Thursday, April 23, 2009

Space Squid turns 40!

1,408 rows deleted. That's a lot of high score entries! Thanks, guys. :) I can't believe how much you've been plalying! I've reset the high score database to go along with this quite excellent new version. Let's rack it back up again!


So what's new? Too much! Other than making Hard Mode nearly it's own new game...
  • I let squids continue to propel as long as their head is submerged - instead of going from the tip of the mantle. This basically means squids leap farther out of the water, making acrobatics much more fun!
  • I apply the turning force at a much larger angle now, so it's harder to do the "hover cheat" while increasing your turning responsiveness.
  • I put motors in the squid tentacles that auto-seek a straight angle. This will help your limbs from getting tangled up. The motor is only on the head-to-tentacle joint, and I don't have one in the secondary joints yet so they might still tangle a little if you turn really fast.
  • The squid can no longer touch himself - so his legs won't tangle in each other. This small change ended up increasing framerates quite a bit!
  • Played a bit with micro-changes to water viscoscity and gravity.
  • Removed the extra objects altogether in the later levels - they now only show up at the tail end of level 18, 19, and 20. Things were just getting too busy and processors were melting. :)
  • Level 1/2/3, 9/10/11, and 18/19/20 are all "theme" levels now. They only produce one type of obstacle.
  • Reduced the sizes of all the obstacles.
  • Made the sinking depth of the Space Urchin much more random (they were sticking a bit too close to the surface)
  • Updated the main menu with controls, story, and a scoring overview. Be prepared, the story is one of ultimate seriousness.
  • In hard mode, all rocks are static objects that get in your way - and should only appear in or near the air (with a random size as well).
  • In hard mode, all the stars appear in or near the air.
  • Stars now appear 100->350 pixels away from the previous star. No more overlapping double-grabs, and no more traversing to the far end of the screen.. but still close enough that you can still make multiple grabs in single jumps. Thanks to pythagoras for this one (and Aubrey for suggesting it).
  • Pause screen (spacebar) and ability to return to the main menu.
  • Made the GameOver/Victory boxes not intersect with the level objects, so you can still play in the background after the round has ended.
  • Boost now requires a tap instead of holding - this helps prevent you from burning through it too quickly. I'm not sure if I like this change and might revert it.
  • Made squid joints more robust (again).
  • Made easy-mode squid a bit smaller and lighter (faster).
  • Thanks to John Hughes @ Twune.com, Space Squid now has music. Hooray! It's a nice mellow tune to chill out to with underwater vibes. I'll have a mute button shortly if you prefer to listen to your own tracks while squidding.
  • I actually playtested this version so I know all the levels are possible. ;)
  • A bunch of other random small changes here and there.
Once again; check out Build 40 of Space Squid here, or just visit the official space squid web page.

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