Starquake Update: 20/03/2013: Where have you been?
Wow, nearly three months since my last update, I bet most of you thought that this remake had gone the way of too many before it, namely on the scrapheap, never to be seen again! Well, fear not, I’m glad to say that the remake is far from dead. So you might ask, why the lack of updates? In truth, it boils down to a number of things. I’ve been spending the last few months working on designing an all-new funky theme for the site that hosts the excellent Retro Asylum podcast show. If you haven’t checked this out yet and you have even a vague interest in retro gaming (and lets face it, you must if you’re here) then you really should check this out, you’ll thank me later. Anyway, I’ve been busy completely redesigning and coding a new WordPress theme, which is no walk in the park â€“Â though I’m sure you’ll agree the result was more than worth the effort!
I’m also a member of the Retro Asylum podcast team, so I’ve been working on several shows (with plenty more in the pipeline) including a completelyÂ impromptuÂ think-on-your-feet episode I had to do at the last minute with my good pal Glenn, when a combination of technology failures and demanding babies threw our carefully made plans out of the window!
Anyway, enough of all of that, I’m sure what you really want to know is how has Starquake been coming along amongst this hive of activity? Well the answer is, surprisingly well. I’ve been plugging away at it and I’m delighted to announce that the game is nearly code complete. What I mean by this is that it will shortly contain all of the elements to make it fully playable. In this state it could be released out into the wild, but I’m not going to do that and I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait a little longer. You see the next stage is all about refinement. This is where I’m going to be adding in all of the little graphical and audio embellishments, the touches that will make this game more than just good remake â€“Â remember what I said at theÂ beginning, my plan is to make this the definitive Starquake remake and not just another clone!
In the last three months, much has changed. Blob is now white like the original 8-bit versions (you will be able to select from a variety of Blobs, including a Satanic version!). I’ve completely redesigned the status panel to provide a much cleaner look. The game now has a ‘game over’ screen and high score table and Blob dies in a… well spectacular way.
I’ve spent many hours tweaking the gameplay. This is one of the hardest elements to get right, making all of the various components behave well together. I’ve been working hard to balance the playing experience and try to make the difficulty level match the original â€“Â ensuring that the nasties aren’t too challenging and making sure that there are no unfair deaths due to poor collision detection (always stack the odds in favor of the player and you’ll get one satisfied gamer!). I’ve also fixed more than a few bugs, so here’s hoping that what you get in your hands will be (virtually) bug-free.
So there it is, that’s what I’ve been up to. There has been a lot going on, but as they say, a picture (or in this case several) is worth a thousand words, so without further ado, here’s a selection of screenshots showing some of the lovely new bits!