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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsAEROBAT - absurdly high-speed arcade shmup-like
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Author Topic: AEROBAT - absurdly high-speed arcade shmup-like  (Read 11803 times)
LightEnt
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Remius
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« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2014, 06:15:57 pm »

The usage of that smoke effect is unbelievably sexy.
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metlslime
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« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2014, 08:54:30 pm »

Love the sense of speed, parallax, screenshake, smooth jet animations and banking, motion blur, camera panning to follow the little jet guy, the way hit flips around to fire each shot.  I have no idea if my brain could actually play this game but it looks really cool.
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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2014, 11:44:34 am »

very nice ! so... guessing you are using a set of fbos with feedback effects and texture lookup distortions? any other tricks I am missing out on here? Would be happy to read a tutorial.

I keep intending to write a blog post or something about it but never getting around to it.

You've got the idea though. Ping-pong between two FBOs; read from A, draw to B while applying the classic UV-offset texture warp effect and reducing the alpha, draw anything you want "smoked" onto B, do this a few times per frame and swap A and B on every iteration.

The source of the offsets for warping is dynamically generated simplex noise, which unfortunately makes it slow as balls.

Only other weird bit was figuring out how to make it independent of framerate. The game uses a variable timestep, so the warp offsets are all multiplied by dt so the speed stays consistent. But then when the framerate gets low, dt is large so the warp distances get huge and the smoke gets this weird aliasing effect. High framerates mean small dt, which makes the warp distance tiny which changes the visual character of the smoke as the framerate increases.

In order to keep the smoke looking consistent, I had to figure out how to draw the effect a fixed number of times per second, completely irrespective of the actual framerate. The solution is the most reprehensible piece of code I have ever written.


Well, that's why I suggested maybe making the player a person on a jetbike thing...

Ah, I see what you mean. It would definitely make the jumping mechanic more intuitive, but I think it would introduce more design problems than it would solve. For one thing I couldn't have the jumps go nearly as high, since both the bike and the character would need to be onscreen at all times.
It would also make jumping a lot less fun, since you'd still have to be dodging enemies with the bike and trying to position it to catch the character.
A major element of the design is that jumping is your reward for not dying. Flying around avoiding enemies to build speed builds up tension as you go faster and more enemies spawn, and then jumping is this huge release, where you just go WHEEEEEEE and stop having to focus, and then you get a few seconds of breathing room before the enemies all respawn.

Adding a mechanic that requires you to concentrate during the jumps would just make the game way too stressful, I think.


I have no idea if my brain could actually play this game but it looks really cool.

Thanks! There's an early playable build here if you want to try.
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Prodigga
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« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2014, 02:36:20 pm »

I've been following the project on SS reddit, gotta say I am a fan of your particle effects, keep it up Smiley I will try the game tonight when I finish work.
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2014, 10:37:36 am »

I've been following the project on SS reddit, gotta say I am a fan of your particle effects, keep it up Smiley I will try the game tonight when I finish work.

Thanks!


In other news, some Spanish indie blog made a post about the game, and Google's translation is... absolutely incredible:



I've been calling the game a "shmup-like", but I think "WHORE INSANITY" is a much more eloquent description.

Here's the original article if someone who speaks Spanish wants to try deciphering it.
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johnki
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2014, 01:26:54 pm »

Tried this out today. The death messages are great.

I found it to be pretty simple. Had some issues at first with not realizing that I wouldn't automatically balance back out after coming down towards the bottom of the screen after flipping around but once that was sorted out, I was doing decent. I also didn't realize that crashing into an enemy didn't automatically mean death so, for a while, as soon as the smoke came out of my ship, I gave up hope and let it fall to its death. Found out that I could keep going after crashing into something purely by chance.

Was really excited the first time I got past 10k and the second type of enemy showed up. No more than 30 seconds later, I crashed into one of the old type of enemy right next to the bottom of the screen and died. Sitting somewhere around 14k for my best score right now.

I really like it though. Could easily work well on both PC and tablets.
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Thew
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2014, 12:55:03 pm »

Tried this out today. The death messages are great.

I found it to be pretty simple. Had some issues at first with not realizing that I wouldn't automatically balance back out after coming down towards the bottom of the screen after flipping around but once that was sorted out, I was doing decent. I also didn't realize that crashing into an enemy didn't automatically mean death so, for a while, as soon as the smoke came out of my ship, I gave up hope and let it fall to its death. Found out that I could keep going after crashing into something purely by chance.

Was really excited the first time I got past 10k and the second type of enemy showed up. No more than 30 seconds later, I crashed into one of the old type of enemy right next to the bottom of the screen and died. Sitting somewhere around 14k for my best score right now.

I really like it though. Could easily work well on both PC and tablets.

Thanks for the feedback!
A few other players also didn't realize you have to catch yourself after the jumps. Right now the only instruction for movement is "click and hold"; I think I need to more explicitly state that "left click powers engines." My guess is if that statement is clear, the rest of the movement rules should be a bit more intuitive.

For the time being I think I'm okay with how the damage system is communicated. Most people haven't gotten it instantly, but it's easy enough to discover accidentally that I'm not sure I'm worried yet.
Might try making the "falling, but recoverable" smoke thinner so it looks less like a failure state.

...Getting feedback recently has been pretty weird actually. I've been working on the game for nearly a year but the past week or so is the first time it's gotten enough attention for me to get an idea of how people actually play it. Been seeing some really unexpected stuff, like a lot of people interpreted the "fly low" instruction to mean you build speed faster when flying low, when in fact it affects how high you jump, not acceleration.

I guess I just need to be  way more explicit about explaining the mechanics. I keep waffling back and forth about whether needing a tutorial is a bad thing or not. On the one hand, I'm aiming for fast arcade action like Luftrausers or Super Hexagon, which are super intuitive and don't need instructions. On the other there are also plenty of fantastic games, like the Touhou series or Ikaruga, that are simple but still need to explain their systems beforehand, and they don't seem to suffer for it.

I dunno.



In other news, I made a menu:


The curvy lines are animated too; it's pretty awesome.
FXAA is really pooping its pants though. The lines are still all aliased and meanwhile the text is screwed up. Need to tune it, but I pretty much just pasted the FXAA implementation straight from the Internet, so I don't really know how to work with the parameters...
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Christian
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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2014, 01:22:42 pm »

A friend of mine was playing this. His impressions was that it had too much of a "mobile" feel
Quote
The game isn't bad, but there isn't really much to it and I can't quite shake the mobile feeling I am getting from it.

Personally I like the simplicity. The game is definitely leaning more towards delivering a frenetic visual spectacle than deep shmup gameplay, and in that regards, the catch-and-release mechanic works in its favor.
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« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2014, 06:47:38 pm »

awesome game! the art looks really amazing and the mechanics should works great in mobile
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Netsu
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« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2014, 10:29:22 pm »

Oh god, this looks so good, I've never seen a SUPER FAST SHOOTER thought out and executed so well.
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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2014, 07:02:26 am »

I absolutely love the look of this game  Hand Thumbs Up Left
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Thew
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2014, 09:49:01 pm »

A friend of mine was playing this. His impressions was that it had too much of a "mobile" feel
Quote
The game isn't bad, but there isn't really much to it and I can't quite shake the mobile feeling I am getting from it.

Personally I like the simplicity. The game is definitely leaning more towards delivering a frenetic visual spectacle than deep shmup gameplay, and in that regards, the catch-and-release mechanic works in its favor.

Well, it's an arcade game. Kind of bugs me that people associate that with "mobile" now, but oh well. That battle was lost several years ago.

That said, the lack of complexity is something of an issue for me at the moment. The game basically does exactly one thing ("build-build-build-release" sense of climaxing tension), and tries to do it as perfectly as possible. I know it's fun; I've been playing it for a year and still enjoy it, so that's got to mean something, but I can't decide whether the lack of depth will ultimately lead to a lack of player engagement.

I'd like to add some kind of larger-scale mechanic so the game doesn't feel like you've seen everything in a single round, like how Super Hexagon uses different patterns for difficulty levels, or Luftrausers' ship variants. Thus far I've been unable to come up with anything that doesn't just feel like complexity for its own sake, though.

tl;dr: game design is hard.



In other news, I've been thinking about maybe adding more environments to the game. Don't really want to add too much more art without solving the problems mentioned above, but I did some sketching:



(I love how this paper makes anything drawn on it look super classy)
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2014, 12:15:30 am »

Nice environment sketch and am really impressed out how much sense of motion you've been able to capture. Looks amazing Smiley
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Thew
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2014, 11:46:03 pm »

NEW WEBSITE!

Haven't had much time free for the past few weeks, and as it turns out web development is INSANELY TIME CONSUMING thanks to the HTML/CSS/JS stack being an absolutely hideous pile of kludge.

Finally got that crap over with though; so back to actual gamedev now.

NOTE: I took the link to the beta build off of the site. It was super old and not really representative of the game's current state, and I'm starting to pay non-zero attention to marketing at this point so I figured it'd be better to not publicize development builds.

I added the link to the top of this thread though; I figure anyone reading these forums is capable of providing decent feedback, so I'm leaving it up for playtesting purposes.
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Raku
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« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2014, 08:56:20 pm »

My goodness, this game looks amazing!
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2014, 03:02:26 am »

That said, the lack of complexity is something of an issue for me at the moment. The game basically does exactly one thing ("build-build-build-release" sense of climaxing tension), and tries to do it as perfectly as possible. I know it's fun; I've been playing it for a year and still enjoy it, so that's got to mean something, but I can't decide whether the lack of depth will ultimately lead to a lack of player engagement.

I'd like to add some kind of larger-scale mechanic so the game doesn't feel like you've seen everything in a single round, like how Super Hexagon uses different patterns for difficulty levels, or Luftrausers' ship variants. Thus far I've been unable to come up with anything that doesn't just feel like complexity for its own sake, though.

Different unlockable ships with slightly different behaviors/attacks could make wonders to give the game a sense of progress. Other than that, I think you;ll gain complexity and interest by actually expanding on enemies, bosses and the like. Some classic "deep" shmups are about moving, shooting and using a bomb. So I don't see how this is less deep.

So some feedback (apart from the obvious "I salivate when looking at it"). Fell free to ignore everything I say though!:

-Do I get more air time when I start from the bottom of the screen vs. when I start on the top? This is not clear.

-Flying low is immensely more dangerous than flying high. I suggest making it so that if you are hit low, you actually are propelled slightly up  as well as backwards, to give the player a chance for recovery. Right now the game is so frenetic that I feel any hit at speed should be recoverable (while the second hit while stunned kills you). Right now, sometimes it's recoverable and sometimes isn't, which makes flying higher safer and some deaths feel cheap and frustrating.

-Enemy movement is very erratic. This, along with the controls, makes it somewhat luck dependent (which I personally dislike). I think a stricter sense of "enemy waves" with somewhat prefixes movement, maybe, can make the game more rewarding to learn and master. With pre-configured waves you can force sections of flying dangerously close to the ground, frantic evading, score gathering... etc.

-The controls are somewhat floaty. I don't know how to fix this, really, but that's not going to stop me throwing suggestions at you. Right now, it feels like a spring is joining the plane and the mouse, but it's a spring influenced by distance to the "center" of the screen, or maybe by speed? Anyaway, the result is that a certain amount of mouse movement results in different amounts of actual plane movement, depending on where you are on the screen. On the left side the plane places itself to the right of the pointer, while on the right side it places itself at the left of the pointer, at a much longer distance than in the other side. There's a specific place where plane and cursor are aligned.

This is confusing to me. Cave shmups in Ipad allow for direct mouse control, and it works great, though probably is overkill for this as it would break away the sense of flying too much. But I still think you could use a more direct control. A slight lag of the plane to the mouse (probably limited by a maximum speed it can move towards it) will be still needed, but the movement should be faster and more direct (You can slowly easy out as you do right now, but way closer to the mouse position, when the plan is already touching it). You could also reset the mouse position to that of the plane each time you click (like Cave shooters do on the iPhone, basically relative controls), but I don't know if these would be crazily intuitive or utterly confusing,since I've never seen it before.

Anyway, those are my two cents. Feel free to use them or not. The game rocks anyway, and I really think you are onto something great here!
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« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2015, 11:49:48 pm »

This looks awesome. I love the explosion/laser, looking forward to this blog post of yours!
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« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2015, 05:48:57 am »

Looks great and I love your name as well. One of the truly clever game names.
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2015, 08:07:20 am »

I saw this post years ago and I still think about this game occasionally, that's how distinctive looking it is. Went to go vote it on Greenlight and was pleasantly surprised that it was already accepted.

Do you have a demo or anything we can play / give feedback on?
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2015, 12:01:16 pm »

Wow I don't know how I'm just seeing this for the first time, but this looks very slick! Following Smiley
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