I decided to make an itch.io page for one of the games I made in 2013. Formerly, it was just a random link to my public dropbox that was floating around, which is a lot harder to find and keep track of. I’ll probably do this for all the ones that I feel have anything the least bit interesting about them.
I’ve been busy with a lot of things not related to Sky Rogue, namely joining Snowcastle Games to work on Earthlock full-time, so I haven’t had much time to devote to the game. Since I’m really bad at sticking to to-do lists, I’ve been focusing not on flashy new features, but tweaking some really tricky gameplay fundamentals. Anyone who’s reading the Sky Rogue reddit won’t be surprised by some of these.
The enemy will slowly send off-island reinforcements when it decides you’re too much of a threat. I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to work, whether it will just be an invisible time limit or based on your actions. There are several “optimal but boring” strategies you can employ right now that make the game much worse if you’ve become quite familiar with the game and are playing to win. Reinforcements are intended to punish you for being really boring, to limit your options so that the only ones left require either sacrifice or getting into deadly situations that wouldn’t be so deadly if you had all the time in the world like in the current game.
MISSILE GUIDANCE TWEAKS
The missile guidance algorithm has been significantly modified in order to avoid a few situaitons:
Enemy missiles that are far too hard to dodge: generally, ones shot by aeros flying directly towards you so there’s very little time to do anything about them.
Enemy missiles that are far too EASY to dodge: in many other cases, you could evade a missile just by pushing on the throttle a bit.
Player missiles shot from “good” angles that manage to miss targets which are flying perfectly straight.
All of these situations seem to be resulting in unintended outcomes: high HP is too powerful and several powerful missiles like the AAM-IR are weak because all your missiles have trouble hitting anything. It was the intention from the start that the player should be able to dodge all incoming fire, either by doing evasive maneuvers or making sure their enemies never get a good approach for a clean shot. The intention is also that you shouldn’t need to understand the inner workings of missiles to know how to dodge them and make them hit; observing them in action should be enough. Despite that, I’ll share the major changes for the curious:
Missiles will only update the real position and velocity of their target once a second. In-between those updates they extrapolate the predicted position. This means that a missile flying towards a straight-flying target will probably always hit so long as the angle isn’t terrible. This also means that changing your velocity vector (that is, turning and/or speeding up suddenly) will dodge most missiles because their predicted target position will be wrong and they don’t have enough time to update to the correct one.
Most missiles will take about twice as much time to accelerate to top speed. This will give the target more time to notice the incoming missile and take action.
Player missiles lead their targets slightly better than enemy ones. This means your missiles are harder to evade and will do a better job of hitting non-evading targets at all ranges.
None of these changes are particularly sexy, but the way missiles behaved has been bugging me for months, and I needed to fix it since it’s the basis of almost the entire game. There will probably be more tweaks in the future, but I’m getting closer to something I’m actually happy with.
VETERAN AND ACE ENEMIES
Later islands will have “-VET” and “-ACE” versions of existing enemies. These guys do a few things the rookies don’t:
They fire more missiles; vets fire 4 and aces 6.
They know how to use throttle. They will speed up to intercept you or to run away after loosing a volley. They will reduce speed to turn more tightly.
Aces will evade your missiles. This is going to make them particularly hard to take down, but it means you will learn to use your weapons better. They can’t dodge everything!
(In progress) they know how to use their secondary weapons. Interceptors will be able to attack you at the same range you can attack them. I’m not sure if I want to restrict this to just Aces, both Vets and Aces are already pretty hard.