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The manly man respects his fellow human beings. While physically capable, the manly man understands that one's worth can't be measured in combat skill alone. He has the greatest respect for scholars and technical experts who have mastered necessary skills that he himself lacks. He is patient with children, and respectful of the opposite sex. The manly man romances women he finds particularly intriguing, and given the appropriate mutual consents, will do her tenderly and satisfyingly right up the Edith Piaf. And she will love it.

The macho man feels that anyone who can't knife-fight their way out of a giant kraken's embrace probably deserves to die, and when technical skills are required, will put the nearest appropriate boffin in an armlock like an overgrown school bully and force him or her to do the work. The macho character thinks girls are icky and avoids them where possible out of fear of cooties, or out of fear that her grotesque Emmeline Pankhursts will somehow suck in and consume his masculinity. The nearest thing the macho man gets to physical intimacy is having communal showers with his equally oversized buddies in between armed conflicts. While no sexual horseplay will occur at the time, he will probably be thinking about it later when he jerks off. Really angrily.

Anyway.

I'm sure you'll be absolutely thrilled to hear that my proof of concept for Fun Space Game: The Game continues slowly, after a few weeks of neglect because enemy projectiles were phasing through solid objects - a fairly vast problem for a game based around hiding and evasion - and I was too proud to ask someone for advice. Pride I eventually swallowed, and the Unity 3D forums helpfully explained to me the concept of a "rigidbody."

The last time I updated you on the gameplay I explained that I found the best way to make it interesting was to force the player to maintain a constant speed. But this created a new problem once the enemy ship was functional. The idea of the game is that you have to hide from the weapons of the bigger, better-equipped enemies, but maintaining the constant speed made it extremely difficult to effectively take cover when you had to constantly swing the mouse back and forth to stay in approximately the same place.

To combat this, I restored the Brake function that allows the player to come to a complete stop. But wait, I hear you cry, surely that negates the constant speed solution? Well, I also added an Engine Temperature system. When the protagonist's ship stops, the engine begins to freeze, which eventually saps shield power. This creates a frugal limit on how long they can spend in cover, allowing for more tense and effective gameplay while implying that the player character's spaceship is in severe need of a tune-up, which helps the story I have in mind.

So that sorted that out. Next job: Storytelling engine!

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer, who are too important to mention us. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

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