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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsNeonXSZ- New Demo + Let's Play videos
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Author Topic: NeonXSZ- New Demo + Let's Play videos  (Read 6778 times)
Intravenous
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« on: December 02, 2012, 11:04:04 am »

Introduction:

Hi, I'm Paul. I'm the solo developer of NeonXSZ but I must give a special mention to Python Blue who has done all the great music for the game and it's latest videos.


Gameplay:
NeonXSZ is not a campaign style game. It is designed to tap into the feeling of playing multiplayer FPS shooters without actually being a multiplayer game.
 
Up to one thousand AI ships from four warring factions populate the world, each with unique procedurally generated AI, and a choice of over 30 hulls and over 650 upgrades, just like you do. Beating them feels like beating another player because the combat AI mimics playing against human opponents.

Playing NeonXSZ gives you that fast adrenaline pumping feeling of playing multiplayer games without the hassle of griefers and bot like players who ruin the experience. Yet, at all times, you feel like you are center stage controlling the pace of play.

It's all about flying around in cool spaceships that you build to suit your style while feeling epic, and then looting even better gear and new weapons and gadgets from more powerful enemies to get even stronger and feel even more epic.
 

Alpha Funding - Play Now:
I hope that explains NeonXSZ and that you still want to give it a try. You will get out of NeonXSZ what you put into it. Bring your imagination along and you will have a riot of fast paced mayhem against totally unpredictable opponents Smiley

We hope you will consider supporting us to make NeonXSZ all it can be. We launched on Sept 7th as part of Desura's Alpha Funding Scheme and the game is currently 50% off ($9.99, £6.49). PC,Mac, and Linux are supported and you don't need a powerful computer.

Although it's an alpha, it already offers 25+ hours of content and we expect this to exceed 100 hours before final release.

Demo Available for PC/Mac/Linux
Free demos are available on Desura and you don't need an account there to download.
Download the demo here
To avoid needing an account, click the FREE button on the page linked above and choose 'Download Direct'. This will give you access to the game in a Zip file that you simply extract and then play.


For more info, screenshots, or to play the game visit:
http://www.NeonXSZ.com
 
Trailer: Highly recommended to see what NeonXSZ is all about.




Latest Screenshots:
         


Click the image to view a video of the gameplay

Paul F
www.NeonXSZ.com
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 05:53:28 am by Intravenous » Logged
Udderdude
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 11:46:28 am »

I'm a big fan of the original Descent, however from what I could tell in the video, there wasn't much of what I liked from that game aside from the 360 degree movement.  Descent's levels tended to be much less flat, with passages that twisted around, upside-down, and looped around themselves.  I see very little of that here.

Second, Descent's enemies were total bastards and usually took some unique strategy to defeat each one.  Here, you're just flying around mowing everything down with not much trouble, and the enemies just seem like loot pinyatas for you to bust open.  I couldn't even tell what you were fighting.  You do die at the end, but it takes awhile and I'm not sure if that's just because you tried fighting too many guys in too enclosed of an area.

I don't mind the neon colors on all the walls, but it would help if each part of the map had a different set of colors to help distinguish it.
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 12:12:00 pm »

Thanks for taking the time to reply Udderdude.

I will address some of your concerns. As far as twisty levels of Descent I wasn't aiming for that. The Descent influence was more about putting spaceships in an enclosed environment rather than the more maze like maps of descent. I will take that comment into consideration though. The centre sphere you get a glimpse of at the start of the video would please you more but that isn't close to being ready yet.

As for the enemies being total bastards in descent, rest assured they are in Neon too. For the sake of this video I didn't want to be dieing mid game. So I armed myself with upgrades averaging tech level 23.83 (Mostly tech level 24). The enemies I was fighting in the video ranged from level 16-25ish. Trust me, if I'd bumped into one with a tech level of 27 I would have been fighting him for two minutes to get his shields down. If I found one at tech 28 I wouldn't have stood a chance.

Due to the proceedurally generated nature of the enemies, that very problem happened many times while trying to capture that gameplay footage. It took about 25 attempts and restarts to finally capture the whole clip I wanted in one shot.

I died at the end because I'd coded two extra hotkeys to make the video work. One made all nearby enemies instantly target me as an enemy. Malware ships (the ones seen throughout the video) are generally fairly placid. They are a bit like pirates. They might attack or maybe they can't be bothered.

