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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsChain Of Heroes [Action RPG] [Snake] [Browser Game]
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Author Topic: Chain Of Heroes [Action RPG] [Snake] [Browser Game]  (Read 8490 times)
tieTYT
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« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2014, 10:12:12 AM »

Here's a feature I've been working on: When bad guys die, I want the loot to "explode" out of them instead of drop where they die.  Yesterday, I failceeded on this feature  Tears of Joy

I could not figure out how to get it to work using the physics from this answer: http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/a/17469/31177  I don't know why, but the loot seemed to move away from the enemy you kill at an exponential rate instead of at a ballistic curve. 

After pulling out my hair for 2 days on this, I finally said "screw it" and used faked it with a sine wave: http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/a/17468/31177  Sigh, I am not a real game dev programmer. Cry 

Here's the half-done result:



This is not released yet.  I still have to do these things:
1. There should be a shadow underneath the loot as it explodes in the air
2. It should be possible to pick up the loot with heroes that aren't the front hero, now that loot could jump behind him and on another member of the chain. 
3. I want the bosses to drop multiple loots
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AidenBainsGames
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« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2014, 06:10:47 AM »

I really enjoyed this game. I postponed my own game dev activities and played this for waaaaay longer than I should have (getting to dungeon 25). The snake concept works really well, and it surprised me just how long it kept my interest.
I love hearing that!  It keeps me motivated to keep working.  So thanks a lot for the feedback.  Out of curiosity, what made you stop playing?  What do you think would have kept you going?
By that point I'd essentially tried out all the different features. There wasn't really any goal to strive for, and I'm not one to just grind. I don't know if you intend for the final version to be endless, or to have a final level, but either way I'd have wanted some new feature introduced that far into the game to keep me engaged (be this a new character type, new level design, or something completely new).

I feel like the upgrade selection could be larger - have you thought of perhaps adding a "% Chance of 1UP spawning" upgrade, for instance?
Actually, I'm thinking of retiring that tab completely and replacing it with an unrelated "shop" where you can buy unique accessories and weapons.  
1. I don't want to let the player "buy" new heroes for their chain because it make the game a nightmare to balance.  One player could have 6 Heroes in his chain at level 10, another could have 12.  They will have two very different gameplay experiences and it will be difficult to balance for both.  Instead, I want to make it so new heroes are unlocked at certain checkpoints (eg: once you beat level 5 you get a new hero).
2. Instead of buying upgrades to increase the protection drop, I think I will create accessories that make the protection drop better.  I like the idea of choosing which characters will be for "support" and which will be for "tanking".  If a character is for "support" then you would give them an accessory to make protection better, as an example.
What do you think about that idea?
I'd certainly agree about scrapping the buying heroes. In addition to the point you've made, the idea of heroes joining you as your quest continues is more appealing than simply buying them Tongue

I feel though that there should be something to upgrade (rather than just make one off purchases). Some sort of progressive RPG mechanic like that could strengthen that feeling of progression throughout the game.


Well those are my thoughts anyway Smiley
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tieTYT
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« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2014, 08:44:21 AM »

By that point I'd essentially tried out all the different features. There wasn't really any goal to strive for, and I'm not one to just grind. I don't know if you intend for the final version to be endless, or to have a final level, but either way I'd have wanted some new feature introduced that far into the game to keep me engaged (be this a new character type, new level design, or something completely new).

That makes perfect sense.  Thanks for letting me know.  I guess I need to do all of those things (new character type, new level design, new whatever).  Another thing I planned on doing is making it so certain events unlock special accessories that change the way you play.  I also want to spread out the concepts.  First you can only collect gold and protection.  Then you beat a boss and get your first gun.  Then a little while after that you get your first accessory.  Right now pretty much all the game features are available from level 1.  Hopefully if I pace the features, it'll keep people interested longer?


I feel though that there should be something to upgrade (rather than just make one off purchases). Some sort of progressive RPG mechanic like that could strengthen that feeling of progression throughout the game.

Hm, maybe you're right.  Plus without the ability to upgrade something, gold may not be very useful.  Maybe I'll add a shop but keep upgrades.  I dunno, I gotta think about this.  Thanks for giving me an alternate path. 
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« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2014, 04:02:49 PM »

The interface and doses of action seem very right for a phone platform. It is something I would like to play between life. I tried to play this through my phone's browser. Is there any plan for that platform?
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« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2014, 12:58:29 AM »

This is really good! Keep tightening up the graphics and juicing it up, the bosses were far too easy / simple - I think they need madcrazy weapons



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« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2014, 10:46:11 AM »

@CorazonAzul: How'd it work on your phone?  What kind of phone do you have?

