Command and Conquer Rivals

command and conquer rivals

i’ve been playing a lot of C&C Rivals on the iPad. it’s the best RTS for iPad yet! they did an amazing job adapting RTS to small screens and touch input.

the unit cap is only six so you don’t have to worry about selecting and managing a lot of units at once and the whole map fits on the screen so there’s no fiddling around with scrolling. this all keeps things very focused on strategies with which units you bring into the match and which six units you have built at any given time. it’s great! there’s a lot of depth to the micro and unit counters so you’re always busy rotating units around to give them the best match ups. also instead of just taking out an enemy base you can take control over launch pads to charge them up and send a missile at the enemy base. this does a nice job spreading the focus around the map between bases, harvesters, and missile pads.

there is a bit of pay to win since people can spend a lot of money to quickly level up their units. but, it’s handled pretty well and things don’t get too unfair. the matchmaking does a good job of pitting you up against people with units of similar level and when you do get matched against a whale with high level units it becomes a “challenge battle” where there’s no penalty for you if you lose and a nice boost in medals when you win. this feels like a reasonable compromise where they can rake in the cash from rich kids wanting easy victories while subsidizing and not spoiling the game for the free to play people.

every day there are five “bounties” you can complete to unlock a loot chest. i look forward to doing these each day - it’s a simple trick to get you to keep playing but it works. 🙂 it takes about 10 matches to get through them and you can re-roll the bounties to get new ones if for example it wants you to use a unit you don’t like. i actually kind of wish you couldn’t re-roll and so were forced to try different units and tactics more. as it is i always just re-roll the bounties until they apply to my current GDI and Nod decks - then play 10 matches and i’m done for the day. after the bounties you get very little rewards (xp, gold, etc) so it doesn’t feel worth it unless really trying to grind your way up the ladder.

i made it into the top “tiberium” league in January (which it said was top 0.5% of players) doing just free to play. last season I didn’t get as far maybe because I kept trying to make bad builds work or maybe because more players came in. i may try just playing it all day some sunday and seeing if i can get back into tiberium before the current season ends. i’m playing the current meta GDI and Nod decks which is pretty boring but have a decent 70+% win rate so i should be able to grind up there.

anyway that’s my mini review and what i’ve been playing lately. 🙂

drawer

i made a little program that procedurally draws a bunch boxes with strokes that mimic hand drawn lines. i got a bit fancy with the occlusion and finding outlines and then producing an animation that builds up the lines in a way a human might.

the box arrangements are different every time it runs and come out looking like robot insects to me which i thought was kinda neat. 🐜 🤖 🙂

cables

playing with html canvas to make generative mop wizards 🙃

it’s very slowwww, back to native code for me.

ZeroVector - i made a shmup!

ZeroVector

i love playing shmups on the iPad and have wanted to try making one for a long time. i finally got around to creating one and it’s available now on iOS, Android, and Fire OS! download it for some fast arcade fun - it’s free!

apple app store google play store amazon app store

the game is a retro vector-display-style endless vertical space shoot’em up. you shoot down enemies in a series of waves with boss battles every 8 and the game gets harder and harder until you die. (just like real life!) you have three lives to amass the highest score you can. there are leaderboards for score, survival time, and number of waves so you can compete with everyone else in the world and see how well you can stack up.

your ship has a special “reversal” ability that can be used to get out of challenging situations and overwhelming numbers of bullets. it charges up over time and when ready you tap with a second finger (or double tap if you prefer). once activated all enemy bullets on the screen are reversed and turn into seeking rockets that hunt down enemies for you. this is really fun and i don’t think any shmup has done it before (do you know of any?)

in addition there are items that drop as you kill enemies. shields protect your ship from incoming bullets. EMP lasts three seconds and zaps all enemy bullets converting them into bonuses for you. bombs do instant damage to all enemies on screen and clears enemy bullets. you can stack double shields for deflector and stack double EMP for lightning attack. the items make it really fun and keep things fast paced and exciting.

right now there are two bosses. there’s a winged boss - like a big butterfly - that you can blow the wings off for extra bonuses and items or just focus on the center to kill faster. then there’s a snake boss that wiggles around while shooting out its sides and as you blow up it’s segments it gets smaller and smaller until getting really angry and going right at you. if you can survive to wave 32 you’ll face double snakes! :)

the enemy waves are procedural so each play through is a bit different. after each boss battle the play field changes and gets more colorful and busy helping to increase the difficulty as you progress.

i made it free so everyone who wants to can grab a copy and play with it. if you like it you can remove the ads for $1. and if you really like it you can buy me tacos in the store and help fuel future updates and additions!

there’s still lots with the game i’d like to add and improve. i tried to keep things pretty simple for the first version. i think it’ll be fun to add more bosses, new enemy types, achievements, and a campaign or unlockable missions. if you think of something fun you’d like to see in the game let me know!

happy shmupping!

Download for iOS Download for Android Download for Kindle Fire

screenshot screenshot

reaction diffusion

i made a little photoshop plugin for a reaction / diffusion simulation that’s guided by a source image. i thought the effect would be cool or something but it’s nothing to write home about. 😜

anyway, should anyone want it i posted it to: ReactDiffuse