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1037233 Posts in 41898 Topics- by 33504 Members - Latest Member: Vainglorious

August 29, 2014, 06:20:38 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingFaster Blaster - Metroid Blaster Master mash-up with physics
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Author Topic: Faster Blaster - Metroid Blaster Master mash-up with physics  (Read 4160 times)
lukke
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2012, 04:13:07 PM »

Really enjoyed your game !
I agree with achild about the ambient lightning, especially on the surface of the planet. It works quite well with a narrow sight while exploring the small tunnels which are located underground.
Regarding the mood/visual narration, it would be nice to have a bright diffuse lightning when surfacing Smiley
Also a minor thing but I think the tank should emit light too (a subtle halo), not only a cone through the canon. It would help keeping the focus on the tank and locating it in the darker areas.
After browsing your website, I wished that you had used your abstract style in this game.
Could be fantastic.
By the way are you planning the possibility of modding the graphics ? Please do Smiley
Thanks for sharing, I'm so tempted to try your engine now !
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QuadrupleA
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 07:00:04 PM »

Cool game! Dug into it about 20 minutes, headed out for the evening but hoping to explore further.

A few notes I took while playing:

- I like the dynamic driving sound - bass sounds really nice on my studio monitors
- Overall free-rotating pixel art style is really cool
- Might be some copyright issues with some art assets (like the Metroid) - Nintendo isn't very litigious though so probably not a problem
- Lighting seemed a bit high contrast / confusing in places, like others have mentioned - I had trouble distinguishing the background from foreground sometimes, and felt confused by blind spots as areas darkened and lightened from all the particles and whatnot. It adds to a nice mood though, I like the graphical style - so might just need some refinement.
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tmgs
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2012, 02:49:41 AM »

I've been having a fair bit of fun with this. The biggest issue for me is the difficulty of distinguishing different elements (foreground, background, different kinds of rock). I think the lighting is great. It adds to the difficulty in places.
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Spring Missile
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2012, 08:20:51 AM »

I've been playing it and I must say that the dynamic lighting is very nice and the environment inside the game is very unique, well done! However, the dynamic was overkill for my poopy computer but that's because it's old  Outraged
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FrankForce
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2012, 05:10:45 PM »

achild - I added support for ambient light but I have it turned off.  I like how the dark areas are kind of like blind spots like you would have in a real cave.  In the latest version you can open the debug console and try something like "ambientLightColor .2 .2 .2".  I may try doing the fog of war thing in a different way so I can still have ambient light.

Udderdude - What kind of controller is it?  It should automatically and detect and switch between gamepad or mouse.  I put up a new version where you can disable gamepad support with the console command "gamepadEnable 0".  I also added basic support for right stick emulation on snes style game pads if anyone wants to give that a try, this game isn't very suited to it though.

lukke - Thanks!  I will experiment more with the ambient setting.  I do have a faint light on the tank, perhaps it was not bright enough, I just doubled it for you.  There will be many more games, abstract style would look sweet with this lighting, kind of like Thomas Was Alone.  Modding the graphics is easy, if you press F3 it checks for any assets in that folder with a matching file name and overrides the default.  I updated the readme with an asset list, I can also put up a zip with all the assets if anyone is really interested.  You can also mod the level by pressing F4 to toggle edit mode, the editor controls are not very user friendly right now but there is a help display that will at least show you the controls.

LukeR - The art assets are all original creations inspired by metroid.  I'm still working on getting the lighting right.  I uploaded a new build where I am desaturating a lot of the background objects to hopefully make them easier to distinguish.

tmgs - Creating the sense of depth between foreground and background is one of the biggest things I am struggling with.  I redid a lot of the layout to read better and also desaturated background textures in most areas.

Joey Clever - Sorry man, I have a lot of optimizations to do, possibly a several fold speed increase on systems with slower gpus.  I don't want my engine to be something that only high end computers can run.