The second hotkey, hotswapped the difficulty of the game to give enemies double damage and myself 20% damage.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is the game is brutal if you hunt enemies of higher tech level, which you would want to do because you would want to loot the upgrades they are using, but for this video I wanted to show combat without dieing constantly or being forced to play safe and boring. I wanted the video to be fast and full of action.

As for different colours, we were discussing that on the greenlight comments yesterday. To cut a long story short I can dynamically change the colours of the entire environment in realtime. How I will go about utilising that is unknown yet.

As I'm on a dev forum you may find it interesting to know that the entire environment geometry throughout the entire video uses a single 512x512 texture. So I can replace it and everything changes or I can change the hue of that one material and it can blend from one colour to another in realtime. I can even animate the texture so that the environment seems to slide over itself.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment. It's very much appreciated.
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 01:25:33 pm »

Wow!

I'm a big fan of the neon look, done a few games using it myself but this looks so so slick! Really great work!
I'd say the cockpit could do with a bit of work, just fancying up a bit the thick green lines sorta merge into the game world, maybe texturing them would make the player feel more as though they are in a cockpit rather tan looking through one, if that makes sense?

What platforms will you be supporting?
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Intravenous
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 04:36:38 pm »

Oh yeah, the cockpit is placeholder.

Neon is still evolving on the GUI side of things. Once I have nailed down exactly what elements need to be displayed on the cockpit it will get a high poly model with everything neatly placed into it to look slick.

The cockpit does already have dirty glass but I turned it off for the video because it made youtube encoding make everything blocky due to the extra shading in the blacks.

The same is true for the whole GUI really. It's not something I want to spend many hours on to have to force extra elements into the design later. I'd rather wait and sort it all out in one go when things are more final. I guess it's one of those many time based decisions that all the small developers here must make.

The game is PC only for now. It's heart and soul is really quake in a spaceship and that is the game I so desperately want to play. To not have the twitchy responsiveness of a mouse and keyboard(at least for the first release) would kill me.

Thanks for leaving your comment zerosimms. All feedback is greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2012, 05:32:04 pm »

This looks awesome, It reminds me more of "Forsaken" if you remember it and that was a fav of mine, Great work, ill vote this on greenlight!
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 05:45:03 pm »

incredible! amazing! i want to play this so bad, and as with all my reviews, is a port to the mac possible? i doubt it by the looks of it, as how it looks would probably make my computer go boom. anyways, incredible job, and good luck in the future!
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Firearrow games
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blitzkampfer:
https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=52009.msg1280646#msg1280646

too bad eggybooms ents are actually men in paper mache suits and they NEED to be agile
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 05:53:32 pm »

This looks pretty awesome.

The aesthetics are hard to differentiate, though. The black walls. It's hard to know what's just dark and what's a wall and where corners are.

Whatever, I'm just an old fart, don't mind me.
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Intravenous
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 07:00:21 pm »

Wow, thank you guys for the very kind comments.

Strangely the darkness is mostly an issue due to the video compression even at 1080p. It simply makes the game look different. In play there are more shades of grey in that darkness and I dont think that would be a problem.

However a number of people here and on Greenlight have mentioned it so I will be sure to get some form of brightness/gamma slider in the Video options for the game. I'm sure there are plenty of players with monitors setups out there that would get the same problem for different reasons.

I haven't considered a mac port, but the game is built on Unity that does support mac I believe. If there was a demand for it and I could port it across in a financially feasible way I would consider it.

As for performance it's very fast. I'm getting 200+ fps at 1080p on a 3Ghz processor and an old Geforce 9800 so I think it's going to work well on a wide range of machines.

Thanks for the support and taking the time to reply guys. All comments and feedback are very much appreciated and listened to. It's a game for gamers so if I don't listen to you guys I'd be doing both myself and the game a disservice.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 07:33:14 am »

A quick update:

I've had a busy morning working on capturing a slew of screenshots for Neon's Steam Greenlight page, and I wanted to add one here too.

It's of the player docked in a dual docking port in friendly space. I've added 13 others to the greenlight page but I don't want to spam this forum with all of those but of course if you would like to see them the link is in the first post.

I'm starting to get used to the idea that the game is now out in the wild and I'm not so nervous due to an overall very positive response. It's strange how emotional it is to show your game for the first time. Did you guys have a similar feeling?

Anyway, todays pic:

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Intravenous
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 11:54:02 am »

Anyone else out there using Unity and wanting to vent some steam with me about the damn GUI system.

It took me four hours today just to put a 8 x 10 grid of buttons in a scrollview, with the ability to change their colour dependant on different situations, and then have a window pop up when the mouse hovered over them. I didn't even get the chance to put anything in the window other than a reference from the button so I know what object it's referring to later.

Argh!
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 02:53:14 pm »

New Upgrade Interface


I started on a rework of the upgrade user interface yesterday and continued with it today.

The previous interface listed all the upgrades in a veeeerrrryyy long list. With each upgrade slot having at least 80 upgrades, and only 3 or 4 of them being visible in list at once, it made for a lot of scrolling and was clumbsy to use.

I decided to scrap that system completely and replace it with a grid of upgrade icon/buttons.

(NB: It is because I keep scrapping things to improve them that Neon looks a bit rough around the edges. Things will get graphically polished once I'm certain they are permanent)


Each of these icon/button shows the Version Number of the upgrade and the percentage that the player has looted of it already.

The grid is 10 wide by 8 deep, and now we can see about 30-40 upgrades at once in the same screen space as before. It's still scrollable to see the other 40.

If the player hovers his mouse over one of the upgrade buttons a window pops up next to the mouse detailing all the information about the upgrade.

Eg. Energy Regeneration Unit, Ver 1.34, Tech Level 4, A description that includes it's effect, it's mass, and finally it's energy requirement each second.

So the player can now scan through all the upgrades much more easily.

Clicking a button will install it, if it is complete, or the ship's computer will tell them why the install failed.

The ships computer says things like "Upgrade installed successfully" or "Incompatible Tech Level" etc. Messages about what has happened are also sent as text to the message log.


New Shop Interface Integration

I then incorporated the shop interface into the same design. If you are docked at a shop and an upgrade is available at the shop, the original button for the upgrade splits into two buttons. The new one is labelled either "Buy" or "Sell".

You can sell completed upgrades if shops are interested in it. Each shop only buys and sells a small selection of upgrades based on the tech level of the area it is in. You can buy a complete upgrade or pay a reduced price to complete one that you have already looted most of the fragments for.



What's next

This is all about finished. I just need to tweak a few things and then I'll be onto the next job.

I plan to build some 3D models for each upgrade type, so you can see them inside your ship and I'll use a little pic of them on the icon/buttons I was talking about above.

Oh, but before I do that I need to update the Hull Interface to use a similar interface to the new upgrade interface described above. It should be much quicker to do that one because I can reuse chunks of the same code. The buttons for the hull will be much bigger and have a little pic (maybe a silhouette) of each hull. It also allows me to do a pop out window for each hull (when the mouse hovers over them) with detailed info about the hull. The previous interface was too cluttered to allow that.
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 03:44:40 pm »

Looks great! voted for you on Greenlight :D
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2012, 12:56:17 pm »

Hey cheers Windybeard. Thanks for the support. It means a lot.

Here's todays Devlog:


Thursday 6th December 2012:

The first couple of hours today was spent finishing off yesterdays work on the new upgrade user interface layout. I basically just tested it all out, changed tooltips, cleaned things up, altered text colors, button colors, and that type of thing to make it look clean and more user friendly.

I then moved onto implementing the same system for the hull swapping interface. Hulls are also now listed as a grid of button/icons, and the same method for buying and selling hulls has been used that I created for the upgrades yesterday. This took the rest of the afternoon to get fully implemented and tested.

This whole rework was quite a time consuming process because of the sheer ammount of data and systems that are connected into this interface.


Current state of the rework

So you can now once again buy, upgrade, swap, and sell all upgrades and hulls using this new system. It is all functioning and seems solid.

If you hover the mouse over any upgrade or shop button a window pops up next to the mouse with statistics about the upgrade or how much it will cost to buy or sell.

The hover window is fully working for buying and selling hulls but the hull statistics window is still empty. I finished the afternoon planning the layout of information for that window.


Hull Statistics

Hulls have a lot of statistics: their name and ship class, the ammount you have discovered, a worded description, shield radius, mass, number of turrets, missile storage space, missile creation speed, and then up to 12 upgrade slots which each have overclocking values that I need to be displayed to the player.

All these systems are fully functional but until now I've not had a clean way to display this data to the player.

I worked out the design for how I would display it all in the popout window but it lead me onto thoughts about miscellaneous upgrade slots.


