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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsPike 'n Shot [an arcade Pike and Shoot'em up] (alpha v0.2)
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Author Topic: Pike 'n Shot [an arcade Pike and Shoot'em up] (alpha v0.2)  (Read 33513 times)
James Edward Smith
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« on: December 10, 2010, 09:09:52 am »

Smith's Fine Electric Amusements Presents



Download Pike'n Shot ALPHA v0.3

(windows only for now, sorry :/)











I'm pretty sure everyone on TIG knows what a shmup is. Well I'm making a FPNSHMUP.

"A Formation Pike & Shoot'em up you say?"

THE VERY SAME!

"You're quite mad sir! Certifiably goofy!"

Yeah, that's right, I'm making a marvelous, genre inventing side scrolling (Pike & )shooter game where you control what else, but a formation of 16th century, early gunpowder era mercenaries. So what, big whoop, you wanna fight about it?

I've posted about this game before (in the introduction thread a while back) as it's been something I've had sort of sitting on my coffee table, half prototyped but never finished for a while now. But I really want to make a real effort to get this done and so: a dev log.

Progress on this game will be slow; I work full time as a game developer at a little company up here in Canada. So my time is condensed to a couple hours each night on weekdays and then whatever time I can and want to dedicate on the weekends. But I'm hungry, oh so hungry to get a game of my own out. Like, remember Clubber Lang in Rocky 3? That kind of hungry and almost as mouthy but not as much of a wrecking machine... foo'.

BUT ENOUGH JIBBA-JABBA



Features:

-Control a mixed Pike & Shot formation as if they were a little space fighter plane thing

-Two main buttons of control, a Pike AND a Shot button

-give fire and let loose volleys of lead one row of arquebusiers at a time!

-lower your pikes and hold off all but the most armoured and determined of attackers while you conserve your firepower for more intimidating threats

-replace your fallen comrades by RECRUITING routed enemy mercenaries by marching into them as they flee from the might of your renaissance era assault!

-rescue usable "COs" in battle to change the dynamics of your formation and grant you one use SUPER COMMANDS

-collect cannonballs and launch general purpose cannon blasts at tough enemy formations or fortifications.

-train up cavalry to cut down dispersed enemy infantry

-dynamic world map embroiled in conflict providing clever mercenary captains with plenty of varied, side-scrolling employment oppurtunities

-emergent storyline about people getting stabbed and shot!



Media:

Here's a gif of one of my Goblin Slingers just slingin' away. Look at him go, no one's ever gonna keep him down!



and here's some youtubes of some prototyping:








More news to come LATER, probably once every weekend.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 11:17:34 pm by James Edward Smith » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 09:31:47 am »

This looks pretty interesting! Looking forward to seeing how this develops.
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 09:35:55 am »

Yes! The world needs more formation based games. I am all about this.
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 10:26:28 am »

I have a question I want to pose to all people here who have made or are making a Shmup of some sort (Even though my game's completion threatens to obsolete the entire genre of your game, AHEM Tongue):

I'm currently in the process of trying to make a level editor for my game such that I can create enemy attack patterns and then place them in levels on maybe a sort of time line? How did you guys go about making this, like, how did you structure it, what tools did you find it most useful to create or wish you had created?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 09:10:46 pm by Geothermal » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 10:32:07 am »

Game Maker has a time line feature, maybe you can glean some inspiration from that?
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 12:46:28 pm »

Love the idea.  Cheers from this corner!
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 03:04:33 pm »

Looking very nice so far.  I think the formation movement would look a lot better, though, if it were slightly imperfect - individual soldiers turning a bit too late, people walking a bit too fast or slow, the shots going off at slightly different times.

Like in

, for example.
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Noel Berry
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 03:28:47 pm »

Game Maker has a time line feature, maybe you can glean some inspiration from that?

Yeah, that method works pretty well. You can basically make different scripts be called at different times (so you could add something like "on frame 60, run this script"). Really useful for things like SHMUPS.
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 09:09:59 pm »

Looking very nice so far.  I think the formation movement would look a lot better, though, if it were slightly imperfect - individual soldiers turning a bit too late, people walking a bit too fast or slow, the shots going off at slightly different times.

Like in

, for example.

Those are old videos where I just wanted to get the basic mechanics of the formations working. Already in my current build, soldiers naturally stagger a little more. Their "dressing" to use a drill term isn't perfect and robotic like in those older videos.

But yeah, the plan for the finished game is to have people fire slightly out of synch, lower pikes out of synch, etc. Also, there will normally be 2-3 variations for any given animation that a soldier can do. Whenever the formation does an action that causes multiple soldiers to do the same action, they will randomly choose which version of the animation for that action they do. When you combine this with the fact that your formation will usually have a little bit of variation within it's ranks (3 different flavours of pikeman for instance) you'll get actions that look a lot more varied and cool than what you see in those testing videos.

