Friday, December 29, 2017

Drone Swarm 0.5

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Welcome back on another update for my little prototype, Drone Swarm! You can download and play it from, here:

This is a really big update and I'm going in the right direction for this game, so let's see:

  • improved menus with basic explanation (I've mentioned it before on my last game update here)
  • balanced drones spawn speed for player and AI (thanks to meva!)
  • added a warm up time for AI, so player can understand each levels (3 seconds for now!)
  • loaded levels from json files
  • 3 new levels
  • a basic star field as background 
  • a win screen (finally !)

Seems not too much, but  this changes moves Drone Swarm from a prototype to a real game. So let's see some screenshots:

new intro screen: with some explanations!
First level, player (green) try to conquer central station before AI
level 2: AI (blue) conquering bottom left station

Adding level definition in an external file let me build a lot of different levels configurations and using awesome libgdx Json library reading, parsing and using into the game is really easy, well done guys!

What about next steps? I'd like to get some feedback guys! I want to add more levels with different configuration and play with AI until I'm satisfied, but more importantly I'd like to add more unlockable units so more difficult levels will be, more weapons player has.

See you on next update!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Drone Swarm 0.4

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This update is a "big" update for this small prototype I'm trying to doing in spare time. I'd like to share some thoughts on this game, so maybe this could be useful to someone ( and mee to in the future, of course!)

First of all, this time there is a menu ( copied from my past game, A droid story):

it's a test! ( or a trap ? )

I believe that add a simple screen like that is mandatory for every kind of game, even for a prototype. How many times demos or simple games has nothing than gameplay ? This sounds cool for atmospheric and cool games, but for vast majorities of games a simple start screen should explain few basic stuff like:

  1. what is title of the game, anyway ?
  2. who made this game ? Where I can find any update if I want ? 
  3. which controls ( mouse, keyboard or what else! ) I need in order to proper play it
  4. what is this game anyway ?

As you can see from provided screenshot, I failed on many points, but try to identify where you can improve is the most critical way to improve, right ? So in the future this game screen will have more information useful for player to quickly identify game, controls and identify of the producer.

Bonus: I don't want to follow for now trend to put a "brand" on my games. I'm not part of a software house ( I mean, after work), but on the other side I think a little brand is important for every prototype or game. In the past I've tried a lot of little games or demos and found other work and enjoyment simply following the brand. It's something every developer should consider, but of course require some graphical skill in order to create a proper brand image ( not so banal ). There are a lot of good resources around  to improve on that, if you are interested, just search a little bit!

Go back to actual development, right ?
So after the menu, first presentation of the game for player, there will be a level selection. Nothing incredible same here like the same, borrowed from A droid story. My idea is to follow a levelling system and let player decide which level play from a list, with a twist. Don't let the player decide to play all levels, but force it to always choose between three levels. In this way a single un-balanced level is not blocking and player can find joy in unlock new levels. Something easy to implement, but critical for new players, so win-win, actualy.

 After that the core of player experience: the actual game.

a lot is going on, I mean, at least in my mind!
A lot is going on: player has some stations/planets that generate a lot of little drones. As one friend suggested, maybe only with a Dyson Sphere could be enough energy to create so much drones, but I'm optimistic.
In the game "universe" there are no organic (flesh and bones!) beings, only sintetics ones and player is a sort of AI with specific programming: conquer all and destroy enemies. Stop.
Simple, but powerful concept, sure, but a little bit boring, so I'm working on a twist on that side too, but maybe is too soon to work on that, first work on core gameplay.

Player can select drones using mouse an draw selection boxes and move drones using right click: so gameplay right now is simple.. select drones decide to move on a specific point and repeat.
But player opponent could do the same, so conflict time!

Hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Drone Swarm, see you on next update!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Drone Swarm 0.3

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In this update a simple AI as opponent:

AI is blue and try to destroy you when part of your feelt is far from home!

Player can drag and select with a rectangle drones and order using mouse!

As usual source code is open source on github!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Drone Swarm 0.2

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A quick update on this project, this time I'm going to add some neutral zones:

The idea of the neutral zones are for the player and AI to conquer them so new drones can be created!

As usual source code is open source on github!

Nothing incredible, but you can try it now:


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Drone Swarm v0.1

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Today after long time I've put some time together to work on a small prototype, inspired from Swarm RTS.

Drone Swarm is a single player real time strategy game where player controls a lot of small drones and fight against AI controlled players to conquer the galaxy!

You are one of the reds, btw!

In this first release there are the basic concepts

  • base stations with influence radius
  • drones that spawns regulary from base stations
  • player can control where drones goes next

My idea is to work a little bit on this small prototype in the future, in particular add a proper AI, levels and more players to interact with it. When I will have a solid foundation I hope to work on gameplaye elements and create, hopefully, something unique.

As usual source code is open source on github!

Nothing incredible, but you can try it now: