Monday, May 26, 2014

Mondays sunday Dev diary. - Meet the Circon

Hello everyone! Im glad im finaly writing another dev. diary entry after little break and finaly developement of Awaken moved bit forward. I skipped dev diary last sunday as i did not wanted to write again about how the game is more optimized now, how i used that bit of extra performance to enhance something and other boring, non interesting stuff. Before we ll talk about boss for "Descent" level lets talk a bit about distractions, reworks and why the game is getting bit delayed.

When i started developing Awaken i tought the game ll be finished in two or three monts, or at least at the beta stage. All i wanted was simple arcade style shooting game like the ones i remember from my childhood.
Works went quite smooth for first couple of weeks, but the harder i worked on the game, the more i expected from it. I started to pay more attention to graphics and started reading articles about pixel art and reworked every piece of graphics i had until then(actualy this step is repeating like every month).

Started looking for suitable music for the game as well and found out there is lot of even free music aviable online, but its hard to found well fitting pieces and when i found them i realized i cant afford them. Unfortunately i spent dozen of hours i could spent elsewhere on the game, to realize i ll have to make even music for this game by my self. That is the main reason why there was no dev. diary entry last sunday as i spent whole week repurchasing and setting up for use all the equipment i will need as i sold most of my music gear years ago. Still, im leaving music as a last thing on "to do" list as im still hoping i ll find an artist who ll be willing to provide some of his pieces for the game, but if not i ll have to do it my self. The reason im leaving this as a last thing is that composing and recording music is very time consuming and when it comes to composing it could last anywhere from five minutes to years and it cant be organized in to the work like lets say: "ok today im going to work one hour on level background, one hour on enemy behaviours and one hour on music"

To sum above up, im getting overwhelmed by the tasks i have to do and getting distracted every day from fullfilling them but still, i enjoy this ride and even if the game will be delayed again, i hope all the extra work will be worth it and the game ll provide at least couple of hours of fun to its players.

Now lets talk about Circon!

Circon is the boss of second level and while the encounter of LX-76 in game first mission was quite straightforward(yeah, another thing to rework), Circon is getting bit more complex. The fights in shmup games like the LX-76 were great in the 80`s and early 90`s but fortunately time goes on and exciting phased boss fights can be imported in to shmup games as well! Basicaly i realized this when playing some of the newer shmups(my shmup experience when i started working on awaken was 1942, Raptor and Tyrian) and found out bosses can do more than beign dumb bricks sitting in middle of screen and randomly switching bullet patterns shooting at player.
I spent quite some time working on Circon and equiped with new experience from playing great games like Jamestown or Danmaku unlimited hes much closer to experience nowdays arcade shooter game should offer to the player.
Basicaly Circon switch phases based on his hit points and player have to learn these phases to overcome encounter and while some of them can be passed by just wildly flying around, there are few that require player to do certain thing or be prapaired in certain spot on screen when the phase starts.
When designing the phases im trying to keep sanity and make all of them passable even on first attempt if the player ll focus on whats going on screen and keep calm and i hope fighting Circon ll be challenging and fun at one time.

Thanks for reading and see you soon by more updates!


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