Friday, October 1, 2010

Final development stages of Asteroid Hunter

Things are a bit slow on the XNA development front on my side these days. I have stopped adding features to Asteroid Hunter, and am now in the process of getting the last feedback from testers before submitting the game to peer review. There are also a couple of art pieces that aren't ready yet, such as the box art and the introduction screen.

I thought I would post a couple screen shots from the game running on Xbox.

This first screenshot shows off an asteroid from short range, with Jupiter in the background. Professional and amateur astronomers might notice that the stars in the view don't match any known part the galaxy. Those were made by myself, using random noise and this tutorial. The asteroid model was made by an artist I am working with. I'm very happy with the looks, much better than anything I could have made.

The goal of the game is pretty simple: shoot a number of asteroids, then move on to the next level. Repeat until your ship is destroyed in a collision with an asteroid or other nasty stuff that hides in asteroid fields.
Not all asteroids are destructible, which forces the player to look for those that can be destroyed. As nothing looks more like an asteroid than another asteroid, spotting destructible asteroids can be challenging (or boringly difficult, according to testers).
To counter this problem, I added a scanner to the game. When activated, destructible asteroids are visible in shiny green color, other asteroids are darker. The image above illustrates this.
Notice also the radar in the lower right. It provides another way to track destructible asteroids.

The image above shows some of the nasty stuff that hides in asteroid fields that I mentioned earlier. A missile is flying towards the player's ship. To help spot missiles (spotting small things in space is a task many find difficult, it seems), a square-shaped marker is drawn around them.

This last image is self-explanatory. What it doesn't show is static and motion blur effects. I found those cool and easy to implement, but not very practical to have during while playing. I think they fit pretty well in the game over screen.

The game also features local multiplayer on splitscreen, in coop mode or deathmatch.
I hope to make it available on the Xbox Live Indie Games section for 80 MS points before the end of the year.

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