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saimo
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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2011, 07:05:27 AM »

@mokesmoe?

An animation would be a nice and effective way to show the merging of the two words - thanks for the great suggestion. But I'd rather have both words getting close to each other and then joining together.


@Inanimate

Glad to hear that Smiley
I must say I was rather confident it wouldn't be too hard to get it right, but it seems I was wrong.


@all

OK guys, let put the name issue aside for a while. Now, I'll add some far more interesting information...

First off, I mentioned that bricks are hit only when shot with a same-coloured beam. That's true but in one case: white bricks react to beams of any color (it's always been like this, but I forgot to mention it).

Then, I said that each type of brick reacts in its own way - with the aid of the screenshot below, I'll describe in detail the types currently available (I plan to add more):



(Types indicated by the numbers on the left of bricks.)

Type #1: "normal" bricks. When hit, they disappear.

Type #2: "hard" bricks. They must be hit multiple times before they disappear. The number of hits required is visually indicated by the fill level (they visually "discharge" as they are hit). There are four variants, requiring 2 to 5 hits (the picture shows only the variants that require 3 and 5 hits).

Type #3: "ballbox" bricks. When hit, they generate a rebounding ball that hits/kills other bricks.
(Inspired by Arkanoid.)

Type #4: "region" bricks. When one of these bricks is hit, it disappears and the place where it was is marked with a flashing icon; then, when any other brick is hit, the places where hits happened are considered opposite corners of a rectangular region, and, for half a second, any brick that is/falls in such region is hit/killed.
(Inspired by Qix.)

Type #5: "brake" bricks. When hit, they stop the spawning of other bricks and halve the speed of the current bricks for 5 seconds.
(Inspired by Oils Well.)

Type #6: "split" bricks. When hit, they split into two other bricks of the same color and of random kind.
(Inspired by Pang.)

Type #7: "chameleon" brick. When hit, they morph into another brick of a random type and color.

Type #8 (bricks not marked): "bladebox" bricks. When hit, they fire a row of blades that hit/kill other bricks in every of the directions indicated visually (f.ex., the topmost brick fires blades in all directions, whereas the bottommost brick fires blades only downwards).
(I had this idea without looking for inspiration, but the effect is similar - albeit not identical - to that of flames in Bomberman.)

For a better understanding of how the "region" bricks work, here are a few screenshots showing the process.

Step #1: a purple "region" brick was falling and I got ready to hit it.



Step #2: I shot at the brick, which disappeared and left a white mark indicating where it was when it got hit.



Step #3: I moved 3 places to the right and shot at another brick. The area "between" the two hits got marked.



Step #4: all the bricks included in the area disappeared (incidentally, the second brick I hit was of "bladebox" kind, so also two rows of blades spawned - they are visible also in the previous screenshot).



One last note about hits: previously I had said that bricks hit by anything other than beams shot by the player would be just destroyed and then I had added a footnote saying that, instead, I would have modified that behaviour so that bricks would have reacted normally. Well, things have changed again: both cases are possible, depending on whether the "chain mode" is active or not - when the chain mode is off, bricks are just destroyed; when it's on, bricks are hit normally. The practical result is that when the chain mode is on (lots of) chain reactions can happen.

As usual, more will be said later...
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2011, 07:20:09 AM »

Those screenshots are intriguing! I like how the variety of blocks sounds.

I like the title as it is; I pronounced it hu-we-ni-son too, but I was not at all discouraged to discover that it was Hue+Unison.

I almost like the pronunciation 'hu-we-ni-son' more.


EDIT :: What are the rotated face bricks o:
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saimo
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2011, 07:33:52 AM »

Those screenshots are intriguing! I like how the variety of blocks sounds.

Smiley

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I like the title as it is; I pronounced it hu-we-ni-son too, but I was not at all discouraged to discover that it was Hue+Unison.

Great!

