Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1073953 Posts in 44022 Topics- by 36025 Members - Latest Member: bdsowers

December 21, 2014, 10:42:42 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsAngry Moth (revised demo 14 May 2011)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: Angry Moth (revised demo 14 May 2011)  (Read 7607 times)
linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2011, 04:45:19 AM »

As promised, the carrier:



It spits smaller ships out of its front. It's just a light carrier, though, so it's not too dangerous by itself. One of its roles will be to hang around in groups over the other side of the battlefield, occasionally releasing squadrons of bombers to try to taunt you into spending time travelling to attack it. I think later in the game there'll be much fatter carriers that will be nasty on their own.

So am I getting the hint that this game is going to have a story?

Here's the grand plan: there will be a tree of missions which starts as a single trunk (stage 1) and splits numerous times. Your fleet's performance in each mission, or maybe group of missions, will determine whether you go towards the good side of the tree and ultimate victory or the bad side of the tree and failure and defeat.

There'll be a dynamic difficulty aspect to this: missions on the good side will be much harder. I don't generally like dynamic difficulty because it tends to punish skilled play and encourage the player to deliberately fail in ways that allow progression but reduce difficulty, but Angry Moth will reward good players with a much happier story and a variety of enemies and allies that you won't meet on the less happy part of the tree.

An example of how it will work would be a mission involving an attack on an enemy base. If you fail to destroy it and are forced to retreat, your next mission will be facing a desperate counterattack where you have the advantage of static defences. If you destroy the base, your next mission will push into enemy territory where you'll face sterner resistance. Because I'm a bad person, there will be perma-death.

This seems like an obvious way to do dynamic difficulty, but I'm having trouble thinking of games that do this. Can anyone think of any?

(as for the actual content of the story... I'm still working that out)

Anyway, now that I've done (most of) the level scripting code and have a decent variety of enemies, my next job is putting it together into a single-mission demo so I can get feedback on the basic mechanics of the game. That might be a few weeks or months away, but it's coming!

I enjoyed Transdimensional Hellspider a lot, it was somewhat hard to get into, but I did play it until I won.

Heh. Nice work! I've never won it without using debugging code. I'm just not good enough.
Logged
BlueSweatshirt
Level 10
*****

the void


View Profile WWW
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2011, 05:05:16 PM »

To this day I've never beat and more than the... 10th Hellspider. That game is punishing, but still super enjoyable to play.

Anyway,
I seriously can't wait to play that demo! I'll be sure to play it and drop you tons of feedback Smiley
Logged

linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2011, 03:20:11 AM »

Apologies for the long delay between updates. I'm still working towards the demo, although I've been a bit lazy. Fortunately I've finished the game I was playing in my spare time (Samurai Warriors 2: Empires, which is surprisingly not bad) and started playing Too Human, which looks like it will be easy to resist.

Here's a summary of my progress since the last update:

  • the mission scripting system can handle much more complexity. Ships can group together, split up, change course, jump out etc based on a wide range of conditions. Scripting each mission is going to be a lot of work.
  • there is a mission briefing screen with its own set of scripts
  • the player leads a small squadron of other fighters and can issue a few commands - currently just "form up", "cover me", "attack my target" and "defend", which should be enough
  • enemy bullets will be blue while enemy ships will explode in a sort of purple colour so it should be easier to tell what's going to hurt you and what you can safely fly through; all friendly bullets, explosions and exhaust plumes will be reddish (I've had lots of comments about visual confusion in my previous games, which was mostly intentional for e.g. White Butterfly but doesn't fit so much with this game)
  • many of the graphics have been redrawn; some of them just didn't look right.

Demo soon!
Logged
Halcyon
Level 2
**



View Profile
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2011, 12:35:06 AM »

Great, sounds like it is really coming along now, I am looking forward to the demo. Any possible screenshots or maybe even videos to show until then?  Smiley
Logged
evktalo
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2011, 11:19:12 AM »

Great to see an update since I last checked; looking forward to the demo!

--Eino
Logged
linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2011, 10:13:59 PM »

Sorry for the lapse in updates, everyone. I spent a couple of weekends interstate and had various other things to do, so I haven't been able to do as much work on Angry Moth as I'd planned.

