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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 27764 times)
castled
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« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2014, 08:48:17 pm »

There's something about this that's very charming, please do continue developing it!

If you're looking for more video capture programs, OBS is getting to be pretty good (not only for streaming, but simply recording too).
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« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2014, 11:31:51 am »

Bleh, that program sucks, here's some better looking videos done with fraps instead. Wheeeee.





That's really cool, I take it your health is represented by how many men are standing? How large can your lines get?
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2014, 01:09:26 pm »

The amount of men you have standing is just the amount of men you have standing. Each soldier has his own hit box and can be killed currently by being hit with a pike tip when he doesn't have a shield, being shot by some sort of projectile while he doesn't have a shield, or losing a melee fight with an other soldier.

As for what this means for the player exactly, that still remains to be figured out through play testing. You may end up with a game over if you lose all your guys, you may have a leader character whose death results in a game over, etc.

Currently your formation can get infinitely big, but play testing will determine if this is feasible or if some sort of limit will be implemented. Possible limiters could be gold (you have to pay any new soldier you come across in a level for instance), formation morale or just an arbitrary limit. Obviously there is sort of a natural limit due to the size of the screen and a large formation becoming vulnerable to taking hits.
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #63 on: June 19, 2014, 08:33:44 pm »

Let me just, clear some cobwebs out of the way here for a moment...











Alright...
Are you ready for some EXTREME ALPHA ACTION?

y/n?





Well here's an extreme alpha for you, AN EXTREME PIKE & SHOT ALPHA!

----->DOWNLOAD NOW!!!<-----
(windows only, sorry :/)


Remember, shooting is all well and good, but a true Pike & Shot master knows the power of poking with pikes as well. For it is only in the perfect unity of the two that one can achieve absolute victory.

z - pike
x - shot
arrow keys - fancy walkin'
esc - quit
ctrl + 1 - restart
ctrl + 0 - fullscreen
d - debug dots appear, a magic spell perhaps?

NO OTHER KEYS ARE TO BE USED

XBOX CONTROLLERS ARE SUPPORTED
. Plug 'em in before you start the game and discover the controls using one for yourself. It's an ADVENTURE.

Features this release:

-Blackness
-no idle/spawn animations for any enemies to dress up why they are there in anyway.
-that great early access feel with REAL bugs, just like you've come to expect from alpha releases.
-really old arquebusier sprites that look like shit, even by my standards and don't even have their own melee animations.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 02:39:45 pm by James Edward Smith » Logged

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jgrams
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« Reply #64 on: June 20, 2014, 04:07:23 am »

NO OTHER KEYS ARE TO BE USED

But...but...I like some of those other keys! Especially the ones which change the width of your formation. I wish it went narrower: having three rows of shooters could be very helpful...or even having two more even rows instead of one long row and one very short row...

This is very cool. Lots of little neat mechanics when you engage with the enemy. I like the way the pikemen bunch up to match the incoming guys, and they way they get left behind if you're moving up/down and they stop to stab someone.

Do they do something which leaves their pike halfway down? I was in the middle of battling one of the big groups and one man in the middle of the formation had his pike up at an angle...I never quite figured out what was going on there.
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2014, 04:35:22 am »

Do they do something which leaves their pike halfway down? I was in the middle of battling one of the big groups and one man in the middle of the formation had his pike up at an angle...I never quite figured out what was going on there.

Of course they do something! They bug out because of a bug in their behaviour code!

:D

AND STOP PRESSING THOSE OTHER KEYS!

The game needs to evolve more such that the desire to have micro control over stuff like width and such won't seem necessary. It's not quite there yet. But I'm glad you enjoy the game. Here, have a gif on the house.

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« Reply #66 on: June 20, 2014, 09:59:22 am »

Of course they do something! They bug out because of a bug in their behaviour code!

Ah, OK. I thought maybe they were doing it on purpose.

AND STOP PRESSING THOSE OTHER KEYS!

Oh, I played it through several times "properly" first. Smiley

The game needs to evolve more such that the desire to have micro control over stuff like width and such won't seem necessary.

Maybe they could somehow re-form their ranks to try and match the spread of the enemies they are facing?

