Welcome back to my blog! Alot has happened this week that I'm gonna go over. I've revamped the controls, I've implemented breeding so that two dogs can have a puppy, I've added mix breeds into the game, and I had an epiphany about my expectations and goals for this game. I will explain all of that but let's start with how I revamped the controls!
After posting my blog to reddit last week I got some much needed feedback from a fellow redditor named /u/darksharkmark. He brought up that the visual virtual controls on screen seemed out dated and hindered the view of the screen. I partially knew this already because I was going for the 1990's retro feel of playing an RPG on your gameboy. It has a nostalgic feel to me and that's why I think I implemented that. But after hearing /u/darksharkmark's feedback I considered different control schemes and did some research. In my research I was only able to find a few mobile games that use visual buttons that were successful. It seems that most iOS/Google Play games seem to go for the swipe or touch controls that touchscreen phones offer. So I figured I'd try my hand in redoing the controls code to see if it felt bet. Thank god I did because the control feel way smoother now. I spent the first two days of the week adding these new controls to all the scenes in the game and it made a huge difference. The new controls now offer you the freedom to move your character from anywhere on the screen. The movement works by recording where your initial touch location is and then comparing it to the current touch location to determine if you dragged your thumb up down left or right. Your character with then move respectively to what direction you moved your thumb. This feels way better and it frees up alot of screen space. The next thing I did was remove the A and B buttons. But since I removed those buttons I needed a new way to interact with dogs/buildings/selections. Now all you have to do is touch the dog/building/text prompts to interact with them. I think this was a much needed change and I want to give a shout out to /u/darksharkmark for the suggestion!
The next two things I did this week go hand in hand. I implemented breeding so that when to dogs touch a new puppy will pop out and I created mix breeds of each of the 3 colored labs. If you look at the pictures here are my first edits at what some of the mix breeds will look like. So now a black lab that breeds with a white lab will create a black and white spotted lab and same goes for black labs breeding with brown labs and white labs breed with brown labs. The breeding system isn't fully implemented yet but as of right now the criteria for breeding is pretty simple. If two dogs run into each other on the screen and there isn't already a third dog then they will breed. I did this just to get the functionality working but I plan on making the breeding criteria way more complicated than that. For example, both dogs will have to have their needs filled, both dogs will have to be a certain age, both dogs will have to have a certain amount of hearts(feelings) for the other dogs, etc. But as of right now the system works and I can keep adding on to it.
Another thing I forgot to mention that I added this week was a selection screen so that you get to pick which dog will play the endless runner game. Also on top of that you dog that is selected will scale in size relative to its age in the endless runner game. Where as before if you had a baby puppy and you played the endless runner it would appear as if the puppy was fully grown during the endless runner game. One thing I plan to add this is that your movement speed will be affected by your puppies age. For example, a puppy won't be able to run as fast as a full grown dog and a 15 year old dog won't be able to run as fast as a 5 year old dog. That's about all the features I added this week, now I'll tell you about my epiphany.
So this week I was looking at all my planned features for this game and my set timelines and I realized that I might have bitten off more than I can chew. If I kept trying to do what I wanted in the time I wanted I would probably either not meet my deadlines at all or I would end up releasing an unpolished buggy game. So I started talking with my wife about my concerns and she brought up a fairly good point that kind of stuck. Why not aim to make something smaller and more manageable. This sounds like something I should of thought of but my only two thoughts were should I keep trying to add all these features or should I give up on this game. But I gave her idea some thought and I came up with a solution. Why don't I try not to be so ambitious and instead creating a game that is way more polished but with less features. So here is planned changes for Mellow Meadows:
Features I will keep:
I feel like if I focus on the features I plan on keeping it is much less overwhelming and I can focus on making the game polished and I can give a much stronger focus on breeding which is the what I want the key component of this game to be about. So now with my new set of goals and expections I plan to spend the next week implementing age limits for dogs, adding stats to the dogs and to the breeding, and possibly adding in a few more dog breeds and mixes. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and if you are interested please download my previous game "Dodge it Rocket" by clicking this Download link. As always stay mellow and see you next week!