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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationArtificial Nature - a 64kb arena shooter [ done- w/ linux, and Mac! ]
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Author Topic: Artificial Nature - a 64kb arena shooter [ done- w/ linux, and Mac! ]  (Read 29816 times)
jph wacheski
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« on: May 08, 2008, 10:47:00 AM »

Here is the finished entry attached below; artifical_nature_63.zip.  Got the .exe down to 64kb! 
NOW w/ Linux and Mac OS X versions (Intel-based MacOS supported only.);

http://iterationgames.com/artifical_nature_63__linux.zip [ 92k linux ]
http://iterationgames.com/artifical_nature_63_OSXmac.zip [ 113k osx mac ]

http://iterationgames.com/artifical_nature_63.zip [ 62k win ]

NEW 6/4/08: here is a lowPoly/tinnyTexture ver. for ppl with very old vid-cards or laptops, may better performance. I just reduced the poly counts and texture sizes to the lowest reasonable settings and changed the rendering to flat.  If you dig the  gritty/low-fi  aesthetics you may actually prefer this ver. http://iterationgames.com/artifical_nature_63_lowPoly.zip [ 62k win ]

This is a single self-contained executable you may run it directly from the zipped folder, as it does not generate any files.






The game is an abstract, organic themed, arena shooter. There is a 'base' in the center of the arena where the player spawns. When the badguys are destroyed they will often drop STARS. The player can collect a limited number or these and should deposit them to the central base,. when the base is 100 PERCENT FULL the game is won. However if the player is hit when not holding any stars the game is over. Balance is key. The AIs are a bit aggressive at times,. however once you learn their movement styles the game can be played to the end in a few minuets. The camera follows the player and when not fireing the player will move sorta' quickly, do be carefull not to go running into deadly creatures. It is often better to move slower and let the camera catch up and re-center. You may also use the pause screen to look around from higher up, this helps to plot your attack route. You can kill the Big Moma Bug but it is not easy.

There is a dialog at start-up that lets you set the res. as well as the  fullscreen/windowed mode.  The game supports 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x800 or 1280x1024.
 
Controls are MOUSE to aim and ARROW or WASD to move about.  LMB is fire and RMB will depost a STAR into the 'base'.

Big huge THANKS goes out the Ville K. for making the ZGameEditor!  A very procedural generation oriented system,. and a danm fine game engine.  Grin

a short low-fi video;




Gameplay HINTs: 

-don't drop of ALL your STARS keep at least a few so you don't lose the game on a single hit!
-do drop of SOME STARS whenever you can!  If you get hit you lose 40 percent of what you are holding.  If STARS are in the base they stay there, safe, but you can not get them back.
-watch the screen edges,. try to keep track of what direction the spawning BIG MOMMA BUG is, as other bugs originate from there,. Use the SPACE BAR to PAUSE and relocate her if you are lost!
-hide behind trees but don't get caught up on them!
-if the 'dun dun dun' base sound is fast and bugging you shoot the BIG MOMMA BUG and it will reset,. .
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 06:41:37 AM by jph wacheski » Logged

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Zest
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 11:17:58 AM »

That looks trippin' awesome! Keep going with it, dude.
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William Broom
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 12:12:58 AM »

Looking mighty fine. Can't wait to see some gameplay come out of those trippy procedural patterns.
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increpare
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 01:50:50 AM »

I'm interested to see how this will develop...
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 01:06:15 PM »

thanks guys., here is an update of sorts., actually i got to play EverydayShooter for the first time yesterday when it came out on Steam,. and was intriged by the neet-o box towers in the backgound on the frist level,. so I started hackin in ZGE and came up with this.,  not sure how it will apply to my entry,. perhaps im just starting to design a positronic brain ?  AIs need new hardware options,. silicon is so uncomforatable you know. ichy..,

1280x1024 fullscreen,. i would post a screen image but it would be larger than this demo!  Grin



« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 05:52:50 PM by jph wacheski » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 06:59:39 PM »

That demo is brilliant. I still have no idea how your game will play but if all else fails, it will always be damn pretty to look at. Keep up the good work!
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2008, 12:09:49 PM »

I was really impressed with both demos, 'specially the first, which I found a bit scary actually...
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 07:41:21 AM »

ooh, scarry. not sure what is scarry about it?  but I have been accused of being 'dark' befor, so whatever,. i am not going to tell ppl how to feal about stuff, I just don't really intend it that way. oh well,.

here is an update!  I have been working with that grid of boxes bit from my last demo,. and instead of, as I first thought, making it some funky background, I am using it as the game field.  Still don't have a firm grasp on what the gameplay will eventually become,. however I am currently likeing its direction at this point.  I really need to get outside and catch some sun,. so I am going to bike over the the liquor store for some sake or perhaps a bottle of tequila,. is all dry here.   

-this demo is 1024x768 windowed by defult, but you can get it fullscreen if you run it with -f 
-the only controls are the mouse and the LMB and RMB to manipulate some stuff,. also pressing the SPACE bar will regenerate the level,. it uses 3d perlin noise so it gives a nice organic layout each time,. and seems to produce nicely ballanced levels.
-my thinking on the gameplay is that it will be a 'light' stratagy game,. I am seeing a mix of action collecting of the red 'berries' for a resource.., with a stratagy managment element of the player growth of units,. or pieces (these are not present as of yet,. ) to take over the 'board'.

