A proper Chopper 2 progress update

Written by David Frampton @ 1:45 pm, January 3, 2010

This is a current (4th Jan ‘10) screenshot from the level editor for Chopper 2.

Chopper 2 Editor Screenshot

Chopper 2 Editor Screenshot

The level editor has taken a huge amount of my time and energy, but I am aiming to create over 30 missions, and they need to be awesome. I also am hoping I can release the editor for people to make their own levels.

For now, I’m just trying to make this level a completely playable experience, before I move to finishing the other levels. And I’m close.

The game view in the bottom right is displaying my current progress on the ‘mission failed’ screen. I just hit too many birds, and when you die, it goes red, the Chopper explodes and some other crazy stuff happens. The completion and introduction screens are more advanced :)

I recently added the first trees, and in the top right, you can see the white lines showing where the the 3D tree model intersects the 2D level plane. The tree is made of 3 quads, which seems to be a good compromise for now. The trees add hugely to the visual appeal of this level, and also add obstacles for low fliers, which works well for gameplay. I recently made the Chopper fly much faster when close to the ground, which has some awesome implications for gameplay and scoring.

I’ve already created all of the background graphics for all of the levels, and have made a good start on the other graphics, though many still need to be refined further.

Most of the systems for the enemy AI are in place. The level structure is well planned and in general all of the fundamental building blocks are in place. I’m now in the level design/tweaking phase, and it’s a pretty fun place to be.

So there is some great progress going on, but this is not an ‘It will be done by X’ project. It’s also not an ‘It will be done when it’s done, AKA Duke Nukem Forever’ project. I’m aiming for less features now than when I started, and I’m spending very little time re-writing things. It is now just a matter of completing my vision, and there are very few unknown details yet to fill in.

Once again, please follow @chopper_2 on twitter to keep up to date.

Hopefully, it will be ready within the next couple of months. But it’s just me here… And I got fat sitting in front of my computer last year. This year I’m surfing more!

Hold your breath, it’s not too far off :)