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pnch
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2014, 11:50:06 AM »

Update #2: 100 ways to die in space


Basic kill


Working killcam, follows the cockpit if you explode


Killed when low on fuel


Reached 0 fuel

It´s been a productive day!
Notice the explosions are colored according to the player who got the kill, in order to get that working I had to do a flexible tagging system to assign kills.
Deathmatch scoring is now working fine thanks to this system.

After a short match the arena quickly features lots of stranded ships and pieces, fun to use as cover and to play space soccer  Evil.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 11:59:45 AM by pnch » Logged

PhilllChabbb
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2014, 12:20:43 PM »

Awesome devlog man! Really love the depth of the screen.
Feels so right.  Smiley Excited to see the progression! WTF
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2014, 06:26:44 AM »

It's a bit dizzying. Love it. Amazing work on the the depth.
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pnch
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2014, 01:40:58 PM »

@PhillChabbb
Thanks! Stay tuned, there´s quite a lot of progression to be done Hand Any Key

@migrafael
Thank you! Glad I rewrote the multiplane objects now that they´re getting such a nice feedback. The bigger the screen, the dizzier it gets!
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pottering
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2014, 02:49:08 PM »

nice, following
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pnch
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2014, 09:00:03 AM »

Whoa! 1k+ views  Smiley

@pottering
thank you, welcome!

Also, now I have Twitter Wizard, life´s easier for anyone interested in the game (0 tweets ever ATM and 0 posts beyond this devlog, so be my guests and first followers)


Update #3 twitter, cosmic radiation, overkilling and more UI

Radiation poisoning.

Note the colour shifts and darkness increase in speed as you get further into the void. If you reach pure black you die, but if you aren´t traveling too fast you have plenty of time to return to the level.
This now enables fighting quite deep in the void in deathmatch mode, while helping to find the way back for refuelling.
The void is about 9x the size of the enclosed level, but you can fly a lot faster than there.

Overkills are supported!
Mostly aesthetic, but prevents someone from getting cover from a stranded ship for more than one shot, and helps clearing the path if a stranded or partly destroyed ship is in your way.

Overkilling a stranded ship.

More on "no UI"
-Note the blue moon on the first pic, and how it can be used as a compass in this level while visible.
-Playtesting proved reading the amount of fuel by the speed at which ship lights flicker works fine (even better, it introduces a level of anxiety when you know you´re low on fuel, but don´t know for sure how low you are, and whether you´ll get to the refuelling station in time).

More playtesting feedback.
-The friction charger and the whole fuel conservation mechanic was proven fun.
-The not so easy controls were also proven fun for someone without a gaming background (he even asked not to change them, after cursing at them at the beggining of the match).
-The cumulative littering of spaceship pieces is a huge plus, with big gameplay implications, like giving away the position of out of view players, and providing accidental cover.
-We got hooked and the match totalled over 80 kills Grin
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 10:17:18 AM by pnch » Logged

pnch
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2014, 08:36:37 AM »

Update #4: The radar and logic fine-tuning

The Radar
I want to keep the sense of disorientation, but prevent the players from never finding each other in large maps (boring!), and at the same time still being able to hide and ambush each other.
After trying a couple of alternatives, I implemented this logic:

If your ship is too far from anyone, the radar will blip in the direction of the closer player, with his color. As you get closer, the blips will increase in frequency a little bit.
If you get close enough, you will see your radar being scrambled, so you prepare for an encounter, while not knowing exactly where the other player is.
This simple logic added many implications on strategy, gameplay, and level design, so playtesting will tell!

The energy chargers, though, aren´t caught by the radar, so you´ll still have to find these yourself and form a mental image of the map in that end. Since the radar now tends to get players together, and they all need fuel, it sort of becomes a collaborative search.


In the image, you can see me following the direction the green blips points to, the blip being scrambled (4th blip), and no more indications until I find the green player (easy since there´s no one controlling it).
- the capture is a fraction of the screen -

Note that, while including a lot of info in 4 pixels, this is the first UI element that´s not a physical presence, and I´m a little bit annoyed about it, so any ideas about integrating it without cluttering are welcome.
I´m stuck in a similar problem with the score count UI...
The idea is continuing to have the UI encoded in such a way that someone who never played the game doesn´t notice it, since I think having numbers and bars floating around are BAD for atmosphere and, being an art guy, SUPER BAD for aesthetics.

