Gongbat (Devlog 002) – Cell Containers + Code Optimization Extravaganza

As promised, I will be making more updates to the lovely shooter game which has seemingly been on a long overdue hiatus, Gongbat. And the second part of that agreement means I share it with anyone willing to read update logs! (Hopefully you’re there!)

Cell Containers

Cell Containers Concept

Concept Artwork of the new Cell Containers- the fastest way to earn cells in Gongbat Kousati

There is a long list of planned features chalked up (with the help of the powerful organization tool, Evernote) but when I am way to overly concerned with quality content, I can only handle a few of these things at once. Expect a few minor changes every week and major updates to come monthly. One of the main changes to form the game is undertaking will be the addition of collected ‘cell containers.’ Currently in Gongbat, cells may only be obtained by means of combat in defeating enemies and bossfights (with the exception of a small cage breaking puzzle here and there). In the Kousati update, cells will be diffused among: collectible VHS tapes, barricade/story specific puzzle designs, a well-deserved diminished enemy loot, mobile multiplier features, and finally new chained and reactive cell containers.

In the rough design above, you can see what small, medium, and large containers should look similar to once implemented. Not only do they appear in tiers of size, but color as well, indicating how many cells you can loot from each “gaseous cell-juice” (think of a float-y mercury). In certain levels, they may be hanging terrariums and others floating mechanized orbs. Shooting each of these spheres once will implode the little wicker and burst a glorious plethora of stem cell lagniappe. “Dragon-chained” cell containers will follow a copter like robot across the screen and can be individually collected, or all at once if you’re fast enough to catch the zippy front end. I’m hoping these added elements will bring new interactive strategies into play, shifting this little shooter more into the realm of speed-arcade (mashup of puzzles, combat, and customization).

I am hoping to have working prototypes of these structured by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

Code Optimizations

A look at two enemy initialization scripts in Gongbat; pictured left is an old format, whereas the right has been organized and is easily changeable.

Script Optimizations

Besides the shift in cell collection, there are also major code optimizations docked for this week. Most of the programming in Gongbat was written a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I first started this project as a mostly inexperienced developer whose scripting followed the lines of “Whatever works!” An apology from my past self is in order! Not anymore!

Though a majority of scripts in Gongbat have already been cleaned and rewritten to use less computing power, there is still quite a ways to go. It’s not the most interesting piece of news, but expect the game to run faster than ever if you have experienced slow downs or bad fps. This also means it should be running in tip-top 60 frames per second on all mobile devices once everything is finished (no worries it already is, to my knowledge). Added bit of information: menus will become much sleeker looking, as with advents in my other now ongoing project, Eontrip, I have figured to shift the blocky pixelated forms that make up user interface. I think it would be a fantastic graphical buff (sorry to anyone who might prefer the ultra-retro look!).

Trinity Level

Other News

In case you might have missed my last post, I am also working diligently on a physical side project- sculptural lamp pieces of the protagonist! Give that article a look if sculpting or Gongbat merchandise peaks your interest.

Finally, I reluctantly admit that the release of Gongbat 1.0 went surprisingly smoothly for having absolutely no outsider testing. Not many bugs were found in this version, alas I feel like my luck may begin to run short. In the next few weeks, I may be releasing a signup for anyone attentive on testing Gongbat Kousati on PC before it goes live. Make sure to listen in on my social media for that moment, if so enticed. As always, thanks for reading. I am hoping to have much more to share over the next few weeks.

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Your friendly neighborhood game developer,
~ Zack

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