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October 24, 2014, 03:19:09 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsTank You! - local multiplayer bullet hell deathmatch thing (v0.13 xmas edition)
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Author Topic: Tank You! - local multiplayer bullet hell deathmatch thing (v0.13 xmas edition)  (Read 3747 times)
NiallM
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« on: October 14, 2012, 06:27:00 AM »



This is a local multiplayer thing I've just started on. It's your standard arena deathmatch tank game with pickups, with the following rules:
  • Pickups are global; any pickups collected apply to all tanks simultaneously.
  • Pickups are cumulative; they don't time out or replace other pickups; they add to what's already in play.
  • The last player alive is the winner.

A couple of videos:
Recursive shot properties demo
Original video


Frustratingly I haven't had a chance to playtest it with other human beings yet, so it's entirely possible this is a terrible idea for a game. I just like the escalating ridiculousness of it. There's currently 15 pickups implemented; I've got ideas for about 30 more (suggestions are very welcome Smiley ). At the moment the tanks only have a primary weapon, but I plan on adding a secondary one too which charges with time (the bar below the tanks' health in the gui) for things like mines, laser fences, bees etc.

Here's download links for the current version:
0.13 - Windows (11.8MB)
0.13 - OSX (25.7MB)

The previous versions:
0.12 - Windows (10.8MB)
0.12 - OSX (22.3MB)
0.11 - Windows (10.8MB)
0.11 - OSX (22.3MB)
0.10 - Windows (10.6MB)
0.10 - OSX (21.8MB)

It's probably best played with xbox pads, but you can play it with the keyboard/other joysticks too. Check the readme for the default controls and how to rebind them.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 06:52:08 AM by NiallM » Logged

Danmark
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 03:34:21 PM »

Looks cool. I think you'll get more response once you have a video with multiple players.

Shells look like sperm thanks to the trails, particularly when they curve.

You need to tone the screen shaking & discoloring thing way down. It's obnoxious as hell even with just sustained default weapon fire from 2 tanks. It is a pretty visceral effect though. Perhaps you could make it more localized somehow?
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The Rookie
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 04:25:50 PM »

I gotta agree with Danmark here. The shaking effect is used way too much. Tone it down a bit.

Besides that I like the game and think you got something good going here. Keep it up.
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DustyDrake
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 07:20:21 PM »

I think the shaking would be fine if it weren't for the blinding color.
Blinding and bullet hells do not mix.
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NiallM
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 02:13:59 AM »

Cheesy The screen shake/colour flash is actually toned down quite a bit from how I had it originally. I'll be sure to add in option sliders so people can set it how they want it. I don't want to remove it entirely because I actually like obnoxious shake/flash effects, but there's no reason it can't be an optional thing.

I like the idea of localising some of the effects though. I might experiment with some kind of radial colour gradient in the background.
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kaboom
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 01:18:04 PM »

Nice little game you got there. The 2 biggest points have already been adressed.
I also think walls made out of balls look a bit out of place.
Maybe there shouldn't be as much powerups as there are now. Or maybe give people a powerup max of 2 and overwrite the first one when they get another. Unless you love chaos of course.
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Evan McClane
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 04:23:05 PM »

Wow, haven't seen you around here for a while, green.

Anyway, this is pretty fun other than the problems everyone else has discussed.  The graphics are a nice simple style, and everything felt really smooth. Hand Thumbs Up Left
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NiallM
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 01:50:06 AM »

Just uploaded a new video:

It shows off the placeholder options screen, rudimentary console, and a couple of new modifiers. I'll upload this version once I've implemented secondary fire (mines, basically).

Maybe there shouldn't be as much powerups as there are now. Or maybe give people a powerup max of 2 and overwrite the first one when they get another. Unless you love chaos of course.
I think things probably are too chaotic at the moment. I mean, that is part of the point of the game; it's all about stacking modifiers until you wind up with a game that's completely different from the one you started playing. But at the moment it's too easy to get into a situation where the winner is essentially decided by a dice roll. I've been toying with different methods of choosing which pickups are generated, but I think what's probably needed is some combination of an AI director, and pickups which are designed to counter some of the more excessive behaviours.
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NiallM
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 06:49:32 AM »

I've just uploaded a new build. See the original post for links. Here's a screenshot that shows off some of the additions:



There's a full changelog in the downloads, but here's a quick run down of what I've added:
  • Options Screen - There's now options to set the amount of screen shake and flash, as well as some options which alter how the game plays (number of players, number of simultaneous pickups on screen...), including...
  • Different Pickup Generation Methods - This is my (first) attempt to find a way of balancing out the chaotic nature of the game so it's less of a random chance who wins. I'm not sure any of the options so far get it quite right though.
  • Mines! - There's now a secondary fire which drops mines. By default they just explode and take off some health, but there's also various pickups which will modify their behaviour (e.g. triggering them can lay down slow fields, healing patches, new walls, bees...).
  • Debug console - Pressing tab will now bring up a debug console which you can use to trigger modifiers. There's a list of all the available modifiers included in the downloads; just be sure to type them in exactly as they are in that file or it won't work.

