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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsPower Heroes (iOS)
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i-kari
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« Reply #120 on: November 18, 2013, 11:24:11 AM »

Composer on board!

I'm happy to announce that I have the highly talented Dave Dexter doing music for Power Heroes! Dave has previously worked on various titles like 'The Other Brothers'. I've heard the first bits already and we are creating some powerful stuff together!

Cocos2d 2.1

Power Heroes is built using the excellent cocos2d framework. When I started development, I downloaded the latest version which, at the time, was version 1.x. Time goes on and currently the latest (stable) version is 2.1. As we all know new versions tend to fix bugs, implement new features and so on, so I decided to upgrade the framework. It didn't go as smoothly as I expected.

After download was complete and all cocos2d 2.1 templates were installed in Xcode, I created a clean new project and hit 'Build'. It failed miserably with errors. I tried to figure out what was wrong (I even read the readme.txt!). Maybe it's because I'm running Xcode 4? Nope, the documentation clearly states: "Mac OS X 10.6 (or newer), Xcode 4.2 (or newer)" (I had Xcode 4.4). What if I set the deployment target to another iOS version? No luck.

After a while I gave up banging my head against the wall and logged into Apple Developer site to download Xcode 5. Clicked 'Update' and... "OS X 10.8 required". I was on 10.7. Well, it's good that Apple released 10.9 (Mavericks) as a free update.

So in order to run cocos2d 2.1, I had to update OS X and Xcode to the latest versions. I still don't know why the sample project didn't compile in the first place, but at least with the latest tools I got it working.

From there it was just a matter of fixing all (close to 100) errors in the actual Power Heroes project. Apparently the upgrade from 1.x to 2.x is quite a big deal! Fortunately the errors were easy to fix, majority of them being simple 'deprecated' messages, meaning a slightly different method or variable name. Find & replace is your friend!

Power mode

Last time I wrote about the power mode (or 'power attack' as it was then) was in September. In its current form it's a mode that's triggered after the player collects 5 power coins, thus filling the POWER meter to its max. For the next 30 seconds, the player is able to kill enemies with just one hit and is invulnerable to their attacks. Great for increasing those kill combos! Additionally, killed enemies may drop items that are not otherwise available for collecting.

I feel quite happy about this mode as it adds another aspect to the gameplay. Only thing left is to add more graphical effects to really give an impression of being on a rampage.
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Reilly
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« Reply #121 on: November 18, 2013, 09:09:33 PM »

Power mode sounds rad.

Glad you got the OSX weirdness sorted.

If you run into any weird finger tracking with cocos2d on iOS7 let me know. Randomly it starts tracking finger drags with about half as many points as it should be. We're pulling our hair out over here!
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i-kari
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« Reply #122 on: November 20, 2013, 12:56:27 AM »

If you run into any weird finger tracking with cocos2d on iOS7 let me know. Randomly it starts tracking finger drags with about half as many points as it should be. We're pulling our hair out over here!

Oh really? I haven't tested yet on iOS7 so can't give any input. What cocos2d version are you using?
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Rebusmind
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« Reply #123 on: November 20, 2013, 04:01:36 AM »

Project looks amazing and inspiring. Love how effective those simple graphics are.
Keep it up!
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Reilly
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« Reply #124 on: November 20, 2013, 08:33:50 AM »

If you run into any weird finger tracking with cocos2d on iOS7 let me know. Randomly it starts tracking finger drags with about half as many points as it should be. We're pulling our hair out over here!

Oh really? I haven't tested yet on iOS7 so can't give any input. What cocos2d version are you using?

We're using 2.0 but we can recreate the issue with a barebones project on 2.1
Seems most noticeable on the iPhone 5s.
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i-kari
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« Reply #125 on: December 03, 2013, 02:01:36 AM »

The game is taking shape now that I have some music and more sound effects in. And I got the visuals covered too, in the form of some mighty visual feedback.

Visual effects

Lately I've been busy experimenting with various visual effects. What I've come up with is a combination of scene dimming, screen shake, some particles and a 'lightning strike' effect. These effects get gradually stronger with each consecutive kill, and combined with big fruit/coin drops, achieving a long kill combo feels really satisfying.

Some gifs:






Music & sound

When it comes to retro pixel art games like Power Heroes, an obvious choice or even general expectation for music would be chip tunes. "Because the game looks like this, it has to sound like that". I wanted to do things differently this time, so instead of chip music I asked my composer Dave to do more or less an orchestral score for the game.

