Excellent feedback! Thanks TurboLento, Eino and Sparky!
A couple of suggestions/requests:
- massive capital ships - similar to X-Wing/Tie Fighter, allow for missions which involved the largest ships, either for a direct attack or as support for other targets (and the same for the player faction, have capital ships that the player must ensure are not destroyed)
The limitations of the engine I'm using impose a reasonable upper limit for ship size at about the size of the base in demo stage 2. But yes, there will be a few more ships of about that size.
- ability to disable specific ship parts in strafing runs, instead of having to fully deplete their shield - the player would be able to fly against a ship while firing, and be able to destroy a specific part, that would destroy a specific function of the ship - movement, shields, weapons.
When I was working out the basic gameplay I did consider something like this, with the big ships protected by large circular shields that fighters could fly through to attack their hulls directly at close range. That could have been interesting - but in the end I decided to go for the current system, where heavy shields make it difficult to attack warships without support from your fleet.
But I am considering reducing the strength of warship armour and increasing the strength of their structure, so that it's easier to knock out particular systems but the ships overall still take about the same amount of damage to destroy.
- more randomization in missions - this is a pretty steep request, but after playing the first missions 10 times, I know exactly when and where stuff is going to happen... maybe add some postional/timing variation (I'm aware this strays from both the original games and may be quite difficult to implement)
Are you sure about everything always being the same in the first mission? :)
Actually the level scripting system gives me a lot more scope for randomisation than is demonstrated by the demo missions. Not every mission will have significant random elements, but plenty of them will.
- a "slider" button modifier - similar to "strafe" in earlier FPS games, pressing the button and then pressing left or right makes the player slide that direction - I think this takes away the need for the second d-pad while playing with a controller (and might make it ) (at least for me)
I considered this, but to fight effectively you really need to be able to slide and rotate at the same time.
- auto fire - I'm pretty much firing always... Maybe allow this as an option, or have the fire button act as a "start/stop firing" toggle insted of a "press to fire", frees up the player's hands for maneuvering around the larger ships
I'll think about this one.
I was able to test co-op with the revised demo today. The guy I played with is a TIE Fighter veteran and recognized the similarities immediately, and found the game enjoyable. Co-op worked very well, apart from a few bugs. It was also hard to locate each other while playing, but this might have been partially because the palette bugs made the radars less clear than I recall they are really.
I've never actually played TIE Fighter - I bought a second-hand copy once but one of the 3.5" floppy disks had a virus on it so I took it back to the shop. I played the hell out of X-Wing, though.
Thanks for the bug reports. I haven't been able to do much testing in co-op or with a controller so they're very useful.
On the palette bug: this is a known but unpredictable problem with Allegro. I think there's a fix but I haven't applied it yet - it requires a rebuild of the library, which is a fairly major undertaking. Now that I know it occurs in Angry Moth I'll see about doing that rebuild.
I didn't try the angling cannon yet, but the other player did and it seemed to work very well. I tried the torpedo and while increasing the loading time makes sense, it's way way harder to use effectively. AWS and multi-rocket were much better choices. In coop, where you can pick just one weapon, the multi-rocket was really a no-brainer.
Definitely some rebalancing to be done.
Removing reverse is a good decision. Even though you can move away from the situation by sliding sideways, it is much more dangerous and exciting. I just need to unlearn the instinct to reverse..
Thanks - not everyone has appreciated removing reverse, but yeah, it was just too safe to be able to reverse out of trouble so easily. It will be available as an upgrade in the full game, but there will be tradeoffs for installing it.
I think the tuning seems to be shaping up nicely (with the exception of the rocket, which I found to be too effective).
Rocket is on the way out, probably to be replaced by some kind of charge-up energy cannon thing.
I'm not entirely sure how weapon lock-outs work. Some of the weapons seem to prevent other weapons from firing, but I didn't immediately pick up on any internal logic to this. Is it per-weapon, or are there any general rules?
There are no general rules, it's make-it-up-as-I-go-along all the way. I should fix this and provide some kind of explanation in the weapon descriptions.
Another thing I'm not quite sold on is that the weapons seem to be a little bit too similar. I think if there were one less rocket / missile based weapon I'd be fine with it, there are just a few too many shades of rocket for me. I think the game would benefit if you could either removed one or two altogether, or replaced a couple of them with more distinctive weapons.
You're right. I have some ideas for new ones, although the more I add the harder they are to balance. I'm thinking of the charge-up cannon I mentioned early and something like the bomb weapon that Audric at the allegro.cc forums coded up
Back to work!