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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDemons with Shotguns - The Ultimate Couch Fragger - On Steam Now!
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Author Topic: Demons with Shotguns - The Ultimate Couch Fragger - On Steam Now!  (Read 28952 times)
Neeko
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2014, 07:14:21 AM »

First round of tarot card have been implemented! This makes Deathmatch game mode feature complete!! Beer!



Tarot cards are randomly dropped that can bring either fortune, or misfortune, to the player that picks them up. Here is a list of the current tarot cards, and what they do. Note, majority of these are temporary, lasting only 10 seconds.

  • Speed Boost - Gives the player a movement speed boost.
  • Apocalypse - Gruesomely, and instantly, kill all players! You can see a GIF of this tarot card in action in the post above.
  • Satan's Spawn - Only the spawn of Satan can do instagib kills! Turns the players shotgun into an instagib death machine.
  • Black Souls - Souls as black as night are useless and dangerous. Turns all players souls black, causing anyone who picks them up to lose a soul of their own!
  • Angelic - Grow a pair of angel wings and earn increased jumping height.
  • Holy Spirit - Under the power of the holy spirit, the player is invincible to any damage.
  • Possessed - Demonic frenzy that allows the player to fire at an increased rate.
  • Power of Christ - Compels thee! The player has unlimited holy water at their disposal.

I'll be adding more tarot cards during the course of development, but this is the first round.

The next big hurdle is tackling level design. However, I'm sort of up against a wall before I continue as I need to contract out pixel art, and that requires saving up money! So while I do that, I'll be experimenting with tile sheets I find at sites like www.opengameart.org. Here's an industrial level I quickly slapped together with some fire pit fireball hazards.

Tile sheet credit: http://opengameart.org/content/simple-broad-purpose-tileset


I'm also going to be doing a lot more playtest sessions (possibly start attending NYC game dev Meetups) to tune the game and uncover any bugs.

Lastly, here's some raw and unedited gameplay footage of the latest playtest session that was recorded just yesterday.






http://youtu.be/Ljn_Tn6-o3Y

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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2014, 03:00:02 PM »

Finally got around to putting together a proper menu system. Got the splash, title, and character selection screens up. Damn, was the character selection screen much harder than I ever thought it would be Tongue The biggest headache was safely cycling through a list of characters to select from, while making sure only one person can select a particular character at a time. I'm sure what I did is hacky as all hell, but it works.

You can see a video of the menus in action here



Next up is the game mode options and then level select. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the controls menu, cause I don't think I have much control (no pun intended) over them when using Unity and the InControl library. I may just add options to invert axes and such.
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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2014, 02:27:47 PM »

I've been sprucing up some of the existing deathmatch maps, giving them a nice spit shine.



Menus are also now done.



I have a few bugs I want to tackle, then I'll probably move onto a new game mode, most likely Capture the Soul!

I need to sit down and actually design this game mode thoroughly, but my initial thoughts are that Capture the Soul is a variant of the classic Capture the Flag. In Capture the Soul (CTS), a single soul spawns within the game map. Players must fight for possession of it, and take it back to the scoring base.

There are a few questions to answer, like can players shoot when they have possession of the soul? How soon after a player makes a capture does the soul respawn? What are the physics like for the soul (super bouncy? dead weight?)? It should be fun to playtest the possibilities!

Also you can help playtest Demons with Shotguns right now! Just head on over to http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=42740.msg1051454#msg1051454 for more info
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 02:36:10 PM by Neeko » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2014, 04:46:05 AM »

Featuring multiple game modes has been a requirement for Demons with Shotguns since the beginning, and thankfully due to some great code architecture (thank you, thank you), it's very easy to add them, allowing us to quickly iterate on ideas and designs. The first game mode (other than the core deathmatch) we've got up and running is Capture the Soul. Capture the Soul (CTS) is our take on the classic game mode, Capture the Flag.

The rules to CTS are simple:

Players must rush to make a frag in order to have a soul be released from the unlucky dead player. You can think of the soul as the flag in CTF. However, there aren't two flags within the map, only one soul can be active within the game at any time.



Players must fight for control of the soul and take the soul back to the capture point for a score.



First player to 5 captures wins!

Currently, there are no team based game modes in Demons with Shotguns, including CTS. This is still every man for themselves. We will explore adding teams for some 2 vs. 2 or even 3 vs. 1 action in the very near future.

While this game mode still needs to be heavily playtested, one potential design flaw from this current iteration is when CTS is played with just two players (1 vs.1). When a player makes a frag and gains control of the soul, it's essentially a guaranteed capture since the player can get to the capture point uncontested while the other player is respawning. This is something that will need to be addressed.

