Post-jam version: Sounds, tutorial, new enemies
By now, the rating period of LÖVE jam 2018 has ended, and I am very happy with the results, especially since there were so many other strong contestants :) Big thanks to everyone who left a rating or feedback!
The two biggest complaints about Paddlegrounds were the lack of sounds, and the difficulty curve. The post-jam version that I released earlier today addresses both of these things.
I had never done any audio work before, so creating sound effects was completely new ground for me. But now that they're in the game, I feel like they provide a lot of valuable feedback about what's happening in the game.
My original plan for the difficulty curve was to have infinitely many levels that would increase in difficulty gradually, by slowly adjusting things like bullet speed, the frequency at which enemies fire bullets, and by having multiple enemies at once in later levels. That turned out to be very tricky to get right, and I was never really happy with this approach.
I abandoned the idea of infinitely many levels in favour of a small set of well-designed levels. Now the game has only five levels, but each level has a different enemy type. Each enemy type has its own attack pattern, and you will need to combat each pattern differently.
There is still some randomness in the enemy AI and the power-ups that you can find, so each run will be slightly different.
Finally, the game has now an interactive tutorial. This was much more involved and took way longer than I had expected, so I thought I'd write up a little guide to share my experience:
How to make a small interactive tutorial:
This will be the final update to Paddlegrounds, unless there are any major bugs. Now I am mostly looking forward to going back to "simple" pixel art. Everything in Paddlegrounds was based around circular shapes. The game doesn't include a single sprite; everything is rendered on the fly from lines, circles and circle arcs. This was a nice experiment, and a quick solution to unique challenges of the game (all elements had to look good when scaled, rotated, and bent along a curve), but it was quite cumbersome. It also requires a ton of draw calls, which makes it pretty slow...
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the game (:
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