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TIGSource ForumsCommunityCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationThe Germinator [v0-3] [Finished]
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Author Topic: The Germinator [v0-3] [Finished]  (Read 41233 times)
superflat
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« on: May 16, 2008, 10:07:43 am »

The Germinator v0-3



Gameplay

You are Norton, the Germinator.

You must stop the spread of viruses, trojans and worms within the PC you're installed on.

- Aim with the mouse.
- Shoot with Z,X or C to produce Red, Green or Blue bullets (which are strong against enemies of the same colour.)
- Red will also be powerful against Yellow and Magenta enemies.
- Green will also be powerful against Yellow and Cyan enemies.
- Blue will also be powerful against Cyan and Magenta enemies.
- You get 1000 for killing a virus with the correct colour, 250 without.
- You'll get a wave bonus of 2500 for a fully-killed wave.
- The flashing ellipses are enemy fire, and are indestructible.  Avoid them!
- [NEW!] There's now a nice crosshair.
- [NEW!] Right mouse button launches a smart bomb if you have one (best to save them for the worst bullet hell moments.)
- [NEW!] You'll get 500 for each consecutive hit with the correct colour (after the first hit).
- [NEW!] Collect powerups to help you on your way (2-Way, 3-Way, 1up, Shield, Smart Bomb.)

System Requirements:

- XP (SP2 or above)/ Vista
- A GPU capable of Shader Model 2.0, probably 64mb or above.
- 1Gb Ram (not tested)
- I'd hazard a guess at a 1.5Ghz Pentium4 CPU or above.

Here's the link:

The Germinator v0-3.rar(12.7mb)

The Germinator v0-3 (patch).rar (Upgrade from v0-22 only - please extract files into their correct directories - 150Kb)

Here's a mirror: (thanks to Sar)

http://www.eviscerate.net/scraps/The Germinator v0-3.rar

You'll also need: Visual C++ Redistributable

Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable(1.7mb).

Version History:

v0-1:

- First release.  Underwhelming!

v0-2: 

- Many small fixes, crosshair added. 
- Baddie speed adjusted. 
- Field of view adjusted.

v0-21:

- Tweened crosshair (smoother movement).

v0-22:

- Finally fixed that silly OpenGL bug - the yellow / black pixellated square is no more!

v0-3

- Everything's faster and more arcadey. Grin
- Powerups! (1up, 2-Way, 3-Way, Shield, Smart Bomb...)
- Correct Colour Combos.
- Many small glitches sorted.
- Enemies flash white if hit with the wrong colour.  They also take three hits instead of two.
- Enemy bullets are now flashing ellipses ala Space Harrier, they're semi-homing now, so no corner is safe!  There's loads more of them, and they fire in waves.
- Enemy waves are much improved, and they stick within the playfield.
- Collision improved slightly.
- Full text feedback about game, such as 'most recent powerup collected', 'wave bonus' etc...
- The bug that stopped you switching fire while holding the mouse button has been annihilated.
- The rounds are much shorted and sweeter.  There's no waiting for an imaginary boss now.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 01:42:19 pm by superflat » Logged

narasu
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 10:47:27 am »

Nice concept. Looking forward to it Grin
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Alex May
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 11:01:26 am »

Now you've got me thinking about Zarch. Must mean you're awesome!
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William Broom
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 04:03:11 pm »

 Shocked Ikaruga is hard enough with two colours, and you want us to use 6?? Oh well, shmup players are all masochists anyway, so go for it. I probably won't enjoy this much because I'm so bad at shmups, but I'll still be interested to see how the colour fusing mechanic will work.
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superflat
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 04:39:10 pm »

Hmm I haven't tried ikuraga, but I think the system will be fairly simple in this.  We'll see...

I've just put up my first screenshot in the the top post, take a look!
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Pacian
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 03:16:17 am »

Easy nominee for best-looking entry so far, methinks.  Smiley
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 03:18:08 am by Pacian » Logged

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Caio
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 07:28:15 am »

Holy crap, looks really good indeed!
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Terry
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 07:28:59 am »

Yeah, I gotta agree, that looks fantastic Smiley
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superflat
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 08:11:44 am »

Thanks for the encouragement everyone! This is my first project created in Visual C++ / Ogre, so progress is slow-ish.  Actually it's my first fully-3D game.

I've got it so you can shoot the baddies now, and they generate nice 3D star particles.  Now it's time to add the colour mechanics.