But the demo is almost ready - just a bit of fine-tuning to go. To make up for not posting anything for so long, I bought Fraps so I could make a video of the whole of stage 1 of the demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VibgHnbA-1Y

This is a fairly simple stage where you help a small group of ships chase down some other ships - demo stage 2 is a lot more complicated. As you can see, I'm not very good at using the torpedo (about half my shots either miss completely or explode prematurely) but I still win in the end.
Logged
Helmeted
Level 0
***


Death Panelist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2011, 04:45:17 AM »

Cool. I like the pre mission briefing. The mission itself, too, of course, but I think things like the briefing really add to immersion.
Logged

BlueSweatshirt
Level 10
*****

the void


View Profile WWW
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2011, 03:25:18 PM »

I saw this before I went to sleep last night, but I was way too tired to write a coherent post. So here I go now.  Smiley

Like Helmeted, I loved the pre-mission briefing. It was an epic mood-setter for me with how you did it, I was like "oh my god I'm going on a fucking space mission this is so cool." So kudos on pulling that one off!

The actual gameplay looks insane and chaotic to the max. I really like what I see! Everything I see looks like exactly what I'd imagine a real space battle to look like. Your HUD/presentation looks awesome as well.

I can't wait to dig my fangs into this.  Kiss
Logged

linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2011, 05:09:35 AM »

The mission briefings represent some of the many hours I spent playing X-Wing in the '90s, although Angry Moth is weakened by a lack of pixellated Admiral Ackbar.
Logged
linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2011, 07:23:15 AM »

Okay, it's finally here: the demo.  Beer!

Download a zip for Windows from:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/angrymoth/files/
Source is there as well. Should compile on anything that runs Allegro.

Feedback would be much appreciated. Especially criticism!

If you need to be reminded of what it looks like, or if you were attracted to this thread by the shiny new "demo" in the title and have no idea what's going on, here's the video I posted a few days ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VibgHnbA-1Y

And here's a screenshot:


and another one:



Now for what's in it:
Smiley two levels - one fairly straightforward, one quite difficult (but possible)
Smiley splitscreen two-player. Each player gets only one secondary weapon. I haven't tested this properly so I'd appreciate feedback on this mode in particular
Smiley fun

Known issues:
Lips Sealed no music yet
Lips Sealed the sound in general is not so great
Lips Sealed the "mission data" menu option doesn't do anything
Lips Sealed sometimes fighters fly off into the distance if there's nothing for them to do (this is fixable but fixing it properly will require a bit of work)
Lips Sealed there is theoretical support for dual-stick analogue controllers (with the second stick controlling slide), but the only one I've tested this on (an Xbox 360 controller) doesn't work - Allegro appears to be unable to detect the second stick and does something strange with the triggers. It does work as an ordinary single-stick controller, though. I suggest mapping slide to the bumpers, using the "set controls" thing in the game

Some hints:
Smiley use slide a lot!
Smiley support your fleet. You need each other
Smiley generally, shields go down when their energy is reduced to zero and come back up when it's recharged to about 1/4 to 1/3
Smiley the targetting display down the bottom left indicates which part of a warship has the shield generator
Smiley don't forget to use the command button to tell your little squadron (of two) what to do. You can get them to attack your target, cover you (the default), form up or go back and defend the fleet
Smiley hold the targetting key/button for a second to switch from manual targetting to automatic and back again

Good luck!
Logged
BlueSweatshirt
Level 10
*****

the void


View Profile WWW
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2011, 02:47:00 PM »

this game is hard!
Logged

evktalo
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2011, 11:04:53 AM »

I absolutely loved the demo, I'm playing it quite a bit and I'm really looking forward to the complete game. I realized this is, kind of, just the game I've been looking forward for a long time.. 2D space combat, dynamic fleet-level battles.. right now only similar thing I can recall is an obscure shareware game called Star Hammer that had kind of similar mission-based feel, though I think the scale of the missions was much smaller.

