Archive for the ‘Game Design’ category

It has been a while since I posted anything about the tech in Retrobooster. Lately, I have been refining the conveyor beams, which figure prominently near the end of the game. They are basically tubes of energy that pull game entities around the levels. Think of them as rivers of space. I imagine them as […]

Today I worked on the visuals for the heavy matter slugs, Retrobooster’s instant-shot weapon. It left a smoke trail before, but that was wishy-washy and people who saw it didn’t understand it very well. Now the weapon traces a well-defined line so you know exactly where it went. There is also a new laser pointer. […]

Today I added a health bar to the in-game interface, and I have been meaning to blog about this interface for a while. You might first notice that it is very minimal. Minimal interfaces just feel old school to me. A fancy spaceship-themed interface that takes up a lot of screen space would be too […]

Following are some notes on integrating various input devices into Retrobooster. I hope this is useful to other game designers and programmers. First of all, the original plan was to let players use keyboard, keyboard plus mouse, and game controllers. I’m happy to report that testers prefer each of these in roughly equal measure, so […]

Levels As Toys

April 22, 2012

When I started development on Retrobooster, the main design goal was to make it feel like a big toy you can play with. Later on I read Jesse Schell‘s wonderful The Art of Game Design and learned that he had already named this idea The Lens of the Toy. The best way I have found […]

Alpha 4 Testing

February 17, 2012

This week the 4th alpha release made it out. It is the first release that I have been able to package and send to testers to use at home. It was an important milestone because there is now too much content in the game to do a thorough in-house test. In the future, I will […]