I was thinking that either Green or Blue can kill Red, or Blue and Red can kill Green etc. But also you'll need to pull out Blue to kill yellow, Red to kill Cyan etc.  As for White, you'll have to wait for them to explode into smaller, Primary or Secondary coloured Baddies.

Baddies can fire, split or fuse.  You're best off shooting them before they fuse or split of course!  The idea for each wave is to kill all the baddies - but you might end up with more than you started if you don't hit 'em with the right colour.

I was hoping someone could point me in the direction of a nice cross-platform sound library that's not gonna get me in any license issues.  I'd like something ideally that will let me have access to playing sounds' pointers so I can do a sort of interactive music.  Anyone have any suggestions?
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Caio
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 08:15:52 am »

That sounds very confusing. Maybe you should make it so that right-colored bullets just do more damage (as opposed to the wrong ones not doing any damage at all or making them stronger or whatever).
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superflat
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 08:22:44 am »

We'll see.

As it stands I have three shoot buttons.  I'm finding it quite intuitive to combine colours by pressing two at once.  Anyway, it's too early to say if it'll work until I have the baddie fusing / splitting mechanic in there.

When I've put it in there, I'll know if it's going to work.  If not I'm up for doing it the other way round, or a simpler way.

By the way, do you know of a decent sound-library Akhel?
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Caio
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 08:25:02 am »

Sorry, I don't know these complicated technological programming things of the future.
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superflat
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 12:19:44 pm »

Mmmkay.  I've been having a think and I agree it's too confusing.  I'm down with the three coloured lasers, RG+B, but I think I need to simplify the baddies system.

I'm now imagining it like this:

Baddies begin as any colour from a single primary to white.  If it's white, you can hit 'em with any colour,  subtracting that colour from its RGB value.  Eg if you suck out the red, then green from a yellow baddie and you've killed it. If it's red, you only need to use red. 

I'll use a system whereby you must hit them with several shots in a row of the correct colour or they'll simply return to full 'health' for that particular colour.

They may also split randomly into their constituent colours, or just a copy of itself, and sometimes different coloured ones merge back together.  They fire their colour at you, but also sometimes at each other to replace colours (eg a yellow fires some green at a blue, making it cyan!)  This might leave them more vulnerable though.

So here's an example.

Red and green germs appear.   You shoot the red with red but it splits.  You kill one but the other has fired some red at green to make yellow.  You shoot the yellow with green but again it's too late- it's split into red and green, and so on.

I hope to try and control the splitting and merging so that it's a challenge to remove a wave from the screen, even if it starts out with simple parameters, such as two or three baddies.

Anyway, excuse my rambling - don't have any paper handy so I'm using this a source of notes!

Edit:

Rather than double-post, I'll just add this here...

Chutup and Akhel, you're absolutely right, and I'm glad I got your feedback.  I got my proposed system up and running and it was immediately confusing.  I've now limited to two fire buttons, green and red.  Green kills green, red, kills red.  But I've kept the concept in there by having yellow which can be killed by green or red, or quicker still by holding down green and red.  It's really fun and easy now, and I'm quite excited!  Thanks for your help.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 01:13:07 pm by superflat » Logged

Ed
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2008, 01:47:03 pm »

Sexy cel-shaded blobs! Looking forward to the colour gameplay too.... maybe you could introduce more colours as the game progresses?
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superflat
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 08:07:04 am »

Been working hard for a few days on this. although it doesn't look much different there's a huge amount done under the hood.  I'm learning so much about C++ and Ogre on this project, and planning to use it as my demo for my game job-hunting.  I'm really enjoying it!



Shooting some green meanies - but your laser won't do much about those purple ones!



Which flavour of anti-virus are you gonna pull out here?

Status update:


I started by having the baddie as finite state machines which moved around according to sort of A-life cell-like simulation.  The problem was the game was unpredictable and difficult to keep under control as a designer (without a 'Back & White'-style schedule).

I then spent a couple of days writing a flexible shoot-em-up wave system.  When I finally got this working, so that waves could be defined with a single line of code, the game instantly felt tight for the first time. So I'm going along a (perhaps safer) more conventional shoot-'em-up route.  The graphics are still all procedurally generated though!

I'll perhaps end up incorporating the mutations.  Perhaps if a wave is wounded (one or more member is defeated) the remaining members will divide filling the space.  Also perhaps if two waves collide (eg red wave moving from left->right and yellow wave moving from right to left) then they fuse if feasible (ie red+green=yellow).

At the moment I have only red and green bullets (with yellow created by holding both laser buttons down).  But in the screenies above you can see I'm still toying with blue, cyan and magenta baddies.  It's really fun choosing the right colour for the wave when they're flying past you at speed. 

