Like I stated in my previous blog post, I wanted to implement a weapon bar that allows players to cycle through weapons for different situations. Well, I came up with what you see in the screenshot below:
You can see a couple things here (and ignore the red boxes, those are just there for development purposes). This screenshot shows off the player status bar (health, shields, weapon experience) as well as the weapon bar. The icons in the weapon bar indicate the weapon that will be used when that slot is selected. In the screenshot, I have the flamethrower selected (yea, it’s not totally obvious that it’s a fireball). I can cycle through the weapons by using the scroll wheel or pressing the number keys that correspond to the slot. For example, pressing “1” will select the first slot (which is empty here) and pressing “6” will select the last slot (which is a proximity mine). For now, the input is only keyboard based, but when I eventually try to release this game on Xbox Live Indie Games, I will be more concerned about the gamepad as well.
Now, the juggling part comes in because each weapon gains experience when used and when experience points are picked up from enemies, bosses, and puzzles. However, only the active weapon will gain the benefit of the experience gain. This adds a bit of choice regarding what you want to level up first because the experience isn’t shared! When you fill the experience bar for a weapon, it will be upgraded to a new level. This will give it a few possible benefits. It could be more damage, more ammo, faster fire rate, more projectiles per shot, or a shorter cooldown time. There are a lot of possibilities, and I’m still playing with them.
My next goal is to make the weapon types a bit more obvious. For example, the third weapon in the screenshot above is actually a rocket launcher (yea, that’s a rocket). The icons are hard to distinguish, so I am going to come up with a solution.