Reflex – Dev Diary 75

It has been a very busy few days of development for Reflex. I have finished polishing the outro sequence and added in a short post-credits scene (it doesn’t hint at a sequel), and I’m entering the final stages of the game.

Firstly, following on from last weekend all the tutorials have been recreated as animated sequences replacing all the videos and stills used. This means that the Android version will also benefit from having animated tutorials!

The code for playing the sequences in place was a little tricky. GameMaker doesn’t give any control over the drawing process of sequences when using sprites (as opposed to objects), instead, they are just drawn during the usual layers draw event. The problem here is that the location of the tutorials is supposed to be on the GUI layer. Without it being on the GUI layer the tutorial is drawn behind the information panel and behind the full-screen blur – not useful. So, I had to use some clever scripting to tell the sequence to start drawing on a separate surface, and once that is done I could then draw the surface onto the GUI layer.

With the tutorials all done I turned my attention to adding the final level to the game and begin the testing process to try and work out the timings for the star ratings. It certainly took some doing. After about 30 attempts at completing the level I got it done in 460 seconds which is about as efficient as I think it could be done. My process is different to other players because I know how things should go. With this knowledge, I can hone the level progression so I can complete it in the shortest time possible. I usually then add a few seconds on top just to be fair. The last levels of World 5 however, I have kept the timings very tight. These levels are supposed to be tough.

Next up I wanted to make a few visual improvements. First up was the game title. Although I was reasonably happy with it I didn’t think it was visual enough. And so I played around with some fonts and the titles in Affinity Designer and came up with the new and improved titles:

I then had to go through every Steam asset to update them to the new style. These have already been pushed to Steam.

And finally, there was a shield pulse change for a later level objective (spoilers).


So, what’s next. Well, my playtester still has a number of World 5 levels to test; but for me, I will be spending the next few weeks just going through as much as the game as possible and seeing if anything needs a bit more polish. All being well the final release should happen on time at the end of March.

Oh, and I also need to make a new game trailer.