Monthly Archives: April 2014

Progressive Progression

Spellbound OUYA is just over 6 months old.

I started talking to David about a Spellbound remake back at the start of September 13 and we agreed to move ahead and begin work on an OUYA port on the 26th. By my maths that’s 6 months and a week or so.

Development on the game seems to run in fits and starts. The same time and effort is being put in on a weekly and, often daily basis but at certain points in the last half a year the game has lept forward. At other points it seems little to no progress is made. I know it IS made, but to just look at the game you might not see a difference from one week to the next.

I’m pleased to say that, right now, all the little things I’m putting in are making a massive difference to the look and feel of the game.

A case in point:

One of the big selling points to launching on the OUYA, for me at least, was the controller. Yes, I know, you can use a controller with anything nowadays. But the OUYA controller is something I can talk to easily, I can play with on the fly. I can control.

When David and I chatted initially about a port of Spellbound to a more modern machine, one of our main aims was to ensure we kept the gameplay of the original game, but modernised it to a point where not only us oldies who wanted a nostalgia trip would happily sit in front of it for a few hours, but where more casual gamers could dip in and play. We wanted to open it up to anyone who wanted to give it a go.

One of the obvious things that came to mind was to simplify the Windimation system. Now don’t get me wrong. I love Windimation. I think it is the perfect input system for the Magic Knight games. I wouldn’t change it for the world. And I haven’t. Windimation is here and it’s here to stay. But I know also that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Enter (stage left) my love for a controllable controller.

One of the new features in Spellbound OUYA is the ability to bypass Windimation for some of the more frequently used commands. Pick Up and Drop are the obvious ones, but it could be anything from the main menu.

I have had Pick Up working instantly in the dev builds for months now, but was never quite sure where to allocate it on the controller, I mean, after Jump and Select, there are still 6 useable buttons available, and what should I stick on the other 5 spare buttons?

After a few nights of coding this week I finally came up with a working solution that totally negates me having to choose the controller configuration

Yep, you choose. As long as you have a Jump and Select button mapped the rest are yours to do with as you please.

You can also move the Jump and Select button to any of the available buttons. Your game. Your way.

Massive steps, Progressive progress.

And to celebrate, a couple of screenshots of some work in progress 128k map locations.