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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCavernaut - Tilt-Controlled Cave Flyer [Out now for iOS and Android]
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Author Topic: Cavernaut - Tilt-Controlled Cave Flyer [Out now for iOS and Android]  (Read 12018 times)
schoenepauck
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2013, 10:45:14 PM »

if the frame rate is totally clean and the gyro controls are nicely tuned, I could see this being very fun indeed. following!

I totally agree with both of these points. I spent a lot of time during early development getting the handling of your spacecraft right, i.e. just the right amount of inertia, thrust, and gravity to give it a slightly floaty, outer-space feel but still make the controls responsive and fun for a fast style of playing.

And of course I'm keeping an eye on the frame rate all the time; It's running at a steady 60 fps on an iPhone 4S and an iPad 2, so I expect nothing to worry there. Just some minor frame skips on a 3GS, but my engine handles these quite well, and there are still some optimizations I can do.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 07:48:57 AM by schoenepauck » Logged

schoenepauck
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2013, 03:17:40 AM »

I finally managed to patch together a short gameplay video: Have a look here:





(Sorry for the quality; YT has messed it up a bit, I'm afraid. Any advice on how to improve on that is appreciated Smiley )
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SpacePixel
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 05:31:57 AM »

Looking good. I like the bounce off the walls, complete with subtle shockwave animation, it looks very forgiving. Which is vital for me, as much as I love Gravitar it's very punishing with its one-hit destruction.
It looks like the segmented bars at the top are the shield, dropping a bar with each collision?
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 06:01:46 AM »

Looking good. I like the bounce off the walls, complete with subtle shockwave animation, it looks very forgiving. Which is vital for me, as much as I love Gravitar it's very punishing with its one-hit destruction.
It looks like the segmented bars at the top are the shield, dropping a bar with each collision?

Yeah, I wanted to make it a bit more casual, so one-hit-kills happen only in areas with spiked walls, which will appear later in the game (currently not shown in the video). And yes, the segmented bars display your ship's hull integrity (filled bars) as well as shield charges, if you collect a shield upgrade (hollow bars). If you don't have a shield, you lose one or two bars of your hull integrity when you crash into the cave wall, depending on the force of impact. If you _do_ have a shield, you'll lose one shield charge, no matter how hard you hit the wall (and shields even protect against spiked walls).
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 02:10:17 PM »

Got some more basic UI component programming done today, as well as more optimizations and a small but very effective change to the accelerometer data filtering. Now the ship's controls feel even smoother than before!

And I finally managed to get my artwork folder properly organized. I thought that'd be a nice opportunity to show some of my early concept art for the player's ship and the landing pads:



And this is how the ship design evolved during the early development:


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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 02:58:57 PM »

Love the simplicity of it, good luck
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 07:08:41 PM »

This project looks really neat. I can't wait to see it finished!
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2013, 11:18:02 AM »

Spent some time animating today: I replaced the smoke/dust particle effect that used to play when you lift off from a landing pad with an animated sprite. I think it fits better with the visual style of the game. And it looks better (the GIF is a bit choppy, but in reality it's really smooth). Should help with the performance, too, compared with the particle system.

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schoenepauck
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« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2013, 07:00:15 AM »

Time for a little update. Since my last post, I worked a bit more on the upgrade system and started tweaking the gameplay so that the upgrades will hopefully be well balanced. So far, you can upgrade
- your ship's fuel tank capacity (so you can fly further without refueling),
- the hull armor (so you can bump into the walls more often without dying, and eventually even survive a mine explosion),
- the shield capacity (so picking up a shield gives you more shield charges, i.e. hits you can take), and
- the range of your tractor beam (a.k.a. coin magnet).

I'm also thinking about one-time extras you can buy, like starting the game with fully charged shields, or getting a head start and launching on level 2 or 3 or ... Not sure about this, though. And I'm totally open for ideas here...

Other things I've been working on:
- I started designing and programming the ending scene. Nothing too complicated, but it should give you a feeling of accomplishment.  Looks great so far; I won't post any spoiler images here, though Smiley )
- I created a couple of new sound effects (and changed some of those that I already had), but there's still al lot left to be done, sound-wise: Someone here in this forum posted this link, which has been a valuable resource for my sound design process and inspired a lot of new ways to use sound within Cavernaut that I hadn't been thinking about before.
- Added a small bobbing animation of your ship when touching down on a landing pad. Not a big thing, but you'll be doing landings quite often in the game, so I figured they should be visually interesting.
- And last but not least I fixed a couple of bugs from my list.