Probably thanks to my Hellspider experience, I was able to beat the demo in 45 minutes.. not that it wasn't challenging! The weapon choice that worked well was combining rockets with anti-warship missiles. You can just constantly fire rockets at anything, and using the anti-warship missiles was easy as well, since the large targets are easy to keep in the firing zone. So, I could down the small vessels (especially bombers) with the main cannon + rockets, and the big vessels with rockets + missiles.

In comparison, the other weapons felt noticeably less powerful/useful. It was very hard to hit anything with torpedoes. The mini-rockets blocked firing other weapons while you were loading and it was still hard to hit stuff with them. Anti-fighter missiles were ok, but harder to use than rockets and anti-warship missiles. Angling cannon was ok, heavy cannon didn't feel like it had the bang for the buck. But picking the angling cannon makes you miss out on more versatile armament.

That said I didn't yet use sliding at all. I got the idea after winning to use sliding to dodge fire from large vessels while keeping myself pointed in the same direction. That tactic should make torpedoes and mini-rockets easier to use against them, but I didn't yet have the time to try it out very much. Anyway, rocket/anti-warship missile combo was easy to get going and powerful enough to win.

I really like the visuals, and the sounds already sounded nice enough, so improvement, plus music, sounds promising. Looking forwards for more!

--Eino
Logged
Helmeted
Level 0
***


Death Panelist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2011, 12:15:40 PM »

I failed hard, at the first and presumably easier mission of the demo. That's alright, it was fun and I will be back for more.

I was going to try to compile it on Mac OSX, but my lack of terminal-fu has let me down. I got Allegro installed alright but that's as far as I got, trying to build a simple example project is failing, even copypasting the commands from a tutorial. Alas.
Logged

linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2011, 04:44:59 AM »

this game is hard!

Of course! I would feel a little disappointed in myself if I wrote a game that was easy.

I absolutely loved the demo, I'm playing it quite a bit and I'm really looking forward to the complete game. I realized this is, kind of, just the game I've been looking forward for a long time.. 2D space combat, dynamic fleet-level battles.. right now only similar thing I can recall is an obscure shareware game called Star Hammer that had kind of similar mission-based feel, though I think the scale of the missions was much smaller.

Interesting... I hadn't heard of Star Hammer but I did some searching and found it for DosBox. I also found this - the same guy appears to have been writing a new Star Hammer for a few years, and it looks remarkably similar to Angry Moth. Ha! I swear I didn't steal the idea from Star Hammer (I stole it mostly from Squadron, and a bit from Star Control which I used to like even though I couldn't understand why the ships only ever fought one-on-one).

Quote
In comparison, the other weapons felt noticeably less powerful/useful. It was very hard to hit anything with torpedoes. The mini-rockets blocked firing other weapons while you were loading and it was still hard to hit stuff with them. Anti-fighter missiles were ok, but harder to use than rockets and anti-warship missiles. Angling cannon was ok, heavy cannon didn't feel like it had the bang for the buck. But picking the angling cannon makes you miss out on more versatile armament.

Thanks for your analysis! My usual technique is AF missile with either AWS missile or torpedo, but I'll try the rocket (which was a bit of an afterthought and hasn't been tested as much as it should have; it may well be unbalanced). The AF missile is good because you can shoot a fighter a few times with the cannon then launch a missile and go and do something else while the missile tracks its target. I find the AWS missile particularly effective if I sort of hover just in range of the target and use slide to dodge attacks while constantly firing missiles. The torpedo is hard to use but extremely powerful. I definitely need to try a few more combinations to make sure none of the weapons are overpowered or useless.

The heavy cannon doesn't seem to be very good yet. In the full game it will probably be upgradeable to have shield-piercing capabilities, while the various missiles will be able to become armour-piercing.

Next task: music.
Logged
evktalo
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2011, 08:01:18 AM »


After learning to slide, torpedoes and multi-rocket turned out to be very good. I went through several combos, and as I learned each, I always thought they were a bit too good compared to the last one, but this was just my own skill increasing. I tried out the AWS+rocket combo again eventually, and it felt devastating by that time. In the end the weapons felt like they had a pretty good balance, only the heavy cannon still seemed lacking.

