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January 30, 2015, 11:04:46 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsHellas - greek vases v21
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Author Topic: Hellas - greek vases v21  (Read 53865 times)
Ninja Dodo
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« on: September 02, 2011, 01:33:59 AM »

I've started developing this idea I've been kicking around for a while: playing through Greek mythology on a black-figure vase. There's a heavy platform element to it, and combat, so for now that's what I'm focusing on building...

This is what I've got so far:

Version 21

Download: http://www.ninjadodo.net/temp/hellas/hellas_v21.zip (Windows)

video: http://youtu.be/HMVL-jV11PI

IndieDB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/hellas

Greenlight concept: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=119407378

twitter: @greekvasegame



X or CTRL - attack/pick up

Z or ALT - drop/cancel

SHIFT or C - shield bash

LEFT-CLICK - use divine power (cost 1 or more sacrifices)

RIGHT-CLICK - select power

S - add/respawn player 2 (controls: WASD + VBN)

DOWN - respawn player 1

ENTER or R - reset

Note: GAMEPADS also supported. At least one gamepad required for Versus.



- added wild boar [not in demo]

- different enemy types can hurt each other

- BLIND smoke interrupts GRAB (drop object)

- improved horizontal collision for AI + objects

- added screen shake on big impacts

- fudge jump when leaving edge (more generous ground collision)

- new AI patrol behaviour (moving when not alert)

- increased screen shake on ZAP/LIGHTNING

- ZAP cursor highlight indicates strike location

- decreased ZAP damage to 2, reduced cost to 3

- increased max sacrifices carried to 5

- dying player rotates in falling direction

- shield blocks movement from BOTH sides

- VS: players always start facing each other

- VS: revised right-side of level

- wine puddle on vase break

- sfx: vase breaking

- re-arranged co-op HUD layout (P1 & 2 health both bottom left)

- divine hand fingers further apart holding rock

- added outline to HUD sacrifices for visibility

- insufficient sacrifices: 0 "gods demand" text, 1+ "gods demand more..."

- revised NPC AI to be more modular (skeleton, others)

- automated top/bottom border tiling [easier to move, change patterns]

- tileset: 4 pixel buffer between tiles + clean up

- refactoring, simplified code

- fixed: getting stuck in climb anim on spear pick up

- fixed: shield break playing same sfx twice in a row

- fixed: 2nd jump from wall [player able to get higher without POWERS = bad]

- fixed: skeletons in front of player when standing on a pillar

- fixed: versus error on ZAP when one player is dead


- shield break hit feedback

- skeletons can pick up & throw spears

- skeletons spawn from the ground

- skeletons attack while falling (instead of only doing fall dmg)

- shield block no longer stops heavy objects (eg stone blocks)

- WIP moving platforms [press P to add test block]

- P2 can control powers with gamepad in co-op

- revised dmg to allow for double hits and instakills

- ALT/Z spear drop under low ceiling drops vertically instead of fumble

- air attack while jumping interrupts held block

- revised spear pick up range

- player lowers spear under low ceiling [feedback: can't throw here]

- swapped keyboard buttons: P1 attack now on C (or CTRL), P2 on V

- improved co-op camera hand-over around wrap point

- sfx: shield hit, bash & break

- sfx: sheep fall variations

- drop from pass platforms with DROP/CANCEL button (ALT or Z) + DOWN

- revised ZAP-power icon

- tweaks to stand bash sprite

- increased max wine per lvl

- sfx: removed noise from landing hits

- prevent spawning sacrifices too close to player or other sacrifice

- improved skeleton ceiling collision

- fixed: skeletons jumping back right after being bashed

- fixed: p2 health hud partially off-screen in co-op

- fixed: spear not showing if picked up during bash

- fixed: some objects missed in loop

- fixed: wrong spear sfx if one spear is on stairs

- minor tweaks to dmg placement (player + skeleton)


- added BLIND power (cost: 2 sacrifices)

- refined shield bash: allow bash from air

- bash: push back self against immovable object

- bash: affects multiple objects simultanously

- press jump OR down to escape GRAB

- LIGHTNING/ZAP: narrowed damage area, refined sprites

- ZAP: added smoke effect

- added skeleton up & down GRAB sprites

- skeleton explodes if crushed by other skeleton

- reorganized transitions

- revised looping (now supports arbitrary nr of objects)

- automated stairs end marking [this is going to save a lot of time]

- changed sacrifice spawning to allow manual placement

- improved bg tiling, cracks separated

- VS: simplified split-screen

- static spears always have orange border (even on light bg)

