The above video is a 10+ minute video showing the gameplay in a random Space Grunts “run”. I removed the first few levels, since they are fairly simple with you mostly finding loot and shooting the low volume of enemies that appear there.
A lot has changed since the last time I showed some footage of the game, let’s walk through some of the bigger stuff shall we?
With all my games I tried to keep the controls as simplified as possible. The down side of this is that it can limit the gameplay a bit. Previously you could collect special items, and they would become active the moment you picked it up, until the “active turns” would end. This limited the gameplay way too much, so I decided to add an inventory screen, and this allows you to activate items when you think it’s tactically the best situation. Gameplay got a huge boost from this. It means there is an extra input-control required, but since this is a turn-based game, it’s not really that hard to do: you got all the time in the world to press the right button on keyboard, controller or touch-screens..
I also stripped out the “level-up” stuff, which might sound like a weird decision, but it actually favors the gameplay. Behind the scenes there is still some level-up code running and doing things with numbers, but for the gamer it’s not visible anymore: You go in as a grunt, and have to reach the other side as the same grunt! Luckily the various items, upgrades, and other things will help you become more powerful, but it’s not a traditional level-up system anymore.
I still have to work out the weapon system. The game always gives you three distinct weapons, and currently there is a roster of four weapons.. I hope to expand that roster, but I also found I’m pretty crap at coming up with interesting weapon concepts.. if I can’t come up with interesting ideas, I need to find another solution to somehow upgrade weapons in a meaningful way.
Items, zones and progress
The main thing that’s left to do, is add items, more items, and even more. The items and inventory have become a core of the gameplay, and I plan to add a bunch of stuff to make it interesting for many replay’s. Probably adding some very rare stuff that people might not even run into!
The main game consists of four main zones, which covers 12 levels, and is currently a huge challenge to complete (I haven’t managed to get to zone 4 yet). With balancing I should be able to fix this, and possibly add a 5th zone. I’m also looking into “secret zones” which would only open up if you trigger the right thing at the right time.. but that’s all in planning phase for now.
So progress on the game is going pretty good. I’m not sure if I can make my August/September deadline, I sure hope so, but we’ll see..