AlienVania was created for a game jam in 10 days using the previous platform shooter engine from Run, Gun, Key, Fun. Two game jams back to back with no time to breathe, we just stacked in content.
After the AlienVania game, I tried to use the engine to make the Collector Kyle game, but HD was too big for the engine. The original AlienVania engine was designed to scale to any size from NES to HD and beyond. However, I ran into a bunch of limitations and it turned into a giant burden on the computer processor.
So with that in mind, I took what I learned from the AlienVania engine and created the Collector Kyle engine. Now that Collector Kyle has been finished for a month, its time to grow that engine by adding weapons, shooting and enemies. All three things were left out from Collector Kyle. Rather than work with new assets, I went with what I already had.
Is it a remake? Is it a port? Is it just an advanced version since there are a mere 2 months between the original AlienVania and this new AlienVania? With everything that’s new I’d like to keep the game jam version intact. It still stands as a monument to 10 days of game development, even if a few things were fixed after the deadline was reached.
New from the original game:
- New versions of weapons
- Get a weapon, keep a weapon
- Weapon ammunition
- Weapon selection menu
- Different enemy behavior
- Solid object outlines, player outlines, enemy outlines, projectile outlines
- More color palettes
- Auto-look camera
- Vibration and screen shake percentages
- Slide ability
Nothing seems monumental or worthy enough to make this new version public without new levels. There are extra unused mechanics at the moment that would need fresh stages to implement them.
While I have you here I might as well talk in detail about what’s new:
NEW VERSIONS OF WEAPONS
The weapons from the original AlienVania were taken straight from Run, Gun, Key, Fun, but there were plenty of new alien weapons. There was a real time crunch for the original game, so the weapons were an afterthought. Since this is a new engine that didn’t have weapons, I had to add them. While I could have copied and paste the source code, I chose to remake each of them. Shotguns penetrate and no longer ruin the sound from having the sound effect played 20 times in a single frame. Rockets and grenades do splash damage to everyone but the player, because that was a big issue in the original game.
GET A WEAPON KEEP A WEAPON
The original AlienVania allowed for random weapon pick ups and you could swap them out, but you could only have one at a time. That was a time constraint issue. Without that constraint, I had the luxury of adding a weapon inventory.
You can keep any weapon, but the catch is that you have limited ammunition and there is no way to replenish that ammo, at least not yet. If you find the same weapon a second time, that will refill that weapon.
WEAPON SELECTION MENU
To switch over between weapons, there is a quick weapon menu when you pause the game. Then you will go to the real pause menu. When weapons are found, they are added to the weapon menu in a fixed place. This caused the need for some fancy menu maneuvering as before pressing up, down, left and right would place you in an empty slot with no weapon. After a bit of programming, you go to the next available weapon.
[…] the cheat console itself was a daunting one or two day process that I made for the AlienVania remake. It was a notable experience because I had only experimented with text capturing before. […]