Hello, and welcome to what I hope will blossom into a fun little project for the winter break. It’s been almost two years since I made a game – the last one being Artful Bomber – and ever since starting work I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and make another one. Christmas is upon us, however, and I have been graciously gifted with a vacation! To prevent myself from totally wasting this opportunity, I plan to post semi-regular blog entries documenting the development of my next game: Europa.
All I have in terms of assets are these sprites I put together a couple years ago. I had originally planned on including this little guy in Rock ‘N Roland somehow, and also came close to making a snowboarding game in which he was an assist character. I liked his design but couldn’t come up with a way to include him in the games I was making at the time. He originally came in threes – a green one (above), a blue one, and a red one, named Eu, Ro, and Pa, respectively. In the interest of simplicity I’ve decided to stick with the green one and simply name him Europa. What is he? Where is he from? I have no idea. He’s some kind of alien creature who can shoot energy bursts. Do not question my genius!
I have a good idea of what game I’d like to make. I’ve put together a design document for a shoot-em-up game starring and named after Europa, detailing enemies and interactibles that will spawn as the player flies through the levels. This is going to be a decently simple game – as my games always are – as I don’t want to try and tackle a complicated game after not doing any programming for a couple years. I want something easy to digest but different from my previous games. I tried making a side-scrolling shmup a few years ago called Jet Force, but I didn’t put much work into it and ended up scrapping it. This time we’re doing it right!
The idea of the game is very simple: move, shoot, don’t get hit, rack up points. Simple, right? There will be a boss fight at the end of the game, and a genuine boss fight is actually something I’ve never done before. I usually just make a hard final level with regular enemies or have my games go endlessly until the player dies, so I hope I can put together an interesting boss battle with my limited programming skill. I’ll try not to make it too difficult, but I make no promises. I’d much rather my game be too hard than too easy.
I don’t have much to show you yet, as I haven’t started making the game, but by the time this weekend rolls around I hope to get started on some actual development. I’m not going to set a hard deadline as I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make the entire game before going back to work (you never know what snags you’ll run into during game development!), but I’ll at least try to get a good amount of the work done before the break is over. I’ll get back to you this weekend!