That was my initial plan, but it really sucks to develop HTML5 games on phones, mainly because problems are really difficult to debug.  On my android phone, the game seems to "work".  When I try on an iPad, sound doesn't work.  I haven't really tried an iPhone, though I could. 

The biggest issue on these platforms is the game is not responsive enough.  You can feel a delay between your swipe and the reaction.  I think some of this has to do with these devices waiting to see if you're trying to click, double click, or swipe.  That's fine on a web page but not a game.  In the past when I tried to fix this issue it still wasn't fast enough.  Shrug  In the end, it's not a priority for me.  It would "fit" on these platforms, but being noticed on these platforms seems hopeless.  Maybe I just have a bad attitude :T

@oodavid:  Thanks for the feedback.  The next thing I'm going to work on is a title screen, but after that I plan to focus more on juicing it up.  Good to know that regarding the bosses.  I worked on this a little, but it seems like I gotta make them even more difficult. 

EDIT: Now bosses drop more than one loot when you kill them:

« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 11:10:45 AM by tieTYT » Logged

tieTYT
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« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2014, 03:02:54 PM »

Added a title screen and a credits screen:



Also, sometimes fonts were being rendered on half pixels, so crazy anti-aliasing was occurring.  I fixed this, but I'm still not satisfied with how blurry the text looks.  I'm not sure if this is a known problem that can be fixed, but I'll probably use one of those font bitmaps eventually. 
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« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2014, 03:27:31 PM »

Whoa, this is some pretty good game. It's kinda easy in the beginning, but becomes more challenging after.
The graphics need some improvement, but they're OK. And the boss fights are way too easy.

Keep doing it c:
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tieTYT
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« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2014, 09:43:28 AM »

@JeqFrost: I agree with everything you're saying.  You're not the first to bring up boss balancing issues, so I'll up the priority for working on that.  Thanks a lot for the feedback!



Speaking of graphics, I'm trying to create a better explosion.  I'm looking for constructive criticism on this work in progress:




This is supposed to look like a grenade exploding.  Because the size of the explosion will end up being much larger than 32x32, I plan to start multiple animations at a single point and then move them all away from that point in different directions. 

Perhaps there's a better technique to what I mentioned above, but here's my rationale/requirements: The explosion radius needs to be a specific size, but that specific size may change over time for balancing reasons.  I'm trying to avoid redrawing the animation every time I change the size of the explosion radius.
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tieTYT
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« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2014, 01:12:48 PM »

It's been a while since I've updated, I've been working on the polish of the explosion.  Here's what I came up with:



Here's how it works:

1. There's random shrapnel that explodes out in 5 directions when it hits something.  This expands outward
2. There's a circle that starts at max range and shrinks to a point

I know that the blue color is a little weird, but the enemy's color is red so this lets you tell the difference between your explosions from theirs.

This is my first time using an easing function.  I'm using an "Exponential InOut" for the shrapnel and the circle.  Let me know how it can be improved.
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« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2014, 02:05:39 PM »

This game is actually addicting, I got to Battle 22 and 80% of my team got nuked in one shot. lol.

I would like to see perma-death on your troops and game over if your whole team dies, or maybe a hardcore mode that plays like that, I think the whole game would feel more challenging with a change like this. Also maybe half the attack speed of all of your troops, but also half the cost, this way you could have a lot more units which would give the game more of the snake feeling in the earlier levels, I think the gameplay is more fun when your "snake" is much longer.

Regardless of my critiques, great job I really enjoyed playing!  Hand Thumbs Up Left
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« Reply #51 on: August 26, 2014, 06:35:35 PM »

This game is actually addicting, I got to Battle 22 and 80% of my team got nuked in one shot. lol.

That's great to hear, thanks for trying my game out Smiley  Was it the 80% nuking event that made you quit or was it something else?  I always like to hear what made people stop playing so I can focus on making people play longer.

Quote
I would like to see perma-death on your troops and game over if your whole team dies, or maybe a hardcore mode that plays like that, I think the whole game would feel more challenging with a change like this.

That's a really interesting idea.  I'm wondering if I should make that a "mode" or make that become the only way to play the game.  As it is now, I'm concerned that only having 3 hero classes will be seen as "lame", but people may care way less if their units are constantly dieing and you have refill your team with people.

If I do make this the way the whole game works, I better tone down enemy nukes because that would definitely make people rage quit.