It was mostly annoying that having a good-sized army didn't make you any more powerful: it just gave the enemy slingers a bigger target. Especially those ones with the three-knight guard in front of them. It felt wrong to have three times the size of army and not be able to just crush them. If I managed to get there with arquebusiers left in the second row it was much easier. If they re-formed to be narrow and deep to meet those small bands, it would have just been BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! CHAAARGE!

But you may have some other way to balance it. Adjusting the camera so you could close with the enemy faster might do it too. I tried another couple of run-throughs just now and pushed really hard to stay as far forward as possible, and that let me totally massacre them. Actually, it made me do better earlier on as well: I got there with the biggest army I've had yet.

Anyway. It's a neat concept. Want some programming help? Tongue
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #67 on: June 20, 2014, 01:07:40 pm »

Maybe they could somehow re-form their ranks to try and match the spread of the enemies they are facing?

I've tried implementing stuff like this in the past and it's been troublesome. The problem is that it's hard to detect who should be pointed at who and when so that the player never feels like his stupid guys won't aim at the guy he's actually trying to hit.

Like say you have two guys and in front of them are two melee mooks and a slinger between but behind them who's about to sling at you. If your guys auto aim and they pick the two closer threats or something, it's annoying, because if they didn't aim automatically, you as the player could have manually lined them up so that one of them hit the slinger with his shot, preventing a rock from getting hurled at you.

The other problem is that your soldiers can't teleport to be in the right place at the right time constantly, they have to walk there, so any amount of time where you have to wait for guys to be actually standing in front of guys you want them to shoot at is frustrating even if it's very short. It's clumsy feeling. Where as if they don't auto aim, you can just manually move to the right spot and then fire, you aren't waiting on anything that you don't have direct control over, so it feels better.

I left in the auto aim on my pikemen, but only when their pikes are down. It's not so bad for them because THEY SHOULD always be aiming at the people closest to them and since they have the concept of an up state on their pikes, you can just raise pikes whenever you don't want them to auto aim at a time where it might get them killed (like trying to dodge an incoming missile).

I'm basically pretty against anything that causes you to have to wait. I want the formation to feel responsive and that's turned out to mean that I can't have a lot of minute adjustments, I want to give you access to big, fail-proof actions that happen as quickly as possible after you press a button.

It was mostly annoying that having a good-sized army didn't make you any more powerful: it just gave the enemy slingers a bigger target. Especially those ones with the three-knight guard in front of them. It felt wrong to have three times the size of army and not be able to just crush them. If I managed to get there with arquebusiers left in the second row it was much easier. If they re-formed to be narrow and deep to meet those small bands, it would have just been BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! CHAAARGE!

Right now, most of the enemy patterns are designed around the concept that you need to use two rows of shot and your pikes properly to defeat them. If slingers are coming at you, you can shoot their escorts, then shoot them as they run past their falling escorts.

With the groups that don't come at you, the idea is to stay out of their range or dodge to the side and move into position to fire on them in between their shots. Any other mooks that run at you in between your shots, you use your pikes to quickly kill so that you aren't wasting your shots and then not having a row ready to fire on the ranged guys with when the opportunity comes along.

It needs work, and there's the problem of, what the hell do you do when you only have one row of shot to work with? But it's the basic premise for now, "Use shots to kill ranged guys quickly, to break shields, and for everything else use pikes whenever possible"

Managing your limited firepower is important so you really wanna figure out how to use your pikes whenever possible. It's PIKE & SHOT, not SHOTTY SHOT, man!

But you may have some other way to balance it. Adjusting the camera so you could close with the enemy faster might do it too. I tried another couple of run-throughs just now and pushed really hard to stay as far forward as possible, and that let me totally massacre them. Actually, it made me do better earlier on as well: I got there with the biggest army I've had yet.

Hehehehe, It's hard for me to play that test level and not end it with more troops than I started with Tongue. This is why I'm super interested in other people playing it. I'm super interested in figuring out how to better teach the mechanics via the initial enemies you encounter and at what rate I can introduce new/harder patterns.

Anyway. It's a neat concept. Want some programming help? Tongue

Hey thanks for all your support man. I could use... a ton of programming help. I just want to design Tongue. But I'm a little squeamish about working on this with anyone else for now for a bunch of reasons I won't get into right now. Maybe in the future though!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 04:47:08 pm by Geothermal » Logged

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« Reply #68 on: June 21, 2014, 12:58:04 am »

Hey, nice!

