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.


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