Another bonus is that a few people have told me they thought they permanently lost their hero when it died, anyway.  From a UX experience, it might be a smart change (though I don't normally think that that should wag the game design).

Quote
Also maybe half the attack speed of all of your troops, but also half the cost, this way you could have a lot more units which would give the game more of the snake feeling in the earlier levels, I think the gameplay is more fun when your "snake" is much longer.

I have no idea what I'm doing, but from that "The Art of Screen Shake" video, I think it may be better to:

1. Cut the cost
2. Leave the attack speed as it is
3. Halve the damage each character does. 

This way your snake will be much longer and there will be much more action on the screen at once.

Quote
Regardless of my critiques, great job I really enjoyed playing!  Hand Thumbs Up Left

Thanks again, I appreciate it!
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« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2014, 07:24:23 PM »

Quote from: tieTYT
That's great to hear, thanks for trying my game out Smiley  Was it the 80% nuking event that made you quit or was it something else?  I always like to hear what made people stop playing so I can focus on making people play longer.


Um, no not really - as you're probably aware I just don't have the time to play for hours at the moment lol! Though it was fun, I would say that it does feel repetitive when you start getting further into the game, but I don't really think that this is because of the game itself, I think it is more to do with the level of difficulty and the amount of content.

Repetitiveness is only a problem when someone is doing the same thing over and over, if the game had a higher difficulty curve, you would be forced to try new things, reorganise your team, change your weapons and strategy to progress, but because the game is pretty easy at the moment, it feels more like you're just going through motions after around level 15 or so.

With this said, I still do think that changing the game to have permadeath will drastically change the game and make it feel a lot better, I'm glad you kinda agree. And like your friend, when one of my characters first died and I saw the RIP tombstone (lol) I thought he was dead for good too, and I was fine with that - but when I realised they respawn it made death feel a lot less meaningful.

Quote from: tieTYT
I have no idea what I'm doing, but from that "The Art of Screen Shake" video, I think it may be better to:

1. Cut the cost
2. Leave the attack speed as it is
3. Halve the damage each character does.  

This way your snake will be much longer and there will be much more action on the screen at once.

Anything to make the snake longer is a great idea imo. The length of your snake is another thing that will directly affect the difficulty level, as the longer your snake, the more you have to micromanage your movement.

By the way, I had an idea for a new boss type... an enemy snake :D and as you get further into levels, the enemies boss snake length also increases.   Well, hello there!
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tieTYT
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« Reply #53 on: August 27, 2014, 08:52:06 AM »

I added a few new "polish" elements.  I'd love to hear feedback on how they could look better.

  • Now when someone gets healed, they turn blue-ish
  • When a someone gets hit, they flash red
  • When a bad guy dies, he disappears into a cloud of smoke

Here's an animated gif showing all three in action:



@Derity thanks for the reply.  I'll respond soon
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« Reply #54 on: August 27, 2014, 06:51:17 PM »

Pretty fun! I made it to dungeon level 26 or something obscene. I stopped when I had purchased every powerup.

I stopped because the game was tapering in content. There were only a fixed amount of weapons and rings and there weren't any definite upgrades along the way. Most of my Engineers had Laser with Freeze (way too good), my Soldiers had Grenade with the damage ring, and my Psychics had heal. It eventually got to the point where I just lazily pranced through groups of enemies and watched the ensuing chaos. This brings me to the point that I'm most concerned about.

As the chain gets longer, it gets inevitably harder to balance the game, but I think you should make some changes to a lot of enemies to make them present a distinct challenge. Fact is, my chain can tank any amount of bullets from enemies and pick up a health pack the next instant, and since bullets cannot be dodged once the chain is a certain length, it makes sense for bullets to not pose a huge threat. What I want is more stuff like the nukes. Something you have to get away from. But since stuff like that doesn't play well with a very long chain, I'd recommend a run command or something, probably with some steep cost (loss of health maybe). With that, I think your design space opens up a lot more. It would be good to see bosses that actually target zones of the map or shoot out giant rotating laser beams or something. I also want bosses to have more HP, and definitely make sure that they can't get stunlocked by two engineers with Freeze and Laser (seriously, every boss just stood there after I had that). I would just make them ignore freeze after reaching a certain % HP or just having a dramatically reduced duration. Maybe have a normal enemy that also resists freeze.

It was hard to tell that my heroes were dying from me walking over them. This is a carry-over from Snake, I know, but movement in Snake is also tied to a grid. It's silly to be walking up then quickly hit right and down and watch all your heroes die because of it.

I definitely want to see more weapons and rings in higher tiers. They didn't seem very well-balanced either. Shotgun was good but its range was pitiful, Homing Nuke was a joke because of its speed and range, and Pierce Shot, Psychic Force, and Homing Missile all seemed very weak (or maybe it was because they had little visual representation). The Raging Bull Ring also seemed completely useless, I can't understand why you'd weaken your team to avoid collision damage.

If the defense powerup affects all heroes, you might want to consider making the glow effect encompass them all.

I would like to see more powerups dropped from enemies. Offense up seems like a no-brainer, and if you're worried about balance issues with that then you could just make it rare. HP upgrades restored much too much HP as well, and along with my healers any damage that didn't kill my heroes in one hit was worthless later.

The huge floors like the box with a diagonal line through it or the box with a flipped L in it were the worst design-wise. Enemies don't particularly chase you so it took forever to hunt them down. Paired with some of those levels spawning nuke enemies which you need to run away from and then attack, those levels were endurance tests.

Only one of the levels seems to have a dirt texture, and only in one of its corners. It would be good to see that dirt texture more often throughout all the levels to make things look nicer.

While I was playing earlier, the game glitched and I ended up being unable to change the rings equipped to my heroes, or buy things from the shop. But I think that was on the older version so maybe that's fixed now.

...I'm only complaining so much because I liked it enough to play it this far. Keep up the good work Gentleman
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« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2014, 11:54:26 PM »

Lurking.. Smiley
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tieTYT
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« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2014, 03:50:12 PM »

@standardcombo: lurking appreciated Smiley

@Derity: I've been thinking lots about the permadeath aspect and the concept of losing.  I'm thinking, like a roguelike, if you lose all characters you must start from level 1.  But to add to the fun of it, like a roguelike, you should be able to keep or earn something that persists to other play throughs(sp?). 

EG: If you kill 500 bad guys, you get a special bad-ass weapon that you can keep after game over.  That example doesn't feel right though.  Spelunky has the tunnel man.  Rogue Legacy has upgrades... Maybe it should be like that: Your upgrades persist after game over.  When you start the next time health packs will give you back tons of HP and protection will be super protective, etc. 

Here's the other side of permadeath that concerns me: You'll constantly be losing guys that you leveled up.  Won't that take away the sense of character progress? 

@Glyph: Amazing feedback, I really appreciate it.  I'll reply to this, soon.  Thanks a lot!
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tieTYT
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« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2014, 11:40:00 PM »

Pretty fun! I made it to dungeon level 26 or something obscene. I stopped when I had purchased every powerup.

Nice! By powerup, are you talking about everything in the "upgrades" tab?  I guess so, as there's nothing else to purchase.

Quote
I stopped because the game was tapering in content. There were only a fixed amount of weapons and rings and there weren't any definite upgrades along the way. Most of my Engineers had Laser with Freeze (way too good), my Soldiers had Grenade with the damage ring, and my Psychics had heal. It eventually got to the point where I just lazily pranced through groups of enemies and watched the ensuing chaos. This brings me to the point that I'm most concerned about.

What's interesting is half the time people tell me freeze is worthless, the other half they tell me it's over powered.  But, I think I'm going to agree with you because being able to lock down a boss seems over powered.

Do you think you'd play a lot longer if there were more upgrades to buy and the game didn't become a cakewalk?  I'm itching to wrap up development, does the game feel like it's missing a lot of super important features?

Quote
As the chain gets longer, it gets inevitably harder to balance the game, but I think you should make some changes to a lot of enemies to make them present a distinct challenge. Fact is, my chain can tank any amount of bullets from enemies and pick up a health pack the next instant, and since bullets cannot be dodged once the chain is a certain length, it makes sense for bullets to not pose a huge threat. What I want is more stuff like the nukes. Something you have to get away from. But since stuff like that doesn't play well with a very long chain, I'd recommend a run command or something, probably with some steep cost (loss of health maybe).

For the sake of my argument, imagine a chain that's infinitely long.  No matter how fast you run, that nuke that's headed for a part of the chain is going to explode on it and kill a big group of heroes.  One solution to that is to limit your chain so that you can always escape a nuke, but how about this idea:

Maybe I can create an EMP weapon that "disables" nukes.  This way, no matter what your length, you can avoid the weapon.

Quote
With that, I think your design space opens up a lot more. It would be good to see bosses that actually target zones of the map or shoot out giant rotating laser beams or something. I also want bosses to have more HP, and definitely make sure that they can't get stunlocked by two engineers with Freeze and Laser (seriously, every boss just stood there after I had that). I would just make them ignore freeze after reaching a certain % HP or just having a dramatically reduced duration. Maybe have a normal enemy that also resists freeze.

These all sound like good ideas.  Ideally each boss would be unique and a different experience, too.  I'll add this to my issue tracker.  

Quote
It was hard to tell that my heroes were dying from me walking over them. This is a carry-over from Snake, I know, but movement in Snake is also tied to a grid. It's silly to be walking up then quickly hit right and down and watch all your heroes die because of it.

Technically, this scenario shouldn't be possible (unless there's a bug).  I coded it so that you can't crash into your chain from sharp U-turns.  But you can if you collide into your chain perpendicularly.  But, maybe your point is that you didn't enjoy that you could collide with your own chain.  I'm afraid that if I take away that collision feature, people will just move around in tiny overlapping rectangles and let the enemies come to them.  

Or maybe you're saying you don't like how it killed everyone behind the collision?  It should only kill one/some?  

Quote
I definitely want to see more weapons and rings in higher tiers.

What do you mean by "higher tiers"?  As an example, are you saying you wish there was a 20/30/40/50% offensive boost, rather than just a 10% one?

Quote
They didn't seem very well-balanced either. Shotgun was good but its range was pitiful, Homing Nuke was a joke because of its speed and range, and Pierce Shot, Psychic Force, and Homing Missile all seemed very weak (or maybe it was because they had little visual representation). The Raging Bull Ring also seemed completely useless, I can't understand why you'd weaken your team to avoid collision damage.

Was the shotgun worth using?  I figure if I make its range longer, there's no point in ever using the tri-shot over the shotgun.  Alternatively, I could make it so that the shotgun is objectively better than the tri-shot, but make the shotgun a unique weapon?

Yeah homing missile does kind of suck, that's for sure.  I'll try to make it better.

If there are a lot of people on the screen (maybe there never are enough to notice?), piecing shot can be pretty useful though.  It will go through multiple enemies at once.  

As for Psychic Force, maybe I'll remove the freeze gem concept and make it so only psychic force does freezing effect (which I'll rename to "stun").  

Actually, many people have said that Raging Bull Ring is over powered.  If you put it on your front hero and give all the psychic's the Heal weapon, you become something of an unstoppable tank.  You can just run into enemies and mow them down without much ramification.

Quote
If the defense powerup affects all heroes, you might want to consider making the glow effect encompass them all.

It does not, but I plan to add an upgrade that lets it effect more.  

Quote
I would like to see more powerups dropped from enemies. Offense up seems like a no-brainer, and if you're worried about balance issues with that then you could just make it rare. HP upgrades restored much too much HP as well, and along with my healers any damage that didn't kill my heroes in one hit was worthless later.

Great idea.  I'm always trying to think of more kind of loot drops that aren't inventory items (weapons/rings).  If you think of any other ideas, let me know.  I'll most likely add an "Offense up" drop.

I'll also reduce the HP that health packs give you back.  Maybe I should make the Heal weapon even rarer than "rare".  Maybe it should be unique?

Quote
The huge floors like the box with a diagonal line through it or the box with a flipped L in it were the worst design-wise. Enemies don't particularly chase you so it took forever to hunt them down. Paired with some of those levels spawning nuke enemies which you need to run away from and then attack, those levels were endurance tests.

Good to know.  I'll remove/rework them very soon.

Quote
Only one of the levels seems to have a dirt texture, and only in one of its corners. It would be good to see that dirt texture more often throughout all the levels to make things look nicer.

OK I'll try to spruce the levels up a little bit, thanks.

Quote
While I was playing earlier, the game glitched and I ended up being unable to change the rings equipped to my heroes, or buy things from the shop. But I think that was on the older version so maybe that's fixed now.

Hrmm, that's very concerning.  If it ever comes back, let me know.

Quote
...I'm only complaining so much because I liked it enough to play it this far. Keep up the good work Gentleman

This feedback was great.  Thanks so much!   Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2014, 12:06:12 PM »

Very nice game!

I really like the concept: nice idea, easy and fun to play!
As others have said before, it tends to get a bit repetitive as the levels go on, but nothing that can't be fixed I think Smiley

Keep up the great work!
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« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2014, 01:07:10 PM »

Very nice game!

I really like the concept: nice idea, easy and fun to play!
As others have said before, it tends to get a bit repetitive as the levels go on, but nothing that can't be fixed I think Smiley

Keep up the great work!

Thanks for the feedback.  What level did you play to?  Any suggestions on how I could make it less repetitive?
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