BUT all of that is just window dressing and is sort of on the back burner until I get more of the barebones of the game done.
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 09:33:11 pm »

That sounds pretty gorgeous in its variety and naturalness. This reminds me of a game for the Gameboy, where you organized a group of mercenaries with different skills, and it was a shmup, much like this. I'm having difficulty recalling it, though.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 09:52:21 pm »

That sounds pretty gorgeous in its variety and naturalness. This reminds me of a game for the Gameboy, where you organized a group of mercenaries with different skills, and it was a shmup, much like this. I'm having difficulty recalling it, though.





This game looks really cool.
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 10:08:35 pm »

I know what you mean exactly (Well, I think I do) Mercenary Force.

That game is actually one of my inspirations for this game with the other main one being the battle sequences in North & South.

Both those games SUCKED though.

But like a lot of indie developers I think (from listening to podcasts and reading interviews things like that), they still inspired me because my childhood imagination filled in their faults and crappiness with possibilities and wonder.

Both those games had a real problem in that controlling your formation was REALLY awkward and unsatisfying. Switching between unit types in North & South and then having the two types of guys you aren't controlling sitting there idle and useless or charging to their doom was really frustrating.

Mercenary Force had its own problems with control, like how you could change the shape of your formation which was sort of a cool idea, but then doing so felt really awkward and in the end useless. There were just too many types of formation and the way you changed to them was by cycling through them one by one until you got to the one you wanted. In a game where the pacing was just like that of any other fast twitch shmup this was obviously way to clumbsy to be of any real use to a player. Also, the screen was just way too small in Mercenary Force and your formation too big even though it was only 4 guys.

With Pike & Shot my hope is to limit your control input options to just movement on a dpad, a pike button, and a shot button. I was originally going to let you change the width of your formation with two other buttons to sort of decide between larger volleys or a thinner, harder to hit formation, but I've decided to pretty much take that out now after figuring the game should just be tuned such that it isn't necessary. It just seems too clumbsy.

My vision for the game is to always allow player to control their formation as simply as you would contol a ship in a generic shmup. Your available actions should be clear and impulsive.

SHOOT!

DEFEND WITH A PIKE SCREEN!

FIRE A CANNON AT THIS SPOT IN FRONT OF ME!

The player makes a broad choice and then his formation works together to perform that choice quickly, very automatically, and very optimally with in reason. I want the game to feel very fluid and seemless. It should feel like losing one soldier here or there isn't a big deal.

I may still allow you to change the shape of your formation and at the same time how it performs actions, but the current concept for how this will be done is by recruiting/rescuing COs in a level like a powerup. You happen upon a CO like say a Joan of Arc ripoff character who's formation has been defeated for the most part and lies around her dead except for one or two guys and her who are valiantly fighting off some attackers. You sweep in, kill them and pick her up and now your formation enters her specific formation shape. You can also use her one shot CO power but doing so uses her up making your formation return to normal.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 10:19:41 pm by Geothermal » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 12:31:44 am »

I think that if you have a formation changing system, you should just have a a couple hot keys for formations, and you can set these formations in a out of battle options screen or something. They can be as complicated and time consuming as they want if their not in battle, but you should be able to get though the game just fine with the defaults.
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 01:24:42 am »

You're DEFINETELY mad, sir! And I like your idea. The only thing you must do right - balance. It is touchstone in shootem' up genre, and your task is even more complicated. And more interesting then)
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 04:18:09 am »

I love the animations! I can't wait to rush through forts and cities. Smiley
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2010, 11:19:38 pm »

I added in the penultimate troop type that I plan to include in my initial release of this game:

MELEE TROOPS

Melee troops cannot pike and they sure as shit cannot shoot but you run into a lot of them during battles and hopefully you pike or shoot most of them resulting in many oppurtunities to recruit them if they route rather than fall over dead. When recruited, melee troops will form a sort of shield wall in front of your formation whenever you are not shooting but don't have your pikes down either. I'll get a video up illustrating how they sort of behave more clearly sometime.

I'm toying with the idea of allowing you to make your melee guys charge as well, by pressing the shot button while you are already holding down the pike button. It's sort of like a desperation attack, but allows you to put your least valueable troops in harm's way while putting the rest of your formation in a good position to clean up what results from the ensuing melee.

However, good commanders will be rewarded for not losing all their cannon fodder by being allowed to upgrade them into better melee troops(Doppelsoldiers or Targeteers), low level pikemen, or low level shot troops.

NEXT MILESTONE

a realish level editor

NEXT NEXT MILESTONE

a decent test level for you guys to play and give me feedback on in terms of what you think works, what you think sucks, what you would like to see and what works so good, you want to see more of it only with like... dragons or uhhh maybe something really cool, like achievements or pikemen with sunglasses.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 11:25:12 pm by Geothermal » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2010, 06:24:45 am »

An old Sega game called Centurion: Defender of Rome also had an interesting formation system for its battles.

Looking forward to a playable!
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2011, 09:18:47 pm »

It's officially tomorrow, so I'm holding you to your daily devlog updates, and you're already late!
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2011, 09:43:39 pm »

I meant TOMORROW, tomorrow. JEEZE.
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2011, 04:15:05 am »

James demo'd this at the first Rectangles meetup this year. It was looking absolutely lovely! James seems too persistent to just let this go. And he knows the world _neeeeeds_ it!! 
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