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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsPeriapsis - New demo! 4-27-12
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Author Topic: Periapsis - New demo! 4-27-12  (Read 14788 times)
AaronLee
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« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2011, 01:44:41 PM »

Entry 8
Tutorial Treachery



So I've been working on the game over this summer between work and writing. Things are going good, if slow.

The new tutorial is making progress, I've got a better plan laid out that will introduce and let the player experience mechanics gradually. I'll be able to step the player from SHMUP gameplay into free-roaming, newtonian pursuit and resource gathering in no time.

This first stage shown will have the player set movement controls and then avoid incoming fire. After that I'm going to have the intersystem rocket deploy some boss-style point defense that the player can use to shoot down some pursuing baddies.
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Belimoth
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« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2011, 02:59:03 PM »

This is cool! I enjoyed the feeling of openness and the fact that sinistar was nowhere to be found. The controls might be a little sensitive but after flying planes in the console version of Just Cause 2 I'm ready for anything.

My only real gripe is that it is hard to tell how fast you are moving, maybe the starfield blur could follow that as well as rotation? Actually that sounds complicated; I've never tackled anything similar before.

Great concept! Random encounters makes a lot of sense for a game in space when you think about it.  Beer!
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AaronLee
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2011, 08:29:40 PM »

Okay, brand new build and trailer!

Here's the new features:

-Provisional 'survival mode' gameplay with wave-based enemy spawn.
-Game start and end conditions.
-Wave counter tracks your record of waves survived.
-New, first-tier combat ship (replacing the basic "lifepod" ship.
-Enemies! Four types, each with compeltely unique behavior.

Check out the original post for info. I'm really stoked about this release and I'm excite dto see what people think.
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AaronLee
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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2011, 03:21:37 PM »

New build! This one's a lot more incremental, but I added a new enemy and added a bunch of new SFX.
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sonicblastoise
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2011, 08:31:18 PM »

I am simply commenting here to say that this looks awesome and I am playtesting your 10-6-11 build until you tell me to stop, and even then I will continue to do so surreptitiously until you release a new one.

And so it shows up in my new replies list so I can keep track of it forever until you die.

And done!
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AaronLee
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2011, 10:19:38 PM »

I am simply commenting here to say that this looks awesome and I am playtesting your 10-6-11 build until you tell me to stop, and even then I will continue to do so surreptitiously until you release a new one.

And so it shows up in my new replies list so I can keep track of it forever until you die.

And done!

Hahaha I'm honored! And you can play these builds until your hands fall off / your keyboard goes on strike, no worries! If you've got any specific feedback of any kind, feel free to post it.

AND TO ALL (and sonicblastoise :D) : New devlog on my plans for the future of Hunt*Evade in broad strokes.

The new build should include the first tutorials. I've already started on the first and have the user experi ence from game start to that complete (a lot of trouble as I had to invent some dynamic scene structuring code.)

I've got some big family issues so I might be pulling the e-brake on development for up to a few weeks. I'm not sure what the future holds in that regard but hope with me for the best.
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sonicblastoise
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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2011, 12:18:06 AM »

Impressive devlog. Some interesting ideas, and I appreciate the inspiration from both current-gen non-space genres as well as classic ones.

On to the game as it stands:

-controls are interesting. The player-fixated camera with relative motion on a centered radar is something I haven't experienced since the days of playing Infantry Zone and Tartarus. For spaceship games, it's standard, but it's not a common control scheme in the current era. The focus on speed and the reproduction of that sensation gives it a kind of out-of-control feeling that is difficult to wrangle with at first, but makes sense once you get your bearings. ship control reminds me heavily of George Moromisato's Transcendence, though a bit more arcadey due to screen shake and some other stylizations.

-combat is satisfying, if difficult. I love the explosion effects and the damage indications reinforce the arcade feel. I don't know that this is your goal, considering your design ideas, but that's what I feel so far. I'm also looking forward to the imiplementation of weapons and mining options, because as it stands it's a hectic mash of run-n-gun, which is unique, but quickly tiresome.

