Is flying through balloon hoops considered standard pilot training?
The brave aviators of Guts & Glory will be introduced to the game with a set of four flight and combat training levels. Developing these levels has been last week’s main objective.
Four - More - Levels
The new levels will help players learn the basics of flying and fighting in the game:
Adding new content to the game is an important milestone that puts the game’s internal flexibility to the test. Being able to quickly add new content to the game means I can face the challenge of having enough variety in the game for its April milestone. This will include the flying geese - something I really look forward to!
AI AI AI
Having a CPU opponent for the new levels means new AI behaviors. As it turns out, programming game AI requires delicate balance and calibration. As time goes by, the developer (me) is getting better and better in the game. The tendency is then to make the AI tougher to beat. However, new players will then find an extremely challenging opponent. This can be frustrating for casual players, so I tried to tone down the AI, and allow it to do blunt mistakes. The result is not perfect but works okay, especially if you’re new to the game. I left the dogfighting AI as vicious as it was, for now.
Having a Blast
One of the things that motivates me the most is learning. Developing Guts & Glory provides a chance to learn the very basic elements of game programming. Game design, AI and.. getting things blown apart!
The initial explosions I’ve implemented were okay. Together with some camera shakes it gave a nice effect.
However, I knew that as long as the planes remain intact, especially in high speed collisions, I’m slacking it off.
So I decided it’s time to rework the aircraft collisions and explosions. I diced the single body biplane model into separate parts and saved it as a stand-in asset. Each part is turned into a rigid body for bullet. GamePlay makes this super easy.
When I detect a collision between the two solid aircrafts, I replace them with the diced stand-ins and let GamePlay and bullet simulate the crash. Sprinkling some particles around makes it look really nice.
PvP is King
Everything in Guts & Glory is and will be tuned to provide the best PvP arcade experience. This is what I always try to keep in mind during development and this is how I balance everything in the game.
Even when trying to do the best, I still need as much feedback as I can get, and as early as possible, which leads me to..
The Next Waypoint
I’m about to begin a very short cycle of testing the alpha demo, just to clear away any obvious quirks and bugs. Early next week I’ll have the very first builds of Guts & Glory ready for download by the few and the brave who are willing to experience the first few levels, in the game’s current rough state.
Want a copy? Drop me a line!