Wednesday, 19 December 2007

The Pre-Christmas Lull

Well, here we are less than a week before Christmas, and over a week since the release of the Batty Junior Christmas Demo.

I hadn't been to sure if releasing the demo was a good idea, especially as the game is at a pretty early stage, but thankfully it seems to have been rather well received by the people who have played it.

As I expected the missing power-ups has drawn some comments, but they are being added and will all be there for the next release.

The next couple of powers have been added in (Thrusters and Multi-ball) and just need a little bit of a polish before I'll be happy with them. That only leaves the Extending bat and all the original power-ups will be there.

Updating the code to allow for multiple balls on screen was something that I wasn't looking forward to. Really I should have done that much earlier on in the process (if not from the start) and so having to retrofit the code to allow for this was, shall we say, a fun experience - if your idea of fun is breaking the game entirely, fixing it, followed by an hour or so of bug-fixing.

It has been well worth it though, as even with fifteen or twenty balls on screen the CPU usage is still very low and the collision detection works a treat. Even the ball-grab power-up was a doddle to upgrade to handle multi-ball.

I'm still going to have to go through and do a code-cleanup at some point in the near future, as things are pretty unoptimised thanks to the major changes I'd put in place.

So once that is done then what remains? Well, the gravity warp thingy is something that I've been saving till last, and also I'm going to have to see about adding some variety to the baddies as I've only implemented the UFO so far (the Bird needs to be added).

If you haven't played the demo yet then head over to and give it a shot. As it supports Windows (XP and Vista), Linux and MacOS X most people should be able to run it.

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