As you see, there are many loose ends  I'll have to tie together now.
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« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2013, 07:41:16 AM »

hey nice project, nice to see some germans around here Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 07:58:34 PM »

Is this project still going, looks nice.
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2015, 11:40:40 PM »

Whoa, where did that year go? Seriously, I just dug this thread up from page 70 in the forum... but yeah, I'm still working on this. Or better: I took up development after spending a busy year with other projects. I've already fixed a couple of bugs that had crept in due to upgrades of iOS and of some of the frameworks I use, and a few that I cannot blame anyone else but myself for ;-) Also did some sprite animations, a bunch of sound fx, UI improvements, a little gameplay tweaking here and there... Now I need to get my map editor up and running again and start to make a lot of maps!
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2015, 12:55:58 AM »

I miraculously managed to squeeze in some time to work on Cavernaut during the last week, finally getting the coding for the ending sequence done, after trying out several solutions. As I stated before, it's not a huge cinematic thing, but it's more than just an end credit crawl, and will hopefully give the player a satisfying feeling of success when she finally reaches the surface of the planet. No images to show, though -- I guess that would be too spoiler-y.

Currently I'm in the process of digging through several notes and sketches I made about the UI design and adding all the bits and pieces that were still missing in that department. Like finalizing the layout of the upgrade shop:



It's a ton of work to get this done properly, even if it's a rather simple menu design, but the UI experience is very important in my opinion, and having some UI/UX design background from my freelance design work I am somewhat picky about the details here.
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« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2015, 12:30:52 PM »

Looks like a really quality game, clean graphics and game mechanics. You've been at it for a while now, this thing have a launch date?
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2015, 02:17:01 PM »

Looks like a really quality game, clean graphics and game mechanics. You've been at it for a while now, this thing have a launch date?


HI LStro, thanks for your kind words. It's indeed been a long time since I created the first prototype, but most of last year was spent working on other projects, so it doesn't really count towards the actual development time. But nonetheless I'm currently very positive about a mid-2015 release (in fact, I just updated the cavernaut website a couple of hours ago with this release date). Might even be sooner, but being a bit of a perfectionist, and knowing that the final polishing can take a lot of time, AND having had to push back the release date more than once in the past, I prefer to allow myself some extra time. Hopefully it will be the last time I had to change the date on that website!  Smiley
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schoenepauck
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« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2015, 03:29:23 PM »

Wohoo, finished the UI! After my last post I decided to focus (almost) exclusively on the menu/interface design and coding, to get that out of the way, and now I'm about 98 % done with it -- including all those tiny details, stuff like the little flag icon next to the upgrade button that shows how many upgrades you can afford. All that is left to do is remove some debugging/playtesting options from the menu, but I'll need those in there for the time being, so I won't touch the UI again until right before Cavernaut is ready to launch. That means now I can *really* concentrate on the gameplay again.

I also added a (small) new gameplay feature already: Luminum crystals (Cavernaut's coin equivalent) now come in two sizes. Mostly because it looks nice, but there is some strategic aspect, too, as the player can buy upgrades that increase the chance of the bigger crystals (which are worth twice as much) to appear.



Probably need to make the size difference more obvious, though.
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2015, 07:47:49 AM »

Here's an image I posted for #screenshotsaturday. I wanted the spikes to look a bit more dangerous, so I colored them to make them stand out more:



While working on the spike tiles I also noted that some of the background images I have in the game were too bright, so I changed the colors for these, too, making them a bit darker and slightly less saturated. This way, the actual game elements are easier to distinguish from the BG. Here's a screenshot from the final level of the game:



And one more thing, I finally managed to add Cavernaut to Indie DB yesterday. Nothing new to see there if you've been following my devlog, but here's a link anyway:


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schoenepauck
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« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2015, 02:37:20 PM »

I spent the last two days throwing together a simple UI to manage the tileset data in my editor. Nothing fancy, but it does the job. Now I have a lot more flexibility while adding/modifying tile properties. Of course this meant I had to add an option to save those properties to a file, and loading and using them in the actual game engine. Until now I had all tile properties hardcoded in a source file, which was a pain in the butt to keep updated when making additions or changes to the tiles, so I guess it was high time I made the process a bit easier to handle.
Here's a screenshot of the editor with the tile manager open:

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schoenepauck
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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2015, 03:09:43 AM »

Here are two screenshots with new background art I created during the last week:

 

Another thing I had planned for a long time and finally finished is the option to mirror map chunks. Now when generating the world map (which is created from predesigned segments or chunks that are selected randomly), each chunk has a 50 % probability of being mirrored, which instantly gives me more variation without creating more maps.

Nonetheless I will be needing a lot of these chunks. I did a couple more yesterday; currently I have 65, though some of these are designed for debugging certain game elements and won't be in the final game. I'm planning to have at least 150, so there's still work to do.
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2015, 06:08:25 AM »

Looks cool. Why only iOS? The vehicle reminds me a bit of http://i.imgur.com/1C3a5e4.jpg Wink
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