And I'm happy that I did. The combination of orchestral score and 'chip' sound effects work really well together. About 50% of the music is already done and it really brings life into the game. While Dave has been working on the music, I've been generating more sound effects with sfxr/cfxr tools.

RPG elements?

I think I'm going to include some very simple, lightweight RPG elements into Power Heroes. Here are my thoughts and options.

Buffs

Temporary gameplay advantages, purchaseable before game start. Buffs could include: more life hearts, more power, increased luck (affects item drops), speed, etc. Buffs expire when the game is over.

Permanent upgrades

Maybe 3 stats for each hero that you can level up using coins. Here we could have upgrades to power, luck and life.

I don't want to complicate things too much, so the number of steps/decisions needed from the title screen to starting the game should be kept to a minimum.

If you have an opinion on this matter (or anything else), I'd like to hear it!

Vote for Power Heroes!

Finally, SlideDB and IndieDB are running a contest for the best indie games of 2013. If you like where Power Heroes is heading and want to support the game (and me), please stop by and vote! THANK YOU! Smiley

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i-kari
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« Reply #126 on: December 11, 2013, 01:46:08 AM »

I’m pretty excited over here: Power Heroes has been voted into the top 50 in App of the Year Awards 2013 on SlideDB! Big thanks to each and everyone who showed support and voted my game! This means a lot to me.

But it doesn’t end here! The voting now proceeds to the next and final round where you can vote the top 50 for the next 10 days to determine the year’s winner.


You can vote here. Power Heroes can be found under the “UPCOMING APPS” section in “Hack ‘n’ Slash” category.

Please note that the vote button on the game’s SlideDB page only redirects to this top 50 page and doesn’t count as a vote. So all voting at this point needs to be done on the top 50 page only.

Thank you!!
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« Reply #127 on: December 19, 2013, 04:48:10 PM »

Hi folks! Welcome to a new dev update. I'm here with some Big Boss News.

Boss fights!

Yup! This is probably the last big feature before the game is released. I always had the idea to include boss fights into the game at some point, like maybe in an update after release. Then one day, I had a discussion with my composer Dave. We were just one track short from the goal and Dave asked what the final track would be. After some thought I replied: "a boss theme". And with that, I started working on the boss levels.


Here's how I've pictured them to work. In the normal course of the game, you may come to an intersection where one path leads to a boss room. You can then choose whether to fight a boss or not. Fighting bosses in Power Heroes is not mandatory, but if you decide to confront one (and are able to defeat it!), there will be big rewards.



I have three bosses so far: a giant spider, a skull/skeleton and a giant rat, and I have ideas for a couple of more. All graphics are work-in-progress (especially the rat)!


24 hours to go!

When I'm posting this, there are still about 24 hours left to vote for App of the Year 2013 on SlideDB.com. If you want to support Power Heroes, the best way to do so currently is to vote and spread the word about the game! Thanks for your ongoing support!
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i-kari
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« Reply #128 on: January 10, 2014, 04:58:06 AM »

Happy 2014! I hope you had relaxing holidays, got some rest and ate well. I'm sure I did! I was away from home and the internet for almost 2 weeks, and along with all the relaxing I also managed to do some coding. Here's the latest dev update.

AOTY Results

My biggest excitement during Christmas was not what presents I would possibly get, but how Power Heroes would rank in the SlideDB App of the Year voting. I got my first surprise in early December when my game had made it into the top 50. After that, a 10 day voting period began to find the best of these top 50 games. Believe me, those 10 days felt longer than ordinary 10 days. So when the last second ticked off the timer I kept refreshing my browser on the SlideDB page to see the final results, but they were not published until one or two days later.

The first feature they made was the "Best Upcoming App of 2013". The only thing I knew was that I was in that category in the top 50 voting.

Excitement building up...

I carefully clicked the link to see which games were picked, and...

THIRD SPOT!

Yes that's right! Power Heroes ranked at the 3rd place! I was so thrilled. I don't know if it meant anything but nevertheless, for a guy making his first game I take this as a merit.

Side-effect to being featured was of course more eyes on Power Heroes. I saw a rise in view counts on my SlideDB page and probably doubled my followers there. Once again I must thank everyone who supported and voted, I appreciate this highly!