Update: I put up a new build with .1 ambient light.  This is not what I thought I wanted but I'm interested to see if this fixes peoples problems with the darkness.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 08:16:35 PM by FrankForce » Logged
nachobeard
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2012, 02:14:11 AM »

looks like a lot of fun, congratulations! I'll try the demo and give you some feedback hopefully later today.
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2012, 11:13:26 AM »

I finally got around to trying this.

Things I didn't like:

-The shooting sound drove me crazy.
-The jumping sound seems too...goofy. I expected something more mechanical sounding.
-The lighting effects seemed to detract from the appearance of the world. To me, that sort of thing can make the difference between enjoyable exploring and random wandering.
-I found the gun hard to use with its incredibly short range, so I ended up just rushing past enemies instead, which wasn't particularly fun.


Things I liked:

-The engine sounds are great and I was impressed that you went as far as altering the sound based on speed and friction.
-While the tank might be a little too floaty for my taste, I like that there's some sense of weight to it as you drive along.
-Seeing debris from an exploded enemy chip away at one type of ground object was cool.


Miscellaneous:

-The doors didn't seem like doors.
-The health-regenerator...thing...seemed like an enemy when it started shooting, so I almost avoided it.
-I'd love to see some sort of indicator that my weapon is going to overheat soon. I was caught by surprise a few times.


The game works fine but I couldn't manage to feel the joy of exploring a new game/world. Some ambient lighting might help that.


Update: I went back and played again. I hadn't even noticed that there's a day/night cycle in place (because I went into a cave too early). The night worked so much better. I think that the daylight just makes colors clash too much, making me not really want to explore the world. Night solved that problem.
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FrankForce
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2012, 12:29:10 PM »

Quicksand-S - Thanks for the feedback!  The jump sound especially is driving me nuts too, I will tune up some of these annoying sounds soon. 

Can you say more specifically why the lighting doesn't fit?  The newest build has a small amount of ambient light by default in response to what everyone was saying, maybe that will help.  The day time lighting probably doesn't fit, I mainly put in the day night cycle to test the outdoor lighting, it is not featured heavily in this game.  I am using this game as a test bed for my lighting system.

I also just added a help box next to the first health re-generator to explain what its for.  The trails from your bullets and your weapon itself will turn red as it begins to overheat, maybe that isn't enough.  I will add a help box for that too.

The gun is a bit tricky to use because bullets have gravity and inherit your velocity.  I tried to simplify things for the player by automatically adjusting the trajectory to pass as close as possible to the mouse position.  In other words you it takes gravity and your speed out of the equation for the player, just put the mouse on something and fire.  You only have to increase your momentum to even be able to reach far enough.  Maybe I could make that more obvious but I'm not sure how to without confusing players.  I have a debug command "showWeaponTrajectory 1" which might help show what I'm talking about.  It is more complex to get used to then the classic model where bullets do not inherit velocity but I think this way offers more depth and looks better.  It is very apparent in this game because you can actually drive faster then your bullets.  There is also a powerup that increases your bullet speed.
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2012, 02:39:55 PM »

Well, the daytime sky color seems to clash a bit with the greens on the surface sometimes. In general, daytime lighting doesn't mesh well with the colored point lights around the scene. Maybe in the daytime, glowing blocks and things should lose their glow?

Anyway, another problem I found on my end is that I was playing during the day. Playing now, I can actually notice the ambient lighting and it looks better that way. This brings up a question: Would you be able to add a brightness setting?
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nachobeard
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« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2012, 07:16:09 AM »

ok, I've played this for a bit (around 15 mins).
here are some initial thoughts.

handling is pretty tight, but I think the jumping can improved.  it feels too floaty to me.  sorry for the generic term here, but I can't really be more specific.  to me it feels like at the beginning of the jump you're applying a constant force upwards for some time, which is kinda weird because I expect the force to be instantaneous.  I could be wrong of course, but that's what it feels like to me.  air control feels pretty good.

regarding the aiming, it looks like you put effort in making sure that the bullets pass through the point where you're aiming with the mouse, even though they have gravity.  this might throw some people off because as you move the mouse further away from the tank the turret tilts upwards to compensate for gravity, so the turret isn't actually aiming at the mouse.  may using a gravity-less laser instead of a pea shooter might help, but I don't know, maybe if you play the game a lot you get used to it.

that's it, if I keep playing the game IŽll keep writing my comments here.
good luck!
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ithamore
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2012, 06:16:27 AM »

I got to the brain but could only beat it by cheating. I accidently hit the key for the command line when trying to exit after my first round with it and then started keyboard exploring. Then I found the map editor and removed the problems: those homing orbs.

