Abduction Action! Game Progress Update 4
One month has past since my last update and yet again much more has been done with Adbudction Action!.
Tis a lovely day to invade a military base.
After spending much of my time adding features and graphics, I got to spend more time working with the gameplay this past month. The previous gameplay was really frustrating... too many enemies shooting too much made it overly difficult for novices to do anything. A lot of frustration set in as gamers tried in vain to pick up things while continually being shot (which causes the tractor beam to lose power). To remedy this, I've reduced the number of enemies and also how often they shoot. Most now fire a shot or three, walk a bit, then repeat. Previously some would fire 4-5 times and with several enemies on screen, this lead to bullets all over the screen and made abducting anything nearly impossible. At times this even frustrated me... and I'm pretty darn good at the game.
I added a new boss to the second level of Abduction Action! as well, a 20 foot tall, fire-breathing school mascot. It's a bit more far fetched than anything else in the game (besides the aliens) but it's silly and fun and fits in the game well. The mascot walks around and shoots fireballs at your UFO when you get near. The only way to defeat the mascot is to drop rocks on his head, but if he's not dazed, he will put up his hands and block the rocks. So you must daze him first by picking him up and dropping him, then quickly find a rock and drop it on him while he is still dazed. This pattern allows the gamer to continue to use techniques they've previously learned but grouped together in a new way in an attempt to keep the game from becoming monotonous.
As of right now, levels one and two of Abduction Action! are pretty much done. Play testing might lead to some changes and I may opt to update the graphics, but that's about it. Level three has some tiles done and the basic enemies in. It still needs most of the background artwork completed, the events added, and the boss completed (a helicopter intent on your demise). Level four (as shown in the screenshot near the beginning of this post) has the enemies added and most of the background artwork done. I still need to add the events, little green aliens that you must save, and the final game boss.
The Score Attack mode also needs some work... the graphics for the level are basically going to be the level four graphics (just the desert though, no military base), but I need to update the game so that progressively you see every type of enemy in the game. The idea is that it will slowly get harder and harder as you see enemies (and bosses) from further along in the game. You've got one life to live here as you attempt to get a high score (which you can share online with others).
Abduction Action! is back in play test on the XNA forums as well, if you want to take a look. This is about the third or fourth time it's been in play test and I'm hopeful to get even more great comments and suggestions. I think I'll create a PC version of Abduction Action! as well (all I really need to do is add keyboard support) so that I can have an even larger pool for play testing. I find I get a lot out of play testing and realize a lot of things I don't notice playing myself... it's a very important step and thus far one that I do not believe has been done enough.
My target for release of Abduction Action! is this coming January. I think that date is still very possible and certainly the game is a lot closer to being done than not, but I am not going to rush out something I'm not happy with either. I'm anxious to finish up though, as I've got something really cool on tap next, whi
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