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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingI hate bullet hell shooters, so I'm making this instead
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Author Topic: I hate bullet hell shooters, so I'm making this instead  (Read 29937 times)
Scott
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« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2012, 09:32:29 AM »

Playing it full screen, the jet fire is kind of more of an attention grabber than the actual 3D models of the enemies.
It kind of feels like I'm fighting blue whips instead of robot dudes, so that's worrying.
Yeah. For me, this.
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« Reply #81 on: May 25, 2012, 05:16:41 PM »

I have one suggestion. Add a chainsword.
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I_smell
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« Reply #82 on: May 26, 2012, 04:40:48 AM »

I have one suggestion. Add a chainsword.

As much as I like chainswords, it wouldn't add anything to how you play the game and there's not really any good place to put one.
I THOUGHT the main guy would have a sword arm, but it turns out that since he's a bear and he also grabs with that arm, I at some point gave him a big claw.
So now his slashes are like a visceral bear slash. I'm pretty happy with how that came out though.

In Devil May Cry 4, your guy has a BIKEsword. Which is to say that it has a rev... trigger on it, which he revs up to spin a motor on the sword that... heats it up? Agitates it's demon energy? I dunno.
It charges up to 3 extra powerful hits. You can rev it up fully inbetween fights, but with good timing you can re-charge it mid-combo. So that's really cool and creative.


This game doesn't have a name yet, so I've bin writing down ideas in my lil pencil book- which I've decided to totally put in the game somewhere when it's done. Here they are:

PUNCHgunner (the original name of the Flash file)
CYBERBEAST RUSH
OUTRAGE!ous
GALACTICAMORA (so far these all sound like 1980's DC superheroes)
SPACE PANICK (from here I thought them up while listening to the soundtrack of Mighty Switch Force)
MANGO FRANTIC
GUNJAM
GUN JAM GIGA
GUNJAM SPLASH

Kinda terrible, but I like the direction this is going in. For some reason "Mango Frantic" makes me laugh, but I wonder if it's too hipster and "whoa so crazy and random!!!!"... I wonder if it'd be too hard to sell aswel, but maybe I shouldn't be worrying about that.
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I_smell
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« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2012, 02:06:02 PM »



I've made Flash games at 30fps for ages, and I just realised this game's been running about like 800fps since I started. Appatantly PC games do that by default- what's a V sink?? aaaa I'll figure it out. Also I just noticed that the editor has been on the "Back" view all this time... so the game world is actually facing backwards.
...yeah this is my first 3D game incase I didn't mention.
I capped the framerate at something more reasonable.

Anyway, this is starting to grow on me.

The plan for this game was to have a seperate coder person, because I don't know a single thing about C#. Well- some bad news there... In the passed couple months I have learnt C#. This is bad news because it suddenly means I now have no good excuse to not do the whole thing myself. Which means way more work for me, which I am kind of not that excited about actually.

I sketched out a cutscene. This is Chet Jetset Jr. Jr. crash-landing at HQ and finding out he's not the centre of attention any more. It's really short, but I wanted to jot it down before I forgot exactly how it looks.

Anyway-- Any comments on how the game's lookin? I updated like 2 other blogs, and Twitter, and literally nobody responded. I am totally in the dark here.
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peous
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« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2012, 03:20:52 PM »

Looks good !
You won't have HUD at all ?

PS : I don't understand your cutscene, but anyways, do you plan to do it in 3d ?
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I_smell
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« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2012, 04:05:40 PM »

Yeah the cutscene probably makes sense to nobody right now, I just threw it in to show that I'm doing stuff.
Nah I plan for all the space-robot gameplay stuff to be 3D

. Because I'm nowhere near good enough at making 3D cartoons, and making 2D cartoons is something fun that I enjoy doing.
I got the idea to split it up like that from Zone of Enders 2, which was about gigantic skyscraper-sized robots. Anything close-up human-sized would be hand drawn anime, and anything zoomed out (for example the gameplay) would be 3D polygonal. Because they made this distinction, the two styles were never stood next to each other, and they got the absolute best of both worlds being that 3D humans were kinda fudgy at the time, and you could have way more engaging characters if you just drew it.
Long story short I like cartoons and am bad at modelling.

