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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationLast Colonists (FINISHED)
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Author Topic: Last Colonists (FINISHED)  (Read 15874 times)
PaulMorel
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« on: May 15, 2008, 08:17:42 PM »

Disclaimer: This is my first videogame since high school (8 years), so be gentle.

I don't really have a title yet... for now I am calling the game 'The Last Colonists', but that sounds way too serious.

It is a shmup/music game.  I wanted to make a game where the user had direct control over the music, rather than the 'enhanced audience member' role that the player usually gets in music games (GH, AudioSurf, Rock Band .. etc).  I am kind of achieving that with this game, but the music is only just started.  There will be much more of it in the final version.

The generative elements are the expected ones.  The size of the stages and the enemies that come at you are PG.  Of course, the gameplay is synced with the music, so the music is also PG, but it's also user-controlled ... that's the kind of unique thing here.

Also, I know next to nothing about graphics programming, so please forgive the line graphics.

Oh, and it's a java browser game (OH NOES!! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!!)

http://www.thisisnotalabel.com/lastcolonists/

I'd love to get some feedback, but I'm not sure how much more I can do before the deadline.  I may add one more tangential feature, like scoreboards or co-op multiplayer ... or maybe a cell phone version (j2me ftw), but I am not sure that I will have time.

EDIT:
There are only 3 stages.  It can be beaten in about 10 minutes.

EDIT:
Screenshots

« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 05:38:28 AM by PaulMorel » Logged

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moi
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 08:46:19 PM »

Interesting, although it's more a prototype at the moment.
I would have liked to have more musical input than just the tempo beat. Maybe more weapons and/or protective elements that would have alternate sounds.
I haven't played all the latest music based games or shmups, so I don't know if it's really new but I like this concept.
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BobFM
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 08:56:07 PM »

I played the demo for a few minutes. I haven't played too many music-based games either, but I really like how each enemy adds its own part to the music.

I feel like the ship should have some inertia, but that may be from playing Asteroids too much. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 08:59:36 PM »

Alas, you used that f*cking WASD...

(didn't pay attention the first time because I didn't move. BTW moving doesn't seem to be very useful in that game anyway)
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 09:44:11 PM »

Fun! I felt kinda bad killing the enemies since they made the soundscape more interesting. I agree that new music for each level would justify the sudden decrease in musical complexity at the start of each stage. Maybe you could increase the firing speed/tempo at the least.
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PaulMorel
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 05:22:02 AM »

Right, I'm going to try and increase the tempo.  One problem with that is that I can only use tempos that divide evenly to an integer number of milliseconds per quarter beat.  This is due to the fact that most timing classes use milliseconds as their base.  Obviously, there are workarounds, but I don't really have time to implement them.

And good idea about having each of the pickups start different sounds.  I think that I meant to do that originally, but just forgot.

Alas, you used that f*cking WASD...

(didn't pay attention the first time because I didn't move. BTW moving doesn't seem to be very useful in that game anyway)

Wow.  I didn't realize that people used non-qwerty keyboards that often.  I will put in numpad and arrow-key controls.

Moving basically isn't useful until the colonists die, at which point you can still play on to the end, you just get a different ending.
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Sar
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 08:15:47 AM »

Wow.  I didn't realize that people used non-qwerty keyboards that often.  I will put in numpad and arrow-key controls.

People who live in non-English-speaking countries use non-querty keyboards all the time. I remember French people complaining about shooters because their 'Z' key isn't in the bottom-left like ours is.
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C418
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 11:20:31 AM »

This game is rather cool. Everything is nice synched and the minimalistic effects are fitting.

But I hope you will polish the music matching a little more. If the bass suddenly stops, it is kinda awkward. Maybe add a little release (or reverb) or something. Would be awesome Smiley
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PaulMorel
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 11:29:46 AM »

JUST ADDED:
-arrow key controls
-inertia on the fighter
-a few more enemies
-colonists now follow you around the screen
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PaulMorel
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 01:54:17 PM »

ADDED:
-new music on each stage
-loading screen for each stage
-fixed up the graphics a bit

Could someone give me some feedback on the difficulty level?  I want to make sure that everyone reaches stage 2, but it's still pretty tough to get through stage 3.  Since that's all generated by equations, I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's too hard or too easy.

Also, the game freezes up for a second occasionally, and I can't figure out why.  No exceptions are being thrown, there is no bug, and there is no loading at the time. Anyone know a good way to profile an applet?

http://www.thisisnotalabel.com/games/
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 06:06:52 PM »

Could someone give me some feedback on the difficulty level?  I want to make sure that everyone reaches stage 2, but it's still pretty tough to get through stage 3.  Since that's all generated by equations, I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's too hard or too easy.

