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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGeneshift - top-down shooter with skills!
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bencelot
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« on: April 29, 2014, 05:52:04 AM »

Hey guys! I've been working on groovy top-down shooter called Geneshift.

EDIT: I've updated the name and screenshots in this first post cause it was all so out of date before. The game also used to be called Subvein: Mutant Factions, but I recently renamed it. Sorry for the confusion!





Geneshift Overview
Geneshift is an online shooter that combines fast-paced action with strategic RPG and RTS gameplay. You play as a mutant and can create groovy skill builds to help you in combat. You can poison your enemies and escape with invisibility; or bounce sniper bullets off walls for that perfect trick shot. It's got cars too, multiplayer action and a singleplayer campaign where you save the world from zombies!

Anyway I've been working on this thing for over 8 years now and am currently living in Peru to finish it off because it's cheaper here :D


Drive-by shooting into the Barn

Key Features
Strategic Skills System
Explore countless skill builds, combos and counters as you level up and develop your mutant. Any experience you earn is permanently saved to your account.

But there's a twist! The skills in Geneshift are unique because they give you both a benefit and a penalty. The Vampirism skill for example gives you health when you harm enemies but also reduces your weapon damage. It doesn't make you more powerful, but rather lets you fight with a more personalized play style. This trade-off keeps the skills balanced and allows new players to compete against higher level players who have more penalties.

The penalties add plenty of tactical depth too. You must not only master your strengths, but exploit your enemies' weaknesses! Blade Fury for example slashes nearby enemies but it also reduces weapon accuracy. So when your enemy casts it get away! By fighting at long range he won't be able to hit you.

Chemical Base Building
Build a chemical empire! Chemicals are like buildings in an RTS game - they cost a lot but give you many long-term advantages. Place them in secret locations and reap the benefits - you can sell weapons, teleport around the map, reveal your enemies and more!

But again, there's a twist! Chemicals in Geneshift are invisible and enemy players cannot see them. They can be revealed by your Sonar Cells and not even know it. What's really cool though is that while you can't see enemy chemicals, you can still destroy them.

But how do you destroy what you cannot see?? By spying on your enemies! Watch their movements and deduce the location of their chemicals, then Neutralize that spot. With invisible chemicals there is plenty of deception, deduction, and mind games to master!


Poisoning someone with Venom Shot

Over 20 Weapons
Choose from a diverse range for weapons: pistols, shotguns, rifles, snipers, explosives, even a flamethrower! Complete missions to earn extra cash and buy super powerful weapons.

Crazy Vehicles
Zoom around the map as your allies ride shotgun. Fire out the windows, shoot out tires or simply run your enemies over. Some vehicles have special abilities too, like a car bomb!

Ranked Servers
Compete against others in ranked servers. Like the ELO rating system used in chess, your rank moves up and down based on how you score against your opponents. Advanced lag compensation ensures that your rank is a measure of your skill and not your ping.

Unique Game Modes
Play in unique game modes like Chemical Warfare, where you claim territory and capture control points. You can also race cars in Checkpoint and cooperatively survive swarms of zombies in Outbreak. Or simply play the classics like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.

User Generated Maps
Make and share maps with the in-built map editor! Anyone can do it. There are countless maps to play and a great community in the forums willing to offer advice and feedback.

Sexy Cosmetics
You like hats? Well how about capes!? Unlock cool cosmetics such as capes, glowing bullets, lightsabers and more! These cosmetics don't impact gameplay but sure look sexy!


Vehicle assault!


Surviving a swarm of zombies!

Development Stuff
I first released Geneshift way back in 2009 and with the help of the community it has been polished, balanced and perfected ever since. I've sine quit my job, moved to Peru where it's sunny and cheap and am trying to finish it up before I max out my credit cards. Probably not very responsible, but hey, it's fun!

The game is completely custom build with the following technologies:
C++
OpenGL
GLFW
OpenAL
Enet
Libcurl

Inspirations
Geneshift is kind of a combination of all of my favourite games. Namely Counter Strike, DOTA and Starcraft. It borrows from all of these games and gives it the weird shooter/RPG/RTS mechanics. Basically I love competitive PvP games and don't feel this needs to be restricted to a single genre. The game balances fast-paced twitch like reflexes with strategic base building and skill build construction. Lots of depth, lots of fun and lots of ways to defeat your enemies!

Of course 7 years ago the game was very different to today. Back then the primary inspirations were GTA2, Diablo and Soldat. Soldat is a great indie game that I used to play all the time back at school and it's very existence is what gave me the idea to create the game in the first place.


Going for a chain-reaction kill with exploding vehicles

Links
Official Game Site: Geneshift
Company Site: http://niknakstudios.com
Free Demo Download (69MB): http://geneshift.net/downloads/GeneshiftSetup.exe
Screenshots: http://geneshift.net/media.php

Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93082629
Indie DB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/geneshift
Game Jolt: http://gamejolt.com/games/shooter/geneshift/25926/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Geneshift
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bencelot


Anyway if you have any questions let me know! I'm gunna be chucking it up on Steam in a few months (though I've been saying this for the past 2 years). Just gotta make music now and integrate Steam then release!

Have fun!
Ben (bencelot).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 03:25:49 PM by bencelot » Logged

bencelot
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 08:18:16 PM »

Anyone had a chance to play yet? I'd love some feedback on the new zombie dynamic. The zombie difficulty scales dynamically based on your health and kill rate to keep you at a constant challenge. But I'm not sure if the overall difficulty is too high or not. Feedback would be awesome!
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bgund001
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2014, 07:24:56 AM »

It was pretty fun. I liked the various powers you can upgrade. I was running around blowing up zombies with the plasma ball which is always fun. Unfortunately there was only one other person on. You gotta get this greenlit so there will be more people online. Or put up a post on the playtesting forum. Also if you haven't read this blog post by Daniel Cook yet I highly recommend it: http://www.lostgarden.com/2013/12/multiplayer-logistics.html. Might help give some ideas to design the game in a way that promotes a healthy online population.

I think the zombie dynamics were done pretty well. I felt there was always just a little too many zombies to handle and I did up dying a few times to them. You definitely get the feeling you're up against a horde.

I found the skills system to be a bit too complicated. There was just so many skills and they weren't really laid out in any concise way. My suggestion would be to separate them up by offensive/defense/utility rather than then current setup. But the game as a whole looks very good and it obvious a lot of time and effort went into it. Nice website too.

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bencelot
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2014, 12:24:45 AM »

Thanks bgund, valuable feedback. And that link is amazing! Thanks for that!!

Btw I just released a new version (1.01) which fixes a few bugs as well as making the zombies scale better with more players. Check it out Smiley
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bencelot
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 01:55:34 PM »

Hey guys, I just released an awesome new version and wanted to share. Version 1.04 has got.... drum roll please... FLAMETHROWERS!!!

The flamethrower has been requested from quite a few users who have joined the Mutant Factions community and it is finally here! We also have a Molotov Cocktail and a Flare Gun too. Three new weapons ready and waiting to be mastered. All three weapons possess the unique property of fire damage, which deals damage over time, reveals enemies, and sets vehicles on fire!

Check out this awesome gif of the Flamethrower and Molotov Cocktail in action: http://i.imgur.com/INQsQ1Z.gifv

This version also introduces a very important gameplay tweak which is that enemies are now briefly revealed to you when you damage them. This means you can reveal enemies through walls with AOE skills like Radiate, use Spike Trap as a radar as people cross over it, or track players with damage over time weapons like the Flare Gun. Lots of fun new tactics to explore :D

We also have some very sexy graphical improvements with dynamic lighting. The sexiest of them all? Vehicle headlights! The headlights will dynamically light up the map and really add a sense of depth to the game. It also makes it easier to drive in dark areas! We also have better looking explosions, muzzle flashes and projectiles like the Flare Gun that light up the map as they fly though it.

Anyway I hope you guys enjoy the new version. It's been great fun developing the Flamethrower and other new weapons and I would love to see some of you guys come back for a game or two to check it all out and maybe give me a little feedback!