I don't THINK I'll have a HUD... There's no ammo, your money isn't very important mid-level, and the weapon cooldowns are clock-wipes attached to the character.
Maybe I'll HAVE TO have a health bar eventually.
Or maybe it'll be fun to try n avoid it, I dunno. My games don't usually have HUDs. I think when it comes to health is when I'm gonna have to decide- I'm PRETTY SURE I'm having regular old-school health-bar and health pick-ups.
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« Reply #86 on: June 08, 2012, 11:20:10 AM »

Hrmm, haven't been getting the updates in my email. Love the 3d stuff.

If you really want to stick to no HUD(which sounds super cool), how about making the character flash white on a 3 or 4 second timer when he's hurt, and have him flash red with a shorter time between flashes.

*edit*
And I think Punch Gunner is the way to go for the name. It spells out the gameplay clearly while still having a cool sound to it
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I_smell
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« Reply #87 on: June 08, 2012, 01:00:54 PM »

Aaaaaa I just think it sounds kinda boring and tepid.

I made this new weapon:



And it's my favourite thing in the world, but it can kinda kill everything. That's a shame, when the enemies are coded to actually do things.
Giving it a cooldown makes it a lot less fun, because it slows it down and you're less wreckless with it cos you know you'll have to wait for the next one.
Giving it less damage makes it feel less powerful.

so I'm pretty stuck on how to implement this into the game without making it a god-weapon.
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Lynx
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« Reply #88 on: June 08, 2012, 02:57:01 PM »

Reminds me of Hammerfall!

You could have enemies defend themselves in different ways: dodge (if they're small), put up a shield that they swing in the direction they think you'll hit them from (if they're big), try to hit you before you can release the hammer, or maybe hitting some enemies with it breaks them up into smaller enemies a la Asteroids.

Of course you should still have some hammer-fodder that it works particularly well against.
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« Reply #89 on: June 08, 2012, 03:03:46 PM »

Aaaaaa I just think it sounds kinda boring and tepid.

Too bad. I have officially named your game. Long live PUNCH GUNNARDS!
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« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2012, 02:09:22 AM »

The vids are really nice.  Space beat 'em up / shoot 'em up is too epic to fail.

Hmmm, "Ursus arctos" is the latin name for Grisly Bear -- "Ursus areis"? Sky/Wind Bear?

IMHO, Ursus is too damn tongue-twisty... hmm... Bear-a-Firma?  Hmm, no that's Firma as in firm, as in terra firma (solid earth), I was going for firmament, but there's little relation.

Other things to do with bears... (bear storming)

Claws, tearing, ripping, slashing, shredding, omnivores, Fangs, smelly-fur, roars, growls, grizzly, grumpy - hibernation (irritable),  butt plug...  (uhh, when they eat a bunch of grass and straw, before hibernation).

Does the bear have a name? Grizzler, Howler, Fang? 

So, Space:  Shooting Star, asteroids, Astro-claw?  meteoroid, Beararoids?  (ukc, no, sounds like a hibernation plug problem)   Meteo-roar?

I suck at this... whelp, my code's done compiling.  Good luck! Looking forward to this game.
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« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2012, 03:07:52 AM »

Alright, this is a weird day of work and needs documenting.

I've made all my enemies and weapons in Unity (or a good enough handful) and it's time to actually plot out this game's levels from start to finish. A rough guideline, anyway. Something useful enough to actually use, but basic enough that I can push parts around easily...




...That's the basic gist of it, right? I actually was thinking about game design while putting those enemy icons down on that line, so that must be a good start...

Anyway: I'm at a fork in the road here. Is the game gonna be too empty if it's just fighting enemies, broken up with dialogue and background animations?
Do I need some kind of flashy turret sequence or action event every so often to stop things from getting stale? It was pretty hard to make this level actually be longer than 5 minutes, without just throwing a hundred enemies in it.
Ratchet & Clank breaks up it's shooting action with platforming and puzzles... but on the other hand, Streets of Rage is just all enemies all the time. Both are great, exciting games, neither of them are boring.

