[WIP] Astro Cab

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  • I've been dicking around way too much in my life and now it's time for me to start making games - what I've always actually wanted to do.

    Astro Cab is a project that I've been working on for a little over a month. It's basically the furthest I've ever got in developing my own game, and started as a project that I knew I could do entirely on my own as a means to learn Construct 2. It's inspired by

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    It's still very much in development; I've just finished getting all the (very) basics done and I'm at a point now where I can generate new levels very quickly.

    <img src="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14522925/Astro-Cab.jpg" border="0">

    I aim to complete this game and launch on iOS, Android, PC, Mac and Linux, and maybe in-browser too if I can figure out a proper way to handle transcactions. At this stage, I think I'll attempt to sell it, probably for a dollar or two. Not necessarily to make money, but to make a game that people are willing to pay for. It's a small difference in some people's eyes, but it's one that matters to me.

    Current build can be played in your browser here [1.5MB; Chrome or FF is recommended]. It includes most of the core systems: briefing screen, vehicle selection and upgrades, two stages and a score screen. All visuals are still very rough at this stage.

    Very brief gameplay overview:

    • Cursor keys to control your ship. Space to boost.
    • Your goal is to pick up passengers indicated by the glowing green orbs, then drop them off at the red glowing orbs.
    • You need to hover near the pickup/dropoff for two seconds to complete the teleportation process. Breaking teleportation resets it.
    • Missing too many pickups or dropoffs during a level ends it.
    • Try not to smash into things.

    Input, feedback, bug reports - all are welcome!

  • I love it!

    I've been grieving about space games not using "realistic" physics for flight, and now you've answered my prayers!

    You pulled the concept off nicely, and I think this game could sell.

    Just keep working on getting the movement perfect...

    Also some variety in space stations, like ones with more difficult entrances to navigate etc.

    One idea would be a nav assist that shows you the true direction your moving, unless youre playing on hard difficulty:)

  • Thanks Po10c :)

    Yup, I'm definitely going to keep working on the movement; it's too stodgy at the moment.

    I plan to get pretty devious with the station docking. There'll even be some stations in later levels that require very precise manual docking.

    New version is up (same link): it contains a simple vehicle upgrade system as well as score tracking between stages. Saving and loading has also been implemented through WebStorage.

    My next goal is to implement a more advanced upgrade system that will be in addition to this system (kind of like perks from Call of Duty, with "XP" that you have to pick up throughout the levels), then I'll make the next three levels to complete the first chapter.

    After that it's improving the visuals and starting work on the user interface.

  • Update!

    I've been tinkering with the visuals or, more accurately, working on an artistic direction for the game, and I think I've settled on one. It'll feature a retro sci-fi pulp magazine look: torn up, old, you know the sort.

    An example of some of my experiments (this is the Eden Project garden station from the second level):

    <img src="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14522925/Garden-station.jpg" border="0">

    I've also been working on the game mechanics, and I've now almost finished the scrap upgrade system. Basically, the player will find pieces of scrap that periodically appear during the levels. If they pick them up, they'll add to their scrap total. As your total scrap increases, you'll unlock access to bolt-on upgrades that act like perks, giving a variety of benefits to suit different playstyles and particular level challenges. You can only choose three at a time, and I think I'll have about 12 available in total. It's XP, really.

    That's about it for this update, which you can play here.

    Just one more thing to add with the upgrades and then I can start fleshing out a few more stages and creating more assets, working with this visual style as I go along.

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  • Great game, if you can get the mechanics to work with touchscreen I think it will sell. I know the graphics aren't final but I would suggest a better sense of scale, the taxi looks gigantic compared to the other ships and stations. Maybe you could put a whole bunch of tiny windows and details on the taxi so it looks like the taxi is a huge ship and not a big sprite. The game was very enjoyable and I'd love to hear more updates.

  • Thanks for the feedback You're right, the scale is wonky, and I do plan on increasing the size of the stations. I like your suggestion to give the impression that the taxi is a larger ship, though. It is meant to be larger than the little NPC ships, but maybe that's not coming across as obvious in terms of design. I'll definitely take it on board.

    In terms of touch screen support, I've actually been working on mobile as I go along, so there's a fully-functional touch interface right the way through.

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