Last time I wrote about Gravity Bomber, it was the halcyon days of 2019. I said at the time I was done with the game, which was built in Game Maker Studio 2. Since then, I’ve been married, my son has been born, a whole global pandemic has been and… well, it’s still here, and I’ve learned how to use Unity.
And I’ve rebuilt Gravity Bomber from the ground up. I’m so proud of the game that I’ve published it to the Google Play store!
Unity’s a powerful beast that makes Game Maker seem simple by comparison. Game Maker’s in-house language—GML—is documented in a way that feels educational. Unity, and by extension C#, feels like it was documented by sadists. But GML gave me a good starting basis, and Gravity Bomber was the perfect project to transfer across because I’d already put so much work into figuring out the logic.
I took the opportunity to maker some improvements to the Gravity Bomber formula:
- Graphically, the new game is lightyears ahead of the old version. Access to Unity’s amazing Asset Store, plus a few key learnings of my own about sourcing fonts and suchlike, means that the whole game has had a veritable lick of paint and looks much more professional.
- Unity makes building UI much easier, which has rather obviously resulted in much better looking UI.
- The new game is in 3D. The level layout and core gameplay hasn’t changed—it’s all still played on a 2D plane—but if the player doesn’t press anything or wins the level, everything starts to rotate in a very pleasing manner.
- Randomised levels just weren’t working as part of the core gameplay loop, so I removed them in favour of a system that randomised a lot of levels during development. The player now has 2,000 pre-made levels that crucially won’t repeat until all of them have been played once already (albeit in a random order). Very few players will ever see a repeated level, and any that do are unlikely to realise that they have.
- You can do trick shots for extra points! The same system of fewer shots = higher multiplier and hitting asteroids for points still exist, but they are now acknowledged on the win screen alongside the additional possible trick shots of completing orbits, straight shooting, and shooting backwards.
- The game now works as a primarily touchscreen game, following a shift to Android as the primary development device. Getting the touchscreen working with the existing buttons was surprisingly tough (and there are still a couple of outstanding issues) and I’m still not convinced that it’s the best way to play (the buttons are far more accurate), but it all works surprisingly well. The touchscreen controls can, of course, be deactivated from the options menu.
- The new game connects online to post high scores. I’m quite proud of this.
- It’s got a swear filter, which was fun to implement and which came about primarily due to the previous point.
I’ve got a really fun game now, that looks amazing and plays well and—most importantly—is available to purchase on the Google Play store! Buy it here!