February 04, 2009

Filler 2

I’ve been a little quiet lately–and crazy busy. I’ve got a few new projects to announce in the next few weeks, but the first of the bunch just went live. As of yesterday morning, Filler 2 is officially live on Shockwave! I started working on a new version in October of last year, and I think it’s fair to say a lot more time has gone into this one than the original. Changes include:

  • 100 Challenges, most of which allow you to jump right into a specific game scenario.
  • Optimized physics to support more balls onscreen in higher levels.
  • I rolled lives and balls into one, which was a point of confusion for some people in the first game.
  • The bonus timer is gone.
  • Improved graphics, with the ability too choose your ball and background.
  • I added the ability to freeze time–pressing “space” will freeze all the bouncy balls and make you invincible for short bursts. Your freeze time is replenished each level, and you get roughly 1/4 of a second per level.
  • When a ball pops, it now “explodes”–repelling any nearby balls. This can be used strategically on later levels to create void spaces.
  • There’s now a hard level cap at Level 50.
  • Past level 25, the bouncy balls will pick up speed every level to make things more challenging.
  • There are three difficulty settings:
    • On easy, you can’t die. This is more of a “relaxation” mode.
    • Normal is, well, normal. You get two more balls each level and limited amount of freeze.
    • Hard is closest to classic Filler. There’s no freeze time, and the balls are a lot more limited than the first game.
  • The game will automatically track some basic stats for you (average score, highest level reached, etc…).
  • A self-destruct button will allow you to end the game if you’re ready to submit your score.

This game also marked the first game I’ve ever done in Flash (as opposed to pure AS3, compiled with the Flex SDK). The vast majority of the code was still done in class-based files, but it’s really a lot easier doing menus and “screens” in Flash. My workflow going forwards will likely involve doing all my prototyping with the Flex SDK before moving on to Flash for the “fit and finish.”

The game will be an exclusive on Shockwave until May 3rd–I’ll be able to start distributing it more widely to the other portals afterward. In the meantime–everyone go play it on Shockwave!