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October 31, 2014, 09:52:38 AM
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TheLastBanana
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« on: August 31, 2012, 09:12:47 PM »


History
Two years ago, I made a Ludum Dare entry called "Magno-Warrior." Give it a try if you want a general idea of how this game works, although be warned: its controls are kind of wonky, and it was generally agreed that it could have been fun if I hadn't botched that part. Also, "Magnaut" sounds cooler and doesn't return Google image results for Yu-Gi-Oh cards, so I wouldn't be offended if you just stuck with the new version.

Gameplay
Magnaut is a top-down shoot-'em-up think Asteroids. But there's a twist (bet you didn't see that coming)! Fly into the derelict hulls of your enemies and witness why the game's title sounds suspiciously similar to "magnet:" your ship can grab dead enemies and use their weapons and armour to defend itself. Super cool!
The main gamemode will feature a whole bunch of hand-made enemy waves with the occasional boss and bonus stage.
That said, high score lists can get dull pretty quickly, so there will also be stuff to unlock. For instance:
  • A hard mode?
  • A randomly-generated mode
  • New player ships with different control/gameplay styles
I'll probably add to that list as I go on with development.

Flashy and Noisy Things
It's okay I know most of you skipped to this part.
Some of these videos are of old versions, although nothing really huge has changed aside from effects and sounds.




Music


To-do List (In Maybe-Chronological Order)
(Underlined stuff is in progress, strikethrough is complete.)
  • Make attachment UI more user-friendly
  • Change repair to only affect ships of the same type
  • Set up bonus stage
  • Come up with some more background effects and music so that the experience stays fresh
  • Set up all the main game waves
  • Controller support/other control schemes (No controller support for now)
  • Make bosses (one left!)
  • Make more bonus stages
  • Add a seeeeecret thing
  • Add screen-clearing "smart bomb"
  • Muck around with the scoring system
  • Set up an unlock system
  • Add menu screens
  • Start beta testing!
  • Add more player ship types
  • Add a high-score list
  • Add a randomly-generated gamemode

To-Maybe-do List
  • Let the player fire weak shots when no attachments are present (might be useful for bosses, but maybe it defeats the point of the game?)
  • Make little numbers pop out of destroyed enemies (too annoying?)
  • Hard mode (depends on how long the normal mode takes me, although I could just multiply the enemies' speeds or something)

Like the game? Follow it on Indie DB!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 06:11:18 PM by TheLastBanana » Logged

TheLastBanana
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2012, 02:12:45 PM »

In today's update, I'll talk a bit about the music.
For most of the game's development process, I've been using music I made with the Ultimate Megadrive Soundfont it seems like most "retro" games go for more of an NES kind of sound, so I figured I'd do something a little bassier and funkier while still keeping it in the world of classic video games.
Honestly, though, it felt a little wrong using a soundfont that directly samples other games for the sake of my own game, and I don't really want to invite any legal issues with something I'm planning on selling. So, instead, I've re-made the music using VOPM, which emulates a very similar chip to the Megadrive (the Yamaha YM2151). I've cheated a bit by using a different synth for my square lead, and the drum samples are some royalty-free ones which I've passed through some filters to get a little closer to Genesis sound quality. Ultimately, though, I'm not entirely committed to having a 100% accurate emulation here (in case the rotation and alpha effects weren't a good indication); I just think it sounds neat, so hopefully you'll agree. The sound is a little livelier and bassier now. That said, maybe I went overboard, so opinions would be appreciated!

For comparison, here's the old version of the main theme:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2149322/Magno-Warrior/ElectroargentumOld.mp3
And here's the new version:
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Zack Bell
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2012, 09:43:50 PM »

I'm surprised that this hasn't had much feedback yet. I just wanted to say that I really, really love the premise. I think that it is a really cool gimmick and that it would make a great arcade style game like Super Crate Box or something of that sort.
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 11:43:33 PM »

I remember testing this out! It was an absolute blast, and I've been waiting to see more development for it for ages. This looks wonderful, TLB! Keep up teh great work.  Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 12:05:58 AM »

oh my this is wicked cool.  that's all I got to say, will be keeping my eye on this one.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 08:56:10 PM »

Thanks for the kind words, folks!

