Dark Defender: 1.0 Public Beta

Introduction

Dark Defender is my second game inspired by an old arcade. This time, as the name suggests (because my imagination is just that bad) this game is based off of Defender).

IMPORTANT NOTE

This is an early public beta. I expect there to be inconsistencies. I will do my best to make this game better, but please be patient.

The Basics

Fleets of alien abductors are slowly invading planetoids inhabited by humans. Your task is to clear as many planetoids as you can of alien abductors and kill as many of their motherships as possible.

Gameplay

Movement

Dark Defender is a constantly horizontally-scrolling game. This means that you will always be moving left or right, depending on your direction.

Press left or right to change your heading. Your heading will also automatically change when you reach the edge of the current planetoid.

You can change your speed in one of two different ways:

You can move up and down by holding the up or down arrow keys. Up-down motion is also affected by your speed. You will hear your ship touching down if you get to ground level.

Your Combat Array

Your ship is equipped with a projectile weapon. If you press the spacebar, it will fire towards the direction you are currently facing. Your bullets have a limited range, but they do have a very simplistic short-range heat-seeking system that will lock on to enemies if they get close enough to them. This is especially helpful because it lets you fire towards enemies that are slightly above or below you.

Your combat array has a radar which will continuously beep if you are in a position in which you could hit an enemy. Remember that you still have to turn to face the ship you are trying to fire at. Your combat array will also warn you if there is an enemy bullet in a direct intercept course with your ship, give you some time to quickly climb or dive to avoid it.

Astronauts

Scattered throughout the level, there are a bunch of humanoid astronauts. These will be the targets of the abductors, and your job is to protect them.

Course of the game

The game is split into levels. The higher the level, the more humanoids and abductors on the screen. A level is complete when all the abductors are dead and as many humanoids as possible are on the ground. If no humanoids die in the course of a level, you will get a substantial score bonus.

As has been stated before, your job is to protect the humanoid astronauts. Abductors will lock onto the nearest humanoid and dive down towards them to catch them. The best and easiest way to destroy an abductor is when it is diving down towards a humanoid, but it has not gotten to it yet. But remember, there are multiple ships on the screen at once, and of course, one ship might take you a few seconds, which another ship may use to start an abduction.

Abductors take more than one shot, and if you hit them once, unless they are carrying out an abducion, they will start targetting you and shooting every few seconds.

Abductions

If an abduction happens, and your abduction warnings aren’t off:

Once a humanoid has been abducted, the abductor will fly straight upwards. If it reaches the top of the screen, it will mutate and turn into a stronger version of an abductor, which will target you and only you, and fire faster than a regular abductor.

if you destroy an abductor that is carrying an astronaut, you will have a chance to rescue it. The humanoid will fall straight down from where the ship exploded. Make sure to fly fast and run tight circles to catch it. When you have the humanoid, set it back down on the ground by touching down at any point in the map.

Death

If you get hit by an enemy bullet, you will lose one of your ships. You start with 3 of these and can get more from items. If you die, you will start from the beginning of the current level.

Motherships

At the end of every second level, there will be a mothership battle. When you hear the mothership warning, fly around the map until you find it. But be careful!

A mothership, although quite slow, fires very fast and can always shoot towards you. You will need decent piloting skills to deal with these.

If you manage to destroy a mothership, it will separate into 5 mini-ships, which will appear over a course of time somewhere around you. These ships can’t fire as fast as the mothership can, but they are faster and can very easily swarm you. Be quick!

Items

Once in a while, you will hear an item falling somewhere near you. You can catch these just as you would an astronaut, although they are faster and thus harder to get. An item can contain one of several things, discussed below.

Hyperspace Jumps

A hyperspace jump allows you to jump to a random point of the screen. This may be useful to escape a very dangerous situation, but remember that you cannot choose where you end up!

You start with 3 hyperspace jumps. Press F to activate one.

Shield

If you collect a shield item, characterized by a power-up sound that proceeds into a humm that goes on until the shield goes down, will protect your ship from hits for about twenty seconds. Your shield generator will need to drain energy to divert hits, which means that you will lose a little bit of your shield time every time you do get hit while it is active.

Extra Ship

An extra ship, as the name suggests, will give you one more ship (or life) to play with.

Turbo Fuel

Your turbo engine allows you to temporarily gain a much higher acceleration and slightly increases your maximum speed for as long as it is active. One batch of turbo fuel will give you a few seconds of usage. To use your turbo, hold down shift for as long as you want to have it active.

RapidFire

This item increases the firing rate of your weapon. Instead of being limited by time, you will get a set number of rapid fire shots. Use them sparingly.

Smart Bomb

A smart bomb will disintegrate any enemies around you. It will not clear the whole screen, so make sure to position yourself right so that the area of effect will include the ships you want destroyed. Humanoids will still be dropped from ships which are currently abducting.

You start the game with one smart bomb. Press B to activate one.

Other keys

Known issues

Credits

This game could have not been developed without the help of a few people whom I would like to personally thank: