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Asteroid Wars, 2010 Beta Release!

by Orion on September 12th, 2010

After letting it collect dust for a year, I finally had a couple days at the cottage this summer to polish up my Asteroid Wars game for a Beta release.

Please take a few minutes to try it out at oval.ca/games and give me some feedback.

Things I’d like to hear your thoughts on:

  • Obviously any perceived bugs, glitches, etc.
  • General game play: too fast?  too slow?  too hard?  too easy?  etc.
  • Scoring system: does the amount of points for shooting each object make sense?  does the completion bonus and time penalty make sense in calculating final score?  etc.
  • General feedback:  how did it go?  did you run out of amo or fuel?  did you get all the crystals? etc.
  • Any ideas you have for future upgrades or features.

If all goes according to plan, I’d like to develop a new level generator with increasing difficulty and a cumulative score.  Other features I’ve thought of include some cheesy lazer power ups and better sound effects/theme music.  I’m also considering a high score database and thinking about how the game could best be played on a mobile touch screen…

Hope you like!

From → OVAL news, media

16 Comments
  1. Orion permalink

    No pressure anyone, but in recent testing, my highest score was 63480. This makes me think that I may need a higher completion bonus and/or a time penalty… If you wait long enough and stock up on amo and fuel, you can really rack up the points when the aliens get into all out attack mode.

    • I managed to get around 59K points once and then I ran out of fuel (while trying to get as many points as possible). When I ran out of fuel I was able to fire and turn for a while (as I was floating across the screen numerous times) but then I got to a point where I couldn’t turn or fire even though I had lots of ammo left – I was killin’ aliens left and right and then all of sudden I was paralyzed. I would expect a certain demise once being out of fuel and ammo but until then one should be able to fight to the death!

      Comments:

      1. Game speed and difficulty seemed good to me and points scoring system was just right – neither too many nor too few points for stuff.

      2. Would be nice to have a pause button so one can quickly take a break and toggle through windows allowing one to provide the perception that one is actually working when the boss walks by…

      3. When you get to the ‘edge of space’ (when your ship is stuck along one of the edges because it can’t go any further) it would be nice that when you reverse direction that your ship first makes its way back to the middle of the screen before you start flying through space again. When I got to the ‘edge of space’ and then reversed direction (intending to head toward the ‘centre of space’) I was flying through space from the edge of the screen making me vulnerable to attack from behind because there was no visual notice that an alien was coming.

      4. Is there a way to keep a running list of the high scores? It would be nice to take credit for the benchmark score :)

      5. When killing the aliens, do your points per alien kill increase for each one you kill in a row? (i.e. if you killed 5 aliens in a row on 5 shots do you get a ton of points for the 5th alien kill?) That would definitely weigh in on game strategy…

      Good job on the time killer!

      • Orion permalink

        Thanks for the thorough feedback D!

        Strange that you were paralyzed… I have never had that happen in testing. I have run out of fuel a few times and the fight to the death scenario is actually kind of fun. My only guess is that you lost “focus” on the Flash player. So if another window popped up for example, you would have to click on the game again to be able to play.

        A Pause button is a great idea, or at least a hot key. I’m also considering a mute button for anyone playing at the office. ;)

        I have also thought about the edge of space thing. I could make it so that you stay closer or return to the centre more easily, but I kind of liked the danger of going to the edge to get things… You may have noted that Aliens don’t actually appear at the edge that you’re on. They can appear when you’re just close to the edge though, so you want to get in shooting and motor out. Think about it some more and let me know if you still think it’s a problem.

        I am planning a high score system, but that’s server-side/data base stuff, which I am less interested in, so it would be a late feature, maybe on the full release.

        Finally, the idea of higher points for consecutive alien kills is interesting… Reminds me of NBA Jam on Super Nintendo after hitting a few baskets in a row. The announcer would yell “He’s on fire!” and then you could drain it from just about anywhere…

  2. John permalink

    Its fun!

