(originally posted 25 May 2011)
This is one of the earliest screenshots I have of the game. Unfortunately I did not keep many screenshots of early versions. I was mostly developing the engine which either worked or didn’t, while the art was very much placeholder art which I was not interested in capturing for posterity.
The first thing I worked on was the pathfinding, as I knew that it would be the most CPU-intensive bit of code. I knew it was possible as other games had done it, but the tunnels added extra complexity.
So I think that’s what the above screenshot shows: enemies going from the starts (yellow) to the exits (black), ignoring the tunnels (red) which are too far off the path to be of use. There are no guns, although the code was in to place them: the curious graphic in the top-right corner is used to choose them. The other curious graphic, inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle, was used to select debug drawing, as seen in the following screenshot.
Guns are blocking all direct routes: they could not shoot at this point but were added to test the pathfinding. The shading is a debug feature: it shows the distance from the exit which the enemies use for navigating.
What’s interesting is how much of the game then is recognisable now, with the dimensions of the screen and size of game elements being the same. There are also five guns, with similar colours, though two not one then were half-sized.