I found the difficulty to be pretty OK. After a couple of abortive tries getting used to the game I got to about waypoint 2 on stage 3 before losing the colony ship, although after that I managed to survive 'til most of the way to waypoint 5 before dying. Annoyingly when I did die it was 'cause the game froze up for a short period and I was dead when it came back. :/
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PaulMorel
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 07:03:15 PM »

Thanks Sar.

Yeah, I've got something odd in there that I need to fix.  I think it's something in my draw routines, but it blows my mind that it's not throwing an exception but still pausing for that long ... unbelievable.
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Shambrook
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 10:11:36 PM »

Awsome game, but I'm not digging the whole protect the collosnists thing. I preferd it when you just fly around shooting shit.

Also sucks with a laptop trackapd Tongue
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Sar
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 03:58:10 AM »

Awsome game, but I'm not digging the whole protect the collosnists thing.

As it goes, I kind of like it. I don't think I'd want to play too many games with the same thing, but it's nice to mix the formula up a bit sometimes.

It'd be supremely annoying if there were bad guys shooting at us instead of just ramming us, since it's plausible enough to dodge stuff in the little ship but probably not the huge hulking colony shop, but as it stands...
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 04:08:33 AM »

This is really fun.  Strong, simple concept, and very original too, as space shooters go.

And I like the music.   Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2008, 04:09:17 AM »

Found the difficulty all right, I managed to get to stage 3, what I did find annoying is that the powerups last too little time.

The game did not freeze for me.
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Sar
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2008, 04:41:09 AM »

what I did find annoying is that the powerups last too little time.

That is one thing, actually - are the powerups all on the same timer?

I wouldn't say that they necessarily last too little time - a couple of times I had a combination of big and bouncy and backwards (some 'b' thing you have going on there? ;-)) and nothing could get on the screen 'til they expired... but I did notice that they all seemed to disappear at the same time, no matter how recently I'd picked the last one up. So I guess if I'd picked up backwards and had it for 90% of the allowed time then picked up something really useful like bouncy, and then bouncy ran out in 10% of the time it would normally, that could be quite frustrating...


To be honest, though, the thing that annoyed me most about the powerups was that I nearly always ended up with them right at the edge of the screen, 'cause that's where I'd shot the enemy that dropped it, meaning that half the time when I went to pick it up I got rammed by something that jumped onto the screen and right into me before I could react. But I just put that down to a risk/reward decision I had to make...
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2008, 05:34:29 AM »

what I did find annoying is that the powerups last too little time.

That is one thing, actually - are the powerups all on the same timer?

I wouldn't say that they necessarily last too little time - a couple of times I had a combination of big and bouncy and backwards (some 'b' thing you have going on there? ;-)) and nothing could get on the screen 'til they expired... but I did notice that they all seemed to disappear at the same time, no matter how recently I'd picked the last one up. So I guess if I'd picked up backwards and had it for 90% of the allowed time then picked up something really useful like bouncy, and then bouncy ran out in 10% of the time it would normally, that could be quite frustrating...


To be honest, though, the thing that annoyed me most about the powerups was that I nearly always ended up with them right at the edge of the screen, 'cause that's where I'd shot the enemy that dropped it, meaning that half the time when I went to pick it up I got rammed by something that jumped onto the screen and right into me before I could react. But I just put that down to a risk/reward decision I had to make...

You're right about the powerups at the edges, half the time I didn't pick them up trying not to risk the colonists.

But I have not problem with them operating on the same timer, I mean that takes away situations like the one you described, where you have several powerups and are unstoppable. But when you have a single one it dies out too fast (IMO, not applicable for everyone).

a couple of times I had a combination of big and bouncy and backwards (some 'b' thing you have going on there? ;-))

Haha, possibly, the last one you didn't mention is bulletproof. All powerups start with b
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PaulMorel
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2008, 06:01:51 AM »

Each of the powerups lasts for 500km, but each one extends any previous powerups.  So yeah, they all expire at once, but the idea is that you let them sit onscreen until there's at least 2 to pick up, then each one will last for a longer time.

All start with B.  I'm not sure why.

Thanks for playing, everyone.  I think that I'm only going to change a few more things before completing it.

TO DO:
-refine the music a bit
-make the transitions smoother (stage changes and death/completion)
-figure out that occasional freezing problem
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2008, 10:20:03 AM »

You definitely have something very nice going on there with the music, but, as Noyb said, it feels bad to kill the enemies since they're the ones making it interesting.

Also, it keeps playing even after I close the game's tab in Fx. Huh?
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