- shortened time to re-center gamepad cursor if static

- attack during climb no longer ignored, but delayed

- fixed: clone death if holding jump or down when hit by lightning

- if only one gamepad connected, default to P1 in single, P2 in versus

- misc clean up


- added air block sprites

- delayed sacrifice respawning

- shield bash doubles as block (attack bounces)

- player can bash from stand (ie without holding block), new sprites

- allow walk/climbing up half-blocks without jumping (increased climb range)

- cursor shows current power (faded if not enough sacrifices)

- gamepad cursor does not re-center on player if not moving

- gamepad: RB is bash instead of duck/block

- climbing (briefly) interrupts block

- VS: smaller lvl, reworked right side, added spear

- VS: revised screen layout

- VS: score HUD turns orange on dark bg (for visibility)

- fixed: P1 lightning only costing one sheep

- fixed: player getting stuck in stairs after hitting obstacle while falling

- fixed: players spawning outside lvl when other player near lvl edge

- fixed: player picking up sacrifices when dead

- fixed: VS spears now thicker (for visibility), instead of longer

- fixed: moonwalk when holding opposite direction while being let go from GRAB

- fixed: broken climb when hurt

- simplified "Retry" and "Gods demand" text

- tweaks to air attack down dmg collision

- players start with zero sacrifices

- VS: sacrifices don't respawn after win


- made blocking height more generous

- spear falls if thrown directly against shield block [instead of being blocked in air]

- VS: increased respawn distance between players

- VS: +1 shield (health) to opponent on kill [abstracted looting]

- VS: players start with 2 sacrifices

- sfx: added thunder

- improved sheep spawn placement

- decreased uppercut damage width

- fixed: broken shield block at base of stairs

- fixed: player still blocked after other player removes shield

- fixed: some attacks going through shield that should be blocked


- p1 gamepad control

- added third skeleton

- tweaks to skeleton jumping

- VS: helmets + nr keep score at corners of the screen

- VS: added "PLAYER WINS" text (10 helmets)

- Reset (R, ENTER, gamepad back) don't infini-reset when held

- crouch attack facing stairs is blocked (bounce)

- tweaked stand attack damage range

- reduced shield-bash power

- fixed skeleton ceiling/bash bug

- tweaks to attack/spear pickup priority [don't pick up when about to be hit in the face]

- plant spear does (small) damage

- completely revised slope collisions [fixing several bugs]

- fixed skeleton not breaking on hitting pass-platform or slope (from height)

- VS: fixed respawn being disabled when both players dead

- vS: increased respawn distance from other player (128 to 256)

- gamepad: lowered analog L/R threshold while blocking

- fixed sheep not counting as sacrifice when killed with (ranged) spear throw from hero

- fixed hi-speed cursor throws getting canceled back to zero v

- vases can be GRABBED but break on impact (losing sacrifice)

- re-instated power hotkeys 1 & 2

- misc clean up


- added p1 and p2 cursors

- separated versus sacrifices (p1 and p2)

- p2 gamepad control (tested with Xbox 360 controller)

- tweaks to damage priority and placement between players and AI

- skeletons only block when player facing

- increased chance of skeleton blocking spear

- cannot crush blocking skeleton against wall (with bash)

- ZAP-power cost raised to 4 (greyed out if not enough)

- removed power hotkeys 1 and 2

- tweaked sacrifice placement in Versus, added respawning

- players start with 1 sacrifice on respawn in Versus

- reorganized objects


- added fading god hand on GRAB

- added radial menu for selecting powers [RIGHT-CLICK]

- icon shows current power after selection

- improved skeleton navigation

- skeletons can jump over shields

- skeletons can block attacks

- skeletons break when thrown horizontally against stone

- increased time player cannot attack while hurt (from 6 to 10 frames)

- simplified co-op cam back to single lead

- ZAP/lightning cost 1 sacrifice [for now]

- fixed: skeleton parts disappearing on lvl wrap


- added ZAP/lightning-power

- 1st pass Versus mode

- added level select menu

- cam: added screen shake (press HOME or END to test)

- cam: shake on attempt to use power without sacrifice

- cam: enabled light vertical pan

- cam: revised co-op cam sharing (average pos)

- skeletons: tweaks to blocked attack reaction/timing

- turning away during shieldbash ends bash

- fixed: getting stuck in stand attack when moving out of duck/block

- fixed: double-jump at top of stairs

- fixed: blocked jump after climb when holding UP

- fixed: damage getting lost when crossing lvl border

- shortened max stand and duck attack duration (when held)

- re-instated wall-hit anim + re-used for shield hit

- spear thrown by gods are neutral, harming player and enemies

- tweaked shieldbash sprites


- cam: switch focus to p2 if p1 dies

- press DOWN to respawn p1 while p2 survives (S for p2)

