The 2D grid just started to feel... flat
During the process of building this game, we initially discussed how we wanted to present it, and we decided on a 2D presentation, because this was after all a classic color match puzzle game, right?
I can't begin to tell you the hours we've spent looking at this game, and playing it, over and over again, and again, adding features, getting rid of "unwanted features," and simply looking at it.
When we finally moved from PC design and testing, and started to port it toward mobile devices (which was our intended target in the first place) we noticed the screen seemed kind of empty.
Take a look:
Notice there's some informative stuff on the left, very little info on the right, a handful of ships in the middle, and a bunch of just space.
So, Joe and I had a convo that went something like this:
Chuck: Maybe we should consider cutting the top and bottom borders out, so we can zoom in on the play field a little?
Joe: That destroys the look I had in mind when I created the frame.
Chuck: True, and I do like the look, it just feels empty.
Joe: It's supposed to be a heads-up type display.
Chuck: It's really a heads-down display, isn't it?
Joe: You got me there.
Both: Why don't we go more first person, like from a cockpit?
Both: We're geniuses!
I may have paraphrased and embellished a little. But the gist is we decided to try it out.
Will the 2D mechanics hold up?
It was a little sketchy at first, and I had to do a little not thinking about it for a couple of hours before I could brain it into existence. The answer came to me when I realized that we've already done this for the MotherShip levels.
In the main level, the Teratrons were just floating in "Universal" space, but with the mothership, they're attached to the wings of the ship. I already knew how to handle that, and now I know how to handle this as well. Attach all the interacting game objects to a primary object an voila!
It really only took changing and adding about 20 lines of code to bring it all together, and there are of course some new bugs that were introduced by this change, BUT, I think we can fix those pretty easily.
Joe's going to spend some time reworking the GUI elements, and I'll keep pounding out code to bring it all together. We're going to have to spend some time reworking animations, but I think it will all be well worth it.
What do you guys think? Comments are welcome.
Stay Frosty, ~Sub-Zero Chuck