Have fun!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 10:50:15 AM by bencelot » Logged

bencelot
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 11:05:40 AM »

I've been a bit lazy with sharing lately due to burying my head in code... but no longer! I want to start sharing more frequently and now is a great time due to a huge new version I've just released. But first some exciting news!

Steam Greenlight
Mutant Factions has been Greenlit! It will be appearing on Steam in a few months and we'll be announcing a release date shortly. (Note I've updated the original post with this info in case you're confused).

« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 07:58:33 AM by bencelot » Logged

bencelot
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 09:44:41 PM »

Sent off about 50 emails today to youtubers and the press. My god, it takes a long time. Gotta do it though.

I've also been working on marketing assets like screenshots and gifs. It's actually really hard to film a good gif without screwing it up somehow. I did this one a while ago but it must have taken me a good hour to get looking somewhat decent:

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bencelot
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2015, 08:55:59 PM »

I spent all day today trying to record footage for a new youtube trailer. It's so difficult to do for a multiplayer game! Trying to organise players in-game is almost impossible. I ended up just playing the game for 6 hours straight recording footage - only to find out that Flux was enabled on my computer and made all the fraps videos orange  Screamy

Oh well, will try again tomorrow.
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bencelot
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2015, 06:33:12 PM »

More filming today. Made this sweet action sequence. Only took about 50 takes to get the bomb killing both bad guys at once:

« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 09:04:11 PM by bencelot » Logged

bencelot
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 10:35:23 PM »

I finished and uploaded my trailer today! I couldn't find a way to embed it in the post, so I'll just post the youtube link. If anyone knows how to embed please enlighten me Smiley

Sexy new Trailer:



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bencelot
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 02:52:21 PM »

So I was trying to improve the bevels that get generated when you load the map. Ended up adding a pretty cool texture to make them easier to see.. and now I think I prefer it this way. Kinda breaks the theme of the game a bit, but damn does it look fabulous!

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bencelot
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2015, 10:27:54 AM »

I've been thinking about the struggles of trying to release and market an exclusively multiplayer indie game. It's hard to get that critical mass of players needed to make the game actually playable. So I think I'm going to do the unthinkable... create a single-player game mode.  Shocked

I really hope I'm not on the verge of another 6 months worth of work here, but I think it will be worth it. If I can make the game fun to play by yourself then it could be huge. I'm still deciding on how to do this.. take a game which has been focused for 7 years purely on multiplayer, and then turn it into singleplayer. Tricky! My main thoughts are:

1) Add really smart AI bots. So you just play the multiplayer game as it's designed but against bots. Would be very useful, but hard to get right.
2) Create some sort of story-based campaign mode. This is what most other shooters do like Battlefield and CoD.. but would require a LOT of time.
3) Expand the existing co-op zombie mode. I think this is the best bang for my buck, and I can try emulate the success of shmups like crimsonland and add leaderboards and challenges to try get the highest score against zombies. If done right this could keep players coming back for multiple sessions trying to top their high-score. Make it co-op so as more people join the server it naturally progresses into multiplayer.

Does anyone have any ideas here? Anyone else making a purely multiplayer game? If so how did you deal with the "critical mass" aspect of not having a large enough playerbase?
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bencelot
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2015, 08:08:05 PM »

Lobby Optimizations!!

Did something sneaky today  Well, hello there! I made it so newly registered users get taken directly into a recommended server, rather than getting taken to the server lobby. I did this for 3 reasons:

1) It's faster and easier. The fewer clicks the better. They don't get confused by the lobby or paralized by choice. They're into a game in 3 clicks now.
2) I can control the game mode that they play for their first game. This is hugely important. If a newbie joins the wrong game mode or ends up in an empty PvP server they will have literally nothing to do. They'll get confused and quit the game forever. But now I will ensure they always go directly into the zombie slaughtering server.  This works both co-op and singleplayer, ensuring they can have fun and DO something when they first join.
3) The server lobby can be a bit empty at times with only a handful of players on at any one time. This just isn't a good impression to give as far as social proof goes. The last thing I want is for a brand new player to join the game, go to the lobby and see a whole bunch of empty servers. "This game is dead! Why bother!" Not good. By  skipping the lobby they experience the game with an open mind full of joy and wonder, and have a better first impression.



Does anyone else have any thoughts on this sort of thing? How do you control the experience for first-time users to ensure they have the best possible impression of the game?
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bencelot
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 04:07:19 PM »

Pretty cool day, found a new article AND a new letsplay video. Nothing huge but still nice to see. Maybe all thils I sent actually did something :p

Letsplay;


Article: http://retronuke.com/mutant-factions/

In other news, I've come up with a cool system to spice up the loading screen on my page. Whenever a map is loaded for the first time it renders a texture of the map in a top-down 2D orthographic view, then saves it as a 512x512 image. Then this image is displayed in the loading screen whenever you load that map again in the future! For the 10 most played maps I'm going to include pre-rendered images, but this system will work with any user-generated map too. Groovy Smiley Here's an overview of the first and biggest map I've ever made!


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bencelot
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2015, 09:58:16 PM »

Here it is in action (I know menu pics are boring, but I spent all day on this):



I've also reworded everything and removed a whole bunch of useless information. First time users aren't going to care about details like if Friendly Fire is enabled or not. It ends up in information overload.

Simplicity is key! I want to have enough information to help the player, but no more. Anything else is distracting and might result in nothing being read at all.
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2015, 12:46:06 AM »

Cool one! I like the particles system, and the art style. It reminds me to Blade runner and this good ol' films, but very fast and dynamic!

The level desing captures are pretty detailed, thank you for sharing, it's always refreshing.

Looking forward more updates! Smiley
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bencelot
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2015, 10:27:43 PM »

Thanks MegaMagic dude.  I'm still working on the art style and graphics. I want to add 3D player and vehicle models before the Steam release. But first I must polish up gameplay.

Starting with... a complete rework of the zombie mode! I've spent the past 3 days doing nothing but lying on a park bench staring up at the clouds pondering dynamic difficulty systems. I'm trying to come up with a way of scaling the zombies so they provide a healthy challenge to both newbies and veterans in the same server. I've got quite a few changes to make but the primary mechanic will be that zombies get faster and faster the more kills you get - and as veteran players get more kills they'll be fighting against faster zombies. Should be good.



Here's some cool graphs I did. Hooray for maths!
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bencelot
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2015, 06:43:41 PM »

Been a while but I've been busy working on something pretty cool. Singleplayer! I've been working on this game for 7 years and only now am I finally getting around to adding a proper singleplayer campaign. I think this will help newbies learn the ropes of the game and solve some pretty fun tactical puzzles. For example check out what I added to the map editor today:



Waypoints and checkpoints! Players will have to make their way through the map, killing AI guards in their path. This is just a crappy testing map but shows the general concept. There are 4 checkpoints and each one is guarded by a bunch of guards. They will follow waypoints and walk back and forth and you'll have to strike at just the right moment when their back is turned.



For the first checkpoint for example you could follow the path of the green line. Hide behind the box to observe the enemy, then as soon as he makes the return journey (heading back upwards) you come out and knife him in the back. Then take his gun and take cover again, and wait for the next guy. And so on.

The whole idea of this tactical gameplay came from Hotline Miami. Pretty good game to draw inspiration from I think Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 08:24:46 PM »

Alrighty I've got a working prototype of this now. I've coded in the AI to spawn upon and follow these waypoints. Each AI bot will have a LOS with a configurable view range. The bots will patrol around their waypoints and their LOS is indicated by blue lasers that scan the ground in front of them. You need to sneak around behind the bots and take them out without being seen, or else they'll start attacking you and go red as shown here:



Lots more work to do, but the core concept is working at least. It's great to finally be able to play my game single-player Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2015, 02:52:24 AM »

Looks good! Reminds me more than anything of the early GTA games what with all the cars (which were fantastic over LAN), but I'm definitely seeing the Soldat inspiration in there too, with all the weapons. I was hopeless at Soldat.

Will there be options to make the HUD smaller? I assume it's just a resolution thing, but it does seem to take up a lot of the screen right now.
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