It looks really beautiful in its visuals as well as its unique gameplay. The videos have a very meditative quality.

I am goig to try this when I am on a windows machine again.
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« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2014, 04:08:28 am »

I've tried implementing stuff like this in the past and it's been troublesome. The problem is that it's hard to detect who should be pointed at who and when so that the player never feels like his stupid guys won't aim at the guy he's actually trying to hit.

Yeah, that's always the problem with artificial stupidity intelligence.

strategy...

Managing your limited firepower is important so you really wanna figure out how to use your pikes whenever possible. It's PIKE & SHOT, not SHOTTY SHOT, man!

It's hard for me to play that test level and not end it with more troops than I started with.

Yeah. It was pretty clear from the beginning that you were only supposed to shoot the enemies that required shot to deal with. I think I was just too reckless/sloppy/impatient. I was treating the shooters as massed fire and not really aiming carefully, and spending troops to get close instead of dodging carefully. And I hadn't really figured out the timing of changing ranks, so that was throwing off my aim even more.

Works much better if I treat the troops with a little more respect. And...yeah, watching your videos, I think I mostly wasn't paying enough attention to aiming. Or I just suck at it. Smiley

I could use... a ton of programming help. I just want to design Tongue. But I'm a little squeamish about working on this with anyone else for now

No worries, I was mostly joking anyway. This is the busy time of year on the farm, so right now I don't have more than a few hours a week that I could reliably devote to volunteering on someone else's project.
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« Reply #70 on: June 21, 2014, 06:21:21 am »

This is a really neat concept, shoving a bit of strategy into a SHMUP
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« Reply #71 on: June 24, 2014, 08:10:51 pm »

I'm working on implementing formation Leaders into the game.

Your leader is the driving force of your formation, their death is the only real binary lose condition in the game. Each new formation leader will have their own kind of special body guard and different leaders may even have their own flavours of pike and shot troops that they lead depending on where they come from. Body guards are gained whenever you would normally gain a soldier, but your pike & shot ranks are full (or possibly whenever you collect a special kind of loot, I haven't decided yet). They can be used for a powerful special attack that causes them to leave the formation to carry it out.

The soldiers in the game right now are those of La Pucelle


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« Reply #72 on: June 26, 2014, 09:34:44 pm »

**POSSIBLE APIPHANY:
*You are a leader (La Pucelle, Gendarme, Condottiere) troops are a very liquid resource that you collect and use up very rapidly.
*your army is always spawning around you and gatherable, by walking into them and leading them, they stand less chance of being killed by random dangers
*avoiding troops being killed is very difficult, what you need to protect is yourself(like a small hit box in a shump
*Alone, fighting the huge waves of enemies is impossible, so you collect up troops
After playing the demo, I kinda like this idea. Partly because big blocks of soldiers are awfully vulnerable and I'd like to not care quite so much if some of them get picked off, and partly because it feels kind of silly for two dozen heavily-armed guys to be dancing around nervously just out of range because OMG THERE'S ONE DUDE WITH A SLING OVER THERE. I feel like I oughta be able to just CHAAAARGE and not care too much if I lose one or two dudes.
Quote
*troops typically get used up when you attack with them.
I'm a little uncertain about this bit, though. Do you mean, like, killing one goblin costs you one soldier? That seems a bit much.
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #73 on: June 27, 2014, 05:28:36 am »

It was more the concept that your shot troops fire of a volley and then can't fire again for possibly a long time, not that they would get completely used up in one use. They may be able to fire multiple times before retreating.

All these ideas are just ideas though. As you will notice, none of them are implemented, and many of them never will be. I just write down my musings so I don't forget them.

My goal is to structure the game such that you are never running away from a lone slinger in practice. I mean, if you watch me playing it in videos, I tend to just mow everyone down with my pikes or my shot, fairly quickly after they appear. The best defense against enemy ranged troops is to kill them *shrug*. But typically there will always be some melee guys around, so you're mostly going to have to be piking someone, even if you are just dodging fire. I have some ideas for much more imposing looking ranged attacks than just javelins and rocks though.

(Though it should be said, Spanish rodeleros, even with their often steel armour, are said to have feared Inca slingers more than their bowmen and the Romans had a special pair of tongs specifically for removing slung lead bullets from soldiers.)

