Archives for : Vectoroids

Out with the old….

In more ways than one… February is on the way out, and that brings us 2 months into a projected 4 month dev cycle for Vectoroids.  To tell the truth I would have liked to have been a lot further along than I am, but when you’re essentially a one man band (with help for music and sound) with other responsibilities to meet, you’re going to have slow months.

As it stands there is quite a lot of the base code done – many of the arcade elements are done, and hopefully modular enough to allow me to plug in content at a later date and have it ‘just work’ with very little modifications.

Work has begun on the strategy part of the game, and that will require a lot of careful coding and decision making – or I’ll pay for it with a lot of reworking down the line.  My goal for March is to have at least the quadrant/sector mapping system up and working. The ability to go to and from the strategy/arcade elements of the game, and have the procedural generation of sectors at least working, along with mission generation.

It’s a big ticket to write, but it will really start bringing this game together.

Vectoroids – State of Play


I’m trying to keep up to my posting at least every Sunday, and I’m trying to keep to that. But I keep telling people I can either write about developing this game or I can develop it. That’s the way it is when you’re a one (well with Zug doing the music and sound 2) man band.

So, yes, it’s still looking to the naked eye a lot like Asteroids. Mainly because all the bits are in place for the classic game, so they are being expanded to use in the ‘proper’ game, and later I’ll be able to start adding more content. This is still very much the foundation of the game itself, and it needs to be solid – and as close to flawless as I can get it.  It needs to be able to be built upon, and as this area – the sector – is where most of the action takes place, it needs to work well and fast.

For the most part the elements that will drive the game are in. They may vary in their prettiness, but most of them are working the way they should. The action takes place on an infinitely wrapping area (the sector) that can be from 3 x 3 screens big, up to as big as I’d like. The larger the screen size, the more you lose the ‘claustrophobic’ feel of the arcade, but for later areas this will also allow me to diverge from the standard fare of Asteroids and do things that wouldn’t have been possible.

The ship and camera are set to the center, and the traditional ‘slow breaking’ of the original game has been done away with in favor of a frictionless space.  There is still a max velocity, for game purposes.  Bullets (atm just plain) follow your velocity as they should – there  is a little tweaking for aesthetics, but for the most part they behave as you’d think they should.

The big under the hood setback that needed working on was something I had overlooked initially. In the past I’ve done scrolling games, but I really didn’t think about ones that wrapped back on themselves in all directions in such a small space.  This lead to complications of things vanishing as they wrapped, collision detection problems that needed solving, and other issues… Now that they’re take care of, it’s a matter of making sure all screen elements adhere to this, and make it as easy as possible to add new content later.

The HUD is done, and is rock solid – so I can start adding information and touch screen controls later.

With this base getting closer to the way I want it to work, I can (hopefully) in the weeks ahead start getting to other areas of the game, and we’ll be able to watch it slowly slide away from it’s inspiration, and more towards being it’s own game.

Forging ahead : Vectoroids

My first game, Sabotage, is out and on Google Play and Amazon.  It was a nice little project to cut my teeth on developing for Android, and much was learned.  But there’s no rest or time for back patting – I suffer from more ideas than I can keep up with, and the next game selected is ‘Vectoroids’.

I wrote an Asteroids clone last year in 2 weeks.  A project on my ‘bag of parts’ computer, I had to use while my actual comp was being used elsewhere.  It was a little project simply to write and finish a game – not a prototype, a demo, or just me messing around – but a finished game.  I had planned on rehashing the project and putting out a version for Android, as several of my friends had requested it.

Looking over the code after 4 months (the time it took to do Saboatage) I figured a complete rewrite was in order – But Vectoroids was a black and white recreation of Asteroids.. albeit (in my opinion) a pretty faithful one (I even recreated the font based on the noted from the original game) – but the market is swamped with them, and more importantly, I’d already been there and done that.

I started looking at things that didn’t make it into Sabotage (which I did as a old school vector graphics game as well) such as muted color, perhaps a bloom shader to try and focus on the look of the old vector graphics monitor… I prototyped the original clone with these features, and started thinking about how Asteroids would be without the constraints of the arcade…..  more enemies obviously, a bigger playfield, perhaps a continuation of the scenario.  And with that I started jotting down ideas, refining them, throwing some away and now putting it into the game.

Vectoroids is an expansion of the Asteroids universe – there is an overall story and (will be) much deeper gameplay than what a clone has to offer (although  am including a ‘classic mode’ for nostalgic appeal).   Your carrier is hunting down an an alien base, entrenched in the heart of the asteroid belt.  You pilot a small agile snub fighter that scouts ahead – clearing the sectors so the ship can progress through.
These sectors are larger than screen areas that must be cleared of all asteroids large enough to harm the carrier – as well as carrying out scouting missions – eliminating enemy scout ships, gathering resources and intelligence to be researched (which will help you upgrade your ships).

There will be several sectors to a quadrant, and the path you clear will lead you deeper into the asteroid belt. At the moment I’m working with 16 x 16 sectors to a quadrant, and 16 x 16 quadrants to the game (but this is subject to change).

Missions, sector composition, and other things will be procedurally generated, which will hopefully add to the depth of the game as it will be different each time.  Ship upgrades, R&D and other aspects of the ‘carrier’ part of the game I hope will give it more of an ‘elite lite’ feel – the scope of the project is much bigger than the 2 previous games, and I’m setting myself up with a 4 – 5 month goal.
I’ll be keeping folks updated here, and with screenshots as the game progresses – at the moment I have up the current main menu screen – it’s all animated and, of course, done with old school vector graphics.