NEON Shell - DevLog 2



Rogue Robot Rogues was a good prototype for NEON Shell but there were a number of issues I had with the core gameplay of the final version. These ultimately required a complete redesign in order to fix. In this dev log I'm going to be detailing some of the fundamental changes I'm making to NEON Shell to elevate and expand on the core design of Rogue Robot Rogues. Along with the changes below I've also added some camera shake and particle effects to increase the impact of the actions in the game.

One of the main underlying issues throughout the entire development of the  Rogue Robot Rogues was the limited scope of the gameplay structure, the only objective is to survive and gain as many points in the process until inevitably failing. Although this makes for a good, quick game loop there's very little there to encourage extended play beyond a high score board. There is also the issue of when to introduce new enemy types into the level as score and health vary and having to reach a set time each run feels too structured and repetitive. To counter this I've introduced a wave mechanic which will be used to curve the power level of the enemies that are spawned each wave. This also opens the ability to have the gameplay split into different stages and for variations to be introduced as the game continues.

The current plan is for each main stage (every 16 waves) of the game to have a unique gameplay variation which should keep the gameplay fresh as the waves continue. As the first variation needs to ensure that the game remains balanced in the players favor for as long as possible to provide a margin for error and a good introduction, I've decided to go for a shield mechanic. This provides the player with a small pool of regenerating health to hopefully survive longer in the early waves. The shield currently recharges every 10 seconds. However, I've found this recharge rate to be a pretty big advantage so I'm considering tying it into another mechanic such as enemies killed or waves beaten.

The EMP ability currently in Rogue Robot Rogues is far too powerful. As it can be used to clear out all unshielded enemies on screen, it tends to just be used on cooldown with little regard for the current state of the game. To rework this mechanic and allow for more variety in its effect I've change the EMP so that it now has a unique effect depending on the type of enemy hit. For example with the basic rogue enemy all the EMP will now do is reveal the enemies without stopping or disabling them. This change makes the game a fair bit more difficult currently, but hopefully more interesting over all once different enemy types are introduced.

Going forward, I've started working on a number of new enemy types which will be spawned gradually as the waves progress. Which I will go over in greater detail once I've finished them, hopefully not in another two months...

I've now got an itch.io page up for the game which I'll be compiling screenshots on and uploading builds to in the near future, you can follow me on there for updates.

https://mythalore.itch.io/neon-shell

Thanks for reading!

- Sam (@Mythalore)

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