It still feels kind of unbalanced, depending on which pickups you get. Like I said in my last post, I think what it really needs is some kind of AI director which will attempt to keep things fair and interesting at the same time. Also, the Bullets heal! modifier currently tends to create a stalemate, unless you can get creative with mines and bees.

One happy accident though is that the debug console effectively makes it possible to play this as a 5 player game, with one player taking on a kind of DM role and triggering modifiers to screw with the tank players. I'm quite excited by this and am definitely going to expand upon it to make the debug console easier to use.
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NiallM
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 02:55:39 AM »

I finally had a chance to do some proper playtesting, and immediately discovered tanks were far too easy to kill, so I've just uploaded a version which significantly increases the amount of damage tanks can take (see OP). This should make the game a bit more fun. As a bonus it also adds some incentive to collect the pickups, as it would be quite a grind to kill someone without powering-up your shots now.

This version also includes the option of triggering Open Sound Control messages upon certain events, which means you can now hook the game up to synthesizers etc. Here's a video.
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jonbro
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 03:12:12 AM »

Hey, I tried to give this a play the other day, but it seems the inputs for xbox controller on mac are not the same as on pc... is it possible to remap the controls in a config (sorry if I am overlooking something obvious).
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NiallM
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 04:12:48 AM »

Hey, I tried to give this a play the other day, but it seems the inputs for xbox controller on mac are not the same as on pc... is it possible to remap the controls in a config (sorry if I am overlooking something obvious).
Sad I hadn't tested the pad on OSX; it looks like the triggers work differently there. On Windows they appear as a single joystick axis (left trigger -ve, right trigger +ve), but on OSX they're 2 separate axes. Which should mean it's just a matter of changing my keymapping code, but for some reason I don't seem to be receiving all the axis motion events when I do that Undecided

It's possible it's an issue with SDL 1.2; I know 2.0 is meant to have better support for xbox pads, so I'll have a play with that when I get a chance.


Oh, and you can remap the controls. There's a keyconfig.txt file in ~/Library/Application Support/Tank You! If you change the Joy0TriggerLeft/Right to Joy0Up2/Joy0Down2 I think you'll be able to move with the triggers, but it'll be awfully clumsy as their range will be completely wrong. A better solution would be to map them to the shoulder buttons (Joy0Button4/Joy0Button5) which should work, albeit you won't have analogue control.


Incidentally, I was thinking about asking if you and smestorp would be willing to meet up at some point for some playtesting? I've got one more big feature I want to add first though.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 12:56:45 PM »

Oh my god this game looks amazing. I love how crazy it gets so quickly. 

I cannot wait to play this with my friends. Kiss
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NiallM
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2012, 06:35:08 AM »

Thanks! Grin

I haven't actually started on what I think are the really crazy features yet Evil  There's a good chance they'll break the game in all sorts of ridiculous new ways, but I figure if you're going to attempt this kind of maximalist game design you might as well go all out Smiley
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jonbro
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 07:05:00 AM »

Ok, just played a bunch of 3p games at the office... some thoughts.

I think you could make the game without powerups slightly more interesting. when you get into a shooting match with another player, it seems like it is just a matter of hammering the gun button. Maybe I am missing something here though, but it felt like there wasn't much evasion built into the game. The boost powerup provides a bit of this evasion feeling, in addition to the fact that it is really nice to just boost around the board, and pop off little shots.

The behavior of the powerups was a bit unclear. What is a bee mine? Also the fact that the powerups seem to stack infinitely, there never seems like a reason to not go for a powerup. What if you could only hold the last 2 powerups on the stack. Again, I maybe missing something here, and that is already the behavior, in which case maybe that should just be explained visually. I guess there are some situations in which your tank becomes so powerful that you just kill yourself.

Have you played inside a star filled sky? it really pushes the decisions about what powerups you need to grab, while also having a visual language that shows what the powerups do.

Let me know when you have another build, will throw it on the office pc and give it a play.
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NiallM
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 07:35:08 AM »

Quote from: jonbro
I think you could make the game without powerups slightly more interesting. when you get into a shooting match with another player, it seems like it is just a matter of hammering the gun button. Maybe I am missing something here though, but it felt like there wasn't much evasion built into the game. The boost powerup provides a bit of this evasion feeling, in addition to the fact that it is really nice to just boost around the board, and pop off little shots.
Yeah, I think the lack of evasion (or at least being able to defend yourself somehow) is a bit of a problem. And it gets particularly bad when things get really bullet hell-y. I've been trying to think of ways to fix this, but it may require some more fundamental changes to the game than what I've tried so far.

