home Dev Log, Steampunk Panic Creating Steampunk Panic (Part 4)

Creating Steampunk Panic (Part 4)


The purpose of these Dev Logs will be to share with everyone the creation process for Steampunk Panic. A way to look behind the curtain, so to say. Some of these Dev Logs will be simple, others will give plenty of in-depth explanation for how things work or why things were done the way they were.

Liquid Level Gauges


For the game timer, as well as notating how close the player is to activating the Fever Mode, we wanted to use liquid level gauges. So, we drew up some rough concepts for decoration treatments for the top and bottom of the gauge, different colored liquids … basically an idea of what it could look like:

Slow Mode Effect


On the left side of the device, the player has a timer gauge that starts full, each hitting round, and empties quickly. When the player has the Slow mode activated from the Slow button that pops up, we want to provide visual feedback to let the player know that the Slow mode is active. There will be a color shift on the background image that the device sits on as well as an effect on the gauge itself.

I personally like #1, #2, #3 and #8.

Since the Slow mode slows down the timer instead of locking it in place, most of these effects would cover the gauge too much and make it impossible to know how much time is left. Of course, with the timer going down so quickly (0.75 to 2 seconds), the player might not need to see how much time is left and just know that they can take it a little bit more slowly. Slow mode currently applies a 3x slowdown to the timer.

Fever Mode Effect


Likewise, the right side of the device has a gauge that fills up and can allow the activation of a Fever Mode. So, we tried some concept ideas for what the right side gauge could look like, when Fever Mode is active:

Since the Slow mode has an Cold/Icy theme, we opted for a Hot/Fiery theme for Fever Mode. Again, while Fever Mode is active, this gauge empties and when it is empty, the mode ends. There will also be a color treatment added to the background image that the device rests on.

For these, I prefer #4, #6, #7 and #8. But oh man, dat lens flair tho!

Iteration


With these concepts created, we can put them into the game to see if not being able to read the gauge really is a pain or not. If it isn’t needed, we can stick with a full treatment of the gauge. Otherwise, we will make the effect more transparent where the gauge is, to help with readability.

We could also try placing the effect on the edge of the gauge, or the top and bottom if we need another option.

Lessons Learned


If there are timer bars that the player can see, they shouldn’t be obscured by other UI elements unless the timer is actually disabled. Applying an effect on the bar still needs to let the player read the bar and determine how full it is.

Coming Up


I’ll be doing the work to get this game working on Android next, with all the iOS related features having an Android counterpart.

Also, same as last time, there are still a few extra button types I want to prototype, as well as an easier way for me to balance the game by stating how often and when button types can start appearing.

Leaderboard support and some server work will be happening soon as well.

Monetization is also still a thing and since this is a score chaser, there won’t be many options for me to pursue … most likely ads and an option to disable ads.

Since we like the art deco steampunk aesthetic, we’ll need to start looking into music options as well, perhaps electro swing?

I look forward to sharing more of this process with everyone over the next couple Dev Logs!