Hawks and Hair

Hard to believe it’s been over 3 months since my last update. July and August were very slow months since the kids were off school and there were weeks in between all their summer camp programs where they stayed home with me. It was a good summer and I enjoyed being able to spend more time tending to family matters. But it’s good to get back into full-time development.

I’ve made a lot of updates and improvements to try and reach a June release. I was hoping to have everything all done before the summer break. That didn’t happen, but the extra time did allow me to add various improvements and features that I had on my list. I’m currently doing polish for release now so I’ll keep this update short.

More Hawks

One mode I added to the game a while back was a Swarm Defense mode. Its purpose was to add a bit of variety to the gameplay instead of always fighting one on one with a human opponent. The original implementation had a very small swarm of hawks that would fly in and players would have to dodge them as they attacked sequentially with random attacks.  It succeeded in providing something different to break up the action.  But it wasn’t fun.  Actually, the whole mode just felt unnecessary.  Here’s a video of what the old Swarm Defense mode looked like.

In the original implementation, you can only dodge the hawk attacks.  But because of the time required to play the dodge animations, the hawks attacks happen very far apart.  That’s no fun!

So I decided to add more hawks and throw away the ability to dodge.  Why dodge when you can kick!  You’re supposed to be a master of kung-fu after all.  Gone are the swipe inputs, replaced with touch indicators that scroll across a rectangular pane.  Each indicator represents a hawk attack and you have to touch all of them before they scroll out of view.  Here are the results.

In my opinion, it’s a huge improvement.  Actually, I believe with more modifications, this could probably become a separate game on its own!  It offers a faster pace of action and it’s quite challenging.  It’s rare for me to complete this mode unscathed.

Messy Hair

The next update I’ll talk about is a small feature.  One of many things I thought of a while ago and put it on the very back of my priorities list.  It’s one of those features that are completely unnecessary but add a little charm and personality to the game.  I was probably burned out and just needed to work on something else for a few hours so I decided to implement this.  The hair for the player now gets messy as he takes hits.  Below  are images of what his hair looks like when it’s neat and messy.

This is the player’s hair at the start of the level.

3 or 4 hits later, the player’s hair becomes a mess.

The victory animations for the player has been changed.  The game will check if the player has messy hair and if so, it will play an animation to fix it before playing the normal victory animation.  I plan to add different hair styles and head pieces as free updates and they will probably require their own specific animations as well.

That’s all I’ll share for now.  My current work mostly involves final polish.  This includes adding missing sound effects and replacing temporary artwork.  I made some pretty big changes to enemy characters that I would like to share but maybe that will come in the next update.