A Very Long Overdue Status

A Very Long Overdue Status

My last status post on SMS: The Next Mission was over 10 months ago. I figure it is about time I provided an update.

Reflecting

Looking back between September 2016 and about May 2017, I lost all desire to continue development in its current state, even though I had a lot completed. If you read through some of the older posts, you can see that something was just not right. I wasn’t sure about what features to add, and I was unsure about what to add to the shmup version (of even if I should include it). Development was also getting a little sticky as I was still learning some concepts in Unity. All of this caused me to stop development for a few months until I could figure out my next steps (and to build up a bit of excitement and momentum again).

Fast forward to June 2017. I decided I again wanted to continue (AND FINISH) this game. Looking at my project, I decided it was best to start over, but leverage any code that I had already written over the past 5 iterations. So here I am… the 6th time starting this project over and I am glad to say that progress so far has been great and I am confident that this will be the last time I need to restart.

I think the overall problem back in September 2016 was I was trying to take a game I previously wrote and love playing and create a PC/console version of the game that I think others want to play. That version of the game was not enjoyable to me and I lost motivation.

Currently, Space Mission Survival is available on mobile platforms and is a retro space shooter that I find quite enjoyable.  That is the basic game I want to recreate on PC/consoles, with some enhancements of course:

  • The Classic 70 Arcade, 80s Home Computer, and 90s Console versions that I previously mentioned will remain. They are basically the same game with some differences including graphics, sounds, and game play that was available during those past times.  All three modes will be complete, stand-alone games, and will feature enough unique game play and achievements to make them slightly different.
  • I do want to add a Shmup mode, but I a a bit unsure what this version will consist of, or how this mode will actually play at this time.
Current State
Classic 90s Mode

I decided to focus on the classic modes since I know for certain how these games will play. Using the mobile version as a model of game play, I will adjust game play to look and play like a game in those specific decades.

As of today, the 90s console version is pretty much complete. The game is playable and has a look and feel of a 90s game. Modifying the game to feel like a 70s and 80s game will be easy since most of the code will be identical… it just a matter of changing sounds and graphics for the most part.

I am going to begin a very small alpha testing of the 90s game with some friends and family soon. Any fixes will carry over to the 70s and 80s mode.

Future State

I am still undecided what the shmup mode of the game will be like, but I know I want the game to be intense (the classic modes are “wave-like”, so there is a bit of a breather between levels). I also think I want to utilize the 70s, 80s, and 90s modes somehow, perhaps through a time warp feature, but I am not sure.

Change of Attitude

During my hiatus from SMS: The Next Mission I decided that I am going to write a game that I want to play (and hope that other will as well), instead of trying to cater to the fickle demands of the masses. Making everyone happy is a game you cannot win. This will be a topic of another blog post, to be sure.

Conclusion

So there you have it! To summarize… SMS: The Next Mission will have 4 stand-alone games (70s Arcade, 80s Home Computer, 90s Console, Shoot-em-up). It may have a different name as well. Finally, my blog will be where I post updates (I hope you follow), and my decision to work the way I am working will be detailed in another article.

Thanks for reading!

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