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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytesting[Beta] Level 2: The Virus Master
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Lazy Brain Games
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« on: April 29, 2014, 08:41:07 PM »

Hi all! I've been working on this game for a while, and I thought it was high time to get it posted on TIGsource to get some feedback.

Title: Level 2, The Virus Master

Screenshots:





DOWNLOAD HERE:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7yug4uu8fpxro8e/Virus%20Master%20v1.1.zip

Platform: PC

Input: Keyboard&mouse or 360 Joystick

About the game:
This is a promotional game for a band called 'Last Chance to Reason' based on the tracks 'Coded to fail' and 'Taking Control' from their album titled 'Level 2'. This is an SHMUP with a twist: most of the actions are in sync with the music. The game will also feature lip sync animations on most of the boss characters. The animations for the lip syncs aren't fully implemented, but you can press F10 if you'd like to see the placeholder animation.

What's still missing:
1) Most of the actual lip sync animations
2) Various art assets (there's still some placeholder stuff)
3) Various audio elements
4) It is still possible to go out of world in a few spots

Feedback:
I'm all ears to sections that are too hard, too easy, or just plain aren't fun. If anything's confusing, and of course if there's any bugs you encounter. The action is pretty fast, so readability of threats is something I'm focused on. Let me know if there's too much visual commotion at any point.

Thanks to all who reply,

-John Bell
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 10:17:25 PM by Lazy Brain Games » Logged
s_l_m
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 09:28:13 PM »

Very nice. It is already extremely impressive

-I believe I saw a few small frame rate dips but it might have been my imagination. Otherwise it didn't effect the gameplay in any way.
-The varying art styles (the backgrounds, the character, some of the bosses) can be kind of jarring. But I imagine that was the point.
-The lip synch that is there is very impressive. As is the Giger-esche-ness of the whole thing.
-Some of the bosses might need to choreograph their moves a bit more before hand. Getting hit occasionally seems unfair.

Overall I really like it.
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Lazy Brain Games
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 09:58:30 PM »

Thanks! If you press F10 you can get an idea of all the lip syncs that are going to be implemented later.

"Some bosses might need to choreograph their moves a bit more" is there a particular boss that you struggled with?

Thanks again for the feedback! I'll be posting updates throughout May so check back if you can Smiley

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Ticebilla
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 11:32:26 PM »

I just saw this on twitter, and had to figured I'd check your devlog,  and I'm glad I did.


This looks insane.  The art direction is superb,  as is the syncronicity between animations and music.
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Lazy Brain Games
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 10:30:20 PM »

Got a new build up! Download Virus Master Alpha 8 here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nabmhukbhr1ajob/Virus_Master_A8.zip

Also, got a nice little write up on Alpha Beta Gamer which was a pleasant surprise.
http://www.alphabetagamer.com/level-2-the-virus-master-alpha-download/


New stuff in this build:

1) The on-screen Virus Master mouthings are complete
2) The 2nd boss monster mouthings animations are complete
3) Out of world bugs should be resolved
4) Pausing "teleport" bug fixed
5) Various art elements have been finalized

Stuff still being worked on:
1) The character art for the final battle is still in transistion
2) The 2nd area is being rebalanced for difficulty
3) The player character art while using a controller (shouldn't effect gameplay)
4) General visual finalization

I'm aiming for launch at the end of the month! Thanks for the comments and help out guys! Any bug reports or just general feedback is greatly appreciated! There's been some reports that the game just won't start, if that happens to you please let me know!

Big thanks!
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 08:03:01 PM »

My first impression was not particularly positive at the beginning. The keyboard buttons didn't seem to do anything in menus by default, and even my gamepad wasn't 100% responsive when it came to selecting menu items.

Starting the gameplay, I was surprised and disappointed that there were no bullet sounds. I imagine it would be possible to time the shots with the beat somehow, either by snapping them to the beat or by using auto-fire.

When I was fighting the third (?) boss/mini-boss (the guy that mostly hovers in the center but dashes sometimes and does a bunch of different attacks), I started wondering if there were other attacks so I pressed the other buttons on my gamepad and found out that RB sends you back to the title screen. Very irritating.

I wasn't sure what anything in the HUD meant. The percentage, for example, could be a skill rating or it could be something else. I didn't even look at the rest of the HUD because I had to focus on the enemies and bullets, so hopefully there's nothing important out there.

