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A Pointless Waste Of Time


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I was bored this afternoon, so I whipped up this, a dumb little 2D Robotron inspired game. You don't directly control a character, instead the player sprite will move to whereever you click the right mouse button, and shoot at whereever you click the left mouse button.


You have one life. For every enemy you kill, two more spawn in. How long can you last? What's the highest score you can get (scores get saved too)?


Note - this is obviously very, very rough. It shouldn't crash your machine, it shouldn't trash your drives, but is provided "as is" & I'm not responsible for any damage or problems caused by it.


No sound, no special effects, so the player & the enemies just wink into existance.


Feedback & high scores appreciated :) Does this feel like something worth expanding? First change would be proper "waves" of enemies instead of constant respawning.


Please don't distribute around as again, it's very very rough.



Removed dead link!

Edited by dogbert
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I suck. The highest I've been able to get thus far is about 4200. That was with allot of maneuvering around the screen. With the controls the way they are, I would increase the main ships rate of fire a little bit. It would help keep up with the hordes a little better. Of course if you plan to do full waves instead of them just spawning in, that may be a moot point. Even though it's rough, it's quite fun. :tu


EDIT: Also, not sure if this was ever an intenion but moving with the arrow keys of even with a WASD setup while changing you're shooting with the mouse would be interesting...(diagonal movement would be a problem though)

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It cries out for keyboard control, yup, but I wanted to keep it "mouse only" as a design challenge. Increasing fire rate is easy and definitely needs tweaked.


By the way, there's code in that's supposed to stop guys spawning right beside you, but it doesn't appear to be working as well as it should, that needs to get looked at. It supports more than one type of enemy as well, but that's disabled for now. Guess I'll get some waves implemented, and some effects for spawning/dying, and throw in some more enemies for some variety.

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Updated the archive with a "new & improved" version:


- player fires slightly faster.

- three different beasties: normal, slow, tough.

- simple particle effect added for killing beasties.

- beasties rotate to face the player as originally planned.


Click here to download the zip file (still ~650Kb).


Some concept of "waves" is next to be implemented, as well as making it a little more data driven.

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Just got a high score of 58000 with the new version. :l33t ;)


Read my spoiler in the first post for how I'm doing it. Also, it seems that you can get enemies to cluster up into tight groups if you move correctly.


And this would be a great game for the DS. :D


Edited to add: After about 20000 it seems like only reds are spawning for me.

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Heh, good scores, guys, sounds like the basic movement/firing is very exploitable thanks to the dumbness of the beasties. Hmmmm....


As for only reds spawning after a certain time, I know what's causing that, will fix it in the next build - there's a cap on the number of beasties active at any time & you've hit it at that score.


Do the particle effects get in the way? Are they worth spending time on?

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Do the particle effects get in the way?


Nope, rather like them myself.


As far as the exploitable beasties, Ryan hit the nail on the head. After about 1000 or so you simply point your weapon at the center and circle strafe around the screen and in and out of large clumps. I think when you start doing wave instead of large spawns, you'll eliminate this to an extent Brian.

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Fun little game.


Got 28800 on the new one using a variation of Ryan's Strategy. I'm sure I can got longer too, it starts to get a little easier after a certain point actually.


Edit: Just got 36600.


Don't know how far you've got in Bryan, but the guys really start to clump up pretty soon in, so for the most part you're only dodging a small swarm. In the last game I just kept moving and targeted any new guys around the perimeter that were in my way, any ones that I didn't shoot would quickly become a part of the collective swarm.


I'll break 100,000 tonight, I swear.

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I gave it a very brief try on my work p3-500, and the poor thing seemed to clear a difficulty hill around the 6,000 mark, as from then on there were enough monsters on screen that the game slowed to bit of a crawl, unfortunately. I'll give it another run on the home box, but I got the clumping thing happening just by my standard Robotron 'run away, run away' strategy, so there's definitely an issue there. A certain amount of randomised side-strafing from the bad guys should clean it up nicely, though.

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The weekend's looming... Changes that I'm aiming to implement are:

- wave data structure (spawn at point, spawn at time, beastie type)

- stop the beasties clumping together.

- different movement patterns for some beastie types (don't just head in the best direction).


By adding waves, I'll be reducing the number of beasties onscreen at any one time, which should help slowdown, and give the game some much needed variety. Waves are the first step towards the longterm goal of SmashTV style connecting rooms.


Any other suggestions/ideas/feedback?

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After some experimenting/thinking last night, the next build this weekend will have fewer enemies onscreen, but the enemies will be shooting back at the player. This is closer to the original Robotron/Llamatron and allows much more variety/challenge to the enemies, more than simple movement patterns was allowing me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a new build available from my website that features a bunch of changes under the surface and a new structure - the beasties now get spawned in waves at fixed positions, and the beasties shoot back at the player.


Right now, there's no way to see where a beastie is going to get spawned in, so it's possible to get killed by one as it spawns. This will change.


There are 11 waves defined, and when you reach the final wave, it loops back to the first wave for now.


Feedback is much appreciated.

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10,200 on my third run through Brian. Enemy firing speed needs slowed down as more waves come in. By the fifth or sixth wave all enemies were firing at a near constant rate and it was almost impossible to break through thier lines to get to a safe position. Required lots of moving in an out and felt more frustrating than fun. Slow it down a bit and you reach a happy medium IMHO. The only other thing I'd mention is being killed by a spawn-in but as you said, that's being fixed.


Love the waves though, alleviates the run around in circle and shoot in the center strategy.

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