    I think it needs an insentive to play again. Some sort of swat the alien power on the second round or one nuke for every completion?

    Maybe a little less precision in the aiming and a bit more ammo to start. I like games where I can blaze away without too much thought. I’ll play it a bunch more over the next while.

    • Orion permalink

      Hey John,

      Yeah, the play again option right now is just so you don’t have to refresh the browser at every game over. Eventually that will be a “Continue” button (ie. to the next level). I’m think that the levels will get harder and yeah, maybe new weapons power ups would keep things interesting. Nukes would be a good one.

      The blaze away game is a bit of a tough call for performance. If you could just spray bullets, I would have to have a lot more moving targets and that could really slow things down. I could add more ammo to start though I wan’t the ammo fill ups to be more meaningful. And don’t you think conserving precious, life saving resources is a good lesson to teach the kids? Along with killing aliens and blowing stuff up, of course.

  3. Ray-Van permalink

    It should have more fuel, I keep running out.

    • Orion permalink

      A gas guzzler eh? How much more do you think we should start with Ray? I still want users to have to find more fuel to keep playing…

  4. Rena Faye permalink

    I tried to play many times, and continually crashed or died. The few time I killed an alien didn’t seem to matter in the points department, I always got a negative score. Will maybe get up my courage to try again. someday. Rena Faye

    • Orion permalink

      Ouch. That’s too bad Rena. I’ve been testing the game so much, I forgot there may be a learning curve.

      Maybe I should post some video tutorials on YouTube.

      The negative score, by the way, was likely due to the time penalty. Interesting…

  5. Lee permalink

    Echoing the earlier comments, I also ran out of gas. That’s kind of frustrating. I understand that you want the player to have an incentive to find more gas, but having so little gas leads to a slow form of gameplay in which you try to conserve your resources by moving around very slooowly. Perhaps doubling the amount of start-up gas and the amount of fuel in the power-ups would help.

    You’ve mentioned that upgrades will include various other power-ups. I think the biggest incentive that I can remember from the old arcade shooters was the continually compounding power-ups, which you would lose if you got killed and have to build back up to again. That’s a powerful incentive to keep trying…even more than a high score, in my opinion. To do this, of course, you should give the player more than one life. The traditional three initial lives with the ability to rack up additional bonus lives is the tried-and-true formula.

    • Orion permalink

      Thanks Lee!

      You’re right about changing the style of game play. I guess gamers tend to want to play a little faster and shoot more these days… Maybe I’ll look into speeding it up a bit while keeping the fuel-ups relevant. I still want people to run out of gas if they aren’t conserving a bit or actively seeking more fuel. I love that certain death possibility, going down in a blaze of glory. Maybe a larger level with more fuel to start would allow you to burn gas while still requiring a fuel up or two to complete… Any thoughts?

      And regarding the old arcade shooters, my favourite was 1943. I could play for an hour on 25 cents. Used to get back late from lunch in high school if I was going for a high score. The power-ups and bombs were a great incentive to keep going for sure. For that I definitely need more levels and more lives (with the 3 second blinking grace period of course). If that’s something that would keep people playing and coming back to play, I should definitely work on it.

  6. Spookyroots permalink

    Yikes! From an old gamer from way back, I was remarkably terrible at your game. Behind its simple exterior was a nasty core of carnage and antenna donning aliens! I tried weakening the asteroids with my space ship, but resistance was futile. I ran out of gas very quickly trying to avoid enemies, but I just discovered, (only after reading these posts) that one can shoot!? So I will try the game again soon with offense at the front of my mind meld!? Cheers, Markie

    • Orion permalink

      Haha. It sometimes helps to read the instructions at the beginning Markie. :P

      I would think that trying to survive without shooting was a pretty good flying lesson though.

      Let me know how it goes with some fire power.

  7. aparadekto permalink

    Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

    • Orion permalink

      Maybe you shouldn’t be reading blogs at the Opera, aparadekto. Try viewing it in the comfort of your own home (in a real browser).

  8. ZX1400 owner permalink

    Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.

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