Abuse of Power

We’ve got beams!  Beams are the latest addition to the weapon lineup.  They’re a nice contrast to the standard projectile stuff.  They also have a huge advantage in that they hit the target immediately.  With projectile weapons, you have to lead your target carefully.  Beams are pure point-and-click destruction.

I threw in an option to allow the tester to change the beams’ strength, just to see how it would look.  Josh is playing in the video and he clearly abuses this power.  They say that power corrupts.

Really, though, that sense of outrageously overpowered weapons is one of the joys of shoot-em-ups, in my opinion.  It’s best when you have to work hard to earn it, though.  Leveling up your ship to the point where it can handle really nasty boss battles is rewarding, but taking all that firepower back to an easy level and wreaking havoc is sometimes even better.  It’s kind of a cheap thrill, and it feels a little bit like payback for all the really difficult levels the game has put you through.

Less Terrible Video

We’re getting the hang of recording, editing, and uploading videos to YouTube.  This one is HD 720p and has a little audio to help it be less boring.

The thing worth noticing in this video is the “mining.”  The player battles an enemy but also blows up some poor, defenseless background tiles.  They absolutely had it coming, though.

This is how you gather resources in Ladon.  Those tiles are  made of materials that you’ll need to build bigger and better weapons.  We want the mining to feel fluid within the gameplay, as opposed to forcing the player to constantly switch modes.  The smoothest, most natural mechanic we’ve found is to have the weapons automatically aim down when there are no enemies present.  If an enemy does sneak up on you while you’re mining, you’ll know because your shots will suddenly stop hitting the ground and your crosshair will change color/shape.  You can see this happen in the video.

Variety is the Spice of Shoot-em-ups

Josh continues to crank out phenomenal ship tiles for all your enemy-smashing needs.

Ship prototype (B-class)

As I’ve said many times, in posts on this blog and elsewhere, what I find fun in a shoot-em-up (or any other type of game) is a sense of progression.  We want Ladon to have that feeling in two different forms.  First, there’s the progression through levels.  Second, there’s the progression of ship building.  Taking a step back and looking at the ship you’ve built through hours of bashing bad guys and collecting materials is a reward in itself and it should feel rewarding.  That’s where all these beautiful models come in.  You’ll see them as you’re flying around in the heat of battle, but only from a top-down point of view, and they’ll be too small on the screen to really appreciate the detail.  The ship-building screen is where you’ll have a moment to really take it all in.  This is where you’ll be able to rotate it around and bask in the beauty of your creation.

Ship Model

A lot has happened since the last blog post at the beginning of this year.  The game has progressed to the point where there is actual gameplay.  We’ve got a YouTube channel and a first video!

The quality of the video is pretty terrible, sorry.  We’ll be making them in full HD from here on out.

Better yet, Josh has finished modeling the first handful of ship-building tiles.  The ship you see in the header image of this post is an example of what the player can build.  Hubba hubba.  Flying that around will be more entertaining than the silly little placeholder tiles that I threw together.  The difference between game art made by a programmer and game art made by an actual artist is pretty easy to spot!

Just for kicks, here’s another way you might build your first ship:

Ship prototype (L-class)

Same tiles, just in a different configuration.

We’ve also filmed our Kickstarter video.  There’s still a ton of editing to do, but we’ll announce an official date very soon.  Keep an eye on us, as we’ll be posting a lot more frequently leading up to the launch.