Abduction Action! Game Progress Update 1
Progress on Abduction is moving along quickly. At this point, I have been working on Abduction! for about a month and a half (I started on the game while Nasty was going through the Peer Review process). The game is very playable, with pretty much the entire first level done. It's amazing to me how much quicker development on Abudction! is progressing than it did on Nasty. I attribute this to knowing the XNA framework much more intimately and also having a large base of code from Nasty that I often steal from.
The first level of Abduction! has you piloting a UFO and mostly just learning the ropes of the game. You start by having to fly to a series of checkpoints (to get down the controls and get a feeling for how the game scrolls). Next you get to start using your tractor beam to pickup, abduct, or kill Earthlings. All this is functional but will need some tweaking to make the entire process fun to do (I think the tractor beam is too slow right now, as you spend too much time just waiting for Earthlings to float up to you).
Much work remains on the menu system, as the current system only allows you to start a game, quit a game, resume a game (on the pause screen), and exit. I will include all the niceties that Nasty had in its menus (sound/music volume, help screen, controls, etc) but those have yet to be implemented. I will also likely use the XNA high score component to create as close to a global leader board as I can. I think gamers will appreciate seeing how their scores stack up against everyone else that plays.
Abduction! is going to be a smaller game than Nasty was (and sell for just 80 points) so I'm hopeful that I've reached the 50% complete mark and will be able to release before 2009 concludes. Nasty was not as profitable to me as I had hoped (and was in fact far less profitable than I could have imagined). Some of this is the 400 point price, some of it is the nature of XBLIGs, and the rest is the fact that people just didn't like the game (shame on both of you). My overall perception is that I need to make smaller, shorter to develop games if I ever plan to make Indie games a serious career path.
Right now I'm just working on several minor issues in Abudction!. I've been spending a good deal of time improving the artwork for Abudction!. I'll most likely be doing all the artwork myself this time around so improving that end of things will be a more time consuming task than it was with Nasty. I've got a few things to clean up with moving bails of hay and how collisions with enemies are handled. Then it is mostly just fleshing out the remaining menu items and tweaking/playtesting the first level. I don't plan on doing anymore levels until I get the first level at a really clean, polished, fun to play point. The final game will have somewhere between four and seven levels, though I have yet to set that amount in stone.
For music in Abduction!, I've found a few free, royalty free songs that I think fit the game very well. While I really liked the music done for Nasty and would like to use that musician again, the music I've found fits and doesn't cost me a dime. Had sales on Nasty been better, I may have bought music for Abduction! but being able to trim a few hundred dollars off the cost of the game is now much more important that it was before (plus I couldn't find as fitting music for Nasty as I did for Abduction!).
Abduction! is now currently in Play Testing on the official XNA forums. While no one has tested it yet, I'm hopeful they will soon and give me some quality feedback to address. I'm very excited about how Abduction! is going so far and I think you will all really enjoy the final product when I release in a couple months.
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