Maybe I need level gimmicks, like some kind of conveyer belts, or a blast-tunnel or a room with weapons on the walls ... Actually those are good ideas, I should have those either way.
Mainly I'm undecided as to whether or not I wanna commit to some kind of mid-level distraction that I can keep coming back to. Like a Space Harrier segment or a Panzer Dragoon section or something.
I should go play other games like this and see what they're doing.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 04:37:00 AM by I_smell » Logged
nachobeard
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« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2012, 03:24:39 PM »

I quite like what you're doing here!
I think I could be a bit biased though, since my current project shares a few similarities with yours?

Anyway, I would say that adding gimmicks is generally a bad for your game.
in my opinion it's better to provide simple gameplay elements and explore the game space that derives from them.  if you need to tack on extra stuff to keep things interesting/varied then it might be better to revisit your core gameplay?

what I'm trying to do in my game is basically providing slightly quirky touch controls and then design different enemies which force you to "explore" using the controls in different ways.  that's the theory anyway, of course it's easier said than done.

I think in your project the same effect can be achieved by coming up with different enemy and weapon combinations to keep things fresh all the time without having to add stuff which doesn't really belong there.

of course this means programming quite a few enemies, but I see no other way around this.

just out of interest, are your enemy waves predetermined or is there any element of randomness when they pop up?

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« Reply #93 on: June 14, 2012, 03:19:15 AM »

The enemy placements are scripted, that's what that chart is up there. It's left-to-right a plan of which enemies come in. It's pretty basic though.
They have to be scripted, I have to introduce each new enemy in a slow, digestable, understandable way. And I have to ramp it up properly.
I'm having a survival mode, and I think even that is gonna be scripted. Like-- 50 or a hundred waves. Devil May Cry 4 does it and they do it great.

I think in your project the same effect can be achieved by coming up with different enemy and weapon combinations to keep things fresh all the time without having to add stuff which doesn't really belong there.

of course this means programming quite a few enemies, but I see no other way around this.

Ok HERE'S THE THING! I was talking about this yesterday to someone else. To people like us, Tigsource people, it's really easy to talk about games. You can say "You should not have gimmicks" and "You should make it focused" and all these really black and white things, but when you try and DO it: It's all one colour. When you sit down and open the software, it's just one big cloudy cloud. This is something I've really started to think about, and be cautious of.

Like-... When you say I should come up with more enemies and weapons... That IS a gimmick. There's a gap right now, and if I filled that with new enemies and more crazy weapons, that'd be filler. That'd be mush, numbers, cannon fodder that people will churn through and forget.
Here's what you really mean when you say I should focus on the core gameplay: I should work on giving the enemies deeper AI. So that you can play around with the same guy a little more, and the enemies are a bit more unpredictable and alive. So that I can keep using these enemies and they won't get boring too quickly. It should be more like playing with a living, thinking dog than playing a game.

Assuming that a "gimmick" is like a flat, bad, boring part of the game, then the real question is "Which one of these things I'm adding here: The enemies, the weapons, the level features, the dialogue, the different game mode, is just a gimmick?"
"And which one is a deep, fresh, nutritious game idea? Is it something I haven't thought of yet?"
That's a way harder question to think about, and it's a big long conversation to get to the bottom of it, but it's the necessary one to ask if you wanna make something REALLY fun.

Anyway- not that I'm ranting or annoyed or anything like that, it's just that this is the kind of stuff I always forget to dig in to, and my games always come out forgettable. So I'm excited to be sitting here demanding myself to bridge the gap between how I talk about making games and how I actually make them.
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nachobeard
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« Reply #94 on: June 14, 2012, 06:35:34 AM »

It's all one colour. When you sit down and open the software, it's just one big cloudy cloud. This is something I've really started to think about, and be cautious of.

yes of course, you are right in challenging all preconceptions.

Quote
Like-... When you say I should come up with more enemies and weapons... That IS a gimmick. There's a gap right now, and if I filled that with new enemies and more crazy weapons, that'd be filler. That'd be mush, numbers, cannon fodder that people will churn through and forget.

yes, it depends on how you design the enemies.
if the enemies/weapons are just there for variety, they're just filler.

what I'm saying is that in my opinion you should try to make enemies/weapon which create a game space for the player to explore.  for me, this is a general principle, but maybe your game doesn't need to do this, I don't know.  but it's probably worth considering?

Quote
Here's what you really mean when you say I should focus on the core gameplay: I should work on giving the enemies deeper AI. So that you can play around with the same guy a little more, and the enemies are a bit more unpredictable and alive. So that I can keep using these enemies and they won't get boring too quickly. It should be more like playing with a living, thinking dog than playing a game.

I'm sorry, but I disagree!
making deeper AI to make things interesting is one option which rarely lives up to expectations.  in my experience you keep tweaking the AI hoping that it'll eventually become fun, but it never does.  it's the kind of dangerous wishful thinking that undermines many game design decisions.

most gamers derive fun from figuring out the predictability of their enemies.  if there are no behavioural patterns in the enemies, it's not fun, generally speaking.  of course this doesn't apply to games with bot-like enemies, sports games, etc.

here are some quotes taken from my game design notes (sorry I can't credit the original authors)

Quote
The best solution doesn ’ t include unpredictability. For Crash Bandicoot 2,
Naughty Dog tried creating more behavioral AI with less simple patterns.
Focus groups found them inferior. The players liked the challenge of figuring
out the enemy ’ s patterns.
(I think this come from a book by Scott Rogers called "Level up!")

Quote
Enemies are designed around making battles exciting, slightly unpredictable, and fast. They all have very specific roles and are designed to work well together in any combination. Most enemies are weak but dangerous -- something we used to keep up the pace.
(I think I took this one from an interview of one of the vlambeer guys, not sure).

anyway, these are complex issues for sure, and while these quotes mostly align with my opinion, by all means try to challenge these ideas!

good luck
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 06:41:21 AM by nachobeard » Logged

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I_smell
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« Reply #95 on: June 14, 2012, 06:59:05 AM »

Oh ok, that's interesting. That's gonna make things hard to figure out, now, if my enemies ever get too unwieldy.

I have a thing right now where halfway through the game, enemies start mutating. This usually means they turn purple and get 1 more type of attack to use. So maybe that'll be enough and I should just stick where I am.

And there are like 15 enemy types, I just don't wanna burn em all on level 1.
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I_smell
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« Reply #96 on: June 15, 2012, 10:32:02 AM »

Well I prototyped this idea:



It's got me thinking of some cool sweet bosses from this perspective, but I'm not sold on it not being just some dumb thing that annoys people and slows everything down.
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I_smell
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« Reply #97 on: June 21, 2012, 03:50:27 PM »

Ok I'm adding the ability to take damage today, and the thing I mentioned before about whether or not I'm having a HUD is do - or - die now. Being that I've come this far without one, and some of the more cinematic stuff does look decidedly more bitchin' without one, I'm gonna shoot for it.



HHMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!


..hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Wait why the fuck am I not clicking the weapon select icons in and out as you hover over em?

In other news I added some very cool stuff that I'll show later, and for now here's the raptor's slash attack animation:



That's a 2D hand-animated effect, son!



Incase you didn't notice; why yes! The enemies ARE bigger now! Fighting them was a splashy noisy mess, which definately felt fun, but you literally couldn't see what was happening. So now you can clearly see when an enemy wants to attack, and I don't have to give up my sweet effects.
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« Reply #98 on: June 21, 2012, 03:56:07 PM »

This is looking pretty cool. I like how the music slows to a stop when the circular menu is open -- I was going to implement something similar in a game I'm working on. Might have to steal the music slowdown effect, too.
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I_smell
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« Reply #99 on: June 21, 2012, 05:22:29 PM »

In Unity I found a thing called "audio.pitch", and I was going for more of a bassy underwater sound when you paused, but in testing it I noticed that "pitch" is their word for "speed".
So I turned it all the way down.
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