Ultimate Lame Ship Game is probably the most insane side scrolling shooter ever designed. Your mission is to seek out mankind's mortal enemies, the Failiens, and destroy them, eventually scoring 999 trillion points to attract the Failien Overlord's attention!
Intense pick up and play sidescrolling action!
Achieve ridiculously high scores, up to 2 quadrillion!
A plethora of useful and crazy powerups, ranging from Quad Damage to Cillit Bang!
Multiple offline game modes (Single Player, Lame Survival, Duel, Co-operative) and up to eight player online play!
A large selection of unlockable Challenges!
Many Achievements for you to earn!
An Intergalactic Mall, where you can spend your hard-earned Achievement Points and Medal Points on new ships, ship designs, challenges, and more!
Many gameplay elements inspired by various crazy Internet phenomenons and other classic games!
And much more to come...
Not gone off to conquer some distant galaxy, or conquer some astronomically difficult univerity assignment, nope - I'm still here, bags of free time, working on ULSG. Mindnumbingly repetitive, but it's going smoothly.
Just one thing I've noticed though:
Sorry. Please don't go.
I wanted to know exactly what made it was so big, so I did something intelligents. I ran the executable, found and copied the temporary files somewhere else, and ran WinDirStat on that folder, to see what exactly was using the most space. That was extremely handy. Although the results weren't totally surprising:
It's the music. Would've been my first guess. I'm amazed at the amount of space it's taking up, though. I'm gonna check it all, and knock everything I can down to 96kbps or less - that should help. Not your ears, no, the file size. And your download limit, if applicable.
Another thing I've noticed, for quite a while now, if I'm honest... ULSG profiles aren't encrypted. Anyone even mildly intelligent could probably illegitimately level up to Level 800 million. Again, back when I implemented profiles in V11, I was young and foolish, and also didn't know the Ini++ extension existed. I'm gonna trust y'all not to cheat. If you want to unlock three of the super ships faster, or if you want more AP to buy everything in the I-Mall, then... meh, I don't really mind. I'll be putting profile encryption in V14, though!
Anyway, I'll get this file size down, note that in my "lessons learned" book, and get some more work done on V13. See ya soon!
Almost free... one more university assignment to go, and I'll actually have time to devote to ULSG. However, there is one teensy tiny gigantic problem that's been bugging me for quite a while now.
Most of the following is just me thinking out loud, so if you don't really want to read through it all, I'll sum it up here: I'm a bad coder and I'm thinking of finishing V13 quickly, and starting V14 from scratch. If you want to know exactly why, read on.
The code is nightmarishly bad, and in desperate need of refactoring. Events are everywhere, some features don't appear in all modes... heck, I haven't even made use of global events or global objects! I didn't know those things existed when I was first developing ULSG, and now it's haunting me. :/ Just goes to show how important it is to plan things out, but I was young and foolish back then.
The code doesn't only affect how efficiently I can work, though. Somewhere in there, it's having a massive effect on the gameplay, and I don't quite understand why. On my PC, it's fine everywhere, but on slower computers (like the ones at uni), the framerate is pretty bad. The weird thing is, the framerate ONLY drops in Quadrillion Mode, BEFORE you hit the score cap. If you play a Challenge, it's fine. Or, if you hit the score cap in Quadrillion Mode, the framerate immediately shoots to 60. This confuzes me - I can't really think of what it could be.
So, I'm thinking of getting all the current features completed and releasing that as V13, and then almost completely scrapping the code and starting again from scratch for V14. This means that V13 won't include everything I wanted to add, and may have some quite annoying issues on lower-spec machines. However, you'll be able to play V13 earlier, V14 will be much better, and if you're a fan, you'll have something else to look forward to. If I DON'T do this, though, V13 will have all the planned features, but it will take a while yet, and might still have some issues on release. Hmm.
It's a pretty difficult decision for me, but I'm probably going to stick with my gut, and get V13 finished off quickly. I don't like half-finishing a project, but I think it's better this way - the less I do, the less I'll have to scrap and recode when I start V14. Does anyone have any thoughts? They would be welcomed muchly. For now, though, I'll try to get to grips with my old code, and see what needs to be done.
In other news, the MySQL databases which store high scores for ULSG and ULSG: Overdrive have vanished (again), and the data was lost. It's a free service, so I can't really complain, but it's still annoying. I've gotten myself a different host, and I've modified the PHP scripts so they point to the new server, so you should be able to submit your ULSG: Overdrive high scores now. Sorry if you had a ultra-high score or anything.
I've still been updating some old Challenges to allow you to use equipment in them. Ninja Skillz and Four Minutes are now updated, and I'm working on 21 Seconds. I think I may change 21 Seconds, because it is a little, um... what's the word? Oh yeah, rubbish. Not sure what it'll become, maybe it'll be like Four Minutes, but just for... 21 seconds.
I've also figured out what I should change the L.A.U.R.I.E Drone to, finally. I've no idea why I didn't think of it before, but here's a hint:
Speaking of Duke Nukem, the Balls of Steel powerup has been modified a bit. It looks a tiny tiny bit smoother, because the movement of the balls is now done using FORMULAE. Yes, before, I had an ANIMATION of a Ball of Steel spinning around a point. Dirty, but functional. Now I'm learning traditional languages, I've gotta get used to this kinda thing.
I've also got to modify that horrendous Supply Ship. It's a nice idea, but it's a NIGHTMARE to dock, then choose what you want while keeping an eye on the health and fuel of the ship, then it's pretty much impossible to undock without breaking your combo or crashing. Maybe I could make it so that it freezes time when you're in there, but then there's not much point in the health bar. I'll have a think about it.
I've noticed there's also some tweaking to be done to the Awesometer; that bar at the bottom right that gives you up to an extra 100x multiplier. I don't like the way it goes to 10x, then shoots up to 100x when you max it out. I'll probably make it so that the multiplier increases by 1 when you destroy an enemy instead of it increasing when you hit the markers on the bar.
That's all for this update. Oh, by the way, if you haven't already, give ULSG: Overdrive a try!
So, I've been working on getting the equipment you buy in the Intergalactic Mall to work in Challenges. And, it's been... okay, really! Not as bad as I thought it would be, but still kinda painful.
Right now, only the Fruit Frenzy Challenge has full support for all your Mods and Drones... sort of. Certain Mods won't work, such as Limit Break (since you can't die), Choclit Duplicator (since there is no Choclit Rain in the Fruit Frenzy Challenge) and so on, but you can choose any ship and any drone you like.
Here's me using Platypus and the T.O.U.R.E.T.T.E.S Drone:
I tried it with the Alien Cruiser for a laugh, but, heh, yeah, that's not such a good idea. Next, I'll update the Ninja Skillz Challenge, and go from there.
In other news, I've done a few optimisations and changed a few graphics. Most significantly, there are new combo graphics!
Big improvement from the old ones, IMO. Looks nicer, the animation's smoother, and less memory is used, too. That's about as far as my artistic skillz go, though.
That's all for now. I'm back at university now, but I'll try to keep updating.