One big bang, then there was everything...
Today we release our 4th game, Protostellar - a mixture of agar.io and Spore (first phase), set in a casual space theme. As with our previous game (Archimedes’ Shield) this was also a Week Sauce game submission. With only 7 days of development time, and a programmer who refuses to use off-the-shelf game engines, it was a tight schedule.
Day 1 - There is only one place where you can start, and that’s at the beginning. For us this was making placeholder assets, picking a font we liked and copying some old code. After one day we managed to end up with a main menu, switching background colors and gravity. Hardly a game at this point, but a start.
Day 2 - With the basic project structure set up, it was time for the main feature; the playable planet. The idea at this point is very simple, collect rocks that are smaller than you and evolve to the next phase. The other planets spawn outside the view and despawn when they are too far away from the player. We did play with the idea of growing in size after every time you consume a planet, but we ended up scratching that idea mostly because we couldn’t get the graphics looking good due to the scaling required.
Day 3 - After the third day, the game could be considered playable. The major features; flying around in space, consuming smaller planetary bodies, evolving - were all implemented in one stage or another. Of course the game was far from done, the balance was bad, graphical scale was huge (2x every evolution), and the gameplay itself rather repetitive and boring.
Day 4 - Not only rocky bodies are in space. For the forth day we added ice and magma planets. Although they at this point lack any unique features, they at least added visual variation to the game.
Day 5 - A game with bad balance is a game nobody wants to play. The game had at this point already over 100 parameters related to balance, everything between player movement acceleration to the Newtonian constant of gravitation. This day was balancing day, and also a placeholder functionality for the magma planets (which caused the entire screen to fill up with small asteroids).
Day 6 - Although the game had been playable for a couple of days, it was not possible to even pause the game. Missing UI, audio feedback and score was added this day - leaving one day for magma and ice planet features.
Day 7 - Magma got lava shooting capabilities and ice planets leave behind ice particles. Lava projectiles shrink ice planets, and ice particles shrink lava; excluding the player. A bit simple and boring maybe, but sometimes you just run out of time. The rest of the day was spent fixing bugs and tweaking.
Is Protostellar the best game we’ve ever played? Nope, but it’s still a fun little game we’re happy to have made.
Have fun playing!
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