- stone and spear start on the ground [no more impact sound on every restart]

- 2P: p1 dies, HUD stays in (middle) co-op position

- 2P: p2 dies, HUD reverts back to single mode

- collected sheep appear right of wine on HUD

- skeleton does damage when breaking on impact (from fall)

- decreased time to sacrifice HUD fade out

- fixed: collision breaking on wall attack

- fixed: shield bash not working correctly on stairs

- fixed: player not taking damage when hit while attacking wall


- added shield bash (DOWN + SHIFT or C)

- changed sprite references to generic label to allow replacing anims

- skeleton: when not facing don't attack w/out reaction time (even when touching)

- skeleton: can jump onto or down half blocks to follow player

- skeleton: improved overlap avoidance

- skeleton: doesn't attack p2 off-screen

- disabled player damage from spears [too annoying]
- tweaks to transitions (attacks, falling)

- simplified sword/wall hit (sound only)

- attacking while hitting wall prevents climb

- less forward v near edge in spear throw (avoid falling off platform)

- physical objects damage on impact, not just in air

- removed auto-respawn on death (ENTER or R to reset)

- added "retry" + "gods demand sacrifice" text

- adding 2nd player now tied to S button, spawns from top of screen

- 2P camera focus shared (average pos) when p1 not moving

- separated p1 & p2 health

- sfx: 1st pass skeleton sounds (hit and break)

- increased height needed to inflict fall damage

- fixed: moonwalk on duck exit when left/right held + tap opposite direction

- fixed: re-GRAB window (no sacrifice) not working on spear and skeleton

- fixed: sword attack being blocked right after spear throw

- fixed: exploding skeleton causing player to fall through passable platforms


- added duck sword bounce

- added up & down grabbed sprite

- GRAB: no cost if let go and immediately re-grabbed

- fixed moonwalk (on quick press of opposite direction)

- running land transition

- separated health/lives (now 3x shields) and sacrifices

- respawn costs 1 sacrifice, health restored

- skeletons attack!

- skeletons damage on touch only when falling

- skeletons give up chase when player GRABBED

- added 2nd skeleton, avoid overlap

- skeleton breaks on heavy impact

- more accurate vertical spear grab range

- camera stops moving when player dies

- tweaks to damage placement

- added small attack cooldown to counter spamming

- fixed: climb glitch showing run

- fixed: collision bug when ducking on edge of block


- added skeletons

- wine spawns at set locations

- spears don't damage player when dropped (Z) mid air

- smaller enemy hitbox (for hitting player)

- less forward v on throw from stairs

- fixed short jump to lower platform not showing hard landing

- prioritize attack over pick-up when about to hit enemy

- tweaked collisions

- sword bounce when attacking wall (attack blocked)

- increased min attack length to 4 (from 3)

- sfx: stone on stone move (when thrown across surface)


- fixed: infinite sound when stone is stuck

- fixed: broken stand attack on pass-through platforms


- 1st pass sound (M to mute)

- player is hurt by touching placeholder enemies, and falling projectiles

- change to stand attack when attacking just before get up

- attacks stay visible longer if attack button let go early

- smash attack only works from height

- pushed back if attacking wall in the air

- spear falls at an angle when climbing

- spear jammed into wall at random angle

- dropped spear on ground jammed directly into floor

- spear balancing on edge falls [mostly]

- hud re-appears even on failed pickup (at max capacity)

- player respawns with 1 sacrifice on death

- revised spear grab range


- refined collisions

- improved climb (no more mini-landing)

- jump interrupts climb if UP is let go and pressed again

- shield blocks moving objects (one way)

- feedback on blocked jump under low ceiling

- removed 1 frame from run attack antic

- run attack transitions to stop if v < 1

- refined other transitions (drop from platform, mid-air turn)

- Don't fade hud when holding GRAB-power (and not moving)

- GRAB selection ends if hero takes spear from GRAB (held with mouse)

- revised duck spear throw sprite

- increased running throw (spear) range

- tweaks to object highlight on dark bg

- improved wine spawn placement

- put wine (depth) behind other objects

- dropping a player below screen costs one sacrifice

- fixed: p2 spawning inside ground when p1 moving towards obstacle

- fixed: random sheep deletion on lvl start [that was dumb]


- added sacrifices (wine & sheep)

- added sacrifice HUD icons, fade out when inactive

- using GRAB power removes 1 sacrifice

- added grabbed sprites + angle based on mouse movement

- drop spear when grabbed

- held objects stay inside screen

- GRAB objects when clicking near hitbox + selection priorities

- spear damage when jammed directly into wall (without air time)

