Various updates were made this week. Mainly they were just small things, like bug fixes and tweaks that helped to make the game run smoother.
Camera shake was an idea that could be integrated into AstroHop, when the player hits an obstacle. This helps to add some depth to the game and give it more impact. A function is created that is called when the player collides with an obstacle. Camera Shake is defined such that the game object ‘Main Camera’ will be moved randomly along Vector3 coordinates upon the execution of thee function. The image below shows the script:
Another aspect that would polish up the game was refining the artwork that had already been created for the game. The background had a pixelated gradient added to it, to fit the style more. There were 7 different tiles made with alternative star layouts, so the user doesn’t feel like they are scrolling through the same background. The ground tiles also received a complete re-haul, changing the ground into layered dirt with the pixel gradient again, to match the background. Again, 7 variations were made with each one having rocks and gems randomly scattered on.
Experimental concepts were drawn up to add mountains and hills to the background tiles, but when imported in to the scene, it was proved that the lack of contrast with the game objects made it harder to see and play. Different colour schemes were tested, but the resolution was to abolish terrain textures for the background all together.
Moreover on the artwork front, to add a little flair and body to the game, a spaceship was drawn in Photoshop and placed into the scene at the start of the level. This lets the user know the character is a traveller and is setting out to explore this weird and wonderful planet.
When letting other people ‘beta test’ the game, it was evident that although the mechanics were simple, that doesn’t mean a user will instantly know how it works. To fix the issue of the user having to play three or four times before understanding how to play, it was time to add instructions. Being as simple as it is, the solution was to add ‘tap and hold to jump’ underneath the floating title when the game first kicks off. This way, on the first play through, a user should see and read the instruction and be able to play without any confusion.
Another major update was the addition of a second currency. Now, on top of coins, players are able to collect a much rarer item – Gems! Gems will be used to buy special upgrades, levels, and skins within AstroHop’s in-app store. The script works in the same way as the Coin script, but has a delay of 30 seconds before they start spawning and will only spawn every 30 to 300 seconds. Again, just like the coins, the gems are animated. The frames are shown below: