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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2012, 02:32:06 pm »

No, that's fair. It makes them pop out more from the background, but I can certainly see how it might do that a little too much. I experimented with and without borders, but that was way, WAY back in early development, so maybe it's time to play with it again. Thanks for your feedback.

EDIT:
I've played around with it a bit, but I think I've come to the same conclusion as I did the first time. Having borders there lets me do a lot more with the background while still letting me keep the actual gameplay elements highlighted. Were I a better artist (or an artist at all), I could probably tackle this subtly, but as it stands, I don't even know where I'd start. I have around 80 different sprites that I'd need to edit, and that's a lot of work when I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with it. So, for now, I think borders are my best bet, even if they are arguably a bit tacky.

That said, if anybody more artistically-inclined wants to give it a shot, I'd certainly be willing to put up some spritesheets to edit. I don't intend to have anybody redo the entire thing, but a nudge in the right direction would be helpful.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 03:35:26 pm by TheLastBanana » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2012, 03:40:38 pm »

In my opinion, the white lines look great. Reminds me of a DS title I played a long time ago.
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2013, 10:47:04 pm »

I ended up doing a lot less work over the Christmas break than I was expecting to. I had the music for this level ready about a week or two ago, but I figured I'd hold out until I had a level and a new ship type to show off:


Unfortunately, the video encoding has made the background colour rather unsaturated, so I realize that it may look a little bland. Trust me, it's pulsating and just about eye-searing when you're actually playing the game. It has Perlin noise for a flamey effect at the top and bottom, and the area in the center slowly pulses in and out.


So just, uh, imagine that the video looks like that.

The video also features (much more visibly, thankfully) the new shotgun enemies. They turn toward the player and move fairly quickly, which makes them quite deadly. At long range, they're nearly useless, but when they're close, they can take just about anything out in one hit.
In other words, they work like a video game shotgun. I realize that actual shotguns don't work like that. It's a space shotgun with wings. Cut me some slack, here.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2013, 10:05:07 pm »


What better way is there to end an explosion-themed level than with a heat-seeking missile boss?
I think this one is kind of neat, since you have to use the game's main mechanic in a new way in order to defeat it. Plus, it automatically solves the potential problem of running out of attachments during the boss fight!

The next update may or may not be a while from now — I think it may be time to start marketing this a little more, which, for the time being, will involve setting up an IndieDB/ModDB page and a section on my website. While I'm at it, I might end up just completely redesigning my website. We'll see.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2013, 03:04:17 pm »

Somebody mentioned to me on another forum that the background effect for World 3 seemed a bit too high-def compared to the rest of the game. I've brought it down to a palette of 8 colours now, and I think it definitely looks more like something out of the demoscene than before.

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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2013, 01:02:27 pm »

I decided to bring the resolution for the game up from 640x528 to a nice, round 800x600. Originally, I wanted to keep it smaller so it could fit in nicely on a Flash portal, but more and more, I'm thinking that I'll release the game as a standalone. As you can see here, this gives me a little more room to play with:


This also has the added side effect of making the game a bit easier, which probably isn't a bad thing. Plus, I can add more enemies to the screen at the same time without it getting overcrowded.

Also of note is that I now have an IndieDB page for Magnaut here:

If you're at all interested in the game, please follow me on there! I'll be sure to cross-post any updates from this devlog from now on.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2013, 10:45:31 pm »

It's been a crazy two weeks for me — sorry about the lack of updates!

Here's some emergency content rations for those of you watching:


I've reworked the sword enemies a bit. They now retract after hitting something, so you can't just fly around willy-nilly slicing everything up. This also gave me an excuse to make them smoothly extend out of the chassis when they turn on, so now they look even more like lightsabers.


This enemy is entirely new. It charges up for a bit, then lets out a massive shock. The nearest enemy in range will take moderate damage. If there's nothing in range, it just spazzes out. It's not especially effective if you only have one on your side, since it fires slowly and is somewhat flimsy, but if you can get a few going at once, you'll do serious damage to anything nearby. I'm going to implement a bit more hit feedback for this, because the zaps somehow don't feel meaty enough as it is — possibly because the screen doesn't shake, unlike with other ships.
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« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2013, 11:58:27 pm »

I like the game!
When I was watching videos, I thought that you could add Rock-Paper-Scissors mechaics there: Red ships/components beat greens, greens beat blues, blues beat reds. (Also, maybe, make yellow, cyan, magenta, white ships in addition)
 
Then, If all your ship is made of red components, and the next wave is blue, you are screwed up. So, you have to think in advance, constantly rebuilding your ship, preparing it for each new wave. (the next wave(s) must be shown somewhere, just as is usually done in tetris)

It was a random thought, maybe it is completely useless and wrong, but still can be interesting for you. Smiley
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2013, 10:26:59 am »

Hmm... It's an interesting idea, but I think it's a bit late in development to switch to that. At the moment, the colours are just used to make it clear whether a ship is an enemy (red), allied (blue) or your front most ship (green).
That said, you are encouraged to keep switching out parts, since they're constantly taking damage. As well, some ships have natural weaknesses against others: for instance, the heavy ships and missile launchers have trouble hitting small ships because of their speed, so you can't rely on a build with only heavies. So, in some ways, I think the game works a bit like you described, but it uses different mechanics to get there.
Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it! Smiley
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 10:32:44 am by TheLastBanana » Logged

TheLastBanana
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2013, 01:48:44 pm »

Just a brief update today with some music for the next world:
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2013, 03:08:49 pm »

Here's an actual video of World 4 in action:


With sounds and shaking effects in, the arc coil feels a lot meatier now, which is good.

I've also tweaked the actual attaching mechanic a little: instead of having to ram directly into the enemies, which was kind of finicky and annoying, they'll automatically be grabbed when they're within a small radius of your ship. To make it look a little nicer, I put a small electrical arc effect leading to each attachment, too. Now it feels really nice and swishy when you pick them up, and also leads to some cool sword-swinging action, which you can see in the video.
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2013, 12:28:56 am »

I've been following this on IndieDB, didn't realize there was a thread here. I just want to say that

1) it looks awesome, the sword seems especially fun
2) I like the white borders
3) I don't know about the chain-flail boss, he seems too easy. Maybe if the enemies were a little more aggressive instead of so wander-y it could work but... just a thought.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2013, 07:37:25 pm »

I make it look easy in the video, but that boss is actually pretty hard. If you don't hit the enemies straight away, they start to pile up fast (there's no cap on the number on-screen, while you usually only get 3-5 at a time). Especially in the last few notches of health, it gets really intense.
That said, I also haven't had anybody else test the boss yet, so I could be completely wrong! I'll be sure to keep an eye out for that during the beta test.

Also, sorry about the lack of updates. I've been pretty swamped with university work recently, so development on this has lagged a bit. I'm also debating whether or not to put up too many more videos — I don't want to spoil the whole game, but I don't know if it can really be avoided. Hopefully I can get some kind of an update soon!
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2013, 12:58:10 pm »

Wow, it's been a while. Exam season was long, as was pre-exam season...

Anyway, I'm back, and I have some gifs of the next boss in progress!
This the boss of world 4, which is entirely based on close-range weaponry. So, it only seems appropriate to have the boss be a giant sword-wielding ninja ship.

Here are two of its attack sequences:


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« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2013, 02:08:35 pm »

Cool!
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laxwolf
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« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2013, 02:52:59 pm »

I love the look! Great work. Grin
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« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2013, 12:21:27 pm »

After working on this project for such a long time, it's inevitable that some of the earlier work isn't going to be quite up to par with the rest of the project. I've been going through all the music in the game recently and making things sound a little nicer.

Mostly, I've been playing with the compression levels of the songs to make things sound more crisp and powerful. As well, I've reworked the drum samples to sound more lo-fi while still keeping the integrity of the tracks. The drums in particular have been a problem since the very beginning. A few of the earlier songs were written using the Ultimate Mega Drive Soundfont, so there were some great 16-bit era drum samples to work with. I wasn't entirely comfortable using sounds ripped straight from another game, though, so I decided to switch over to using VOPM, which emulates a similar sound chip to the Mega Drive. That also meant coming up with new drum samples, but all the ones I have are high-fidelity. After a lot of playing around, I've gotten them to sound nice and crunchy using a mix of pretty heavy compression and a bitcrusher VST.

Here's a quick sampler of some of the older tracks that I've remastered, including Electroargentum, The Tough Get Going (Cyphon Theme) and Fast Travel. Let me know what you think!
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2013, 12:54:48 pm »

A few people mentioned that the quick-slash attack looked like it wasn't very hard to dodge. So I went and fixed that.

The slash lines are now weighted toward the screen's center a bit more, there are 4 more slashes, and it all goes 25% faster.

Dear god.



Also, a sword boss wouldn't be complete without a spinny attack:



All that's left now is to tie the attack sequences together and put in an outro animation. After that, I think it's finally time to address the controls... Stay tuned for another post on that matter.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 01:09:10 pm by TheLastBanana » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2013, 02:35:46 pm »

looks awesome
buyin as soon as it's released
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2013, 05:36:39 pm »

Thanks, uselessffs!

Okay, as promised, let's talk controls.

The first version of Magnaut (technically Magno-Warrior) had some serious control issues. The main problem was that the attachments didn't arrange themselves automatically, and the ship pointed its front toward the mouse -- if you only had attachments on the sides, that made it pretty hard to aim. Obviously that's no longer an issue, but I still want to make sure that everyone can be comfortable with the controls.

Sadly, I just learned the other day that Flash doesn't have native joystick support. It's sort of possible to get it working in AIR, but it would be a huge hassle to get it functional cross-platform, so for the time being, I'm going to be leaving gamepad controls out.

So, what I've come up with is a few different PC-based control schemes that you can switch between. Also keep in mind that in all of these cases, you'll be able to re-bind the keys.

Method 1: Keyboard Only (Radial)


Description
You turn your ship manually, then can either go forward or backward. Firing is a separate button. Basically, this works like Asteroids. This is the one I've been using in all of the videos and pictures you've seen to date.

Pros/Cons
    + Easier to use non-frontal attachments
    + Movement looks more acrobatic and round
    - Aiming takes longer
    - Some might find the movement awkward, especially in intense moments

Method 2: Keyboard Only (Twin-Stick)


Description
You use a set of directional keys to move your ship, and another set to aim the attachments. Attachment firing is automatic while you aim.

Pros/Cons
    + Movement is intuitive
    + Can be plugged into Joy2Key pretty easily
    - Aiming is locked to 45-degree increments
    - If you're not using Joy2Key, it can be a bit difficult managing all these keys

Method 3: Mouse and keyboard


Description
You use a set of directional keys to move your ship, and aim with the mouse. Click to fire.

Pros/Cons
    + Aiming is faster and more precise
    + Movement is intuitive
    - Harder to aim with non-frontal attachments
    - Flash doesn't let me constrain the mouse (except in fullscreen), so that could get annoying in windowed mode

Any thoughts about controls?
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