© Alex Denford, 2017

2D Mining Game

November 21, 2018

I have started work on a new game! I recently bought Super Motherload for quite cheap and played it through. Super Motherload is a Steam release sequal to the original free Miniclip game Motherload. There was also a paid version called Motherload Goldium which is now bundled with Super Motherload. They are all great games, with the latest being mostly a reskinned version of the original (new graphics, different characters) but also with some small new puzzles and things. It is surprising how addictive and enjoyable the game loop of these games is. The simple game loop works as follow:

 - Mining down to get ores / resources

 - Returning to the surface to sell them

 - Purchase new upgrades in order to go deeper

 - Repeat

The game limits you by having a fuel tank that must be refuelled and a hull damage meter. The joy of going further down into the ground and finding new rare ores and resources, which in turn allow you to upgrade your vehicle, is really fun and is very similar to the "Mine" in "Minecraft". Exploration is the key here, finding new places and being rewarded for your effort.

After playing Super Motherload I thought that the game was good, but had the possibility of being so much more. Firstly I did not like that the level is limited in width (you cannot go past a certain value left or right, which is wider than your screen). I also was not a huge fan of the puzzle elements involving the various bombs. I enjoyed them, but when a large percent of the best ores was gated behind puzzles I quickly got bored of them.  There was just too many puzzles everywhere which made them less interesting. Lastly I am not a story kind of person and so I didn't really enjoy that the game just ends after killing the final boss, although it was quite fun and challenging. I would of preferred further potential for game-play without just replaying it the exact same with a different character. 

For this game I would like to incorporate combat, as well as fog of war. I am also messing with the idea of a mode where you have a tower defence element on the surface, but I am not sure about this just yet. 

 

I have also decided to use Unity to create this game. Two main factors contributed to this decision: Firstly, I used c# for my last project (rock climbing training app) and I really enjoyed it. It is such a nice break from c++ without memory management and dealing with libraries and includes etc. Secondly, after working for quite a while on my 2D engine with SFML, I felt like I wanted to focus more on the game development side as opposed to engine development. It took a huge amount of time to get the engine up to a usable level and even still, it is far from good and full of features. Implementing the smallest things would just take so much time, partially because I was focusing on optimisation and the design so significantly. Unity also has the bonus of being able to ship to multiple platforms, having a great community, having endless features and is also another great skill to add to my knowledge base.

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