Saturday, March 29, 2014

Armoured Engines: A Game Takes Shape

Armoured Engines is now out of pre-production and in to full force development. The team has been cracking away for the last week and it's time for a development update!


Basic train movement was set up right away, followed by a scrolling background and foreground to give a feeling of constant speed. The train can be moved back and forth via dragging, with a nice acceleration/deceleration action that allows the player to "fling" the train back and forth along the track. Bounds were set up so the train couldn't be thrown off screen. While more fine tuning is needed, this mechanic is already feeling really nice and fun to control.

Cargo Flinging

The most basic method for dealing with enemies in the game is to fling the cargo you are carrying at them. This week we implemented cargo flinging, and our first cargo type: coal. We've got plans for lots of zany cargos in the future, some which weaponize better than others, but for now we'll be moving on to other features before adding more types.


We wanted to get an enemy into the game right away to test against. We chose the Mortar as our first enemy as it's movements and AI are very simple - it simply scrolls across the screen in the background and fires mortars into the air, which must then be dodged or shot down as they fall onto the train. We also created a health system for the train, which sets each carriage up with a small pool of health. This means that each carriage can be lost individually - but if your engine is destroyed, the level is lost and your train limps back into town empty-handed.


We've been forcing the game on our friends and colleagues every chance we get, and have already gained many valuable insights about our control schemes. It's always surprising to see how someone else will attempt to control a game. One of our testers used much longer swipes when flinging coal, which we hadn't expected at all and had to re-program to account for. Others attempted to swipe higher or lower on the train than we were expecting. We learned a ton and will continue to test regularly with as many people as possible.

Overall the reaction to our game has been really positive, with many people asking when we'll be showing more of it. If you are one of those folks anxious for more Armoured Engines, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Tumblr.

Next Week

Next week, we'll be adding weapons to the train and improving the way we represent the train in data, so it can be loaded into different scenes and customized. We'll also be doing design work for many of the game's enemies.

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