
- A theoretically-working second player
- A super terrible AI if there's only one controller attached
- Sounds
- Particles
- A lot less random squares

Next on the list is polishing up the bullets, tweaking the AI, and finding a way to prepare a windows build so that I can have folks test this out.

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