Update Summary

Goal achieved! It’s been a long while since my last dev-log update. I had to work offline in isolation for the longest. From critical bugs to re-designing core features, the last couple of months I was in overdrive mode. Totally worth it!

Most of the updates revolve around the final polish of the game. From Title screens to credits. Also some UI elements that didn’t exist including a player-death screen.

One of the key elements of the game I had to work on was balance. Does it get difficult the more you play or does it get easier (obviously the challenge has to increase), but does the game give players a good enough opportunity to get better so that they take on those challenges without too much frustration… etc.

The game isn’t easy… but isn’t impossible as well. I benchmarked using my game playing skills (oh yeah, I’m one of those Mega Man, Hotline Miami, Contra admirers).

Update Breakdown

  • ADDED – UI – Player death screen (bragging rights screen)
  • ADDED – MECHANIC – Credits system (3 chances to beat the game in one run)
  • UPDATED – MECHANIC – Re-vamped Anti-Charity and Cash system. Item pick-ups like time freeze work better.
  • UPDATED – MECHANIC – Player experience affects player health, item pick duration, player armor etc
  • ADDED – UI – Tutorial section showing players how to play.
  • ADDED – UI – Credits at the end of the game (which very few will see muhahaha)
  • UPDATED – UI – Pause menu allows players to enter or exit fullscreen. Players can also reduce, add or mute Sound FX and Music.
  • ADDED – MUSIC – 15 muisic tracks that serve as BGM. Decided to go with a somewhat fast-paced dance style theme.
  • FIXED – ENEMY PROJECTILES – After you killed enemies that let out a shot. If you collided with a projectile from an enemy that no longer exists… game crashed.
  • UPDATED – BOSS AI – Not a complete overhaul, but updated how all enemy bosses thought and died. Yep.
  • UPDATED – MECHANIC – The difficulty system was re-vamped to ensure that if you are inactive or start getting too strong, then you would be punished severely for not moving forward to the next level. So you are guaranteed to die 100% for idling in a level :)
  • UPDATED – MECHANIC – Player health buff regeneration was starting to make player invincible. Reduced the chances of players being able to get it and it’s effectiveness
  • UPDATED – MECHANIC – Xp buff. Getting XP increases your health and it was faulty. There was a chance you would get upto 10000% which is close to invincibility. No longer the case :). Its harder and takes longer to get to the next XP Level
  • ADDED – MECHANIC – Ammo pick up. You start off with a “standard” load out. To get more ammo, you MUST kill enemies. And there’s 50% chance that a enemy will drop random ammo on death. Funny coz I played a run where I ran out of ammo. But all is within control of player.
  • ADDED – MECHANIC – Enemy spawner now spawns in random locations making it harder to master levels. Plus every wave that player allows to happen, decreases survival chances.
  • ADDED – UI – Title screen screen

Battle Buggy Grounds – Gameplay Video


Pointers / Tips

START SMALL! For my second game on game maker, this was an over ambitious project. I mean I have learned much that I’m grateful for but I should have started smaller. On numerous occasions I almost gave up because I had to understand complex mechanics and game maker functionality on the fly. You don’t want your game to be held hostage by you trying to learn a mechanic that you think your game needs.

Then again, sometimes the best way to get better at game designing is to jump into the fire. I appreciate having learned so much… controlling music volume, screen shake, time freeze, enemy AI… FOR MY SECOND GAME!

So never give up.

My technical tip is to not make your gaming experience very rigid. Allow, through your game’s UI, entering and exiting fullscreen. Mute or reduce audio and sound FX. You don’t want people to put down your game simply because they don’t like your taste in music.

In my next update

May not have one for a while as I focus on the marketing side of things. The game has been released. It’s available at http://kidandon.net/bbg/ . I have tested and tested and tested. I ‘m on standby in-case people who purchased it experience bugs. I’m toying with the idea of local multiplayer, having different game modes and player selecting different buggy types at the start of the game.