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EDIT :: What are the rotated face bricks o:

And so the "can't unsee it" part of this thread started Well, hello there!
I'm pretty sure you refer to the 3-way "bladebox" bricks, as the 'T', by merging with the borders, kind of creates the smiley you're seeing.
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saimo
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2011, 12:03:26 PM »

Today's status update is screenshot-less - sorry, I'm too tired and I have little time Shrug

I'll start off with a little correction: I said that the "split" bricks were inspired by Pang, but that's not true! I wanted to cut it short, but the full story is as follows: I was trying to think of something that would recall Asteroids, so I thought that it would be cool if bricks splitted like the asteroids in that vectorial game; so, I implemented that idea, but, looking at it, I thought: "That's more like Pang" - and so I eventually decided to mention "Pang" when describing the "split" bricks (but, of course, saying that inspiration came from Pang is another story).

OK, now on to something of what was done today (I'll skip the minor/internal details)...

* I've added the "chain" bricks: when hit, the chain reaction mode described previously kicks in for a few seconds.
*  The behaviour of the "brake" bricks has been modified: now the brake countdowns are cumulated (before, the timer was just reset).
* A score system has been added and level progression has been introduced - quite simply, the basic idea is that a level is passed if a level-dependant amount of bricks is destroyed.
* The status panel has gotten some life: it now shows the points, the goal figure and the timers relative to the "chain" and "brake" bricks (but for now it's all just plain strings).

Finally, to compensate the lack of screenshots, I'll add a detail that has been there since day 1 but that didn't get mentioned yet.
In all the screenshots you can see a horizontal line at the top of the screen: that's what decides when you lose! If the cannon crosses or goes beyond it, the game is over. For now, every time a shot hits nothing, it steps down, but later other events might have the same effect.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 02:36:36 PM by saimo » Logged
chumez
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2011, 01:01:32 PM »

I've read it as Hu-Enison at first. Smiley
It's a very interesting mix of games as you said (tetris, space invaders and that last one which I didn't play)

Hope it turns out great, fun and colorful
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saimo
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2011, 02:59:04 PM »

I've read it as Hu-Enison at first. Smiley

Thanks for letting me know.

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It's a very interesting mix of games as you said (tetris, space invaders and that last one which I didn't play)

You must be talking of Vital Light, a great but underrated game for Amiga.

I'll seize the chance to make a recap of the games Huenison inspires to or that recalls (in no specific order): Tetris, Space Invaders, Vital Light, Arkanoid, Asteroids/Pang, Bomberman, Qix, Oils Well. I'm thinking of another way of recalling Asteroids, and of other games as well, but I don't know which will make it to the game.
While making the list, I realized the "hard" bricks (those that must be hit multiple times) probably have been inspired by Arkanoid (which was already mentioned as an influence for the "ballbox" bricks).
Also, I'll add another source of inspiration that I forgot to mention because it isn't relative to a gameplay aspect: Pinball Dreams or Pinball Illusions (I can't remember which I saw first, although Pinball Dreams was the first to be released). Their dot-matrix display really caught my attention when I was a teenager, and then a few years later, Slam Tilt - another (the best) Amiga pinball game - really blew my mind away with tons of unbelievable animations and sub-games. Since then, I always wanted to create a game based on a dot-matrix display. In 2003, on my beloved Amiga 1200, I even started working on the game that can be considered the father of BOH.
Well, while I'm at it, let me tell you this little piece of story behind Huenison...
In the last week of December 2010 I created a dot-matrix engine just because I couldn't resist the idea anymore. Once done, I spent a few sleepless nights to think of a cool game that would look nice and that hopefully wouldn't take me ages to complete... At some point, while restlessly flipping myself in the bed, the core idea of Huenison came to mind. And I couldn't wait for the next morning to arrive...


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Hope it turns out great, fun and colorful

Thank you Smiley
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saimo
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2011, 11:15:41 AM »

I'm back, and, unlike yesterday, with a few pictures.


In the first screenshots you can see one of the "chain" bricks introduced yesterday - it's the blue one being pointed by the cannon:



In the following screenshot you can see the consequences - the chain countdown is on and, more importantly, a few "bladebox" bricks causing havoc in a chain reaction:



(Of course, in motion things look much more interesting, especially when the screen is more crowded.)


Then, let's pass to a new brick kind that I just added. The red brick pointed by the cannon is a "sweep" brick:



There are two variants. The one shown in the screenshot works like this: when it gets hit, it is recolored with the next color; when all colors are cycled, it sweeps the area (i.e. hits/kills all the bricks) at its left, as shown here:



(Also note how the points and goal counters changed.)

The other variant works in the same way, except that the color cycling goes the opposite way and that the area swept is the one at the right of the piece.


Besides the above and the usual internal changes, today I've started making the bricks speed and spawning dependant on the level (but that's something that will have to be tuned over time, as more factors enter the game).
I must say I haven't done much today, both because I was busy with other things, and because I spent lots of time playing the game itself (the excuse was testing it, but to me it's already drug WTF)!
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saimo
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2011, 11:04:55 AM »

Although lots of work was done today, I don't have much to show visually, as most of the changes were internal or directed at building the game around the gameplay.
The only important and evident changes are:
 * a new brick kind - the "slide" brick, which slides one step to the left/right (depending on the variant) every time it is hit, until it bumps against the screen borders, at which point it can be destroyed;
 * a "clear bonus" award: when all the bricks are destroyed a points prize is given.
A "hidden" change worth mentioning is that I've implemented the mechanism to have complete control over the brick types extraction (before it was just a random choice), which will be fundamental to let the various kinds of bricks appear gradually through the levels, in order to give a nice sense of discovery and progression to the player.
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saimo
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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 12:17:06 PM »

Another quick update (my mind is about to explode, can't do better than this)...

Today the game has acquired a more "game" shape: some parameters have been recalibrated better, the "perfect" bonus (i.e. when a level is completed without any piece touching the bottom) has been added, the level ending has been added, a flexible message system has been introduced, the handling of various events/elements has been improved and, of course, a new brick type has been added (the "white beam" brick: when hit, it changes color randomly; after a few hits, it gives the player the luxury of shooting white - i.e. color-omnipotent - beams for a few seconds).
In all, playing through the levels really starts to give a good feeling of progression... and facing the crowded levels is actually a catchy/trippy experience!

I'm considering making a video to give you a better idea...
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2011, 12:17:03 AM »

looks cool so far.

and yes, a video would be awesome.
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saimo
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« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2011, 09:47:14 AM »

looks cool so far.

Thanks!

Quote
and yes, a video would be awesome.

Unfortunately I don't have a machine powerful enough to grab it in realtime, so I'll have to resort to a camcorder - which means that the quality will be low and that first I'll have to force myself to undertake the tedious process Tongue
But sooner or later I'll do it...
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ink.inc
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« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2011, 09:55:54 AM »

There's always the option of developing your own screencapture function.

Alec Holowka did it for the trailers of Aquaria. Just set up a function that calls a screenshot every frame. It'll run really slowly, but it'll work. It'll be best if you plot out the player movement beforehand with code. After that, it's a matter of recombining the frames using whatever software you can find that does that on the internet.

At least, I think that's what he did.
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saimo
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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2011, 10:03:53 AM »

There's always the option of developing your own screencapture function.

Alec Holowka did it for the trailers of Aquaria. Just set up a function that calls a screenshot every frame. It'll run really slowly, but it'll work. It'll be best if you plot out the player movement beforehand with code. After that, it's a matter of recombining the frames using whatever software you can find that does that on the internet.

At least, I think that's what he did.

I did the same to record some fragments of BOH. But what I have in mind is recording a whole gameplay session (say, some 10 minutes), which would make it unpractical. For a preliminary video I'll just go for the easiest solution, whichever it will be Wink
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saimo
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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2011, 11:28:35 AM »

OK, one more screenshot-less update - I hope to compensate soon with the first video (maybe tomorrow)...

Today's changes that are worth mentioning here and that can be understood are:
 * the "slider" bricks now award a point prize equal to the number of hits required to kill them and, more importantly, raise the zapper (the beam that causes the game over) by as many pixels;
 * the "trimmer" brick type has been added: killing this brick does literally nothing, but letting it land on the platform will lower the latter by 1 step.
As you can see, both these changes give the player a way to postpone his/her defeat Wink
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saimo
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« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2011, 09:27:43 AM »

OK guys, it took a day longer than planned, but finally I have recorded the video (I eventually used a camcorder, sorry). The video is now being transferred to the PC: once it's done, I'll encode and upload it to YouTube - it will take a while, since I ended up playing for 20+ minutes.
The main reason of the delay is that I had half an idea lingering in my mind and I wanted it to make it to the video, but in the end it didn't as I couldn't think of a cool way to make use of it.

Here are some interesting changes that instead have been done (as usual, I'm not mentioning those that can't be appreaciated without having seen the previous versions):
 * added points for landing of "trimmer" bricks;
 * replaced background bitmap of the playing area (I call it the "well") with procedurally generated backgrounds;
 * added shooting percentage;
 * added "nuke" bricks: when hit a certain number of times, they hit/kill all the other bricks on the screen - the amount of hits required depends directly on the player's hit/miss ratio (the better, the less hits are required).

Given that it's been a while since I last posted a screenshot, here's a new one to glace at while I prepare the video...

« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 09:33:03 AM by saimo » Logged
saimo
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2011, 09:18:16 AM »

OK guys, it took a day longer than planned, but finally I have recorded the video (I eventually used a camcorder, sorry). The video is now being transferred to the PC: once it's done, I'll encode and upload it to YouTube - it will take a while, since I ended up playing for 20+ minutes.

I'm sure you know what it's like when nothing goes the right way. Just nothing went smooth, starting from the camera drivers Angry
My machine is encoding the edited video now, but it will take hours because it's all but powerful - and its slowness didn't allow me to check a couple of things while editing, so it could also be that the end result won't be acceptable and I'll have to re-edit and/or re-encode the video (which would really make me go mad). I really hope that the video will be online in at most 1 day...

EDIT: and - I forgot to say - I'm under the terrible impression that it will all be a huge waste of time and energies... WTF
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 09:52:22 AM by saimo » Logged
saimo
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« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2011, 05:30:26 AM »

At last you can have a look at Huenison in motion! The first part of the gameplay video, which shows the levels from 1 to 15, is now online. It's available for streaming on Mod DB and, after making the second part available to you as well, I'll upload both parts also to YouTube.
Speaking of quality, given that - as discussed before - the source one was low, the whole processing has been done using huge DV-AVI files, which is one of the reasons why the release took so long.

A few words about what can be seen in the video...
Of course, the first levels start slow, so, even if a bit boring, they're useful to understand what's going on.
One of the things that can't be really appreciated because of the poor quality is the color selection: the cannon controlled by the player cycles through 6 colors, some of which look more or less the same - but there are a few audio parts where I left the original real-world sound effects, which help spotting the color cycling actions (the game still has no sound effects, so, to make the video more enjoyable, I've added a soundtrack made of C64 games tunes and used to gaps between them to let you hear the noise I produced by hitting the keyboard).

EDIT: the second part is now available on Mod DB as well.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 01:57:43 AM by saimo » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2011, 10:02:12 AM »

looks quite fun and interesting Smiley I hope to hear similar chiptune music playing the final release as well, Pinball Dreams soundtrack fitted very well in the video
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saimo
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« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2011, 10:16:34 AM »

looks quite fun and interesting Smiley

Thanks Smiley
I aim to enrich it even more to keep the interest high... there are a few ideas I'm trying to figure out how to add...

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I hope to hear similar chiptune music playing the final release as well,

Oh, yes! I plan to add a number of chiptunes, and the sound effects will all be "chippy" as well Wink

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Pinball Dreams soundtrack fitted very well in the video

And it's an absolutely brilliant piece in itself, on par with the original Amiga module and Machinae Supremacy's cover!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 10:35:21 AM by saimo » Logged
deathtotheweird
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« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2011, 12:06:35 PM »

heh, video quality wasn't that bad. it looks fun. and hard, but I wouldn't expect much less from you.  Gentleman
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