Opening the map editor also disabled the countdown.

I like how the thrusters work. They aren't a double jump and are great to play around with.

I played for over 6 hours, but the game said it was under 6. Sometimes, it was easier to kill myself off and restart from the last save, but efficiently using saves has empowered me and my playing experience for years.
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FrankForce
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« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2012, 03:16:41 PM »

Quicksand-S - I want to improve the sky color to do a color sweep when the sun rises and sets.  There are some console commands that control brightness like finalBlurAlpha and ambientLightColor.  I will get better brightness control and true gamma correction in at some point.

nachobeard - When you jump it applies a constant force for as long as you hold the jump button for up to .5 seconds.  The reason for this is to make it easier for players to control the height of their jumps.  Maybe I should tighten it up?  I'm not sure what to do about the aiming thing, I think its more a design challenge now of how to get the player to not over think it.

ithamore - Wow man congrats!  Really cool that you found an outside the box solution.  I'm thinking about tweaking it so the homing orbs are slightly easier to dodge.  It probably said under 6 because if you die it doesn't clock that time.  I hope you still got to see the some of self destruct sequence, I put it in to give the player more a sense of closure when the game is done.

Other updates... 

I have mostly been doing a cleanup and optimization pass on my engine this week.  Its running nearly three times as fast as before.  The cost of rendering each light is significantly faster now because it pre-renders a double sized shadow map of the entire scene only once and re-uses it for each light rather then re-rendering the scene for each light.  The main tradeoff is it needs a larger texture for the global shadow buffer to save resolution and it is slightly slower in situations where there are very few or no lights.  It also dynamically caches vertex buffers for terrain as new patches get in the window.  I was drawing each individual tile as a separate draw call which I knew was slow.  The new way greatly reduces the amount of draw calls for terrain at the expense of a small spike when you cross terrain patch boundaries.

Lots of editor bug fixes.  Added a simple system to hook up high precision profile timers, you can see the display when you hit F6.  I also added neat a feature to the lighting system so some stuff can be semi-transparent so only that color of light can pass through, so far only the doors use this.  Here's a screenshot where I'm shining a white flashlight through a red transparent door...



Many small gameplay improvements: Red doors now open with 1 rocket but stay locked.  Better gamepad support.  Improved some sounds effects.
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nachobeard
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« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2012, 04:36:59 PM »

re: jumping
rather than applying constant force for height control, I'd apply a single-frame force and adjust gravity when the player releases the jump key.  this can be tricky to adjust.  these might help:

http://teknopants.com/2012/09/on-variable-jumping/
http://meyermike.com/wp/?p=160
http://meyermike.com/wp/?p=175
http://teknopants.com/2012/11/movement-and-response/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G4fc6Tfka0&feature=relmfu


re: aiming
it'll change the feel significantly but I'd try gravity-less shots or laser shots.

good luck!
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2012, 09:07:08 PM »

My usual way to do platformer jumping is to apply an initial upward force and then, when the player releases the key, to cut the current vertical speed in half so that the character falls sooner than they would have. Naturally, there are certain concerns with this method, such as making sure that this only happens when moving upward so the player can't cut their falling speed in half at will.

That white->red light through a door looks great and I'm actually not sure I've seen it in a game before. Nice work.
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Scott
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« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2012, 08:25:50 AM »

Just wanted to jump in and say I really like the direction this is going. Also, visually, it is easier [for me] to take in. Keep it up!  Grin
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