Electric Release!

After two years of on-and-off Valve-Time development, Electric is finally up for whoever wants in on Indie DB! I’ve chosen Indie DB as my distribution platform to reach a wider audience, and to save on bandwidth on my self-hosted server. For the first time ever, I actually released a full game!  Also, now that I can do other things without the guilt of not doing Electric, I’m going to start doing other things, like continue to learn Unity!  <The sound of those weird party whistle things!  Also confetti!>

I still plan on maintaining Electric, but for this release anyway, all new Electric stuff will be put up on Indie DB.  If you have a bug report, submit it by “contacting” me from Indie DB.  If something new comes up, I’ll probably do a quick post here linking to it, but the main attraction will be there.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience, such as:

  • Get someone else to make graphics for you
  • After hard-coding a whole game (even in BASIC), Unity looks really good
  • Actually good AI is kind of hard
  • Multiplayer is really hard (though I actually learned that from something else, just during Electric’s development time)

And so much more!  Also I learned that “laser” is spelled “laser” and not “lazer.”  I wish I’d caught that error earlier.

I do plan to revisit Electric in the future.  As in, for a while, until I get actually good, that’s probably all I’ll make.  I figure that the best way to get good at making games (for me, anyway) is to just get really good at one kind of game (like how Code Masters is with racing games or Valve with FPSs), and then figure out what I learned from that to apply to other things.  Next up is the Unity engine, maybe still 2D, the idea being that I can transfer the logic fairly easily (translating from BASIC to C#, of course), unless it turns out to be more trouble than its worth, what with C# being so much more flexible (meaning that a direct translation would be stupid), and the fact that I don’t need to deal with drawing functions (meaning that a direct translation would be even more stupid).  But I’ll worry about that later; I plan on getting very familiar with Unity before I start on a big project like that, so you won’t be seeing that any time soon.  Nothing is set in stone, anyway.

The change log is short for this one.  Normally I would use bullet points, but there’s so few of them that it doesn’t really matter, so I’ll just list them.  Graphical bugs involving the trees in the background have been fixed, when a plane blows up pieces fly out, and the damage of the charging weapons has been cut in half because they were WAY too powerful before.  Some issues with setting controller axes have been fixed, but if you have a joystick with a throttle control, I still recommend having it set to around 50% so that it doesn’t assume that you want the throttle to control everything.  Overall, it’s functionally pretty much the same as before.

One more thing, on an unrelated topic: rando posts.  I’ll get around to it reeeeaaaal soon.  Bad life sim things that middle and high schools put kids through sometimes.  Classics.  And then, a round-up of things I’ve learned about these things since.

Last but not least (the previous item was least, for the weird people like me who were wondering): happy new year!


Electric RC 2

Sorry, we’ve been running Valve time with this one (no we haven’t – it got released eventually), but Electric RC2 is out now.  It’s actually been mostly done for a little while, but a bunch of time got taken up with school projects and the like.  So, here’s the new stuff.

  • Background textures have much fewer glitches around the edges of the woods
  • The aimer mod doesn’t lie (for real this time)
  • Flare packs now include 3 flares
  • Various frame rate bugs fixed
  • The installer is about 2/5 the size it used to be
  • The installer has the correct icon

Electric RC

Most of this happened over Fall break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas break.

RC is out, and it’s different.

  • Main menu and Options menu have cool new background, plus the text is less ugly
  • Other menus, the HUD, and the market have a brushed steel background
  • Added a random forest in the battlefield and a river*
  • Added menu and game music
  • And thus music volume controls
  • Added more functionality to controllers other than the mouse & keyboard (controllers can now toggle weapons and mods)
  • added the cruise missile – very powerful and has a blast radius, but very expensive too.  Also, it doesn’t require a direct hit, it just blows up once it reaches the closest point to its target along its trajectory.
  • removed BVR scope – suffered from uselessness and a huge bug that would have been very difficult to fix
  • replaced it with flares – confuse incoming missiles, but aren’t guaranteed to work
  • with “really good” AI, other planes can use the market (with limited selection)
  • AI planes will only fire primary weapons when within a radius of the distance between your plane and the left edge of your screen
  • Added those wing tip trails (fancy graphics only – sorry, netbook people.)
  • Boosters last 3 seconds
  • Boosters and flares are stackable
  • Speed now reads in mph (the plane’s top speed is 645.5 mph)

Electric Beta II Patch

To follow up the discovery of the performance bug on Friday, a patch has been released for Beta II which fixes the slow, inconsistent speed that was plaguing Electric ever since controller support was added.

This patch does NOT include any other changes or enhancements that have been added in the development branch since B2 was released. We just thought it would be nice to give B2 a chance to provide its original feature set at full speed, so it was mainly done for historical purposes. However, if you’re forced into running B1.1 due to performance issues, you may now finally upgrade to B2.1 without experiencing any meaningful speed drops!