-visuals are great. I really enjoy the style as it reminds me of 16-bit space shmups, or like Super Metroid in space. I hope you keep going in this direction, though I can foresee the need to anti-alias or bump up the resolution in order to make larger ships more distinct from floating rocks/space stations.

Those are my thoughts for now. I also love the feeling of speed you get from fleeing enemies, though the speed with which you overtake your own shots feels a bit unreal.

My prayers go out to your family, and I hope things get better soon. While I do hope that this project gets completed, first things first  Smiley
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AaronLee
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 02:00:15 PM »

So things have cleared up a bit and I'd tentatively say that I'm back on track with development.

I've got yet another long post on my blog about how hard science can actually work for, rather then against gameplay. This reveals a bit more about my future plans for the game. I'm probably going to do another post some time later on strategic enemy behavior and dynamic mission events.

Sonicblastoise: Thanks for the feedback, this sort of detail was exactly what I'm looking for. And, yes, I'm going for an arcade feel. I wanted to merge immersion (screen shake, realistic movement ) with arcade tropes (lotsa boolet, tight controls, flashy visuals and indicators, a likeable difficulty curve.) Thanks for mentioning those games, now I'm curious to go check em out.
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AaronLee
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2011, 06:55:30 PM »

So lately I was having a lot of coding block. I sort of forgot what this game's about. Then Jason Rohrer mentioned "freedom of approach" in this article. This is exactly what I want Hunt*Evade to be.

I feel like a ranting lunatic but this is it. The idea of giving the player power to diffuse impossible situations through controlling approach, encounter and engagement. I want this to be a game of anecdote and emergent gameplay where complex systems play into each other on top of solid shooter gameplay.

...Anyway, I'm working on a multipurpose autopilot. I think it's finally upgraded past fledgling and into functionality. I ironed out most of the funny behavior, now I just need to reinstate docking with tradeships

And then do a complete overhaul of the shop to use the modular AI and actually be straightforward.

...blagh, I can do this.
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JackMenhorn
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2011, 06:27:17 AM »

It's sad not more people have replied to this. It looks gorgeous, and you're inspiringly dedicated to it.


This.

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AaronLee
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« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2011, 04:46:19 PM »

No new build yet, everyone.

But I think I've finally worked out the game intro!

I've instated 4 difficulty levels, each unlocked by completing the previous. The first is 'Patsy,' this includes a short scripted sequence that teaches you some basics, then drops you into the game with contextual hints. I was really torn on how to make the tutorial fun so I just made it into its own little game, basically. We'll see how it goes.

Each difficulty level is going to expand the game. Here's some details on each one.
  • Patsy - Has tutorial. Win by upgrading your ship.
  • Idealist - enemy forces added. Defeat 10 patrols to win.
  • Hardened - Bosses added. Defeat a boss to win.
  • Cynic - NPCs added. Must defeat 3 bosses or accomplish a secondary condition to win.

As far as secondary conditions go, I'm thinking buying and escaping in a new interstellar spacecraft, swaying the civilians to your cause etc. those are likely last on the feature list.

I didn't have much time to focus on Periapsis because of finals, then moving house, then visiting family, but I've got a new rig and set up my (modest) dev suite on it. So I'm diiging away at the to-do list again.

Right now I'm doing a lot of slow under the hood stuff.
  • Made multi-object spaceships start civil wars between their sub-parts less often.
  • cleaned up my cloud of UI objects.
  • Killed some old, evil code screwing with new stuff.
  • fixed pickups and cargo to work again (related to above.)
  • made trippy UI crash animations to interface-screw the player.