So I think I could go back closer to my original idea of having three lasers, R, G & B.

But to simplify it, I'd also cut the laser-combinations (eg yellow by holding green and red).  This way you'd be able to hit a yellow with green or red. but it would take twice as many hits (usually 2 instead of one).  Equally you could hit magenta with red or blue etc.  Then quick-fire colour recognition becomes one of the main skills needed, and a certain amount of instinct comes into it which seems to be quite fun and natural in tests.  I did want to avoid three buttons, but hell, SFII had six, and that's my favourite game!  Anyway it;s not so bad if you're using mouse control - you just rest three fingers on the keyboard as if you were using W, A and D in a FPS.

An extension of this idea would be:

You then have a 'duo-shot' bar which fills up with colour combos.  You can use up this bar to fire shots of two colours which merge in the air and become cyan, magenta or yellow.  This will destroy secondary colours in one shot, as well as either primary that makes up the duo-shot.

^^^ I'd love your thoughts on this!


           
Stuff update:

*** DONE ***

- General improvement of my framework.
- Scrolling terrain.
- Mouse / keyboard controlled player.
- Player bullets + collision
- Baddie animations (vertex morph and node).
- Baddied can be killed.
- Baddie particles (they explode into 2D and 3D particles!)
- Baddie division, fusion.
- Baddie waves - they now move in groups along nice spline curves with variable start positions and individual offsets (in space and time).  Also keeps track of defeated waves (unused at the moment).

*** TO-DO (in no order) ***

- Actually put the score in there (it's just done in photoshop at the moment I'm afraid!)
- Enemy bullets.
- Player health + lives.
- Get FMOD installed and put in music!
- Maybe look at making the music interactive?
- Improve explosions.
- Tag up combos.
- Re-instate mutations for wounded waves
- Make more baddies
- Boss (of course!)
- Start and end of level
- Title screen
- Type out waves or better still generate an algorithm in the spirit of the compo (maybe even that adapts to the player's skill)
- Hmm I'm liking the above idea ^ -  should be pretty easy with the framework I've built!

[edit:]

Just realised I remember Zarch as Lander on the Acorn Archimedes.  Now that's old school.  Wicked game!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 04:46:29 am by superflat » Logged

superflat
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2008, 04:58:59 am »

For anyone that's interested I've gone back to the RGB system.  There are no combo lasers.  Now it's simply a case of either hitting them with their correct colour (hit red with red) to kill them in one shot, or any other colour to kill them in two.  This means you can ignore colour matching if you like, but it definitely helps in getting a high score!

This works really well, so now I want to make an automatic 'wave' generator. Anyway, any feedback would be much appreciated!

Will put up a video at the end of the day, just working on getting Fmod in there for sound.
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superflat
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2008, 10:31:56 am »

Ok latest update!

I've got a video:





As you can see, things now in:

- Got FMOD up and running.
- Wrote this piece of music entitled 'Fire' (you'll hear the full thing when the game's done).
- Made game sounds out of the track elements so the audio is a coherent whole.
- Ironed out many bugs.
- Improved the wave system. Still buggy though.
- Improved exposions.
- Got text working and did fonts and overlay with score.

I've already done more since the video, like baddie bullets, and I'm working out the shield system now.  I want to put powerups in next, then make the wave auto-generator.
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2008, 12:42:00 pm »

That looks fantastic!
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Melly
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2008, 02:10:36 pm »

Perhaps you should improve the aiming by creating a 3D aiming reticle. You know, a series of reticles going from your ship in different depths. Or a line. Or something.
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superflat
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2008, 03:46:14 pm »

@Pip

Thanks, I'm quite pleased with it, considering it's my first full C++/3D effort  It looks better in HD of course.

@ Melly

A nice crosshair which appears if the enemy is in sight would be good definitely.  I think so anyway.  The again, aiming is lenient, so it's not that hard anyway.  I've deliberately kept the player's movement very 8-bit and digital, with collision pretty loose (I wanted to capture that manic 80's Space Harrier feel - and that didn't need a crosshair).

@ Other People

I'm thinking about powerups at the moment.  Almost definitely want a super-weapon by pressing R+G+B when your super-bar is full.  Big fat laser would be nice.  Some kind of lock-on death laser. 

Regular powerups?  Smart bombs could definitely be good.  Three way?  Homing?  Gravity gun (sucks em' in for easy shootage)?

Any ideas anyone?
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