Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1366358 Posts in 64032 Topics- by 55921 Members - Latest Member: 3bytes

September 21, 2019, 04:22:23 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSteel Assault - NES-Style 2D Action Platformer [KICKSTARTED+GREENLIT!]
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5
Print
Author Topic: Steel Assault - NES-Style 2D Action Platformer [KICKSTARTED+GREENLIT!]  (Read 18268 times)
DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« on: June 14, 2014, 10:27:06 AM »




Updates log

January 19, 2014 - Live on Kickstarter and Greenlight!
January 9, 2014 - More new level art, Underwater Cavern
December 31, 2014 - National Harbor level art!
December 23, 2014 - Club Pavilion, new level revealed
December 20, 2014 - video of the metro level
November 27, 2014 - new title screen, 2 new songs, status update
September 26, 2014 - new player design and animations
August 23, 2014 - more new art for second area
August 16, 2014 - player weapons
August 13, 2014 - new art for second area, Twitter/Tumblr pages are up
August 9, 2014 - video of new art, new enemies
June 30, 2014 - destructible environments, level transitions



What is it?

Steel Assault is a 2D side-scrolling action game for PC, set in the year 2040 after revolts and fascist uprising have shocked the United States. The game mainly focuses on close combat, but the player is also equipped with a variety of different weapons. Its aesthetic is essentially: "what if the NES didn't have any memory or sprite limitations?"

The game is aiming to be "arcade-style"; that is, tight length, tight design, and high difficulty. The ultimate goal is to clear it in one credit (life), and the total length will probably be around ~25-30 minutes on a good playthrough; however, getting to that good playthrough might take hours. There will also be multiple difficulty modes, ranging from Expert to Novice (arcade/early-console hard down to your Grandma can beat it).

The graphical style is inspired by NES games such as Shatterhand and Batman, which utilized heavy dithering and details in negative space to create a dark atmosphere within the system's limitations. Here's a link to the game's style guide.

Finally, in case you were wondering, the game is being programmed in C++, using SFML as its main multimedia library.



How much is done?

As of December 2014: the base engine, most of the art in the first half of the game, and work has started on several different levels.




What's the scenario?

As technological advances continued into the 2030s, the United States's economic foundations caved in. Peaceful protests devolved into riots and all-out civil war, as people starved in the streets. One man rose to power out of the rubble: General Magnus Pierce, a cruel and ruthless tyrant with delusions of restoring America's former grandeur. You play as a resistance soldier equipped with a powerful robotic suit (one of the last of its kind), dropped into a long-abandoned enemy-occupied Washington, D.C.

You can check out the game's full intro below, in glorious 4-color FMV! It ended up looking pretty boss, I think:


(This kind of 4-color FMV video is totally feasible on an actual NES too, given enough space!)



Who's involved?

I (Sri Kankanahalli) am doing the programming, music, and design for the game, and the talented Daniel Garcia (Dnilo) is working on the art. And there may end up being one or two guest contributors as well...!

Special thanks to Clement Swennes (Atnas) for some help in the early stages of development.



Okay, but... music?


I'm composing the music for the game in Famitracker, using the Konami VRC6 expansion. Here are a few sample tracks:


We also have a SoundCloud with even more tracks!



That's about it for now, I think. Hope you enjoyed reading this, and more stuff coming soon!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 06:32:28 PM by DavidCaruso » Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
Cakeypigdog
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 10:55:44 AM »

This looks great ! Will be following along.
Logged
SolarLune
Level 10
*****


Hmm.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 07:55:16 PM »

Indeed, really awesome retro art!
Logged

Bobert
Level 0
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 10:45:05 PM »

Man, that four-color FMV intro is REALLY cool. Especially with that music. I gotta say I'm impressed. Sounds like this is going to be a pretty interesting project.
Logged

DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 09:46:52 AM »

June 30, 2014

I've been really busy the past 2 weeks, but my schedule just freed up a bit and I finally have spare time to work on this again. Yesterday I implemented "destructible environments":


...which aren't really fully destructible (only on 16x16 tile borders), but the idea is that some enemies will drop blocks and other objects that break through the ground.

