Thursday, 18 March 2010

Slight of Sight gets Reshuffled!

Well, I've been on and off on different projects of late (however a lot less so then previous thank God) but I've yet to have one fully complete this year (although a few are near to that and strong projects at too).

One of my main aims for 2010 has been to complete 3 or more games both in the creation and play sense (quality over quantity I know, but still) and thus far I've completed 2 games play-wise (Portal and Half-Life 2, great games, nice job Valve), now I think it's time for the game creation side to get similar treatment!

Time for a Reshuffle!
Over the last few days I've been working on creating a new version of Sleight of Sight (SOS) which incorporates many of the feature requests by many of the thousands of players. In truth, the original was just a tester for my first foray into Flash so most the requested features came as no surprise to me.

In short, the original as intended was very simple, but in turn too simple for repeat plays or anything above 3 Stars (out of 5). You can play it here if you haven't already or fancy a bit of nostalgia Play SOS.

The originals weaknesses came in that it was limited to 3 Covers (I meticulously animated each rotation scenario back then), little variety and the shuffling speed was done via adjusting the frame rate (which caused some speed issues for a small few).

The new version, which will be called Sleight of Sight - Reshuffled, is pretty much a vastly improved sequel.

In actuality I've been working on-it on and off since the updated release of SOS back in August of 09. It was only on about 2 days ago that I finally got my head around how to do smooth angled orbiting rotations in Flash (thanks Actionscript 3 Cookbook), which was the only way (other then rough diagonal / x.y shuffles) to creating an expansive and improved version of SOS. My excuse for it taking so long is in part due to the fact I'm not a super-math guy (yet anyway) and I tend to work best with making technical code work rather then create said technical code in most cases.

The New Shuffle!
To that end, currently I have the following features working nicely:
  • Dynamically created Covers and Targets which means Covers and Targets are only limited by the users screen size and hardware (3, 5, 10, 20 covers with 1, 2, 5 targets etc).
  • Math based rotation meaning the speed can now be adjusted based on time rather the frame rate (that's the idea, still got to implement accurate speed increases). This is also why I'm able to have as many covers as desired.
  • Multiple line Covers. This means I can make you guys and gals suffer trying to keep track of the target objects in 2, 3, 5+ rows of covers
  • AI bluffing. This means the shuffle can change directions mid way, back and forth
  • AI Multiple Shuffles. Obviously with 3 covers only 1 shuffle at a time was necessary. With an unlimited set having 1 shuffle at a time would be kinda lame, so there can be as many as available to swap, this also adds to the variety and challenge of the classic concept.
Yet to be Shuffled!
Quite impressive I think for 2 days work, but there's still a little more work to be done. This rapid development has been possible due to the other projects in development's codebase, a sexy in-house framework and more experience on my part in general. Below are some dev screenies, not massively exciting and hard articulate without seeing motion, but hey.

So, still on the To-Do list (disclaimer: None of there are guarantees, so just hope rather then assume ;) are:
  • Index order of covers correctly on shuffle to insure the right object is above or below the other correctly
  • New Timer-based speed increase system
  • Re-Introduce the blur effect in the correct position and with a new time-based system
  • Custom and / or intelligent zooming in and out of scene for larger cover amounts
  • Create and Test distractions feature
  • Decide upon final game modes and features
Now, if you look at the last post, you'd be forgiven for thinking this might not happen (or at least not for a while), but hopefully I can buck this trend of mine this year. Next update will likely be when I have these to-do list features owned! Hope to see you then!

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