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Player Thoughts - Orbital Annihilation
  3rd February, 2019
After each release, an influx of a comment bombards the pages of the site, and we get to see what people thought of the game.

This week, RSKGames has decided to chip in, with thoughts of the gravity based, planet blasting game, Orbital Annihilation.

You can play Orbital Annihilation here.

RSKGames


In Orbital Annihilation the player has to wait till the planets are aligned at the right positions in the orbits to fire and destroy the selected planet. Takes a bit of patience and timing to get it right.


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Gameplay: It is easy to hit some planet but hard to hit the selected planet. The gravity of the planets and their influence on the missiles makes it very interesting to control the missile.


A lot of the game dev time was spent trying to find just the right amount of gravity, as well as speeds for the planets, and even the speed of the missile.
It could very easily have been a terrible game, but eventually things slotted into place, and I'm quite glad that they did. It would've been a shame to have scrapped this one!

The design decision to make some of the planets go off screen and give more score for hitting the planets late has made the game more balanced in terms of the difficulty. Once the correct planet is hit, I didn't see them destroyed and disappear, which I thought will happen.


I made the decision not to destroy the planets, mostly because it would've then made it much easier to target the remaining planets. I was tempted to have them scorch a bit, but having already drawn an additional overlay for the planets (the lovely shadow on the far side of the planet!) I realised it might be one graphical effect too many!
Maybe next time?

Graphics: The planets and the colorful missiles with its trail looks very good.


The planets make use of the Planet SpriteGen, but not as they are by default.
Instead, I got it to render as a texture, then cut out the circle myself.
On top of that is a second spherical sprite with highlights and shadow, so that the lighting appears correctly on the planet as it orbits the sun.

.. The sun's just a circle, though! Not sure why I didn't add a nice swirly texture to that!

Music: Totally different background from the normal AGAW music. I thought the space themed eerie background music along with the Radio voice over for ''Systems Engaged'', ''Target locked'' and ''Missile lost'' sounded great for the game.


Once I started playing the game, it was really obvious that it needed something a little different than the usual AGameAWeek jingle, and all those little vocal samples seemed like a good fit.
At one point I was going to add little character chatter and stuff like that, but I ultimately felt like it might slow things down, and eventually get a little overly repetitive.
Maybe I should've though..?!

Overall a very enjoyable game for playing and setting the highscores.


It's fun to try to get a nice big score, and although there's the obvious "random != highscore" issue to contend with, there's still a fair bit of skill involved.
It kinda reminds me of Yeti Sports, in that you sort of have control, but .. not really!!

In the end, it's just a fun little game, and hopefully that's good enough.
As always, thanks for playing

You can play Orbital Annihilation here.

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