Carbon @ The 2017 BGS Showcase

So yesterday I went ahead and did a thing by demoing Carbon for the first time at the 2017 BGS Showcase. Full of bugs, lacking major features like sound, and lacking any real objectives for the player, it seemed to go okay for the most part.

As it stands right now, Carbon randomly generates a large cityscape environment the player can pilot their GeoDyne Carbon mech around in. It also throws in eight randomly placed bases (icospheres defended by turrets) and some not-so-bright tanks that have a surprisingly decent shot at killing players.

Biggest takeaway from demoing it last night: my level generation code needs work. There’s a particularly nasty pseudo-while loop that was causing the build to crash pretty frequently when the player wanted to “play again” after dying. Fixing the loop is pretty easy, but I’m still not thrilled with how it’s building the levels in the first place so I’d rather come up with a better level generation system anyway.

Another thing is the bases don’t do anything other than give you a bunch of points when you destroy them. I made the weapons system in the game robust enough that I could create just about anything, so I’d like them to drop new weapon configurations the player could pick up (kinda like Star Fox). Health pickups and powerups could be cool too, but for now, pew pew pew.

I really hate the mech design. It had been bugging me for a while now, but after last night I’ve decided it’s gotta go. It’s too focused on being low-poly, and that detracts from the general vibe I want the game to give. Still gonna keep that low poly aesthetic to a degree, but just not quite so harsh. I really want the thing to look like a Pontiac Stinger with legs, and right now it’s very much not. This vibe applies to just about all the other art assets as well, so there’s probably going to be a revamp of them in the future.

On top of sound missing, the game really needs some explosions. In a game where your main method of interacting with the world is shooting things like tanks and turrets, it just feels better if they blow up, throwing weird polygonal bits everywhere. Not a terribly difficult thing to do, just something I passed on in terms of priority when getting it ready for the showcase.

All in all though, I think it went pretty well. It got way more play than I expected it too, especially when it was in the company of some way better looking and more polished titles. And the people that did check it out seemed to enjoy it for what it was, so that was nice. I’m not sure what I’ll fix/add next, but if you wanna check it out for yourself and play the latest version(s), you can grab it at carbon.hellocld.com.