Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ace Core: The Truth of Ace

Well just as title said, this post is about our (yes, "our" not "my") recently published J2ME game: Ace Core. We made this game for Agate Studio: Game Development War 2. Truth be told, I'm more excited about the game than about the competition. Since I had a grand idea on my mind!

So the game concept is quite simple. Armored Core + Ace Combat (that's the very reason we call it Ace Core!). We want to combine Armored Core's garage concept where you can assemble your own battle unit on your own from parts and Ace Combat's exciting missions where you should watch your enemies and comrades closely, on air or land. The game itself would be presented in 3D and that's the reason I'm preparing my own Android 3D framework (it's not done yet).

We entered Agate's competition so we had deadlines hanging on our head and we would be motivated to make the game. And for this competition, I made a lot of changes to the idea, and still hoping players would feel the existence of Armored Core here. We made the game as a Shoot'em Up game instead of 3rd person shooting or RTS. We made the game in 2D so we could make it faster so we could meet the deadlines. But we kept the garage concept where players can make their own ship (or battleship, or  even mothership) so players could see the resemblance of the game with Armored Core.

Yet because of time limitation, we can't make the game as awesome as I thought it could be. Given 2-3 months and a lot of feedback, I believe this game can be quite awesome! Here's some screenshot :)

Main Menu. Nice background found by Timmy :)

Profile selection. I want to add "console"-feelings here so people would feel like playing in a console instead of in his phone.

Garage. I think this is the main fun of the game. Just think how you could plan ahead for missions and winning them because you make the right choice of weapons.

The game. I want to make it as simple as Geometry Wars with stunning graphics and particles here and there, but failing at doing them. Mainly because I can't draw. Secondly, because J2ME doesn't support alpha and rotation.

Achievements. Haven't really thought about it.

Some problems we encountered while making this game: the game running quite slow. There're a lot of changes on data structures and algorithms used during the creation of this game. But I still had to keep them simple so I could port them to Android and iOS easily if I had the time. The other is contents. I can't made this Shoot'e up game as awesome as Touhou or Bullet Dance. One reason is J2ME doesn't support continuous image rotation (just look at Touhou, the bullet is rotating like crazy). The missions are too easy, still far from what I want them to be: hard, vary and balanced.

And BTW, who are "we"? We are me and one of the most awesome friend I've ever made, Timmy. Note that "awesome" here has a lot of meanings. Both of us doing the role of programmer and graphic designer. And we're part of the awesome Dongskar Pedongi team (just google it, we're awesome). Other members of Dongskar Pedongi are Karol, Ronny, Irvan, Raka, Kavin and Chris.

BTW again, why is the post in English? So we can pass Nokia Quality Assurance for the game :P

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