Other ToolsOther data editors were used to change the various game elements. This is a shot of the player editor, which allows us to change each player's appearance, what weapons will be used, interface elements, speed, shields and so forth:
The sprite viewer was useful for selecting images to use in a unit, and for testing the animation with a variety of special effects applied:
Music and SoundThe music was created by Ben Spees, of Ferazel's Wand fame, in Arizona. We were very pleased with the music, as it fit the tone of the game exactly. Unfortunately, we couldn't include all the music that Ben created, due to the size, but the extra tracks are available for separate download, in MP3 format. You can check them out here.
For sound and music we used Ambrosia Sound Tool and Spool Tool, by Andrew Welch and Matt Slot. These programming libraries provided fast, high quality sound effects and streamed music. We made particular use of the ability to change a sound's pitch on the fly, adding variety to the sounds and enabling us to quickly test different sounds in the editors.
Testing TimesThough lengthy, the testing process was a fairly smooth process with the game being stable throughout. We were lucky to have a good team of people, helping us to refine the gameplay. One big problem quickly became apparent - the weapons system. On paper it worked fine, but we had given players too many options, overwhelming them with choice. We removed the awkward weapon selection system, restricted the number of weapons and tailored the gameplay to better fit those weapons.
Many of our creations didn't make it through gameplay testing. Here are just some of the designs for the the Screw, sketched with an eye to using translucent and glowing parts:
And the final Screws, in-flight and preparing to attack. Sheryn designed the background palette to enhance the game's special effects:
Due to the extra work of Carbonisation and testing on OS X, we'd planned on releasing the OS X version after the MacOS 8/9 version. However, Andrew Welch was able to finish Carbonising in less than a week, allowing us to release both versions in one application.
ConclusionMaking Deimos Rising was quite a marathon, but a satisfying one. Working with good people made the process much more enjoyable, and the help and encouragement of friends and family was tremendous. Happy gaming!