Next up, I'm trying to get a somewhat complete version of the Patsy difficulty level up and running before I release the next build, then Idealist.
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Windybeard
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« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2011, 04:59:16 PM »

This looks awesome! i love action madness like this! Ill be watching this one :D
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AaronLee
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« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2011, 10:03:09 AM »

This looks awesome! i love action madness like this! Ill be watching this one :D

Glad to hear it! Hopefully my next update post will have a new build.
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AaronLee
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2012, 05:16:27 PM »

New build, everybody! Check out the first topic post for a D/L link.




New stuff:
-Scripted intro
-Tutorial
-Procedurally generated world
-Space stations
-Local asteroid fields
-Docking
-NPC: assistant bot
-NPC: ore depository structure
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sonicblastoise
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« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2012, 12:18:06 PM »

three words:

so fucking good
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Scut Fabulous
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« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2012, 02:19:01 PM »

I played the latest demo and I love how snappy the thruster effects are.  It really has a 'hard' feel that's difficult to describe.  Your video diaries are also really good to get a quick sense of your process, and watching the latest one is what convinced me to try the game so please keep posting vids, I think it will be a good promo tool.

One issue I have with the gameplay is how rapidly objects tend to 'leap out' at the player.  The radar does not give much sense of spatial awareness.  I'm not sure what kinds of scaling effects Game Maker can do, but I had an idea that if the game screen was seen through a sort of fisheye lens you could fit much more data comfortably on screen.  Objects further away from the player would appear smaller and move more slowly.  I did a really sketchy mockup of what I mean:

http://scutanddestroy.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/periapsis-fisheyed-screenshot.png

Regardless of whether or not you use this idea, I think Periapsis could benefit from some mechanism to increase awareness of what's outside the player's immediate range.

Also, is there any plan to add a 'brake' feature that automatically stabilizes the ship's motion?  When I'm chasing asteroids I feel as if the controls can creep away from me, and a key to stabilize things would be nice.

Any plans for mouse support?


I really love the ship graphics and thruster effects.  Everything /feels/ very fast.  Your autonav system is really impressive to watch.
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AaronLee
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« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2012, 04:10:47 PM »

I played the latest demo and I love how snappy the thruster effects are.  It really has a 'hard' feel that's difficult to describe.  Your video diaries are also really good to get a quick sense of your process, and watching the latest one is what convinced me to try the game so please keep posting vids, I think it will be a good promo tool.

One issue I have with the gameplay is how rapidly objects tend to 'leap out' at the player.  The radar does not give much sense of spatial awareness.  I'm not sure what kinds of scaling effects Game Maker can do, but I had an idea that if the game screen was seen through a sort of fisheye lens you could fit much more data comfortably on screen.  Objects further away from the player would appear smaller and move more slowly.  I did a really sketchy mockup of what I mean:

http://scutanddestroy.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/periapsis-fisheyed-screenshot.png

Regardless of whether or not you use this idea, I think Periapsis could benefit from some mechanism to increase awareness of what's outside the player's immediate range.

Also, is there any plan to add a 'brake' feature that automatically stabilizes the ship's motion?  When I'm chasing asteroids I feel as if the controls can creep away from me, and a key to stabilize things would be nice.

Any plans for mouse support?


I really love the ship graphics and thruster effects.  Everything /feels/ very fast.  Your autonav system is really impressive to watch.

Woah, it's Scut 'salvage' Fabulous! I'm honored!

I'm glad you like the controls. From the very beginning it was what most people liked about the game. And, yeah, if the videos were crucial in you trying the game I'll be sure to make one every time I add new key features Smiley

As for better offscreen visualization, what if I made a fisheye/disk radar centered on the player?  I could see it going from 1/1 scale factor approaching 1/inf. so that distant objects essentially blob up at the edges. The closer you are to objects, the better the detail resolution, approaching the same visibility as if the object were on screen.

I actually had someone on reddit ask for mouse support. I wasn't too keen, but I suppose I should put it under consideration. I still can't decide if I should bind mosue to move direction or turning, probably the former. That won't actually be that hard as the ship's automatic controls support move and facing input angularly.

