I'm still waiting for music on Robot Wants Fishy, and I'm filling the time with working on the pirate game. It's taking a bit of a turn, because I knew it needed something to add interest, so the first thing I thought of is just what I need to be interested in anything: leveling up! And by "interested in anything", I mean I really don't care what the gameplay is. If it leads to leveling up (with choices of skill points, not just automatic upgrades), I'm playing it. Level me up in Tic-Tac-Toe. But anyway, I was struggling with that concept and I guess it goes something like this:
The game is now vaguely a rogue-like. You adventure from one island to the next, and you encounter items and monsters randomly. The selection is very unlike your typical roguelike, and you have no normal inventory, so it's more like powerups. The things you've already seen are the bulk of it: planks, hearts, shovels, treasure, x2 multiplier. Of course each island is more dangerous than the last, and you will eventually fail (especially since your life drains over time), thus working toward a high score. There will be levels of interest, like Cannon Cove and Monkey Marina, which is slightly inspired by Scarecrow: Heart of Straw
. Those will either be at set points, or just come up randomly. I suppose random is always better if it's a roguelike!
Because I wanted a choice of some skills when you leveled, I ran into a control conundrum. There could be a simple "arrow key to cycle through upgrades" situation, but I didn't like it, and I batted some stuff around and was unproductive until I finally just decided to go all out and make it mouse-controlled. So now it's also Crimsonland(etc.)-inspired. You move with arrows and aim with the mouse. That obviously opens up mouse control for clicking on the upgrade you want when you level up, and it also greatly expands the possibilities for leveling up... now I can add powers that you can click on when you want to use them! I haven't actually decided to make any, but it's opened up a basically infinite design space if I want it. It feels a lot more free to me, and I always enjoy aiming with the mouse.
First things first though: I have to get the basic gameplay working! I've also ported this game over to Flashpunk (and then re-ported when Flashpunk released a completely different new version a day later) from Flixel, because Flashpunk suits my style much better. It's getting confusing working with both in different games, but eventually I think I will be moved over completely. Daibaka is definitely going to be a lot easier to deal with in Flashpunk after a very painful porting process. I really felt like I was hacking Flixel to bits just making basic concepts like bullets come out the way I wanted in that game.