A good day today, first off I wanted to clear up the cities. My cycle counter showed that to draw 6 on screen at once I really had to trim things down. I liked Cecil's but it had too many vertices, so I took some inspiration from the cities in Patriots by the eminent JD. :) They're functional, look OK and are real quick to draw!
This first photo shows the cities nicely. Flipped for the 2P. Yep, this game is designed to primarily be a two player game. I'm pretty confident there will be a nice puzzle element for the 1P game option, but that will depend upon whether the 2P style can be maintained with some cool CPU AI. Note the second laser emitter too.
The huge square is a blocker, this will be one of the features to provide variety on different levels. These will essentially be laser-proof barriers. Some will be destructible some won't. They won't often be this large, but I just wanted to check the concept. you can see the laser just dies when it hits it.
I wanted to finish off the objects so I could move more toward the game play, hence I add the Splitter. This is a simple T piece. A laser hits the T vertical and is split into 2 beams perpendicular to the incident beam. In programming terms I kill the beam and spawn 2 new ones. This reduced beam wobble and gives me a chance to align both 2nd gen beams with each other more accurately. As you can see in this second photo, whilst the beam is indeed split to 90 degrees of the incident the spitter sprite is not currently rotated. I've no doubt I'll sort that out later, but for the moment I didn't want to waste the RAM. (Still need to reclaim the RAM spent on the sun, but I'll leave that for a dull day.) I'm pretty happy with the splitter, since my code was sufficiently modular that I was able to add it in only a few lines. In fact it was so easy I thought I'd add another object just for the fun of it. I hadn't planned to use it, so we'll see how it features in the final game, but I think it looks pretty cool.
This third picture shows the extra object.. the Prism. A nice refracting effect, and I think it will greatly increase the sophistication of game play strategies.
Visual alignment is not yet perfect, but that's because I wanted to get the code working rather than the cosmetics. It's a trivial thing once I determine how I want to sort the rotation. I'm thinking I may differentiate between the prism and the splitter, by only permitting rotation on the splitter.
The final pic looks rather busy, this is showing the game concept coming together nicely. Here we can see the original laser coming up from the bottom of the pic where it strikes the splitter. It branches left and right. The left beam simply hits a mirror and collides with city #1. The right beam hits a further prism which splits the laser into 3 beams. Nicely clipping cities #2 and #3. This would be a good result if it were being played for real here.