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Author Topic: Shadowcrypt  (Read 10278 times)
One-bit Punch
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« on: April 26, 2014, 10:35:52 PM »


Watch the trailer!




About

Shadowcrypt is an action-platformer game taking place in a catacomb that has been taken over by a Necromancer. It has sword & shield combat mechanics heavily inspired by Zelda II, however I wanted to take it up a notch (you can shield bash, as well as block). As for the rest, I was inspired by the look & feel of Castlevania and some of the mechanics from Diablo II (especially the Paladin class).

Gameplay

The sword is a short-ranged primary attack. The shield plays a crucial role in the game, which is to bash enemies when they get too close and blocking their attacks. Throwing spears is a long-ranged secondary attack that needs replenishing after it runs out. Players can swap spears with a shield on the fly, but cannot use both at the same time. Fallen enemies can randomly drop elemental modifiers to swords/spears (fire, ice, lightning), and non-default shields has an extra property (stun, reverb, extra damage) that triggers randomly whenever enemies are bashed with it.

Everything takes place in approx 70+ rooms arranged in non-linear fashion. Each room is guarded by an enemy or two (or three), and defeating them is required in order to advance to the next room. All in all, this is a fairly small game that can be completed within an hour or less.


Background

I can't help but notice that discussions about Zelda II, always inevitably, mention the intense battles between Link and Iron Knuckle. Zelda II is one of the most memorable games I played as a kid, so naturally I gravitated towards making a game based around this idea, and thus early seeds for Shadowcrypt was being sown.

The game started out casually as a simple prototype in early 2013 after playing around with Game Maker (specifically GM4Mac, the game has since then ported to Game Maker 8.1) and discovering Grandma Engine (which I'm using for this game). Predictably I bumped into major scoping problems pretty quickly, but thankfully managed to arrive on a simpler iteration of the game.


Screenshots!



« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 02:50:48 AM by onebitpunch » Logged

CasePortman
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 09:20:57 AM »

This looks very polished, the lighting is gorgeous. Watching the last 20% of this for sure!
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Quarry
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 01:54:33 PM »

Highly reminiscent of Catacomb Kids
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One-bit Punch
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 01:27:58 AM »

I'm back! I finally managed to put together a trailer for the game. I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on it Smiley





Anyways I spent many hours porting the game from GM4Mac to Game Maker 8.1. Well it wasn't as straightforward as I hoped. First thing I immediately noticed is how the graphics are all screwed up. Luckily ChevyRay's scaling code tutorial took care of it.. but then the game ran MUCH slower. I eventually took care of it, after many coffee and late nights later, thank goodness. I still have no idea why the Windows version of GM screwed up the tiles & graphics, while the older (and buggier) Mac version did not.

In the past I have made attempts porting the game to GM Studio. It runs well but breaks some crucial things. I may have some ideas as to why this happened.. but I'm determined to release this game asap and can't afford to refactor large swathes of code from scratch. I made no further attempts and have since continued to work with 8.1.

Oh I forgot to mention, prior to posting this devlog, I took out a core gameplay component off the game: the stamina system, inspired directly by Dark Souls.

This stamina system have existed since the beginning, until I discovered (much later during testing) that I did not manage to make it work well, and made the combat felt unfocused. I ended up running back/forth waiting for the green bar to refill while frantically dodging enemy attacks. Instead of feeling like a badass I felt powerless. I tried making it refill faster, slower, etc and even tried a "recharging" attack system just like in Diablo. So after months of clinging to the stamina system and trying to making it work, I decided to leave it out. I'm gutted about it, would be cool to have made it work, but that would probably require a complete re-thinking of the game's core mechanics.

All in all the game is almost done, and now I understand why the gamedev community "elders" (as in, the ones who have been at this game for many years and a few titles under their belts) constantly preach the Finish-Your-Game mantra. It really is tremendously difficult and too easy to underestimate the effort required. All of you out there who are toiling away making games, you have my utmost respect.

Until the next post, and thanks for reading.
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TwistedJenius
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 03:36:47 AM »

I realize that I'm probably showing my age here, but watching your video, I couldn't help but be happily reminded of a couple of other games.  One is Bram Stoker's Dracula that I used to play on the Sega Genesis. The other is an even older game called Dark Castle that was on an early version of the Macintosh.  I have some fond memories of both.

Shadowcrypt is looking very good, congratulations on its imminent completion! The last leg of development can sometimes be the toughest to get through, but if you manage to plow through it, it's very rewarding.
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Here's the DevLog of the game I'm currently working on- Reptile Zoo: The Sinister Mutation
Vote for it on Steam Greenlight!
travisofarabia
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 05:10:17 AM »

Wow the trailer looks really great. Gameplay looks tough but fun. Good luck.
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One-bit Punch
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 04:17:44 PM »

@CasePortman Cheers man!