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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 08:28:44 AM »

The atmosphere of the latest demo is awesome.
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 07:47:38 PM »

Evil-Ville - thanks, we all about atmosphere! actually some fun gameplay will emerge,. or i keep tellin myself that,. I do like the feel of it so far, .  and it's early still.  ,see what tomorrow brings.

ps; I lov your avitar is that yours,. or a rip from some game i dont remember ?
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 07:25:15 AM »

Ok here is a little update,. it don't look like much, however a lot has been worked out under the screen level of it,. . i.e i have reworked and organised the code and now have a good base to work forward.  As well it is now a 'playable' game Wink

 -you can place your own objects (green) with the LMB,.
 -the RMB still zooms out (for no other reason than i thought it was cool, could be of future useage..,) 
 -and SPACE will reset the game, generating a new random/organic field.
 -press Z key to deleat stuff,. but thats cheating!  Huh?

you can try to overtake the dark in-organics with your green organic pieces,. the next step in dev.ing this will be to devise a limit to your seed supplies and a way to generate more,. as well as some limits for the other side.  I am happy with it so far, as I din't really have a design when i started and am just leting the game emerge from experimentation it is interesting to work with,..
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 07:40:09 PM »

Already it's pretty neat and has made it's way onto my list of "games to look out for from the PG comp." The ambiance was really cool, as was the way the collection of seeds had an "organic" feel to them. They're growth patterns weren't rigid calculated ones; in addition, you could see the particles moving between the blocks, giving the impression that more was going on and increasing the "organic" feeling of the game.

Oh, yeah, the effect as you look around is really cool.


Next are some things that are in need of improvement. I'd say that, at its current state, it's begging for a fast forward key. That would make it easier to try new stuff and probably speed testing for you, once it was consistent.

In terms of the way the seeds currently battle for territory, it seems to resolve in a stalemate too often. It takes a lot of particles (I counted around 10, could easily be wrong though) to make it a productive seed, but only a couple enemy particles to destroy it. This makes the gameplay get stuck at certain points.

As a final tip, the game window went offscreen for me and I couldn't move it or resize it - thus, I was stuck with an invisible row of dark blocks. Oh well.



Great project so far, I'll be watching this one. Code on! Smiley
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2008, 07:11:57 PM »

well I had to trash that first attempt and fell back on my old fav. the arena shooter.  I think it came out quite nicely,. even though I lost the first week working on a game that was totaly different,. perhaps I will get back to that one later and finnish it. 

I rewrote the top post and the finnal game is attached there.
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Melly
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2008, 08:53:58 PM »

Well, it's certainly really interesting and quite challenging. I still haven't been able to beat it, but the game as a whole is pretty solid.

However, besides the graphical and sound resources, how exactly did you make use of procedural generation? Every round was pretty much alike, and I think a bit of variation on the types of enemies or the arena you face each time could have improved it.

Still, a very nice game overall. Looks damn pretty too.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2008, 07:46:10 AM »

Ending was a bit of an anticlimax ("d" isn't in that word...), but it kept my interest enough to play it three times until I beat it. I liked the mechanics, especially the Sonic-like collectibles as health, and how you reward concentrated fire on those medium-sized enemies. I was going to complain about the camera but checking the game again it seems like the camera only works well on the default 800x600 resolution. On a higher resolution, the camera constantly centered my on the edges of the screen. Impressive filesize.
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008, 08:18:11 AM »

Melly- the whole thing is proceduraly generated,. excepting the font.
that is to say, no bitmaps where created by hand and imported,. they are drawn using functions at the start. No sounds are static .wav files, they are based on synth perameters and sysnthesised in real time., and the 'music/noises' react in ways caned mp3s can't,. the models are all created as the game executes by iterating transformations of primitives "after the software executes, rather than before."  The level is a generated pattern, of generated trees, on a generated background. 
 No there is no vast generate maze, or thousands of random string names for NPCs,. those just didn't fit this games style and design.  Yes you COULD use PCG to make the creatures different each instance,. however I liked the ones I designed and choose to focus on refining the gameplay to something I enjoy.  As far as variations I was planing to do a few levels such as this one,. each with different creatures, backgrounds, and play styles. sorta everyday shooter style but with my own art astetic.  Not sure I will have time to do more on it for a while though.

Noyb- glad you had some fun with it,. I think i will leave the typo in!  thanks for ponting it out though., im an awfull speller and my fingers have a tendency twords randomness at times,. . must be the mad cow,.
 I am not sure what you are saying about the camera?  the resolution don't have much to do with it, I designed it in 1280x1024,. I am actually quite suprised it works well in all those rez. as the aspect ratios are not the same,. the mouse is always limited to 4x3,.  there is a bit of random movement to the camera as well, and if you move too quickly you will indeed have a tougher view (be closer to the screen edge -dangerous!) as the camera re-centers slower,.. I was trying to balance a scrolling view with the mouse aiming,. while not having the camera directly conected to the player,. as that is too stiff.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2008, 02:34:49 PM »

Great! I also liked the stars acting as shields, and the enemies are really hot. The first few times I played I actually thought they were different each time, but that was purely because I died before I saw the big thing with the shield Smiley
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jph wacheski
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2008, 05:45:39 AM »

Thanks Shrimp. I think there is enouph randomness in it to keep it fun,. more in the emergent style of gameplay with the AIs,.  I had planed on actualy adding the 'sonic' style stars flying out of the player when hit,. however in the end I thought it would make the game to easy,. and time just ran out! 3 week aint' a long production run eh. perhaps I will try adding it later and see,. . sometimes you gotta try things to know for sure how well they will work. peace.
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2008, 03:26:49 PM »

Addicting game, though kinda tough Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2008, 07:07:28 PM »

Very cool. It sorta reminds me of screenshots of Spore.

I think this is the first game I tried that used fully generated art assets. The irony is, the better that your art generation algorithm is, the less likely anyone will notice how clever it is.

And you easily win the "most intense main menu" award.
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