Music of the Spheres

I was able to sit down and get stuck-in properly, resulting in many features!

Micro-Cores are Live!

(Download Alpha Now!)

I completed and implemented the ricocheting Micro-Core spheres I’d wanted to do in Little Steps, and they’re a lot of fun to fight and fly around. I enhanced other sphere-based waves with simultaneous or eventual introductions of these guys, culminating in a barrage of about 12 of them leading into the final showdown with the larger cores (after about fifteen seconds to clear as many as possible). They’re slow-moving when not gravitating or ricocheting (making it feasible to swim around them) but have very high mass so they’re not bothered too much by player shots (making them fairly predictable in their movements, until they do-si-do). I like ‘em!

Debut of the Bouncy Micro-Cores

Repulsor Shield Upgrade/Tweak

Tweaked repulsor shields again: now, shots that hit players reflect directly (making it reasonably likely that they’ll hit the original shooter, instead of effectively impossible—the powerup is much more useful, now), while shots that hit repulsive enemies still take into account angle of incidence and the surface they hit. Fighting shielded asteroids, which take many shots and reflect nastily, remains possible with care.

Speed Limits and Zippy-Trails

I’ve implemented a universal speed limit for entities; earlier, if the player got hit in just the right way (usually by something spawning on top of them, or an unfortunate succession of high-powered bullets to the shields), speed could increase so much that the ship would escape the bounds of the void at all sides of the screen, soft-locking the game. (I’ve seen this happen to enemies too, making them impossible to finish off to allow the waves to continue.) Now, everything slows down to a stately 15 speed (not noticeable in normal gameplay).

I’ve also implemented optional target_speed values on entities I’d like to correct for other sources of momentum; the straight-shooter droids now make use of this (allowing me to unify them more closely with base_enemy, rather than base_enemy_with_thrusters, as they currently are). Entities with a target_speed that are currently decelerating to meet it show a trail: the effect is lots of fun on the Micro-Cores when they gravitate or zoom away.

Title Credits

Finally, for a while I’ve been wanting to display the current version of the game at the start of play, as a sort of seamless title screen (at least, until I get around to implementing a menu system). I’ve got that set up now: “Rock Popper Deluxe”, a link to this devlog, the version number, and a version title all show up in space-gradients when the game starts, and then quickly fade out to make room for the action. It’s very, very minimal, but it gives things a slight sense of increased polish.

Title Credits