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October 31, 2014, 04:16:59 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytesting*released* Plasma Pig: one button orbit defense
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Author Topic: *released* Plasma Pig: one button orbit defense  (Read 4937 times)
RichMakeGame!
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« on: August 30, 2010, 07:11:36 AM »

I've released PlasmaPig!
http://www.greatgamesexperiment.com/game/PlasmaPig

here's a screen:



PlasmaPig is an action game like no other! Take control of PlasmaPig, protecting the Pig Motherships by smashing the invaders of RoboHog!

Unique one-button control: spacebar switches your orbit around the Motherships, and by holding it you can boost yourself into hyperspace, causing even more damage to those Hog invaders! Watch out for Shield Hogs though, you can’t damage them unless you get them from their unguarded side..

__________
Ok so the premise is a challenge to myself to design a game with one-button input, and the method I came up with was you travel around these circular force fields, and change circles by pressing space bar when the character is over the small green 'connecting' circles. Your accuracy in timing these presses will increase a 'score multiplier' bar, and also increase the speed of the character. If you miss, the bar falls and so does the speed.

The aim of the game: destroy the robo-hogs which are advancing and chewing on the force field circles, eating their power. If you let any of the force fields dissapear it's game over. There's one more complication- some of the incoming robo-hogs have shields, and must be destroyed from hitting them on the unguarded side.

CONTROLS:
switch circles: press space when over the smaller turquoise double circles
speed up: hold spacebar
switching circles gains fuel to use boost

powerups
some power ups appear to help you:
heal: this heals whichever force field you are orbiting
slow: slows down the advancing ships
fireball: this allows you to destroy shielded enemies from any direction, and increases your destruction range
explosion: bomb effect



« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 01:19:17 PM by RedProdukt » Logged

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ortoslon
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 08:04:24 AM »

the game starts too easy for me and the first level seems too long (i quit the game before finishing it so i haven't seen other levels).
i didn't feel the incentive to play better early, possibly because the scoring isn't explained well.
the powerups are boring (only 'heal' makes me change my tactics significantly).
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:21:40 AM »

thanks for your feedback!
hmm, yes I'll start by shortening the introduction level. I've kept it easy to get players used to the mechanics, but i hear you that it goes on too long. I think the powerups get much more useful as the levels get harder and you come across more shield enemies, so I need to get more people into the later levels

cheers!
EDIT: new version:
http://www.redprodukt.com/testing/pigs_beta_02.exe

changes:
first level about half length
difficulty ramps up quicker in later levels
player moves a bit faster
multiplier bar fixed to screen
current multiplier displayed on bar
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 09:28:07 AM by RedProdukt » Logged

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ortoslon
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 02:56:53 AM »

difficulty feels better now.
bug: the game starts with a launcher window but resolution changes don't take effect.
shields work weird: you have to move not only in the unprotected direction but also on the same circle that the enemy is on. this creates much annoyance on later levels where enemies are often on intersections of circles.
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 03:55:21 AM »

hi ortoslon- thanks, could you give a little more info about the resolution thing? it doesn't use the desired resolution when you choose one? is that in windowed, fullscreen or both?
hmm :/

i agree about the shields, it's the simplistic way they're designed. I'll look into allowing you to break them when on a seperate circle to reduce the frustration

good feedback!

ps, if you have any gameplay suggestions to make it more enjoyable I'd love to hear
-rp
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ortoslon
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 05:03:52 AM »

fullscreen settings work as intended but windowed is always 640x480 regardless of my setting.

suggestion: more fun powerups, like a temporary gun that fires straight bullets in the direction you're facing, or a temporary thing that bounces enemies away into other enemies, or a "confusion" powerup that makes all enemies abandon their circles and move to other circles, or a temporary twin that starts moving in the other direction and responds to same controls (then, you should only reduce multiplier when neither you or the twin are over small circles). also, more fun enemy types, though i can't think of any right now
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 07:32:01 AM »

thanks for the ideas! I'm going to look at more powerups after I've finished mucking about with the core mechanics some more:

I've made a small but significant tweak to the gameplay: I felt that the original idea I concieved had much more timing in it, and that had been lost a little. I wanted something for the player to do even if there was only one ring which the enemies came to, so:

I've made it so the player must tap space to kill an enemy

to compensate for the difficulty increase, there are less enemies in the earlier levels. Personally, I find this version more interesting to play, because I have to concentrate on killing enemies as well as switching circles. This adds dillemas such as: almost killing all the enemies on one circle, but needing to go to another- do you go round another time but leave the other enemies eating a force field, or leave an enemy on there to go kill the others. you need to weigh up the type of enemy, because the big guys do more damage than a little guy.

exe:
http://www.redprodukt.com/testing/pigs_beta_03.exe
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 02:02:14 PM »

new version:
http://www.redprodukt.com/testing/pigs_beta_04a.exe

main changes:
-player now slowly heals ‘current circle’ all the time
-new ‘inner forcefield’ to help represent health
-enemies have indicators when in range, and crosshair when you’re over them (this doesnt indicate if you can kill shield enemies yet)
-enemies fire ray beams at the stations to indicate attacks
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 02:49:41 PM »

how do! sorry to spam the thread so much, but there's a new version:
http://www.redprodukt.com/testing/pigs_beta_06.exe

changes:
this version is back to a pinball type mechanic where the ship 'bashes' into enemies by itself, with one key change:

- hitting the 'switcher' circles builds a 'fuel' bar
- hold the space bar to use fuel and accellerate your ship, and increase your multiplier
- baddies now have health and you only damage them a little when moving slowly. charge up to max speed to kill them in one hit!

additional changes:
exclamation mark warning sign when station health goes below 50%
new coloured trail and effects dependant on your current 'level' of speed

thanks!
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ortoslon
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 07:14:24 AM »

i like v6 much more but: it feels wrong that when i press the button while on a small circle and keep holding it, booster isn't used
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starsrift
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 09:17:33 AM »

Difficulty curve felt insanely high, took me several tries just to get through level 1, and the second one seemed impossible, and after a runthrough with me getting up to high speed and getting the blue flame powerup, I just gave up on it for a while, then came back and finally beat it. The ship feels like it's a bit too slow at default speed - on the second level, it couldn't even catch a health powerup that spawned on the opposite side of the large lower left circle, even though it was only half the circle away - and it made me wonder if you're adjusting for different computer speeds properly.

I realize you're trying to hold to a one-button input, but the same button used for switching circles and speeding up is problematic, especially if you tap the button (wanting a speed maintenance) the game thinks you're trying to engage a circle switcher, and immediately removes all speed.

I like the idea and the graphics, it seems very cool. Hope to see more :D

Also: Update your first post, I wound up downloading 3 versions of it!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 09:41:34 AM by starsrift » Logged

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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 07:13:36 PM »

ortoslon: good point, I'll look at adding that! thanks Smiley

starsrift: hmm that does sound wrong :/ maybe I am making an error somewhere with the speed, unfortunately I only have access to one PC so its a bit tricky to diagnose :/

is there any way I can artificially slow down my own machine to test this sort of issue?
(firs post updated Wink, sorry bout that )

edit: starsrift: any chance you could do me a huge favour and time how long it takes you to go round the big circle in level 1 at lowest speed?
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 03:26:36 AM by RedProdukt » Logged

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starsrift
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 03:49:17 PM »

Can do, though I'm not sure I can be precise enough to give a meaningful measurement!

Takes 6sec to traverse the first large circle on the first level (that you start on).


After playing it more, I've realized that the best thing to do is speed up and switch early, switch often, for more fuel, which made the whole game a lot easier, but it made the control scheme more problematic especially on later levels with lots of switches when you don't want to switch, you want to speed up, but because it's the same button it's rarrrgh. Smiley
It may just be that difficulty curve. But I must repeat, I find this game very charming! :D
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2010, 02:16:57 AM »

thanks! I'll check that out, see if its what I get. I've been making a lot of difficulty modifications so if that was the correct speed, I hope it should be a lot easier to get up momentum now Smiley I'm also adding a speed up powerup to help boost players..

also, I've added ortoslon's suggestion of allowing the player to hold boost after they've hit a switch circle, so it should be less frustrating to build speed with that in place.
will update on the game speed issue!
cheers!
RP

update: I get 6 too... phew, im kind of relieved its just me fucking up the gameplay values and not the game time :D
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 02:29:45 AM by RedProdukt » Logged

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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 03:17:01 PM »

Update time!
latest exe:
game is released!
http://www.greatgamesexperiment.com/game/PlasmaPig







Main change stuff:
- graphical improvements
- difficulty curve adjustments
- can press and hold to boost even when triggering switcher circles
- music
- err, lots of game tweaks I can't remember to list

thanks!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 03:51:22 PM by RedProdukt » Logged

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ortoslon
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2010, 09:17:37 PM »

i like how hard beta7 is. i don't like ingame music though, it's too cheesy. title screen music is okay.

now that you've named the game, time to modify the thread topic
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2010, 09:38:11 PM »

this is a very cool game but it's very hard, I hardly knew what was going on. i had to read a few of these posts to understand you needed to hold down space..maybe pack in a readme file when you're closer to finished with the game.

music was a bit irritating, sorry to say. it's not a bad track, but it's a bit loud and repetitive.
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010, 01:25:40 AM »

daww, ok maybe it needs another track which alternates every other level, I hope that would help the repetetive nature. I'm kind of happy for it to be cheesy tho ;P. I kept it short for download size reasons mainly.. what's an ideal size of download I wonder? I don't want it much bigger than it's become

yeah and a tutorial screen is badly needed, I've been putting it off in favour of more fun stuff, but it's hurting things for new players by the sounds of it so that's next on the list. maybe a 'tips' section too on the ready screen
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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2010, 06:10:05 AM »

I haven't read the previous replies so I may be a bit redundant in my thoughts, but here they are nonetheless. (Copy and paste from my front page comments).

Very pretty and potentially very fun. I would like it better if I could determine the outcome of success better, right now it seems that in order to survive you have to hope for a good powerup. Maybe tweaking how the boosts work because in order to build your boost, you have to switch nodes which also potentially removes you from where you need to be to cause damage. I was thinking maybe tapping the switch when not near a node would switch directions. Then you could feel a bit more like you're in control.
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RichMakeGame!
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2010, 04:02:11 PM »

thanks for the comments!
latest beta is available:
game is released!
http://www.greatgamesexperiment.com/game/PlasmaPig

changes:
one more music track for variation
various menu updates, useful stats, updated graphics
balancing changes including:
more enemies
enemies have less health
enemies do less damage

which should make for more franetic but not more difficult gameplay (i hope)

This is probably my last test version before release, so if anyone has any last feedback, get it in now! I really want to hear how you find the difficulty curve and general experience, and what could use the final polish

tyronehenrie:
I've made killing baddies a bit easier, not sure if that'll help your sense of being in control. I wonder if my style of play is quite different to people who are first experiencing the game.. I tend to change quite frequently and move about a lot. There are some new hints at 'ready' screen, and a tutorial screen at the beginning which might change the way new players approach the game (maybe)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 03:51:48 PM by RedProdukt » Logged

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