- improved spear visibility (highlight) on stairs + in front of player

- revised stand pose

- can't grab spear (x or CTRL) during climb

- placeholder enemies don't bounce on stairs

- revised object looping

- fixed: run attack showing stand attack sprite during 180 turn

- fixed: player 1 buttons interfering with p2 controls

- tweaks to collision and climbing


- added spears (X to pick up and throw, Z to drop)

- spears throwable with mouse

- added edge shading on scrolling lvl

- fall during run attack > transition to fall attack

- land into run during air attack > transition to run attack

- attack held, get up from duck > transition to stand (not attack)

- improvements to object wrapping

- removed pillars lvl

- fixed: teleport caused by bad collision

- fixed: error due to uninitialized var

- fixed: player getting stuck in scenery on respawn (when dropped below screen)


- infinite looping (plus new bigger lvl)

- removed lvls 1 and 3 (parts re-used in new lvl)

- increased max speed to 6.5 (5 on stairs)

- more self-contained player code for later re-use

- added co-op (ENTER to add player)

- revised sprites (run attack, duck-attack, stand)

- fixed: bouncing against passable platforms from below

- more precise horizontal collisions

- both CTRL and X = attack

- / to change lvl (instead of SPACE)


- added air attacks + smash attack

- added dummy enemy [for testing attacks]

- enabled collision for held blocks [you can stand on them]

- tweaked stand attack pose (shield back)

- changed lvl order

- improved landings at top of stairs

- fixed: mini-jump after climb

- more collision changes


- changed icon

- tweaks to proto lvl

- added lvls: "pillars" and "stairs" (SPACE to change)

- improved collisions

- revised visuals (tileset, background)

- objects shaded darker near edges

- added stairs & walking on inclines (also works on boxes)

- climb transitions into crouched/antic pose

- player always pops up higher if placed inside solid ground

- lvl restart if player dropped off-screen

- misc cleanup


- tweaks to tileset

- changed top border

- added moveable rock

- added throwing (with cursor)

- implemented pass-through ground (rocks)

- added climbing (when near edge)

- added running attack

- improved duck attack pose


- 1st pass movement and gfx


- collision occasionally breaks

Previous versions:


Prototype progress: movement - combat - powers - co-op - versus

Overall progress: prototype - singleplayer levels - powers - enemies
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 07:19:23 AM by Ninja Dodo » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 12:11:14 PM »

Can you make it look like this game takes place on a real vase instead of a monitor? That would last 4 ever! The vase spins when you advance Smiley

Swim, swim, hungry
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 01:04:52 PM »

Can you make it look like this game takes place on a real vase instead of a monitor? That would last 4 ever! The vase spins when you advance Smiley

Seconded.  That would be awesome.
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 04:53:15 PM »

I had this idea recently as well.  Can't wait to see more.  LMK if you need audio help.

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 06:50:07 PM »

The platforming feels plenty smooth.  I did notice that by holding left or right and tapping the opposite direction you can moonwalk.  I thought I had gotten him to stand in the air next to a block while jumping around but couldn't reproduce it by my skills so that could have been a fluke.

I find your strategic sword positioning amusing, all things considered.  Grin
Ninja Dodo
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 11:55:59 PM »

@keoni29: Once I put in scrolling ideally I'd like to have it loop seamlessly so it really is like you're walking on the surface of a vase.

If you mean actually project the game as a texture onto a vase model... Not sure how I could get that to work (using Game Maker), so this *probably* won't happen (at least for now)...

@KomradeJack: Thanks for the offer. Maybe I'll take you up on that.

@oyog: re moonwalking... Yeah, that breaks it. I managed to make it so that if you press two buttons it goes for the last one pressed, but if you hold both and then let go of the last one it gets confused. I know how to fix this IN THEORY but I have yet to get it to work.

I'm not entirely happy with the collision yet. That could be causing the glitch.

Sword placement: perhaps appropriate, yes... art is *very* work-in-progress though so I will probably adjust this. Tongue
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 12:46:56 AM by Ninja Dodo » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 03:07:58 PM »

I put a video up on YouTube with some stuff I'm working on for the next version:


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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 03:12:12 PM »

I love you.

\\\"There\\\'s a tendency among the press to attribute the creation of a game to a single person,\\\" says Warren Spector, creator of Thief and Deus Ex. --IGN<br />My compilation of game engines for indies
Ninja Dodo
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 02:32:23 PM »

Glad you approve. Smiley

There will be more progress (and a new downloadable version) soon.

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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »

I just happened to write a massive treatise on Greek medical philosophy for a masters course a few years back where I used pottery and vase imagery extensively, so yeah, I love you Smiley

Now, where is my executable damnit?

\\\"There\\\'s a tendency among the press to attribute the creation of a game to a single person,\\\" says Warren Spector, creator of Thief and Deus Ex. --IGN<br />My compilation of game engines for indies
Ninja Dodo
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 04:07:40 AM »

Version 2


I've added some more things since the last video, so while you can now throw the player, rocks and other physical objects I may add to the game, the player can now also climb onto otherwise unreachable edges on their own... and I've added a running attack.

By the way (@Mikademus), if you know any good reference sites (or books) let me know. I've got "Complete World of Greek Mythology" for story reference and some other books for the nice pictures, but more is always welcome.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 07:34:56 AM by Ninja Dodo » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 09:12:58 AM »

Μου αρέσει αυτό το παιχνίδι! Kiss

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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 10:34:07 AM »

Goddammit skomakarn why can't you talk english? (or include a translation.) :D

@Ninja Dodo,
Here's some interesting stuff on surface deformations gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=422393
And I can help with that vase effect IF needed.

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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 11:28:22 PM »

Goddammit skomakarn why can't you talk english? (or include a translation.) :D
You're supposed to know Greek, so that you can make sexy signs, if you're going to do something like this!
Haha, buy, seriously, I just wrote 'I like this game'.

But on a serious note about my previous statement, I actually started learning Scottish Gaelic yesterday, because the game planned after the one we are working on right now will contain some of it, haha. Maybe you would find something like that enjoyable! Maybe not. Your call. Everyone is not as nerdy as me when it comes to this.

I guess I could clarify that even just the sight of that initial screenshot immediately got me hooked onto this. Lovely graphics. They remind me of that song from Disney's Hercules. Was that an inspiration?

Oh. You're not the OP. Oh, well. All of that aimed towards the OP!

dum mak gam
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Ninja Dodo
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2011, 10:32:31 AM »

@Geeze: Ooh, that could be very interesting. Thank you much.

@Skomakar'n: I have the Greek alphabet next to my monitor! Grin Though, I couldn't claim to understand the language. I had some Greek in school but it didn't stick, except for the stories. But yeah, making a game is always a good excuse to learn things.

I'm not a huge fan of Disney's Hercules - though I am a huge fan of Disney - but there are some clever bits to it (especially in the graphic design), so I've certainly looked at it. I wouldn't say it was a direct inspiration, though it may have been in the back of my mind when I came up with the idea. It does have a vase sequence which is pretty nicely done. There's also a really short bit in The Twelve Tasks of Asterix where they do an animated black & white rundown of the twelve labours of Herakles, which is reminiscent of the style... but mainly I'm going for the actual vases and classical art in general for visual inspiration. And Harryhausen. Harryhausen kicks ass.

Ninja Dodo
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2011, 03:42:12 AM »

Oh man, I just discovered the best site ever for reference: lots of images and info, and it even has all the names in Greek for every monster, god and hero... plus original texts translated into English. Nice. Smiley

Here's a new screenshot of some experimenting with the tileset:

Currently working on stairs and walking up and down slopes correctly. Works kinda sorta but not quite really, so the next update will be not just yet.

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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2011, 02:47:45 PM »

The graphical style on this looks wonderful. I always like games that take existing mythologies and play with them  - and this looks to an aspect of Greek myth/culture that generally hasn't been touched before. Starting off with a mythology people know something about (even if just the visual aspect) is always, I think, going to be a bigger draw than starting your own mythologies. Not to hijack, but I actually wrote about something similar recently - I'd be interested to know what you think. Anyway, do you have particular mythological aspects you're interested in playing with? This is one I'll definitely be watching  Smiley

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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2011, 03:36:35 PM »

Mainly the relationship between gods and heroes, and how everything revolves around sacrifice.

Also I think it would be fun to explore the inherent absurdity of the Greek pantheon and their various shenanigans. I'm still figuring out how to involve the gods *exactly*, but I have some ideas which I'm looking forward to testing...

Quote from: Ultima Ratio Regum
Starting off with a mythology people know something about (even if just the visual aspect) is always, I think, going to be a bigger draw than starting your own mythologies.

I think both can work, but only if they're still grounded in things we can recognize. The problem with most fantasy worlds is that they just don't seem like a place any actual human beings (or other beings) would live.

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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2011, 04:34:31 PM »

Looks pretty awesome! I've always been a big fan of the orange clay palette though. It may be a little easier on the eyes then the red/yellow?

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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2011, 05:37:04 PM »

I've always been a big fan of the orange clay palette though. It may be a little easier on the eyes then the red/yellow?

I concur!

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