BTw if you guys ever wnat to bump my release topics on reddit, feel free.

PS: I like your mockup. I could probably draw to a surface since I jsut leanred I can force a drawing event call for objects at any time and also disable the default draw procedure. I'd probably need to learn some 3d so I can draw the surface with some 3d distortion. Game Maker doesn't have a lot of inbuilt shader math that would help me here, AFAIK.
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Scut Fabulous
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« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2012, 04:32:21 PM »

As for better offscreen visualization, what if I made a fisheye/disk radar centered on the player?  I could see it going from 1/1 scale factor approaching 1/inf. so that distant objects essentially blob up at the edges. The closer you are to objects, the better the detail resolution, approaching the same visibility as if the object were on screen.

That sounds cool, especially if it can operate over the whole screen.  Is there any room for camera zoom within the engine?  I could imagine more advanced players will get comfortable zooming things out, at least during strategic and long range maneuvers.

Oh!  What about a trajectory pipper?  Like a jet fighter's active gun sight, it could trace out an indicator showing your actual heading.  The further out it is from the player the faster your speed.  It could also act as a target for interceptions, when you lock onto an object a second pipper could pop up showing a more ideal trajectory to make the shortest interception.

Maybe HUD helpers and the nav computers could be part of the upgrade system in the game.  Low level systems give much less accurate data, have slower refresh rates, can't track as many objects, can't predict as far ahead and give false positives etc.

Dammit, I know what it's like to have forums users trying to turn your concept into a pickup truck.  Freely ignore if you think I'm not getting the core concepts of the game.  It's just that Periapsis has sparked my imagination. Smiley

[Thuster options!  The ability to put massive fucking retro-thrusters on the nose of your ship so that it can brake onto a target or escape without pointing its guns away!] 
[Alright I'm done!   Durr...?]
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laxwolf
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« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2012, 06:25:20 PM »

really nice work! I like where this is going. Grin
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AaronLee
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« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2012, 03:27:38 PM »

As for better offscreen visualization, what if I made a fisheye/disk radar centered on the player?  I could see it going from 1/1 scale factor approaching 1/inf. so that distant objects essentially blob up at the edges. The closer you are to objects, the better the detail resolution, approaching the same visibility as if the object were on screen.

That sounds cool, especially if it can operate over the whole screen.  Is there any room for camera zoom within the engine?  I could imagine more advanced players will get comfortable zooming things out, at least during strategic and long range maneuvers.

Oh!  What about a trajectory pipper?  Like a jet fighter's active gun sight, it could trace out an indicator showing your actual heading.  The further out it is from the player the faster your speed.  It could also act as a target for interceptions, when you lock onto an object a second pipper could pop up showing a more ideal trajectory to make the shortest interception.

Maybe HUD helpers and the nav computers could be part of the upgrade system in the game.  Low level systems give much less accurate data, have slower refresh rates, can't track as many objects, can't predict as far ahead and give false positives etc.

Dammit, I know what it's like to have forums users trying to turn your concept into a pickup truck.  Freely ignore if you think I'm not getting the core concepts of the game.  It's just that Periapsis has sparked my imagination. Smiley

[Thuster options!  The ability to put massive fucking retro-thrusters on the nose of your ship so that it can brake onto a target or escape without pointing its guns away!]  
[Alright I'm done!   Durr...?]

Lol I appreciate your optimism Scut. My UI is object-based, with each function acting as an independent applet. I'll see about some of these ideas, but I'd have to parameterize the UI applets so I can set their 'quality' attributes.

I'm also futzing around with the fisheye cam idea. The big issue may be it just slows down the game a lot, game maker d3d is unsupported and rough as a bed of nails. I will be adding fisheye radar for sure, though.

Also, I updated the build! I improved docking hints, like the 'in' sign and added a docking tutorial. I also tweaked some pointless dialog to sound a bit more in-setting.

BTW Laxwolf, thanks for the watch on youtube and I'm glad you like the game so far.
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