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ballblazer – in search of Space Monsters

Playing with new and old game concepts

I love messing around with new ideas.
Sometime last year I had the idea of trying to recreate a game that I adored as a youngster; Lucasfilm’s future sports classic Ballblazer.
It actually started to go very well in that I’d successfully managed to manipulate the “scanlines” such that they shifted left and right in proportion to the overall floor. The code for this isn’t complex and didn’t take long to implement. However, taking it to the next step – moving forward and backwards – highlighted a bit of a problem with my hasty coding.

I appear to have completely left myself with no options for shifting the grid in all directions and as such left myself with a problem. I’m sure I could have persevered but to be honest I’d become preoccupied with the idea of presenting a shoot ’em up over the top of this shifting grid.

What I thought would be cool was to have aliens above dropping their bombs and aliens in the distance waiting to slide forward once the current wave of aliens had been exterminated.
I also quite liked the idea of the saucer being implemented some way off in the distance and firing its missiles down the grid toward the player.
So from a gaming perspective the player had to slide left and right to avoid bombs falling down the screen as well as avoiding missiles coming at him from way off in the distance.
As you can see I didn’t get too far down that line of thought but I’ll certainly pick it up again once I’ve got the current batch of arcade games off the shelf and in to the portfolio.

HTML5 game identity crisis

I have this game that I’m dying to make in to something more than just bloody Space Invaders on a grid. I think I must have been a bit lazy and just fell back in to my default “ooh, create a shooting game” mode.
I initially wanted to launch missiles that careered off down the grid and hit objects in the distance – something like a submarine torpedo style game with battleships crossing the screen. But I don’t know I just found it to be a bit dull.

Perhaps there is a game in there somewhere but for the life of me I cannot identify it.

If any game designers out there can suggest a neat idea for how to use a horizantal shifting grid then please let me know. The only thing I’ll add is that I want to be able to shoot stuff :-)

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