AF missiles were good after reading your advice. AWS missiles are very powerful, being fast, hard-hitting and easy to use. With rocket as the other secondary, I could practically just hold down the three fire buttons, keep myself facing the target and dodge fire and fighters quite effectively.

Rockets go great with either torpedo or AWS, since you can just constantly keep firing them and they work great against any target. This makes them a little less interesting than the other weapons, even if a dumbfire rocket is fun to blast around with. Multi-rocket has more interesting drawbacks though and has the same dumbfire appeal imho - dropping the rocket might make the weapon selection a bit more interesting. I do like your idea of differentiating weapons by varying shield/armour effectivenes (system disabling weapons coming?) - something like that might work for the rocket. OTOH it might still be optimal to be always firing it..

Multi-rocket was great, working well against both big and small targets, packing a punch and having long range as well. The drawbacks - loading time and being unable to fire your other weapons meanwhile - worked well. The weapon was fun to use and suited well for high-speed divebombing tactic, as well as the usual slide-strafing. I picked angling cannon to go with it, since you can't really fire other warheads and don't really need additional versatility. The cannon upgrade was good for finishing off fighters after a salvo.

Finally the torpedo was extremely fun to use, while probably the hardest. It was powerful - small cruiser shields gone in a single hit - but overall not more effective than multi-rocket or AWS. I didn't feel the torpedo really had it's own niche compared to those. Trying to take out the carriers in the 2nd stage, I was wishing for some sort of targeting guide system for dive-bombing off-screen targets. That would make a "natural" torpedo niche I thought, Currently multi-rockets are better for this as there's no post-launch priming.

So, I've been playing quite a bit.. I really like the slight randomization evident in the first stage. It's good to have stuff like this, as when you replay the missions over and over (as you have to do with how difficult they are), you can eventually do cheesy stuff like hang around the spot where the enemy reinforcements are going to appear. Speaking of those, I really like how the second stage can end up in so many ways. In my first wins, the alpha team got wiped out and the enemy carrier group was left untouched, safely launching their bombers. Next time I went after the carriers myself at first opportunity, which was possible to do (I even managed to take out a couple of carriers before they could launch any bombers), but the alpha team still got wiped out. And in the last few rounds, I've been able to defend the alpha team until they themselves turn to chase the carriers. Btw, if you take out all the enemies in the stage 2, the wait until the mission is over feels a bit long. Wink

Looking forwards to the music, and more stages to play! Will the music have the procedurally generated thing like your previous soundtracks? I imagine with the dynamic battlefield it could be really cool. I've liked the soundtracks since Lacewing, so I'm genuinely excited to hear the music.

--Eino
Logged
linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2011, 05:35:13 AM »

Rockets go great with either torpedo or AWS, since you can just constantly keep firing them and they work great against any target. This makes them a little less interesting than the other weapons, even if a dumbfire rocket is fun to blast around with.

Very true. I'm inclined to either remove the rocket or turn it into a kind of mini torpedo, like the normal torpedo but faster and less powerful.

Quote
Multi-rocket was great, working well against both big and small targets, packing a punch and having long range as well. The drawbacks - loading time and being unable to fire your other weapons meanwhile - worked well. The weapon was fun to use and suited well for high-speed divebombing tactic, as well as the usual slide-strafing. I picked angling cannon to go with it, since you can't really fire other warheads and don't really need additional versatility. The cannon upgrade was good for finishing off fighters after a salvo.

I think the tracking cannon is a bit buggy and probably doesn't track things as well as it's supposed to. I'm going to release a revised version of the demo in a few days which will have a much better tracking cannon in it (as well as a few bugfixes and a fixed-camera mode).

Quote
Trying to take out the carriers in the 2nd stage, I was wishing for some sort of targeting guide system for dive-bombing off-screen targets.

I think I'll add a little arrow thing at the edge of the screen that points towards the player's current target. Should make the torpedo a bit easier to use.

Quote
Will the music have the procedurally generated thing like your previous soundtracks? I imagine with the dynamic battlefield it could be really cool. I've liked the soundtracks since Lacewing, so I'm genuinely excited to hear the music.

