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Tools of the trade


The original plan for touch controls in Outpost Recon was pretty simple. Hold down anywhere left of the Rover on the screen to charge your jump, tap or hold anywhere to the right to fire there. Each weapon would have different stats for recharge speed, rounds per magazine, damage, projectile speed, etc. This would let me make a variety of different feeling weapons with only a few variables that would be easy to tweak in testing. The default weapon was set to be a low recharge, zero magazine size hitscan weapon which would be easy to use for beginners. With only a few variable tweaks you could turn it in to a higher firing rate weapon with a magazine to deplete before needing to reload.

At this point the most important thing was to just get it working so I could see how it felt to use and then put it up against some dummy enemies. Of course it would need some simple animations to go with it too!

Initial results turned out well. The weapon has a nice weighty feel, the screen shake felt appropriate and the on-sprite animation for reloading was easy to see. In the future I would likely change the flash animation and add more particle effects to give it more oomph. The beam itself is being created by using a line render with a texture applied to it. After firing it begins a fade animation.

The next question would be, how does this feel against enemies? I was also at a turning point to decide if I wanted to go with a more typical side scrolling shooter style of enemy patterns on set flight paths or if I wanted something a bit more floaty and randomized. Would the enemies have projectiles and if not what would be the point of shooting them as they flew past? Would ‘points’ be enough reward? If they had projectiles it would be extremely hard to avoid them purely by jumping and you’d often need to save that for the much more deadly terrain obstacles.

This line of questions is why it’s a great idea to get as much of your game functional as possible before worrying about graphics (and then multiple major graphical upgrades…).

Recon Auth Signing Out