"most of the actions are in sync with the music"? The only things I noticed that felt in sync with the music were some area transitions. Nothing else seemed to have anything to do with the music. How likely is it that I threw off the timing somehow?

Apart from those issues, this game is really great. I love most of the art (except the aforementioned boss's dashing sprite, which I'm guessing is unfinished) and, while the music is not my taste, it fit the style well. It plays great. I didn't find the bosses overly difficult to read, and I love how the gameplay changes slightly every minute or two. Great stuff.
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Lazy Brain Games
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2014, 01:59:30 PM »

Hey Quicksand-S, thanks for the feedback! I'll just go down the list here:

1) Menus are operated via the mouse unless in controller mode. I suppose if your mouse happens to be off-screen it might be confusing since there's no evident way to operate the menus. Not sure what a potential fix for that could be, but at least I'm aware of the issue now.

2)
Quote
my gamepad wasn't 100% responsive when it came to selecting menu items.
If you could, let me know which menu you had an issue with (the pause, options, or title page menu). What type of unresponsiveness did you experience? Was the cursor slow to move? Did you have to hit the button twice?

3) No SFX are present while the music is being played. Since the tracks aren't "game music" it would be tough for the listener to appreciate the music or hear the singer over sfx. Think of it kind of like a music video.

4) Will fix the right trigger bug!

5) Providing an in-game explanation of the HUD is a challenge, particularly for such a short game. In brief, the percentage reflects how many enemies you've killed in the current area. Based on your percentage, the player receives a rating (100%=S, 99-80=A, >80=B).

6) Will update dashing sprite

7) "Most of the actions are in sync with the music" might not of been the best description. I'll have to think of a better description just so players don't start the game with the expectation that its a rhythm game or something.

Thanks for all the help Quicksand-S! I really appreciate it!
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2014, 04:01:47 PM »

1) When I started, I didn't know it was a twin-stick shooter, so I didn't think the mouse would be used anywhere. That's probably my fault, although I would think that adding keyboard support for the menu shouldn't be too hard. I'm pretty sure I've even seen games like this have keyboard controls (WASD for movement and arrow keys for shooting, for example), although that's obviously not ideal.

2) It was only the title screen, if I remember right. When I first started using the gamepad, the Options menu got selected, even though my character was up near the new game option. Moving didn't change that, so I ended up going into Options before exiting that menu and starting the game. I've also noticed a lot of cases where I had to press the button twice.

3) I thought that was probably the case, but it does kinda make it feel like I have less impact on the action than I would in other games. Random thought: Play music only while the player is shooting.

5) I only realized I was getting rated after the first big boss. Even after that, I wasn't absolutely sure about the letters in circles underneath the percentage. I thought maybe I was earning super-bombs or something like you have in some "shmups". That's actually why I was trying different buttons and ended up hitting RB. I think the issue for me is that seeing a letter in a circle on the HUD says "super-bomb" to me. It might sound strange, but without the circle I think I might've guessed it was a rating.
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Lazy Brain Games
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 02:30:43 AM »

Beta has been reached! It should be stable, fully support the 360 joystick, and be totally playable now! Let me know if you run into any bugs, and of course if there's anything that bothers you from a difficulty/design standpoint.

Download link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7yug4uu8fpxro8e/Virus%20Master%20v1.1.zip

Big thanks!  Beer!
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 10:17:37 PM by Lazy Brain Games » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 09:52:26 AM »

Beautiful shmup. I like the design of the enemies and the general atmosphere.
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 11:29:37 AM »

I gave your game a play and I'm absolutely loving it! The atmosphere is great and the gameplay is rewarding. I read your post and saw that you are planning on adding a lot more audio to your game. I'm a multi media composer and I would love to make music and sound effects for your game! You can hear my portfolio at www.soundcloud.com/JayCrafton. Send an email if you're interested!
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 08:26:02 AM »

Wow, this was a lot of fun, super impressive. Getting some major Contra vibes. This is like a dream for a band, I would imagine.

Lip syncing is a fantastic idea, whole thing feels like a quasi-music video.

Didn't run into any issues at all (mouse and keyboard). Some of the transitions between scenes felt a bit jaring, but I found that it gave it more of a "music video" feel.

Amazing enemy AI, and artwork is fantastic.

Great job!
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