I have an idea for a cellular automata-based music system that could be great if I can get the details right. I really don't like writing musical scores (White Butterfly was particularly painful, especially the second and third stages), so Hellspider will probably be the last game I write without completely procedural music.

Thanks again for the feedback! Now I just need to write the rest of the game...
Logged
linley
Level 0
**


View Profile Email
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2011, 05:10:14 AM »

Okay, I've just uploaded a revised version of the demo to sourceforce. Here's the link.

Changes:
- Optional fixed camera angle mode - go to "options" on the main menu.
- 2-stick controls can be turned off (also in the options menu).
- A string buffer overflow error that caused crashing on Linux has been fixed.
- Various rebalancings. Tracking cannon is better. Torpedo takes longer to recharge.
- Two little lines indicate the direction and distance of your current selected target.

Also, I've removed the ability to accelerate backwards. I just don't think it was working; it encouraged a particularly cautious and not that interesting attack style (in me, anyway). In the full game it will probably be available as an upgrade or something. Sideways slide is still there. Have fun!
Logged
TurboLento
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2011, 06:34:48 AM »

I've played this for quite a few hours, I think you're on to something great! I've really enjoyed it.

The transition to 2d was very well executed, and the camera works well (this isn't a camera system that's easy to implement and have work, since it's prone to causing some confusion in some players, me included, but given that you've kept the background detail to a minimum, this effect isn't too noticeable), and the spirit of your game inspirations is well distilled into yours.

A couple of suggestions/requests:

Gameplay:
- 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)

- 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. These smaller parts would be weak, be able to be shot with about 3 or 4 shots, but would take some sort of tradeoff, so that the player doesn't destroy them easily when just circling around the ship and shooting randomly (maybe only destroy them when the player is close to the ship).

- 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)

Control:
- 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)

- 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've tried the new version, equipped the tracking cannon and the larger ship warhead, and felt the game was made much easier (playing the first level). I'm sure this is a good thing, because it allows you to ramp up in unit count/difficulty in later levels.
Logged

evktalo
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2011, 10:30:44 AM »

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.

The bugs:

The palette bugs: the palette was wrong - for instance most text was red instead of the cyanish blue, and the palette also made enemy ships look blurry/garbled. A few times in stage 2 when attacked by bombers, the palette swapped completely into a rather psychedelic colouring. Probably the battle drugs of the pilots kicked in. The machine we played on had 64-bit Win7 (SP1), with Geforce GTS 450.

Only the first player had the new indicator which pointed to the target.

All of the gamepad control setups weren't saved between different runs of the program. We used two XBOX360 pads which worked fine (didn't test the second stick for sliding though). The controls that got resetted were button 10 (pushing down the right stick) and start (I don't know the button number).

Once, the radar of the second player completely broke down when the first player died for the last time. The round radar would not change direction as the player turned the ship.

More weapon comments:

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.

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..

--Eino
Logged
Loren Schmidt
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2011, 03:49:02 PM »

I like this game so far. It reminds me, in a good way, of X-Wing and Tie Fighter.

I have not played coop, but I'm finding the single player enjoyable. I think in general it won't be terribly daunting to new players; the game is immediately appealing and easy enough to pick up. At the same time it seems to have enough nuances and enough of a skill ramp to be worth playing repeatedly.

So far the weapons I've had the most success with are the multi-rocket, the rocket, and the auto-aiming cannon. The auto-aiming cannon has a neat role. Against fighters I find it is as effective as the standard cannon, but it is optimal in different situations. I find myself switching between the two regularly, which is great.

I think the tuning seems to be shaping up nicely (with the exception of the rocket, which I found to be too effective). I also like where the game is headed visually. The little touches like the lateral thrusters, the wiggly trails on the rockets, and the folding 'wings' are much appreciated.

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?

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.

All told, this seems to be shaping up really well, and I'm both enjoying the demo a lot and looking forward to seeing future releases.

Note:
I ran into a color related bug as well- the colors are a bit wacky, especially on the ships. Some colors are okay, while other seem to have had their values replaced arbitrarily. I think Windows 7 is resetting some of the colors in the palette- I've had this happen in other games which run in indexed mode.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic