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July 25, 2014, 10:16:24 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsVertex - Action/Exploration Platformer
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iMoose
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« on: June 23, 2012, 10:14:57 PM »

Dear TIG Source, it was a rainy day so... Noir

Vertex is a pixelated action-type platformer with exploration aspects, including expansive levels and numerous secrets. Throughout the game, the player controls two unique characters who can be switched between at any time. The game features an engaging storyline, several diverse levels, numerous boss battles, and a decently challenging difficulty curve.

Considering that I am about 50% done with the game, I decided to open up a DevLog and share the progress being made. The original feedback thread can be found here.


Here are some screenshots to give you a better idea of the current state of the game. Click the thumbnails to view the full-scale images.



For your further viewing pleasure, here's a link to the old teaser from just over a year ago:



And in the spirit of the DevLog, here's a link to new footage of more recent developments:


I've also started up a SoundCloud account where I'll upload tracks from the game. As a sample, here's my recently finished snow level music.

Any feedback on the demo or the content of this DevLog is greatly appreciated! Comments and suggestions are welcome. Many more updates to come! Thanks for viewing!  Gentleman
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 03:49:34 PM by iMoose » Logged

SolarLune
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 10:41:46 PM »

Hey, it looks pretty cool so far. The resolution reminds me of SNES games, even though I think they were 4:3, not even. Anyway, I think the music could use a 'snowstorm' sound - for it to be completely silent is a bit weird. I think replacing the royal blue of the message box with a more desaturated color might be a good idea, as well, but otherwise, it's looking pretty good!
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 10:52:55 PM »

beautiful art
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vivavolt
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 12:27:16 AM »

Hey, I tried out the demo version and I'm decent way into the master tower (a few rooms after beating the 3 red orb shooting robot).

I just thought I'd leave my comments on the game so far, but first I'd just like to say it's great!

My first thoughts RE: movement and attacking were good, I felt in control of the character(s) and fighting wasn't a challenge - I also liked the effect when you collect money from enemies. In the first grassy area I felt like the graphics in the background were competing for my attention a bit? A bit too bright / saturated at times. I also felt that some graphics didn't quite fit? You don't have a uniform style over every sprite RE: outlines and palette tones. Animations were all good though.

I think you're often over-generous with the hearts in your level design, in the first areas I felt like I could throw away hits since hearts were everywhere. Later on you seem to flip on this and put in one hit kill / very strong enemies and no hearts?

I really enjoyed the "secret" passages into the walls etc. And the owls that fly across the screen reminded me of medusa heads in castlevania (and I was preparing to smash my head through the screen). The bugs that fly around following you were actually insanely annoying until I realised the best thing to do was stand still and mash attack.

During the cutscene where you're at Hammond's house for the first time he says "gooness" not "goodness", not a biggie but still. Also; Silex is really easy if you just mash punch while standing on his face, he only got two attacks in. I also felt the first boss could use more attacks / movement? He looked like he was about to try something new just as I killed him, though. I also think all the bosses need a bit more signposting of how they're going to attack - I had trouble seeing a few moves coming consistently.

That's all I've got to say for now but the game's great so far, I hope you keep expanding it further (I'd like to see more gear / loot in the future).


 Grin

This room was fucking annoying, the platforms could be jump through maybe if they don't have spikes?
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 12:50:45 AM »

So I gave it a go, and while I'm not very far yet, here are some thoughts:

* The tower in the intro screen looks like youknowwhat Smiley
* Upon entering/leaving a level (the transition between) the screen glitches up somehow for a very short while.
* The camera should be fixed to the character, atm it's too floaty. It really makes jumping those small platforms difficult. I don't know if I (the character) missed it or the camera hasn't reached its position, so I try to adjust and overshoot or miss the jump.
* Awesome music is awesome
* Once I got outside: Oh my god ... the graphics ... are ... so ... beautiful!
* The way levels are designed ... there must be tons of secret areas, I've only found a few.
* Re-spawning the stuff and enemies when you re-enter the room, is that a bug or a feature? I don't like killing the same enemies over and over.
* Had to re-try the first boss fight about 3 times. Not too difficult I guess.
* The small flying insects or whatever they are are sooo annoying. I can't really hit them. Some of the mushrooms are hidden in the grass so that makes noticing them quite hard.
* vivavolt said there are too many hearts - taking into account all those annoying mushrooms and whatnot you are bound to get hit all of the time (at least I did), so the hearts are very welcomed.
* I like how there's life in the world outside me and the quest I'm on. All the NPCs and such. I liked the cat on a roof, any way to feed the little fella? Smiley

So I played it for over an hour and I really-really like it. Although I feel a little dizzy because of the camera movement. I'll take a break now. Got an order to go into the mine so I'll resume that later.

Superb job! I'm putting on my top-hat just to take it off for you.

Gentleman
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 01:40:34 AM »

Man, beating the demo a while ago and now looking at these screen shots and video now, this game is going to be a lot more expansive than I initially thought!
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 10:38:37 AM »

Woohoo! Thanks for all the replies, everyone! Now it's time for me to dig in.  Hand Fork Left Evil Hand Knife Right

@SolarLune: I tried to put a heavy wind sound in the music, but it's kinda faint. Also, you have a good point about the text box, I'll try out some less harsh colors.

@richy486: Thank you! My skill as a pixel artist has greatly improved over the course of making this game, it seems.

@vivavolt: About the hearts, I wanted to be generous with them in the Garden, since it's the first level and all. I still have a whole lot of balancing to do to smooth out the difficulty curve. Later on the hearts do become very sparse, but at that point you should hopefully have considerably more HP and perhaps some HP Capsules.
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During the cutscene where you're at Hammond's house for the first time he says "gooness" not "goodness", not a biggie but still.
Nooooo! Never noticed that one, nor has anyone else I don't think. I've been keeping such a sharp lookout for typos, and yet here we are. Thanks for the report!
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You don't have a uniform style over every sprite
Hmm. This could be a result of my having made all the graphics over the course of nearly 2 and a half years. Any specific examples of things you don't think seem to fit? I've had to revamp a lot of the older graphics a few times because of the quality difference, but it looks pretty even to me now, for the most part.

@Eigen: Glad you like it so much! Sorry, no way to feed the cats... yet.
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The tower in the intro screen looks like youknowwhat
Roll Eyes Alright alright... it can probably be drawn better anyway.
Quote
Upon entering/leaving a level (the transition between) the screen glitches up somehow for a very short while.
Ah, darn. See, I've only had this bug reported by a few people, and I've only seen it happen on one computer. I really don't know what could be causing it, but I may look into making my own room transitions instead of using a premade Game Maker one. That may solve it.
Quote
Awesome music is awesome
Once I got outside: Oh my god ... the graphics ... are ... so ... beautiful!
Grin

The respawning enemies is a feature. Lots of games have respawning enemies when you leave the room. If they didn't respawn, you'd quickly run out of enemies to fight.

@Rainchild: You got that right!  Cheesy
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iMoose
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 07:54:04 PM »

Been working on this all day. You might recognize some R-Type in here. This was a huge help. Fire serpent boss FTW  Well, hello there!

« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 08:37:23 PM by iMoose » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 09:24:38 PM »

Ahh, it's so pretty! The atmosphere rocks in that shot!
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 11:51:48 PM »

A wooden door in a fire hazardous area? That's safe!

Grin

Just kidding, it looks spectacular. But what are the serpent's ... uhm .. balls ... made of? They seem very glossy, almost like glass of sorts. A more gritty look would probably match the fire theme better.
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 12:38:20 AM »

Hey, I really like the way your game looks. I checked it out a few days ago, though I haven't played it.

8-bit fantasy Cave-Story RPG-ish. I'll pay money for it when the time rolls around.

My biggest 2 criticisms are with the characters:
  1. They don't pop in the visuals.
  2. They don't animate.

The world has a lot of feeling. The attacks have a lot of feeling. But while in motion the characters are relatively static. If you watch Mario move around it is very visceral. He gives a particular impression when running, fast running, ducking, turning, sliding, jumping. Each action has a personality. It's also very easy to identify him on the screen.

In your game it's more like I have this dot that I impress my own ideas onto. The game would be fun anyway, but I think there's more potential there. Looking at what you've already done I'm just saying this because I'm sure you have the experience to make the change without too much trouble.

Though it's not like I could animate them. What you have is already beyond my skills. I'll play your game either way.

---

I'm taking a look at your most recent screenshot, which is lovely by the way. The most powerful elements are the boss, the lava, and the cave environment. The last place my attention goes is the character. She may as well be background visually. All the other elements speak to their purpose in a loud voice. Her role in the scene is completely overshadowed. Just look at it and note where all your feelings come from.

Maybe you want the emphasis on the world? Like the character is supposed to be this little weak thing. I'll just give a counter to this whether it's the case or not.

There's a big difference between something that stands out as being weak, and something that is a nothing or doesn't invoke emotion. A little personality I immediately relate to, then feel an over-powering world around, is very different than a powerful world and a blank personality.

See what I mean? Love your game.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 01:26:04 AM by toast_trip » Logged
seagaia
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 07:04:33 AM »

o dood, I played this a lot a few months back. thought it was sick from what I remember.

i think I got stuck in some lab near the end of the demo or whatever, or I stopped playing (don't remember)

thought the secret passages were neat. I think I may have felt that the characters jumped and moved too fast, but i'd have to check that again.

good luck and keep working!!!
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iMoose
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 01:33:26 PM »

Changed the design of the serpent a bit, and got started on its attacks.



@Eigen:
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A wooden door in a fire hazardous area? That's safe!
I'm in a steaming hot room with lava on the floor fighting a giant fire serpent... who said anything about safe?  Wink But yea, the door won't be wooden. That's just a placeholder.

Quote
But what are the serpent's ... uhm .. balls ... made of? They seem very glossy, almost like glass of sorts. A more gritty look would probably match the fire theme better.
It might, but I really like the look of these ones. They're not really supposed to look like anything in particular, but I think of them as a smooth organic membrane. Kind of like an eye, but much tougher. The insides pulsate. You can't really see it in the screenies, but they do.

@toast-trip: Really good crits, I think you're probably right. I could add some better animations. But I'm not going to change the overall look of the characters; the way they are is part of the charm of the game, I think. Maybe they translate better to me because I know the characters really well.

@seagaia: Yep, the lab is very close to the end of the demo. I hope you manage to beat it!  Grin

Thanks everyone for the feedback!
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 05:17:42 PM »

Wow, love the colors!
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 11:37:25 PM »

I think toast-trip's feedback is spot on, actually. I think some more dynamic, better-visible sprites could benefit the game greatly.

Also, following! Smiley
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Vertex: Exploration platformer by iMoose
HARA HARA DUEL: Dueling game
Solving stuttering: fixed timesteps
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