Anyway, it's a work in progress. Thanks for all the feedback. I've enjoyed how much releasing this simple taste of the game has helped future design and iteration.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 06:24:44 am by Geothermal » Logged

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« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2014, 06:54:43 pm »

I've been horribly ill since last Friday until pretty much yesturday, so not much work got done lately. But I did finish a little command giving animation for La Pucelle to go with her idle one. I've implemented her as a unit in the game and rigged her up so that she waves her flag whenever you press the pike or shot button so it looks like she's directing the formation.



I've also been working on Doppel Soldners a little bit, her special body guard. But their pathing needs to improve before they'll be where I want them to be.

In response to some people not liking one of their lines with a man or two in it and feeling spread thin, and also just in my search to make the formation as automatic controlling as possible, I have implemented some formation balancing so that they will beef up the rows a bit when one has too few guys in it. I'm trying to feel out if there is some way I could let you contextually get wider or thinner without it being annoying (ie. formation suddenly deciding to get wider to better attack a threat resulting in an end guy getting hit by a projectile you had intended to narrowly dodge).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 07:00:26 pm by Geothermal » Logged

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« Reply #75 on: July 10, 2014, 06:22:55 am »

Just discovered this DevLog today - I haven't played it yet, but it looks/sounds AMAZING to me!

Really glad you resumed work on this. I've been playing Europa Universalis 4 lately and I think this era of warfare is not represented nearly enough in gaming, especially in such a cool, action-y way.

I think the concept of a formation leader being the core of the unit and the actual win/loss condition is the way to go for sure.

My take on why a single leader representing the "player" is the way to go: based on what I see (and your design itself), losing one or two soldiers every so often is inevitable. If you had no leader, but only the soldiers in your formation, this could become very disheartening and the desire to keep soldiers would probably drive players to un-fun cautious strategies due to loss aversion.

On the other hand, if the soldiers are just there to empower/shield the leader, then losing them is like losing hitpoints in an RPG: acceptable, necessary, and possible to strategize with. It also adds tension, as any shot against the leader could end the game even if the army is still decently large. I'd even suggest balancing the game so that as long as the Leader is alive, the player has a good shot at finishing the level  no matter how messed up their actual number of units is (for example, when the number of units gets critically low, reinforcements start to appear more frequently, allowing the player to make a "comeback" by remaining alive with just a leader and a few units). This sort of arrangement allows for a more aggressive, "acceptable losses" style of play that I think would definitely match what you seem to be going for.

In short, I think you should keep doing what you're doing! And keep those sweet gifs and demos a comin'! Smiley
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« Reply #76 on: July 10, 2014, 07:24:58 am »

Looks stunning!  Wink
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« Reply #77 on: July 10, 2014, 06:36:34 pm »

I got some more work done on Doppelsöldners tonight. They need more work though. In the meantime, the medium of the devlog, gifs! Here are some more of some snakeman brigands.



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« Reply #78 on: July 11, 2014, 06:26:08 am »

God, this game is fantastic ahahaha.

At some point the enemies stop comming, did I won the game?
Am I Napoleon Bonaparte now?
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James Edward Smith
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« Reply #79 on: July 11, 2014, 07:43:57 am »

You did, you survived the gauntlet! You are now a Pike & Shot v 0.1a champion. People don't know your hiscore, but I do and I will make sure songs are sung of you for generations.

Quote
Baby, baby, naughty baby,
Hush, you squalling thing, I say.
Peace this moment, peace, or maybe
Bonaparte will pass this way.

Baby, baby, he's a giant,
Tall and black as Rouen steeple
And he breakfasts, dines, rely on't,
Every day on naughty people.

Baby, baby, if he hears you,
As he gallops past the house,
Limb from limb at once he'll tear you,
Just as pussy tears a mouse.

And he'll beat you, beat you, beat you,
And he'll beat you all to pap,
And he'll eat you, eat you, eat you,
Every morsel, snap, snap, snap.

Beware Mete, for he became Bonaparte.

Hehehe, sorry. I just learned of that nursery rhyme last week and I really like it, and then someone brought up the name Bonaparte.

But yeah, thanks for your feed back and for trying it out. EVENTUALLY, I'll have some full levels for you guys with bosses and all of that so that the screen doesn't just run out of enemies anticlimactically.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 10:15:06 am by Geothermal » Logged

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