Hero Level-up System

I have decided on the hero progress model and it's in the game already. XP is tied to score where one XP is gained for each 1,000 score points. After enough XP (score) is collected, the hero levels up and gets a stat increase, like more power, health, etc. It's a simple system but gives another goal to work towards, and makes the heroes more capable of reaching later areas in the game.


Dynamic Quest System

I've had few test quests in the game for several months, but the whole system did not work very dynamically. Quests could be completed, but they would not be rewarded in any way nor would new quests be given to the player. This has been improved so that at any given time, you will have three active quests, and when a quest is completed it will be replaced with a new one. Completed quests are now also rewarded with coins. Basic stuff!

Boss Levels

In the last dev update I introduced bosses to you guys, and now I have a playable sewer level for the rat boss. It starts with a small dialogue before the fight and finishes with randomly appearing items for the hero to collect. The rat traverses around the level and is quite an easy kill, so maybe I have to tweak it a little bit to make it more challenging.

Random Thoughts

I feel the game is finally nearing its "feature complete" status, after which I will start adding content. I mean I only have like 7 areas that I have used for playtesting and I've played them TO DEATH. So creating fresh new content is something I look forward to and I expect it to expand the game to its full glory with lots of areas to explore. And nothing stops me from adding more features in updates after release.

Because I really need to start closing this project that has been in development for, uh, one and a half years (based on my original post in this thread). Of course the direction of the game has changed a lot since then as I originally didn't really know where I wanted to go. I have also gone from knowing nothing about Objective C to making a game with it, so it has been a positive learning experience.

Until next time!
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Arnold
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« Reply #129 on: January 14, 2014, 11:24:29 PM »

hey kari! i love your excitement :D
do you have a thread in the toucharcade forums? thats where the real customers hang out.
you should mirror all your devlog stuff there, its a very good place to get early customer response.
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i-kari
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« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2014, 12:20:46 AM »

Hi Arnold! I sure do: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=202850
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« Reply #131 on: January 25, 2014, 09:16:25 AM »

loving your animations  Wink
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« Reply #132 on: January 25, 2014, 11:21:00 AM »

This project is pure love. I think all the graphics and animations are great...Very colourful and pure. Looks like a joy to play.
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« Reply #133 on: January 29, 2014, 06:36:41 AM »

Ooo, thanks guys!
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« Reply #134 on: January 30, 2014, 05:34:01 AM »

This update is short and to the point, but I wanted to share two new features that I'm excited about.

Buffs

Alright, so the buffs are in! What these do is they give boosts to various stats of your hero for the current game until game over hits. It can help you go further in a game and reach a higher score. Each buff costs 3 gems (the cost can still change when the game is balanced).


Let's break down what each of them does:

Power - Increases hero's Power Mode duration by 5 seconds.

Life - Adds 1 extra heart.

Damage - Increases damage dealt.

Luck - Higher chance of item drops.

Video Replays

Another feature marked off my to-do list: Everyplay integration. If you are not familiar with Everyplay, it's basically a video sharing service for games. Players can record a gameplay video directly in the game and share it seamlessly with others. Games like Rovio's Bad Biggies and FingerSoft's Hill Climb Racing are using this service.


Technically, integration to cocos2d was a breeze. Once I get it finalised and running smoothly, videos should start appearing at https://everyplay.com/power-heroes. I hope video sharing helps new players to discover Power Heroes, so if you have an Everyplay account, go ahead and start following!
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« Reply #135 on: January 30, 2014, 06:15:34 AM »

This looks really adorable and certainly reminds me of my childhood gaming.  I'm curious about the control method.  Did you ultimately decided to stick with your original method or change it? Cause I think that Nimble Quest has a similar movement mechanic but their control scheme was "swipe in the direction you want to go" or something like that.
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i-kari
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« Reply #136 on: January 30, 2014, 06:21:47 AM »

I know Nimble Quest and you are correct about its control scheme which works with swipes.

In Power Heroes, the original method is still in place. It's interesting to see how it's received when the game goes into beta testing. I may include swipes as an alternative control method based on the feedback. I haven't tested how the game works with it yet though.
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i-kari
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« Reply #137 on: September 02, 2014, 09:55:10 AM »

Wow... long time since my last post. Shocked But hey, I’ve recorded some gameplay videos straight from Power Heroes using Everyplay! You can find them here.
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