Down Hill(s)

It’s been a bit since I last posted a proper update. It turns out that certain things take much, much longer than you would expect them to. When I got to score some quality time to write code or build levels, I tended to throw all of my energy into that for whatever hours I had. Consequently, even though progress was clicking along just about as well as could be expected, I didn’t really get around to writing anything about it, which is kind of the point here. Anyway, it’s a new year and it’s about time to actually write an update for Paper Zeppelin.
First things first, the Rolling Hills level is all finished, leaving just 4 levels left to do before I can move on to creating the art assets and setting the balance for single player. Mind I still have to add the secondary spawn triggers for multiplayer (since the enemies will be more numerous depending on the number of players), but with the heavy lifting of the geometry and single player at least giving the levels a sense of shape. So that’s a positive as far as I’m concerned.
For kicks, I set up the game to start from the beginning and see how it works out. Turns out that the game is currently about 15 minutes depending on the paths taken, and assuming that the player is good enough to, um, not die. Considering that other shooters tend to run in the 30 minute range, and they don’t branch, I’ll take a 15 minute playthrough. Add to that the little bonus levels in between where the scores float on by (and medals for the best player from the last level) which will run about 20 seconds or so. Add the last few levels and we should be into a nice 25 minutes per playthrough, or about 65 minutes of total zeppelin destructive joy if you add all the levels together, which seems like a metric crapload of shooter joy. I’m happy with that. Especially since the game is difficult enough that I can think of few people that will be able to complete the game the first few times they play.
In more news, I fixed the mortars, so now they work correctly. They explode like they aught to and, provided that I don’t put them above where a player may be, they work great. Otherwise the arcs that the mortars fire at is too low and then they just kill themselves, which is just about as stupid as it sounds.
Up next, the Easy Path Caves. I enjoy making the cave levels, and unlike the last set, I’ve got access to all those sweet destructible tiles.

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