Today, I completely wrote the system which handles the ships attached to the player. The code was quite frankly a mess, and a bit painful to work with. It now uses proper tweens, among other things, which has the added bonus of making the ships not snap around awkwardly when one is destroyed. Also, it's not going to give me a brain aneurysm when I need to add things to it (which will be very soon).

I also added a screen shake/tear effect. Basically, the screen is cut up into lines, and they shake in two directions at once. I found it was annoying if it shook whenever attached ships were hit, so instead, it's used to lend a bit more of a powerful feeling to your shots by subtly shaking whenever you hit an enemy. Of course, larger shots shake slightly more.
It's also used when you crash into an enemy, when you are hit directly, and when you die. However, to differentiate these negative events from the positive feedback of hitting an enemy, these ones are more harsh, last a little longer, and vibrate horizontally instead of vertically, which seems to feel a little more disorienting. It certainly solves the problem I was previously noticing of not knowing when you've been hit directly.

A few other changes are that I've decreased the maximum number of attachments to 5, and that ships you pick up will only repair other ships of the same type. The first of these will just make the game a little harder. The second will force the player to improvise and use different weapon types as the game progresses you can't repair your attached ships if you haven't seen that type of ship in a while. This should also be a nice way of making the game naturally increase in difficulty as the enemy types start getting more varied later in the game.

Here's today's video:

Next up is probably replacing the awful attachment UI, which you can get a glimpse of if you look around 0:46 in today's video. It's really awkward, and makes it nearly impossible to arrange things.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 11:59:05 AM by TheLastBanana » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 07:20:56 PM »

Allow me to start this post by quoting myself:
September is probably a terrible time for me to start this, but OH WELL.
To the surprise of nobody at all, I ended up being too busy to work on this for two weeks. Durr...?

Anyway, here I am with another update! As promised, I've completely redone the UI for rearranging attached ships. It's way, way more usable than before, and it's actually kind of fun to play with. This brief video will probably do a far better job of explaining it than I can:


The little tooltips that pop up over the attachments show how much health they have left, although, in this case, they were all at 100%.
Anyway, now that I have that out of the way, it seems the next item on my list is the bonus stage. I have no idea how long that's going to take, although I do already have the basics of the bonus stage running. I may end up posting several updates about it. Stay tuned!
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 02:49:24 PM »

Today, I finished putting together the bonus stage music. The bonus stage itself is semi-functional, but not quite in a state that I want to show it yet, so for now, you'll have to settle with some tunage:

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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 11:25:53 PM »

Okay, it's really been a while. Sorry! I've had a lot of other stuff to deal with, so this has (as usual) been on the backburner.
Good news, though: I have some really cool stuff to show you!

I've finished the bonus stage at the moment, there's only one playable level, but more can be added very easily.
The goal is pretty simple: go through rings to gain speed. If you run into a ball, you'll lose speed. In order to advance in the bonus stage (they have multiple sections, a la Sonic 2), you need to be at a certain goal speed. Also, if you go too long without passing a ring, you'll start to decelerate very quickly, so getting up to goal speed and then hiding from everything is a very bad idea.
So, without further ado, here it is!


You can also see the game's new fonts in the video. I went for a class arcade-style chrome font. I'm quite happy with them if nothing else, they're certainly a step up from the mixed-resolution mess I was using before.

My next step is probably to make a boss, then to assemble the various bits together into the first "world" (i.e. ten levels). I still need to decide how this is going to be split up, though. Bonus stages and bosses are nice for breaking up the action a bit, but there are two ways I can go with it:
  • Boss after every 10th wave, then bonus stage if you beat the boss without taking damage. This means the breaks in normal action aren't too frequent, but it could also make the breaks too long.
  • Boss after every 10th wave, bonus stage after every wave ending in 5 (and some other condition for getting to visit the bonus stage... not sure what). This keeps the two pieces separated so that the breaks in regular gameplay are short and satisfying, but it might also be awkward to be pulled out of regular gameplay so often.
Any opinions on this? I think I'm leaning toward the former.
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 11:36:07 PM »

Glad to see you're still working on this.
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amidos2006
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 01:32:09 AM »

Nice idea and game I just tried your ludumdare enty Smiley it will be nice if I can control the attaching debris part as it was difficult for me to do that correctly using arrows and mouse Smiley but its cool game Smiley Good Luck in the dev Smiley
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 10:09:17 AM »

Glad to see you're still working on this.
Thanks! Glad to see there are still some people watching I know this hasn't been the most consistently-updated devlog.

it will be nice if I can control the attaching debris part as it was difficult for me to do that correctly using arrows and mouse Smiley
Yeah, this was one of the huge issues with the Ludum Dare version. In the current version, it's all keyboard-controlled, and the ships automatically arrange themselves in a nice pattern. From the pause menu, you can also shuffle their order around or boot them off using the mouse.
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amidos2006
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 01:52:25 PM »

....
Yeah, this was one of the huge issues with the Ludum Dare version. In the current version, it's all keyboard-controlled, and the ships automatically arrange themselves in a nice pattern. From the pause menu, you can also shuffle their order around or boot them off using the mouse.

That's amazing looking forward to try that Smiley
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 11:01:29 PM »

The first boss is still under construction! Hopefully it won't be too long before I have something to show on that front. In the meantime, I also put some music together for the second world of the game, which will be laser-themed:

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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 12:42:48 AM »

The first boss is still under construction! Hopefully it won't be too long before I have something to show on that front. In the meantime, I also put some music together for the second world of the game, which will be laser-themed:

Wooow who did that awesome track? You?
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 08:33:18 AM »

Yessir! Glad to hear you like it. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 05:46:45 PM »

Right-o, here's that boss I've been working on:

It flies in and starts siphoning off your fuel, as suggested by its name as you can see in the video, this slows you down.
Essentially, it acts as a giant mace, swinging toward the front of your ship. To damage it, you need to smash it into enemies.
As it takes damage, it moves further away from you and it starts taking longer to swing into place. For the last few hits, this gets pretty stressful, because the enemy spawn rate is up and it moves quite sluggishly.

Also, though not visible in this video, if you clear a boss stage without taking damage, you get warped to the bonus stage. Then, if you beat that, you get a health pack. In the future, you'll get to choose between a few different items... More on that later.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2012, 02:48:27 PM »

Here's a little more progress:


This world has a fancy new background and adds in the laser enemy (which I made a long time ago) as well as the new burst-fire enemy. It shoots twin lasers three times in rapid succession. Assuming all of those lasers hit, it does a little more damage than the standard enemy, but that requires somewhat careful aiming.

Next up will probably be a boss!
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 12:59:07 PM »

As promised, here's the next boss!


The video shows off all three of its attacks: red (warp to a random position and fire shots in 8 directions), yellow (warp to center and fire big lasers in all 4 directions) and blue (warp off-screen and send in 3 regular enemies).

The attack sequence is actually a bit more complicated than it looks. I hate it when bosses keep spamming the same move over and over, so there's a few rules to how it works. The red attack is the shortest one, and the blue attack is generally the longest, or at least the most flow-breaking. The yellow one is somewhere in between, though still considerably longer than red. So, keeping that in mind:

  • The first attack is always red. I felt like it should be introduced first, being the most common one and the only one which doesn't have any warning aside from the red light this way, players should be less surprised the second time.
  • If the play doesn't have any attachments, the attack is always blue. That way, the player has a chance to grab one.
  • Otherwise, the chances for red, yellow and blue are, respectively, 50%, 30% and 20%.
  • If the randomly-chosen attack is the same as the last attack, then do the red attack instead.
  • If the red attack has been repeated twice in a row, then do one of the bigger attacks: 66.6% chance of yellow, 33.3% chance of blue.

To the player, it's subtle, but hopefully it'll keep the boss fight a little more fresh.
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2012, 02:04:50 PM »

The white borders you have around the ships bother me a bit. It looks to me like they're unfinished art or that they were cutout with a graphics program and you forgot to remove the pixels from the white background annnnnnd what I'm trying to say is you might want to try a few different variations on how the ships look before calling them done. I mean unless you're intentionally making them look like stickers. I'm tryin' to not sound like a jerk in my posts today so I apologize if I have jerked you.
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