After a week or more of getting caught up on other projects (besides my regular job, I also produce for another special person), I finally got back to Glute Force this week and made some progress.

This entry is going to be long, I have a lot to catch you up on.

Housecleaning

I know you couldn’t read the specifics of my original outline for Glute Force, but it was a bit all over the place.  Between to-do’s like “Build Pause Mechanic” and “Fix Drop-down Glitch” were things like:

Ooo, maybe the jail world is right next to the “Crime Alley” world, and there’s a slide going from the jail right to the Alley and criminals are constantly sliding down it all the time – maybe we see the slide in the level? Or there’s a guy in the jail who doesn’t want to leave because –

To call it a “design document” would be like calling the wall-scribbles you find in a serial killer’s apartment a “journal.”

All of the rambling ideas have been filed, and the outline is now tight, organized, and efficient.  We know where we are, and we know how far we have to go.

Programming: Creating with GameSalad

I’m programming Glute Force – at least the initial version of it – in GameSalad.  A.K.A., the game developer’s gateway drug.

I’LL NEED TO TALK LOUDER IN THIS PART, SO YOU CAN HEAR ME OVER THE SOUND OF MY GAME DEVELOPER FRIENDS ROLLING THEIR EYES.  I’m kidding, but only in that my friends aren’t jerks.  GameSalad is great for prototyping, but it lacks a lot when it comes to real programming flexibility, and I’m bumping up against that now.  For example:

  • You can have a template object that’s easy to drop into scenes (Unity terminology: a “prefab”), or you can have an object that directly interacts with other objects in the scene.  Not both.
  • Likewise, there are no search processes for finding objects in a scene.
  • And even if there were, there’s no GameObject variable to pass an object reference and access it that way.
I’LL NEED TO TALK LOUDER IN THIS PART, SO YOU CAN HEAR ME OVER THE SOUND OF MY GAME DEVELOPER FRIENDS ROLLING THEIR EYES.

So part of the challenge has been devising roundabout methods for object interaction (read: a lot of global variables).

In addition, the scene load times can be a bit sluggish, so I’m working on a method for loading most of the assets after the level starts.  I’m working out one method that uses  sort of “dibs” format – I’m sure I’ll post about it here later.

This, plus the normal game design.

FemMax and Male Max

FemMax and Male Max (in “ivory” and “outdoors casual” Caucasian models)

Artwork: MAX

In Glute Force, you can play Max as either male or female, and as one of three different races.  But I’m starting to think three races isn’t enough.  Right now I’m planning on:

  • Caucasian pink skin / features
  • African darker skin / features
  • Asiatic lighter skin / features

Swapping head sprites on a male or female body isn’t an option (or it is, but could result in major lag, another GameSalad issue), so adding additional “skins” (pun intended) can get prohibitive eventually, in terms of program size.

So I know I’ll never get everybody covered.  We are seven billion shades of crayon, and this is my first coloring book.

But I really don’t like the thought of a kid picking up another superhero game and not getting to play as someone who at least looks a BIT like them.  It’s not about being PC, it’s about being realistic.  As I recently said on Facebook:

The “politically-correct” move was mass media choosing to only feature white men from the 1950s onward. Featuring everybody today is “reality.”

So I’m thinking three doesn’t quite cover as far as I want.  Maybe one more?  A Hispanic look, or maybe a Middle Eastern/Indian blend?

Tell me your thoughts, Internet.

Delivery Date

Ideally, I want this project to be done before Christmas, which means I really need to be done closer to the middle-to-end of November in order to get everything up in the App and Google Play stores.

Working backward, that means a beta sometime in September, ideally.  Which gives me about 4-6 weeks to rough out the game in a way people can actually play it.

Next Goals:

My focus in the next week will be getting the menu assets / interface going, and roughing out the background interface for saving games.

If I can, I’ll probably also drop in a roughed out “World Map” to begin that process, and lead into level development later.

That, and working on finding a proper artist who can render all the other faces for MaleMax and FemMax.

Question of the Week:

What’s the best additional crayon to add to my Gluteus Max crayon box?

  • Hispanic?
  • Middle Eastern?
  • Indian?
  • Some kind of Cliff Curtis mashup?