Quote from: jonbro
The behavior of the powerups was a bit unclear. What is a bee mine?
Grin Most of the mine pickups affect what happens when you collide with a mine. The bee mine is pretty obvious if you do that. Also, some of these mine pickups can be advantageous, so in some circumstances you might want to collide with mines and take some damage in exchange for what they add to the playfield.

Quote from: jonbro
Also the fact that the powerups seem to stack infinitely, there never seems like a reason to not go for a powerup. What if you could only hold the last 2 powerups on the stack. Again, I maybe missing something here, and that is already the behavior, in which case maybe that should just be explained visually. I guess there are some situations in which your tank becomes so powerful that you just kill yourself.
Yeah, the pickups are supposed to stack infinitely (or at least until you've exhausted all the pickups in the game). And I think that's part of the problem with the game. I'm still trying to figure out the best way around the whole so-many-modifiers-that-suicide-is-inevitable issue, because I really like the chaos all those interactions bring. It's just that survival comes down to a roll of the dice after a certain point.

I think I might experiment with limiting the number of active pickups, see how that works.

Quote from: jonbro
Have you played inside a star filled sky? it really pushes the decisions about what powerups you need to grab, while also having a visual language that shows what the powerups do.
I've not actually. I'll have to check it out. Though I'm a bit apprehensive about the idea of drawing up icons for all 36 (I'm aiming for 64, I think) modifiers that are currently in the game.


Anyway, here's my WIP build (Windows). In this one you get healed 20% whenever you grab a pickup, and it adds Turn-based mode, zombie shots, mine shots, kamikaze tanks, and camouflage mines modifiers. Not sure how well turn-based mode works...
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 02:54:03 AM »

I may be going to far with this, but I had some more thoughts about the game.

I think that there are some oppositional goals here. On the one hand, you want to add all these ops to the system that add up to really interesting bullet displays. This is already awesome, and I think you are accomplishing it really well. It already feels like a really rich space, full of surprises. At the same time, you want to have player avatars that need to avoid these bullets in some way. I am not sure that this goal is as well defined. I think there are a few ways you can fix it though. One of them is the bullet and player movement is not well balanced. If you look at bullet hell games, the bullets actually move really slowly, and the player can move in any direction at any time (i.e. no steering). I can see you are accomplishing aiming with the tank style controls, but perhaps a dual stick control is a better setup? That said, the powerups tend to stack towrds omnidirectional shooting pretty darn quick, so maybe the shooting control isn't that important. You could have just shooting in the movement direction. Another thing that you could borrow from bullet hells is the possibility that your player can destroy bullets. In a bunch of games this manifests as a last ditch style bomb, but I think in your game you could have bullets that destroy other bullets. I think there are some powerups that do this (the shock wave?), but perhaps as a top level thing.

What if your bullets moved really slow, like slower than your ship moved, so you were not only manuvering to get your bullets on the other player, or create an impassable maze for them, but you had to also navigate your own maze. This could work well with auto fire. Or if you could control your ships bullet op stack, like pop instructions, or shift instructions, and push instructions by picking them up off the board.

Another possibility... how would the game change if the tanks couldn't kill each other directly, and instead needed to hold a changing point on the map by pumping bullets into it... then you could have a risk reward of staying to hold the point vs going to get more powerups. Or if you needed to kill creeps that moved across the map, and rather that dying from getting shot, you lost the creeps you had collected?
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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2012, 02:59:46 AM »

This is fun Smiley
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NiallM
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2012, 07:04:57 AM »

I've just uploaded a new, slightly Christmas-themed update. It adds various new pickups (turn-based mode, zombies, turrets, snowflakes), but the main addition is a separate Tank You 'n' Stuff version:



Modelled after an old Amiga game called Tanx 'n' Stuff, the winner is the player who has grabbed the most flags at the end of 5 minutes. It required a much larger arena to work, so each player gets a separate viewport now. Tanks can carry 3 flags at a time, and only flags which have been deposited in the player's base count towards their final score. (also, you can steal flags out of other players' bases, which is always fun Grin )

Dying now is just a momentary frustration rather than game over. I think this possibly makes the game work better?

Here's a video.
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2013, 06:04:39 AM »

Oh! i remember Tanx'n'Stuff on the Amiga!
 
Played it a lot with my buddy!
(I remember the boat map as well )
Tons of fun!
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