I'd also like to talk a bit about the game's level transitions, which I kind of showcased ages ago in another post but haven't mentioned yet here:


One of the ideals I have for this game is that the “levels” aren't discrete, but rather flow completely into each other (in contrast to actual NES games). Essentially, a perfect playthrough (at least on the hardest difficulty) should play like just one long seamless action sequence, without any interruptions (or "cuts") past the intro sequences. Currently, the game has about 9-10 full areas planned, though one or two of those might just end up being cool arenas for boss fights.
Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
SolarLune
Level 10
*****


Hmm.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 05:55:44 PM »

That is a smooooove transition. Cool destructible environments, too. You could expand that out to have craters and stuff for a single ground tile for explosions as well, if you wanted. Anyway, nice work!
Logged

eyeliner
Level 10
*****


I'm afraid of americans...


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 12:23:06 AM »

Make the debris from the falling blocks damage the player. That is a nice throwback to the NES days. Everything was against you.

Either way, nice project. Reminds me of NES Batman.
Logged

Yeah.
DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2014, 04:54:13 PM »

August 9, 2014

Just kidding, my schedule actually didn't free up at all. But I've still been working on this. Here's a video featuring some new enemies, and a lot of new art by Daniel. It's starting to look more like an actual game now!




Next up is implementing the different types of player weapons (other than punching -- stuff like grenades, homing missiles, flamethrower, etc.), and after that I'll probably try and make one or two new enemies to finish up this first part of the level. Then I'll start designing the second part (which is going to take place on the DC metro). There'll probably be a miniboss at some point between the two but that isn't really decided yet.

Also, thanks for the comments, everyone!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 05:13:11 PM by DavidCaruso » Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
matriax
Level 4
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 12:32:36 AM »

Love the city-Metro transition with the letters.

Also is good to see that i'm not the one doing a a retro game with a limited palette, resolution,etc..

Good work!
Logged

DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 11:37:27 AM »

Also is good to see that i'm not the one doing a a retro game with a limited palette, resolution,etc..

Your game looks cool, really interesting palette and use of Arkanoid/portal mechanics! I think there are a few other promising retro projects people are working on around here, like Soul Compass, and I also remember someone made a full NES styled puzzle game a while back. But yeah, that being said it does seem more common to just go for a low res look without any specific restrictions or specs in mind.



So, question for everyone reading, what do you think about the game's name? I'm not very satisfied with it, it sounds really generic and doesn't really roll off the tongue when said out loud. It's an issue because soon I'll be at a point where I'd like to start making this project discoverable/followable to people outside of this forum, posting stuff with Tumblr/Twitter/Reddit/etc., so it's kind of important to have the name finalized before that. Any suggestions or ideas?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 02:36:27 PM by DavidCaruso » Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2014, 12:07:51 PM »

August 13, 2014


Here's some art that Daniel created for the game's second area, which takes place on the D.C. metro! This is for the beginning portion of the level, in the metro station itself; the player soon gets on a train, which is bombarded by enemies. This mockup also showcases several other things not seen in previous screens and videos, such as a new HUD and player design.

Also, here's a track I composed a few days ago, for the game's first boss fight (which takes place in a club). It's notable for being probably the only chiptune track ever to sample Kanye West and LMFAO.

Finally, we now have a Twitter and Tumblr page! You can follow us to get regular updates and stuff.

(I decided to stick with the current name because none of the domain names are taken, and this devlog is already on the first page of Google if you search "steel assault".)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 11:01:06 PM by DavidCaruso » Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
Tazi
Level 4
****


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2014, 01:15:55 PM »

action platformers are great, and this looks pretty good, i'd definitely play it!  Smiley

nice parallax bg and tile graphics! i like when emulating an 8-bit system's style is not an excuse to make oversimplified graphics.
Logged

mono
Level 10
*****


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2014, 03:05:36 PM »

this is my jam!
Logged

DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 11:00:44 PM »

August 16, 2014

Thanks Tazi and mono! Yeah, one of my goals with this project is to kinda buck the trend of 8-bit = oversimplified.