Logic fine-tuning

Added a bit of logic to respawning: if you´re about to respawn close to another ship, the dice is thrown again, and a last time if needed.
In a 2 player match on a 2 spawn points map, with the other player over a spawn point, now you have only a 0.5*0.5*0.5 probability of spawning close to him.

Due to reload time, when two players engage, if the one that shoots first misses, the 2nd has a time window where he can safely shoot the first one down.
When both miss, the first one to fire would get a new turn to shot the 2nd, and so on. Of course, navigation and recoil tend to make that hard in practice, but in order to break that clean succession of shots, now 33% of the reload time depends on the amount of fuel you have, making it harder to predict who will get to fire next if both fired on a quick succession.

The only remaining item in the bare-bones deathmatch TO-DO list is the score-count UI Smiley
Time to start thinking where to take the project next, there´s way too much gameplay mechanics I´d like to try!

About this devlog, I know there´s lots of people reading it but it´s been quiet-ish of late, add to that not getting a single twitter follower after the last update and you can picture me feeling me the creeps.
I hope you´re liking the project, and really looking forward to hear from you, be it critiques, comments, suggestions or questions. Thank you!
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SolarLune
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2014, 04:57:37 PM »

Oh hey, that looks pretty cool. The radar blips die out super quickly, but it works pretty well, I think. For score counts, you could do with maybe a pattern on the ship? Like 4 rows of 4 pixels, and they change colors to white. When you've scored 16 and you score one more, then they all reset except for one, which gets set to red. Like a binary set up with 16 bits or something like that.

And to get more followers, tweet about stuff with hashtags like #screenshotsaturday, #gamedev or #indie / #indiedev. Getting involved in giving feedback to other devs helps too, I think.
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pnch
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2014, 07:25:59 AM »

Thanks SolarLune! I´ll follow your tips. I´m totally new to the indie gamedev scene so I´m sure getting involved with the community it´s the way to go, and that also means any other basic tips like these helps! I wasn´t aware of those hashtags.

Without this being a proper update, here goes some news:
I´ve built an horrible but functional menu, now I´m able to select -SPOILERS- game modes, levels, number of players, number of points per match in -SPOILERS- party mode, etc.
Coding menu stuff is BORING  Tired, but since I´ve got a new job and travel in the horizon it helps doing boring stuff first.
And now that I got started with spoilers: I´ve got the game displaying in Android, I don´t think cellphones will be able to handle everything i´m thinking on putting together for the game (which ATM I´m just developing as a hobby project, in PC, and for myself), but it sure gives me ideas, and the pixely stuff looks adorable on the small screen  Kiss.
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pnch
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2014, 02:00:14 PM »

Making menus playable! (and ditching the whole already developed menu in the process)

quick capture for screenshot saturdays, as suggested by SolarLune.

Full update on this coming soom  Smiley
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FK in the Coffee
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2014, 02:55:42 PM »

Ho
lee
crap

The parallax is beautiful in this, and the multiplayer looks fun as hell.  Definitely following this and sharing it with my friends!
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pnch
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« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2014, 02:36:37 PM »

@ThePortalGuru: Thank you! It´s always nice to welcome new followers Smiley!

I went overboard with the playable menu, added a weird letters display to select levels, automatic doors working for all players (with whose code I should be able to bring missiles and mines back to life  Well, hello there!). I´ve also learnt about coroutines and starting used them in everything now haha, sequencing used to be so hard!

Proper update coming tomorrow! (If I can stop me from actually developing the game).
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pnch
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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2014, 06:49:02 AM »

Ok! let´s get up-to-date

Update #5 : Improved level importer, new level, playable menu, levels display and space doors Coffee

-Improved the multi-layer capabilities of the level importer, now easily supporting FG level elements (see at the start of the new level gif, how the ship starts from a berth with a ceiling partly covering it), and also supporting multi-layer colliders, allowing me to generate more complex shapes, and intertween parts of a level that are raytraced with parts that aren´t (if you pay attention you can see it in the previous gif, more on that later)


-Added a new level, for now called the void (how typical...)
Mainly testing wide open levels now that having a radar allows for it. Also thinking of it as an "easy" level, since there´s not that many precise manoeuvering needed.


-After deciding standard menus are also a tad anti-atmospheric, I made the menu playable as shown in the previous post.


Since Player 1 will be guiding the camera while frequently teaching the controls to the other players, I wanted to make the experience as smooth as possible. The main hurdle was not to occlude the other players unless they are in another section completely, without breaking the whole raytrace effect. I solved it by selectively avoiding to raytrace some parts of the sections, designed in a way that´s not so noticeable. You can see this in the latest section (where all players are supposed to dock to start the level) the walls of the docks don´t raytrace, allowing for a comfy view of the whole section. The same logic applies to the level select and player activation screens. Also added a place for player 1 in each section for him not to get in the way of the other players, without having to outmaneuver them. All of those choices aren´t so obvious as to break the flow, while when you pass between sections you still get a sense of progression as you do one choice per area.

-Automatic doors (not that sexy, but it´s nice to have the first moving level element working, plus it allows for secrets and many fun multiplayer scenarios)


-Aaand added this little level display thingy (since I only have two levels, the theme is devlog followers Beer!)


I started thinking of the squares as screens, but since I don´t want to remove player generated content from the equation so early in design, I opted for using strings instead of images. The levels keep switching until you stop touching the buttons (previous and next).

That´s all folks! Looking forward to your comments, thanks for your time!
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pnch
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« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2014, 08:59:50 AM »

1.6k views, thanks! Beer!

Update #6 : Missiles are back! + another level.

I get to finally introduce my little friends (multiplayer left them out of the game for a while as I had to refactor their logic)!


They are surprisingly fun to play againist, and usually they win!

Missile´s logic details

They only explode when their tip touches something, if any other part of the missile gets hit, it loses control accordingly, generally also losing his original target. Then, he tries to stabilize. Once stabilized, it gets the target that´s easier to target if there´s one or more around. Still work to do on the re-targetting logic that´s where the fun comes from in multiplayer Evil, and the missile launcher  (which features the bigger amount of animations for a game object yet) is still kinda buggy.

Also, if the current target manages to avoid it, the missile stops thrusting and tries to get a lock on another target (ideally the one which can be targeted faster from where he is).
Notice how it stops thrusting once he loses the player, then gets a lock again, and so is able to come back around the first diamond thing.

I plan to do a couple more touches on the missile AI once every known bug has been smashed (not that it crashes or anything, but since it´s quite minimalist I´m obsessed on everything working exactly as intended).

New deathmatch level (with missiles)


Due to the small size it´s the most intense deathmatch level yet. Since there´s a missile launcher on the center of the level, you could safely stay away from it or you could double the stakes trying to avoid missiles for them to target another player afterwards Smiley.

More detail


I bumped the detail level a little bit, now that the tiles importer is handling multilayers. The ability to combine tiles between them and with the parallax fog is a huge plus, with seemingly endless possibilities for each final tile (only 2 decoration layers on this image, and not on the super sexy side yet, I know!). Don´t want to get down the visual details timehole yet, though, since I´m focusing on game logic for now (still couldn´t prevent myself from doing a hundred small touches on the playable menu).

And on the side-updates plate:
-The playable menu is actually functional (with a couple of bugs)!
-Learnt what LINQ is, and since I´m coming from Python it´s a life saver, I was coding list comprehension with for loops, and been cutting a lot of corners because of how impractical this is  Embarrassed.

Also, to make it the ultimate party game, and since it´s a game of giant pixels in a time of  hi res huge screens and powerful PCs,  I´ve been thinking... what about 8 players split screen? We´re not anymore in a time of PC joysticks though, but they´re kind of cheap anyways and friends tend to have a spare one around so... what do you think?

As I´ve never tried this, does anyone in this forum chock full of talented gamedevs know if the PC handles 4*8 input keys if they come from many joysticks?

Thank you for your time!
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« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2014, 09:36:22 AM »

Pretty sure you can only have 4 controllers hooked up at a time with regard to Windows. It shouldn't matter how many buttons are pressed at a time.

As for the keyboard, more than 3 simultaneous keys can be a problem for some keyboards, depending on which keys are pressed.

Maybe support for 4 joysticks + 1 mouse + 2 on the keyboard possibly? Many games back in the day would support 2 players both on keyboard, after all, with a smart layout of controls.

Game is looking more and more sweet Smiley Are there going to be bots?
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« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2014, 01:19:11 PM »

Things are looking pretty cool! The missile looks pretty intense to avoid - will you be able to shoot any yourself as players?

I like that you're putting a lot of thought into the multiplayer facet of the gameplay. Is this going to be purely multiplayer, or singleplayer as well?

I've no experience with large numbers of joysticks on a single computer, but I'd think it would handle okay.
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FK in the Coffee
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« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2014, 01:43:34 PM »

0Space, Samurai Gunn, and Towerfall: Ascension have all played fine for me and my friends with 4 Xbox controllers hooked up, so that shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Scott
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« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2014, 03:31:40 PM »

0Space, Samurai Gunn, and Towerfall: Ascension have all played fine for me and my friends with 4 Xbox controllers hooked up, so that shouldn't be much of an issue.
Alas he hoped for 8 I believe. Still 6 or 7 might be feasible combined with keyboard and mouse. Maybe use the 8th screen for stats or something fun?
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pnch
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« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2014, 04:24:16 PM »

Thanks everyone!
Exactly, as Scott said, I was talking about 8 players  Evil it would be a complete mess haha.
I played many 4 players Negspace matches in a single keyboard without noticing any problems (since most of the time everyone's floating to destination without pressing any key), and since you say that having 4 joysticks is possible in windows, 8 players is then theoretically possible, but it's kind of extreme to have 4 players in a single keyboard... we'll see! In the meantime, if anyone got a clever hack allowing for more than 4 joysticks in windows, I'd love to hear from you!

And since 0space is mentionted, it is a BIG influence, be sure to check it if you' re liking this thread. Reaching out to Teknopants and other big inspiring artists to cheer them up on their influences is actually on my TODO list, but I always end up waiting for the game to look nicer  Embarrassed haha.

About bots/single player... This being this my first gamedev project, and since I'm learning the ropes as I go along, I'm taking it one step at a time! That's actually why I try hard to write only about actual game dev to keep expectations in check. What I can say for sure is, as of now, there's absolutely no bots nor single player gameplay done. Do feel free to suggest any feature off the top of your head, as they will be welcome, but understand why I won't, as much as I'd like to!

About bots... I used to play a lot of matches vs bots when I was a kid. I remember that they   always, although fun, ended up giving me a bit of a hollowness feeling.
That's why I don't think on going for them as of now, but I'd love to be proven wrong with an example!
Basically, I think what makes this gameplay actually work is the real life interaction that it produces (think friend's shouts and weird faces  Grin).

EDIT: @SolarLune: Allowing the player to shoot missiles isn't planned for now, but again, few things are! of course, you can cleverly avoid them in the direction of someone else.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 04:39:33 PM by pnch » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2014, 07:49:08 AM »

I´m stuck!


See how pixels appear between tiles as I zoom?   Angry
I´m working with Unity and followed these steps
http://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/HOWTO-alphamaps.html
so I´m already using padding (only 1 pixel around each tile since each is 8 px wide) and a separate alpha channel.
It´s there an alternative to using a bigger padding? I don´t even know if a bigger padding will help. For now the only thing that makes it go away is making the tiles overlap each other even more, but they already have a slight overlapping and increasing it makes some things look wonky.

Granted, I have to get to a pretty extreme zoom level to notice it, but as it happens at different zoom levels depending on your graphics card I want to be on the safe side, plus, infinite zooming would be nice....
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