I’ve been working on Gunslugs for months now, and although I did do a couple of small prototypes in between it really started to annoy me that my last released game was Chrono&Cash over 6 months ago (give or take a month).
So last friday, after playing a few rounds of League of evil on Android, I decided to look into the option of doing a sequel to one of my top games: Meganoid. What at first seemed like a bad idea, and yet another “project” I would start without actually completing, it actually became an eye opener on reusing game code.
The sequel of Meganoid is 100% based on the original code, it comes down to a simple copy+paste of the Meganoid project, renaming it to Meganoid2 and start changing the graphics.
Once I had the main sprites and level graphics with a completely new look, I updated parts of the Meganoid code with new stuff that I’ve been implementing in all the games I created after that original code was written. So the frame-rate is increased (Meganoid was topped at only ~20fps!), input-handling is enhanced with support for new controllers, and more of those types of generic things.
My original thought was that part two would simply be a change of graphics and a bunch of new levels. Eventually I also ended up modifying the game-logic of various game elements, adding new door types, monster types, subtypes of existing objects and monsters and other code changes. This was all pretty simple stuff, but if I had started from scratch without the existing code it would have taken me weeks.
So now I’ve been hammering at Meganoid 2 for four days, and right now the first 28 levels are done, with my target being 30 levels for first release and as with Meganoid adding more levels in updates (eventually adding a second difficulty, and a reversed mode).
I used to do this re-using of code a lot more back in the early days of Orangepixel, where every next game was based on the copied framework of the previous one, adding enhancements, code changes, and turning out new fun games in a much faster development cycle.
There is of course always that danger of this “reusing of code” becoming a quick cash-in like situation, so you have to really look out for that trap. But I’m honestly very pleased with how this sequel is turning out, it has a lot of new elements and improvements to make it worthy of the title “Meganoid 2: Grandpa’s chronicles”
With some luck I’ll have a first Android release this week or the next, and I can finally dump this feeling of not having released any good game for months!