Besides that, internal playtesting has boded very well for this mode! We're anxious to get a playtest build up so you guys can give it a go yourselves and give us some feedback. Keep your eyes peeled!
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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2014, 12:49:43 PM »

So how do demons enter the mortal realm? Through bluish, energetic portals of course!

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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2014, 06:45:19 AM »

Tarot Card Series

The Tarot Card Series will introduce you to the various tarot cards available during the course of a game in Demons with Shotguns. Tarot cards are randomly dropped and they can either bring luck, or misfortune!



The first card in the series is the Apocalypse tarot card. This card will immediately cause all players to implode, creating a wonderful display of blood and gibs!



While it may appear this card is unlucky to all, a more savvy player can turn this around to their advantage. In Deathmatch, there will now be multiple souls up for grabs when all players respawn, so be quick on your feet and fight for them!

Next up in the series is the Satan’s Spawn card, stay tuned.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 07:08:02 AM by Neeko » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2014, 09:24:17 AM »

Tarot Card Series - Satan's Spawn

Demons with Shotguns is not necessarily a instagib game. I say "necessarily" as it depends on how skilled you are with your shotgun, and how much health your target has.

As you can expect, the shotgun shoots out multiple bullets in a scatter spray. If you're close enough to hit your target with most of the bullets, then you can be assured a frag, even when they are at full health. However, grazing them at full health with just a single bullet from the scatter shot will barely slow them down.

Unless you happen to pick up the Satan's Spawn tarot card!



Being the spawn of Satan, people will quake with fear as your shotgun is now a bonafide instagib deathstick. Hitting your target even with a single bullet will cause a marvelous showcase of blood, gibs and humiliation!

Next up in the Tarot Card series is the Black Souls tarot card.
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« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2014, 02:12:07 PM »

Tarot Card Series - Black Souls

Normally in Demons with Shotguns, souls are a good thing. They are what you’re fighting for, what you yearn to collect and horde in order to win. A healthy, desirable soul is bright yellow, glowing with purity and ripe with potential.  



Some souls, however, aren't so desirable, and the Black Souls tarot card will cause all players to release a blackened, poisonous soul for a short period of time that will reap you of whatever souls you may have.


 
In Deathmatch and Capture the Soul, collecting/capturing a black soul will deduct you a soul point, so be wary when someone pulls the Black Souls card. It could either be used to your advantage, causing inattentive players to drain their pool. Act too quickly, and you could see your pool draining before your eyes instead! How you react could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Not all tarot cards are doom and gloom. Stay tuned and see how one tarot card can turn you into an Angel.
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2014, 02:28:04 PM »

I held another playtesting session. The focus was on both the new Capture the Soul game mode and the newly implemented melee attack in the form of a dashing shield bash.



Adding a melee attack has generally been a frequent feedback comment, and thus the shield bash was introduce. By pressing B, players can dash forward, holding their shield up, and get an instakill when making contact with the other player. The distance the player dashes is dependent on their current movement; they will dash a very short distance when standing still compared to running.

What was immediately evident was how overpowered the shield bash was. It made the shotgun essentially useless. In the scenario of two engaging players, the shield bash can easily close the gap between the two, and earn a frag. This created a scenario where the first reactive player will always get the upper hand, a mechanic that I feel is polluting modern competitive FPS shooters and exactly what I’m looking to avoid.

Some immediate thoughts on how to remedy the problem:
  • Add a cooldown period for using the shield
  • Have the damage amount relative to the player movement; a player standing still won’t cause much damage vs. a player who is running
  • Have a way to defend against a shield bash, perhaps by allowing players to block it with their shield (at the cost of immediately destroying both shields?)

I'm first going to try out having the shield splinter and be destroyed whenever you kill a player with the shield bash, so it's available for use only one time (as shown in the GIF above). Without the shield, you can still perform a dashing maneuver.

The dashing aspects of the shield bash is a great addition. I’ve always felt I needed another mechanic surrounding player movement and this seems to really satisfy that. You can now pull off daring moves and attacks, which amplifies the “twitchyness” of the game (yes, I know that’s not a word :p ).

Capture the Soul game mode seem to went over well. With 4 players, the game can go by quickly, which I would like to find a way to fix.

I also need to add an option to simply go back to the level select screen after finishing a game. It was often that we simply wanted to pick a new level while keeping game options and character selections the game. This should be very easy to do I believe, since the menu system is essentially a giant finite state machine, so I can easily just load into the level select state.

Finally, a lot of time, no one seems to understand what each of the different tarot cards do. I’ve been meaning to fix this by creating game tip loading screens that’ll describe each card, but I’ve yet to implement this. I’m hoping this will be enough, but I may need to think of another way to explaining their use and purposes.
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2014, 03:35:40 PM »

This game looks really cool.

You say you hadn't done sprite work before, but your art looks good. How much time would you say you've invested in your art skills?
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« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2014, 05:57:06 AM »

This game looks really cool.

You say you hadn't done sprite work before, but your art looks good. How much time would you say you've invested in your art skills?

Thank you! I only did the character sprites myself (and a few other random items). Majority of everything else is from paid sprite packs and sites like opengameart.org. This actually is starting to bite me cause art styles are starting to blend a bit (I'm trying my best to prevent that). It's the best I can do right now until I can either a) find a pixel artist to join up for revshare or b) save up enough money to contract out work.
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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2014, 07:42:22 AM »

Looks cool bro--demonic Towerfall vibes. Also, that was a very well cut teaser. My hopefully constructive feedback would be that the font you've chosen is the weakest part of the game right now. I know what you're going for with it, but it just clashes too much with the pixel art. I think a pixel font would look much better.
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« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2014, 08:54:53 AM »

I held another playtesting session. The focus was on both the new Capture the Soul game mode and the newly implemented melee attack in the form of a dashing shield bash.




What was immediately evident was how overpowered the shield bash was. It made the shotgun essentially useless. In the scenario of two engaging players, the shield bash can easily close the gap between the two, and earn a frag. This created a scenario where the first reactive player will always get the upper hand, a mechanic that I feel is polluting modern competitive FPS shooters and exactly what I’m looking to avoid.

Obviously, you know your game better than anyone, but if you're looking for some suggestions on this, I have some thoughts.

I think you'd get a good balance of fun if the shield bash was only useful to counter predictable attacks, and left you open if you used it on an opponent who wasn't shooting you already (like Towerfall's dodge ability, which works great if you can predict when your opponent will shoot, but if you use it in anticipation, you're left open). I'd suggest making the shield bash have a fair bit of recovery and enough start-up time that if you use it when the enemy isn't shooting, they can simply neutral jump over you and shoot you when they land, as you recover. This means when two players engage at close range, they have 3 base options:

1. Fire shotgun.
2. Shield bash.
3. Do nothing.

The idea here being that Fire Shotgun is fast enough to kill a player who chose to do nothing, but if they shield bash, the shield will absorb the shot and you won't recover from shooting in time to dodge. If you shield bash and they DIDN'T shoot, but instead stood still and watched to see what you'd do, then you're committed to a big move that they can just hop over and shoot you after. This makes a nice little rock-paper-scissors with variable payoffs, which is usually a good thing.

Plan B: Make the shield bash only immune to shotgun blasts for a few frames when it starts up. If you "absorb" a blast, you stay invincible and shoot forward fast, probably netting a kill. If you don't, you charge out vulnerable and probably get shot for your trouble. This means the shield bash can't be spammed willy-nilly - you need to anticipate when the enemy will shoot. This is very similar to the idea above, where the counter to a shield bash is "wait and see" rather than "shoot right away!".

In both versions, I think the solution is to put a "recovery" period after using the bash that leaves you open if you miss, and making sure the startup is slow enough that it can be dodged if the enemy is not already shooting.

Making it so both shields break in a double-bash is not really a solution if you don't change anything else - then the dominant move is still shield bash, since that outcome is neutral and every other outcome is death.
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« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2014, 04:40:13 PM »

That is fantastic feedback Low_Chance, thank you! So many good points, you've given me a lot to mull over. I agree completely that the player needs to be in a short period of vulnerability when they start a shield bash, and if they miss. Right now, the shield will reflect back bullets and could potentially kill another player. I need to see how that will come into play with all of this as well.

I'll take a look at the fonts nox, thanks for the feedback.
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« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2014, 04:58:24 AM »

Tarot Card Series - Angelic

When having the ability to double jump just isn't enough, grab hold of the Angelic tarot card and you'll have the ability to jump to great heights and distances with your newly grown wings. They're not just for angels anymore!



Open the gap between you and your opponents, dodge bullets and reach higher ground with ease to collect that lingering soul. With this card, you'll be a hard target to hit and be able to reach areas faster than your opponents.

Who needs wall jumping when you have wings? Next up in the tarot card series, we'll see how disastrous and embarrassing the effects of gluttony can be!
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« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2014, 06:20:43 AM »

As noted in one of my previous posts on my last playtesting session results, the shield bash melee attack was grossly overpowered and could easily be spammed; it made the shotgun useless. A fellow TIGSource forum member, Low_Chance, gave some great feedback on how to possibly balance the attack, and here are the results.



The shield bash attack is now chargeable by holding down the melee attack button. The longer you charge the attack, the more powerful it is. Conversely, the shorter the charge, the less powerful and less effective it is. However, you are completely vulnerable while in the charge state. You can't move and you're open to damage.



You also can't cancel the attack. When you let go of the melee attack button, you begin your shield bash attack at the level you charged up. While shield bashing, regardless of power level, you are invulnerable. If you don't make contact with any other player, you will enter a vulnerable stunned state, in which you can't move for a very brief period, leaving you open to attack.



If two players shield bash into each other, they both become stunned.



These changes will hopefully force the player to strategically choose when they use their melee attack, which can reward a instakill. This also causes rock-paper-scissors variable gameplay between two engaging players based on how either players react, or don't react.

There's still some details to iron out and I need to spruce up the presentation of the attack greatly (the animations and effects in the gifs posted are almost certainly placeholder for now), but I'm feeling much happier about the melee attack and how it plays into the overall gameplay. Huge thanks to those that gave feedback!
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« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2014, 06:44:51 AM »

[...]
These changes will hopefully force the player to strategically choose when they use their melee attack, which can reward a instakill. This also causes rock-paper-scissors variable gameplay between two engaging players based on how either players react, or don't react.

The charge-up is a cool idea for a way to balance it!

I have some concerns from what you showed that it might be too hard to use successfully anymore, but playtesting will tell if this is true. One thing that I wonder about is: if two shield bashes collide means both are stunned, then can't you counter a player charging a shield bash by simply charging your own and releasing when they release? it seems like that would be too effective a way to "punish" someone who charged up a big bash. Maybe if two shield bashes collide, whichever was more charged wins? Just a thought!
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« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2014, 07:10:48 AM »

Yep, I actually have the same exact concerns that you mentioned, and I've yet to actually playtest these changes. One of the many, many challenges of doing a local multiplayer only game is that it's difficult to playtest! I don't always have another person around to help out.

The "charging up" idea came from the impact hammer in Unreal Tournament 3, but the key difference is that in UT3, you can move around freely while charging, and you need to get real close to your opponent to make a frag with it. Since the shield bash can easily close the gap between two players due to sprinting forward when it's released, I felt I needed to remove the ability to move when charging, else I'm back with the same issues I'm trying to balance out. Maybe an alternative would be to allow players to move around freely while charging, but remove the sprinting aspect from the attack.

if two shield bashes collide means both are stunned, then can't you counter a player charging a shield bash by simply charging your own and releasing when they release?

In that scenario, with how the game pace is, if you see a player charging up an attack, then it's more to your advantage to either get out of the way or shoot them with the shotgun, which I feel will be the action most players will take. But I see what you're saying about a player who's already released a high charged bash, and the other player being able to block it by simply charging and releasing a very quick, small charged bash of their own. Though, this requires incredibly timing to pull off it seems (again, need to playtest!) and I almost feel like I should reward a player who's able to pull it off :p You're probably right though, the player with the higher charge should always win out.

Must playtest! Playtest! Playtest!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 07:22:16 AM by Neeko » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2014, 07:17:27 AM »

Another possibility would be to reverse the invincibility on the shield bash/charge up. Make the player hold up their shield and be invincible to shotgun blasts from the front while they charge up, but vulnerable when they move (and maximum charge time is, say, 1 second, at which point you are forced to do the bash).

This means if you jump onto a ledge near another player and you know they'll just shoot right away, you can counter it by charging a shield bash for a moment. Sure enough, they shoot, you absorb it and release as soon as it hits your shield, splattering them with the bash. If they had known you would try the shield absorb, they might have decided not to shoot. Instead, they let you start charging, back off, and wait for you to be forced to release, at which point they shoot you for a kill.

In fact, if you used that system, you could have the graphical change be that you hold up the shield when charging up, but when you actually dash forward on release, the shield is gone and they swing a sword/mace/axe/whatever.
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« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2014, 08:21:26 AM »

Demons with Shotguns is a twitch based shooter. I am striving for fast paced gameplay, requiring you to constantly be moving and reacting to your opponents and environment around you. The first few design iterations of the shield bash melee attack clashed greatly with that type of experience, thus it required another iteration pass.

The shield bash still requires you to charge up the attack, and the longer you charge the stronger the attack is. However, unlike before, you can move freely while charging, yet still unable to use other attacks while in the charging state.



A charge bar has also been added to show you the level of charge of an attack too.



To avoid spamming of the attack, the few second cooldown between attacks, as indicated by the charge bar, remains, as well as being temporarily stunned (and thus vulnerable to attack) if you use the attack and don't hit any opponent.



These changes should finally see the melee attack serve the experience Demons with Shotguns is aiming for, as well as creating a level of strategic and variable gameplay. 

Stay tuned as I hope I push out a new playtesting build with the new melee attack, and other new features, very soon. Your feedback continues to be absolutely critical in ensuring Demons with Shotguns ends up being the best game possible!
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