For a while, I’d been imagining visuals where damaged asteroids would start to crack and glow (as if the shots where infusing them with an accumulating, destructive energy, or something) and I wanted to have that shown in an appealing way on the enemy sprites. I also imagined that visually tracking damage might become important for tactical decisions during play, with the player eventually incentivised for clearing out damaged enemies rather than just spamming shots or going after targets of opportunity. (Also, I imagined some future enemies might have huge amounts of life, and so showing stages of distress would help signal to players that they were making progress rather than attacking an invulnerable target.)
Once I had this in place, with four levels of enemy health (ie., four animated sprites per enemy, ugh…), I started to think about ways to show the transition from damage state to damage state; the seed of the debris system was planted.
2021-10-08 2:43 PM I bought Aseprite and created a basic asteroid sprite in multiple stages of distress. I implemented a health-based asteroid animation system which I’m quite happy about, and with a hurt-flash, it looks really, really slick.
2021-10-08 11:06 PM I’ve updated the sprites for the other two asteroid types (splitters and fragments) so they match the distressable, flashing look. Hoozah.
I’ve also updated the physics so that the recoil factor is a function of bullet speed and power, and asteroids change course as a function of bullet speed, power, and their own mass. It’s a lot of fun, and the super-dense/super-light objects will feel great.