This week I’ve been working on a bunch of stuff to emphasise the “Shoot-em-up” side of the game.

“Bonus Bar” – Because not getting hit should be important in a Shoot ’em Up.

This exciting looking bar is the new Bonus Bar:

Not getting hit or shot is one of the staples of Shoot ’em Ups. Usually you can only take one or two hits before dying. This obviously wouldn’t work very well in this game though as the whole point of gearing up and getting better items is so you can survive longer and fight tougher stuff.

Despite this, I still really want the game to have that tense sense of panic you get from only having one life. This is where the Bonus Bar comes in.

Every enemy you kill fills the Bonus Bar a little, kill enough stuff and the Bonus Bar level increases. Get hitting at all will completely clear the Bonus Bar and reset it to level 0.

Currently the following bonuses are in effect and the higher the Bonus Bar level, the better the rewards:

  • Loot drop chance – 1% bonus to item drop chance per bonus level
  • Buff/powerup strength and duration – buffs and powerups will be more effective and last longer the higher the bonus level.

    I’ll be adding more bonuses in the future.

    Buffs

    I added a Buff system. These are beneficial effects that are applied to your ship for a period of time. They can be activated by either collecting powerups or via abilities. Again, these are tied in to the new Bonus Bar, so the higher your Bonus Bar level when you activate a Buff ability, the longer and stronger the effect will be.

    I also added a new Buff UI system that shows any active buffs/powerups and their timers and will keep them in positional order as they get added/removed.

    Here’s how it looks with a few buffs active. (The plain circles will eventually be replaced with proper icons to show which buffs they are):

    I also changed the character/inventory screen to show how your stats are being modified by any buffs/powerups or gear. The numbers prefixed with + are the amounts added by the bonus effects.

    Spawn markers

    Spawners have been working for a while now, but there’s been no way of the player knowing when something was about to be spawned on their ass.

    I like the idea of being able to spawn crazy amounts of stuff around the player, but it needs to be fair. The player should have a chance to avoid stuff if they’re good enough.

    I wanted to show the size of what was being spawned as well as how long until it gets spawned, so I spawn a red ring that shows the size of what will be spawned, and then fill it in over time. When it’s completely filled, something gets spawned.

    Powerups!

    I added the first few Powerups, another Shoot ’em Up staple. These will spawn randomly when you kill stuff and disappear if not collected after a brief period.

    They can also be used to tie in with the Buff system and apply temporary boosts to stats etc.

    Combat text

    The more stuff I add to the game, the more confusing it can be to keep track of what’s going on, so I added a combat text system.

    This can be used when collecting powerups, activating abilities, leveling up etc to briefly display some info text. Text can be customized in terms of text colour, glow colour, size, duration, speed, etc.

    A crazyfast anmiation showing it in action, with a sneak peak of the Melee class too ;)

    The gif seems to playback faster than it should, but it kinda looks cool and you get the point, so I left it :) I might have gone a bit over the top with how much stuff I’m using the Combat Text for too ;)

    Video

    Here’s a video of me playing the same test level as last week, but showing some of the new stuff in action:

    Next week

    – Enemy AI improvements
    – Use less animated GIFs in my dev blog