What's next

I have been planning to number the miscellaneous upgrade slots for a while so I could both assign hotkeys to them (for non-passive upgrades) and to more predictably swap upgrades between one hull and another.

Because I now need to display the overclocking data about miscellaneous upgrade slots it makes sense to number them now before I do the Hull statistics window.

So tomorrow will be spent setting up the numbering system for those and then creating the Hull Statistics hover pop up window.

Building some 3D models for each upgrade type will hopefully happen at the start of next week.
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 03:35:31 pm »

Friday 7th December 2012

Today is Neon's Anniversary. It's a year to the day since I first started on the project.

I'd like to say it doesn't feel like it's been a year but it does! Hehe. Anyway, on with today's diary.



Hull Statistics Hover Window

The main job today was to implement the Hull statistics window. This took much longer than expected. I had to create quite a few new systems to store and feed the large ammounts of data to this window in a performance efficient way.

It's all up and running now though and it's a great addition to the interface. Being able to easily compare all the data about each hull in a clean fast way is a huge improvement.

I also spent extra time polishing and tweaking all the interface work I'd done this week to make it as clean and user friendly as possible. The buttons change colour to show at a glance if it's possible to install an upgrade or hull, and I added plenty of feedback to the player both in verbal ship computer messages, messages to the log, tooltips, and information panels to help make the whole thing as intuitive as possible. I'm really happy with the results.

The remainder of the time today was spent testing it all out and ironing out any last kinks and bugs with it. As far as I can tell it's all bug free now.


If you have any question please post.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 05:40:10 am by Intravenous » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2012, 10:28:36 am »

Over the past couple of weeks Neon has gone through a major interface overhaul.

The previous interface (not shown in the original post) was a placeholder. It was almost entirely text based just to get the systems all working.

The new interface includes many new features. 85% of the ship upgrades are now modelled in 3D and appear inside the ships hull when in the user interface. Images were then taken of these and placed onto a grid of buttons in the interface that represent all the upgrades. Pop out statistics screens were also coded to appear when the mouse hovers over any upgrade button.

The same system was used for the hull interface and images of all the ships were applied there too.

Then the entire interface got a facelift with a new more fitting font and plenty of text formatting to get things looking much cleaner and easier to navigate. The only thing that wasn't changed was the cockpit. That is going to get a much needed update during the next few weeks. 

Here's a pic of the result:

You can click the image to see it at a higher resolution.

There are an additional 9 images of the new interface on the greenlight page if you are interested.

Let me know what you think.
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2012, 03:06:42 pm »

The game looks quite good but the ship info in the cockpit doesn't fit with the rest.

I think that only the radar should be there and possibly a "health ring" around it that would get smaller with lower health. And it should of course be a lot more neony. I don't know what the other icons are but they don't seem necessary, I would probably delete them. And the speed, altitude (or range or similar) and weapon+ammo could be just overlaid on the glass as a real HUD. Take a look at how it's done in G-Police for example.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2012, 06:50:26 am »

Thanks for the feedback rivon. The cockpit is currently placeholder, especially the 3D model of the cockpit. That will likely see a temporary ugprade over the next couple of weeks.

The cockpit is interactive. The buttons to the left of the radar are weapon selection buttons. The buttons around the radar are for selecting nearest target, next target, previous target, clear target.

The plan is to eventually model a high detail 3D cockpit and fit the buttons and information into panels on it. I will consider what you have said when those updates happen.



 
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 06:57:04 am »

Could I be so bold as to ask for some feedback on a feature I'm planning to experiment with over the coming week.

In a nutshell, it's very easy for me to flip Neon's colour scheme around in real time and I wanted to get some feedback and ideas on this.

Here is an example:



Check out the last 5 pics on the Greenlight page for other color scheme variations if you are interested.

I'm currently considering adding a 'Customise' window, to allow the player to customise the entire look of their game from the color of the environment to all enemy ships, their trail colours, light colours, trail length, interface colours,  and any other customisable cosmetic changes I can think of.

Good idea? Do you have a better idea for this tech?

Thanks for your time.

Paul.
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2013, 11:44:33 am »

I will be streaming some live playtesting of Neon on Twitch.tv in about 1 hour.

That would be 21st Jan @ 20:30GMT.

Feel free to come hang out and see the game in action. We are about a month away from starting the alpha so there will be a lot of playtesting over the coming weeks.

You can watch the stream here:

http://www.twitch.tv/paul_intravenous
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