@Quarry Haha that's quite a flattering comparison, I'm a fan of Catacomb Kids. No roguelike elements here though, its a very different game! Wink

@TwistedJenius Thank you so much, that really means a lot! I deliberately chose to use bigger sprites reminiscent of those types of games (Dracula, Prince of Persia, Nosferatu etc), so I'm really glad you picked on that details. I have not played Dark Castle but its corridor designs (its pretty much everywhere now) is just so quinessentially dungeon-like, I just love them. I did however played the Macintosh version of Shadowgate and that's actually how the name Shadowcrypt came about.. so I'm probably showing my age here too! Smiley

@travisofarabia Thank you sir!
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HughSJ
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 10:42:12 PM »

Looks sweet man-- it's rare to see a sidescroller where it feels like you're actually engaging a target in melee as opposed to just taking turns bashing each other. As you say it's small game, but from what's visible in the trailer it's very tightly put together.

Are you thinking of using this game as a stepping stone, mechanically speaking, for a larger project? Or is it too early to say for something like that?

Either way, good luck on this man.
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 12:01:30 AM »

Great job so far man, keep it up and finish this sucka! I have one small nitpick from something I saw in the trailer, I think the text housed in the text box was a bit small or at least it just seemed a bit off. I don't even know that is actually in the game or not, otherwise super stoked for this!
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 03:21:09 AM »

This looks great!
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One-bit Punch
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 02:55:03 PM »

@HughSJ: Hey thanks man! That's an interesting question.. I guess there's always the possibility of me revisiting the game sometime in the future, the chance to improve and iterate on some of the mechanics, which can lead into a spiritual follow-up or something. But you're right, its a bit too early for me to say at this stage.

@Guitarmatt21, Rolkus: Thanks guys! Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2014, 05:30:42 PM »

Looks sick, mate!
I be dwellin' around, ye followin'
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KeinZantezuken
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 05:44:28 AM »

Quote
The game will soon be available on Windows.

Soon as Soon™ or there is a specific month?
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One-bit Punch
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 03:49:19 AM »

@Whiteclaws: Haha cheers mate! Yea I follow!  Wink

@KeinZantezuken: Hey I saw your post of my game on reddit via twitter, thanks man!! Beer!

Sorry for the lack of info, "soon" as in this month June, within about a week or two (its looking likely at this stage), or mid-month at the very most, basically it will be out when its out. I'm still doing some last-stage tweaking, making sure the game feels more balanced. I'm quite eager to release this game, its already taking me way too long to finish and I'm kinda burnt out. On the bright side, I was able to release the trailer last week only because the game itself is very close to being done Smiley It will go up on itch.io first, have no idea what the price will be, its still being decided. I submitted the game to Desura last week and its still waiting for their approval.
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KeinZantezuken
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2014, 11:07:30 AM »

@KeinZantezuken: Hey I saw your post of my game on reddit via twitter, thanks man!! Beer!

Sorry for the lack of info, "soon" as in this month June, within about a week or two (its looking likely at this stage), or mid-month at the very most, basically it will be out when its out. I'm still doing some last-stage tweaking, making sure the game feels more balanced. I'm quite eager to release this game, its already taking me way too long to finish and I'm kinda burnt out. On the bright side, I was able to release the trailer last week only because the game itself is very close to being done Smiley It will go up on itch.io first, have no idea what the price will be, its still being decided. I submitted the game to Desura last week and its still waiting for their approval.

I saw the trailer, loved what I saw and decide to share some love, haha.

So, this month? Man, fantastic news, I thought it will be end of this year. Definitely will be getting it. I hope you will put it on Greenlight too with time.
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45edftyu
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2014, 01:32:39 PM »

looks really fun, looking forward to playing it
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Team Indev
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2014, 06:52:14 PM »

Looks like a 2d Dark Souls, which is awesome! Can't wait to try this out
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One-bit Punch
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2014, 05:50:56 AM »

So I finally took the plunge and put the game on Greenlight Shocked quite honestly I'm a bit nervous about it. Never did plan for the game to be on Steam but quite a few people have been asking about it, which made me reconsider.

Please vote and help out a fellow gamedev!!
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=267450121

I'm also aiming for a release date around 7 July. I spent time catching bugs and overhauling the gamepad controls. Unfortunately I had to ditch DirectInput in favour of XInput - it was way too problematic and Game Maker crawled like molasses whenever a gamepad is being plugged / unplugged. Now its on XInput and the game hardly slows down anymore. I can plug & unplug the gamepad to my hearts content and it still runs like a champ.

@KeinZantezuken: Yeah its definitely on Greenlight now! Grin again you have my thanks!

@45edftyu and @Team Indev: Cheers guys!!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 06:20:08 AM by onebitpunch » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2014, 03:11:02 PM »

it was way too problematic and Game Maker crawled like molasses whenever a gamepad is being plugged / unplugged.

I remember this issue in Valdis Story, but I think Kyron somehow managed to fix it in later patches with GM devs help. May be eventually you will add it back as well, no big deal for now I believe :P
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 04:16:23 PM »

Looks like a game I would really enjoy -- voted!
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