Right now I'm working on implementing weapons into the game. Here's a GIF:


There are four weapon types that the player can toggle through at any time.

  • Melee - Default weapon. Short range, least powerful. Infinite ammo.
  • Grenades - Medium-long range, pretty powerful. Some ammo.
  • Flamethrower - Short range, very powerful. Limited ammo.
  • Beam - Variable range, most powerful/coolest weapon. Very limited ammo.

Right now the player toggles through them by pressing SELECT to go forward and DOWN+SELECT to go backward. I think four weapons is the maximum amount manageable with this control scheme, especially without letter indicators in the HUD now (though I'm probably going to add those back in). If anyone has any better control scheme ideas then I'd really appreciate it. (I'm generally trying to stick to the NES controller format if I can, just for kicks, but I'm beginning to think this might not be worth it lol.)

Also I added screenshake. There's a small screenshake effect when a grenade makes contact with the ground, as you can see in the above GIF, and there's also a screenshake when an object breaks through the ground. I tried adding screenshake on enemy death explosions but I really can't see that working out too well in intense platforming+dodging situations, so subtle and tasteful is probably the way to go with it here.
Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
Tazi
Level 4
****


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 11:05:52 PM »

I love that 'expander beam' or whatever it is called, cool idea!  Smiley
Logged

tieTYT
Level 2
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2014, 01:06:32 AM »




This really reminds me of Ninja Gaiden and that gives me flashbacks of swearing at the screen and throwing my controller to the ground. 

I really love the sky at the top, that looks great. 

The 15-20 minute play through seems pretty unique to me.  I feel like these days 4 hours is considered short (eg: Gone Home).  What led to your choice?
Logged

Superb Joe
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2014, 08:01:56 AM »

the grenades look like the bombs from the pink ninja in THe GG Shinobi so you have my seal of approval. thank you for your time.
Logged
DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2014, 10:50:13 AM »

Thanks, everyone!

The 15-20 minute play through seems pretty unique to me.  I feel like these days 4 hours is considered short (eg: Gone Home).  What led to your choice?

Well that isn't to say that it'll be 15-20 minutes from the time you buy the game to the time you're done with it, just that a perfect playthrough will take around that time. I'm realizing now that I'll probably have to push that figure to 20-25 minutes or more given the scope of the game, actually. I think this is a fairly standard figure for old arcade games, which might take 15+ hours to actually learn how to beat on one credit but each individual playthrough won't last much longer than 30 minutes. (Though this game won't take 15 hours to beat, haha.)

Right now I want to include 4 difficulty modes, from Expert ("hardcore", no checkpoints and beat it on 1 "credit") down to Novice (your grandma can beat it). Ideally each of them would take around the same time, for a person at the respective skill levels they were designed for. The differences are probably going to be in things like checkpoint/ammo spacing, enemy damage rates, and small level design changes (though I want to make as few of those between all the difficulty modes as possible). No plans for multiple characters at the moment, though; I was thinking about including a male/female option just for fun, which doesn't actually affect anything because you're in a robot suit lol, but I dunno.

Also I'm thinking about selling this for something like $5 per copy, as opposed to e.g. Gone Home's $20. Pricing plans may increase if I think I can get away with it.

Glad to have the Superb Joe Seal of Approval™!
Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
DavidCaruso
YEEEAAAHHHHHH
Level 10
*



View Profile
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2014, 08:31:30 PM »

August 23, 2014

Some more art for the metro area:


The background is going to scroll with several layers of parallax, and the actual train will be longer than this (probably 3 or 4 full cabs, then the last "mini" cab). The idea is that you're going from cab to cab, defeating all the enemies within each (while dodging fire from enemies on top), as the connections between the cabs break and they begin to detach from one another.
Logged

Steel Assault devlog - NES-style 2D action platformer: successfully Kickstarted!
eyeliner
Level 10
*****


I'm afraid of americans...


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2014, 03:49:18 PM »

10 to 20 minutes in a perfect run seems ok. If you watch those perfect runs on youtube of Nes games and a lot of them go around the <30 minute mark.
Logged

Yeah.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic