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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsFriendship Club: a hyperactive bullet hell party game.
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Author Topic: Friendship Club: a hyperactive bullet hell party game.  (Read 6613 times)
Gwinnell
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« on: June 22, 2014, 08:56:29 AM »

Hi all!

It's been a while since I posted here.

I've been advised to start posting our game's devlog here instead of just on our blog, so I'll start with an introduction to the game and to the team. I'll try to post screenshots, concept art, or other musings here once a week. If that doesn't work out, there'll definitely be the more long-form fortnightly update posts.  


200% speed GIF.

Game Description:

Monsters! Mayhem! Imaginary friends do nightly battle for the favour of their creator! Who will endure? What will be left of them? Come with us as we venture into the mind of young Timmy Bibble in...

TIMMY BIBBLE'S FRIENDSHIP CLUB!

Friendship Club is a local-multiplayer bullet-hell arena shooter for PC and Mac.

Play as one of Timmy's four best (and imaginary) friends. Chud - a beast from the mountains. Old Man Ricketts - a prospector driven mad by his lust for gold. Shakey Jake - a ninja, bandit, skeleton... thing. The Canardinal - a duck from the Vatican!

Fire bullets that bounce forever, catch them with supreme agility, headbutt your opponents into the 1950s. Be the best friend ever for little Timmy!

Key Features:

  • 2 - 4 Player Local Multiplayer
    Get your friends together in the same room for the ultimate showdown!

  • 6 Game Modes
    Classic, Unarmed, Standoff, Bullet Hell, Bully/Target, Sticky Rugs (working title). More to come!

  • Procedural Level Generation
    Each environment has its own set of procedural content rules, as well as its own gameplay elements built in to it. (Currently one environment). No match is ever the same! more to come!)

  • Adjustable Game Speed
    Play super slow-mo, HYPER_SPEED, and everything in between.

  • Transparent Development
    Builds with new features released every two weeks -- watch the game come together as we're developing it! Engage with us and give us your feedback. Help us get it on to Steam Early Access!

Team:
Friendship Club is a collaboration between two tiny studios based in the UK, Force Of Habit and Clockwork Cuckoo.

Force Of Habit (@forcehabit)
Ashley Gwinnell (@ashleygwinnell) - code
Nick Dymond (@nedymond) - audio & production

Clockwork Cuckoo (@cuckooclockwork)
Sophie Humphries (@sophump) - art
Tom Boot (@tomcando) - animation

Other bits:

Early alpha / Greenlight trailer:




FAQ:
http://timmybibble.com/faq/

Pre-order for early/alpha access, the latest builds, fortnightly updates:
http://timmybibble.com/buy/

Try the 24-hour jam version:
http://timmybibble.com/jam/

Newest screenshots/gifs:

Title cards used in the trailer (linked above).


New arena mockup.


Added bullet casings to the game.


Character silhouettes show when hiding behind walls.


(How do I resize the images to fit in the forums properly?)

I'm happy to answer any question about the game you might have, so fire away! Smiley

- Ashley
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 09:16:37 AM by Gwinnell » Logged

Gwinnell
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 06:45:49 AM »

First update here on TIGS - woo! Just like the last time (which was only posted on our site), this update contains a lot of smaller changes while we work on finishing up the new arena -- The Wonky Wagon saloon.

The last two weeks have been super busy. The game has another layer of polish, with new dash and headbutt animations, as well as what can be called nothing other than "shonky walls". There's also a proper (but still basic) options screen.


We also exhibited at Radius Festival in London for a day, which meant having a bunch of new people playing (and praising) the game, catching up with game developer pals, and speaking live on the internets. Below is a picture of our table there, and here is a link to mine and Tom's silly faces on the

. (We're on at ~2:37:47.)



To quickly finish this one up, here are some musical sketches / ideas / things that Nick has put together recently.

16th June - 27th June

Code
  • Options screen/menu graphics implemented in-game.
  • Made "Shonky Walls" work in-game.
  • Updated Windows for shonky walls work -- had to update Win32 windowing code to enable multisampling.
  • Bullets now appear as silhouettes behind walls.
  • Implemented new dash & headbutt animations.

Art & Animation
  • New end round star for Saloon arena.
  • New dash animations that are unique to each character!
  • New headbutt animations that are unique to each character!
  • New shoot animations.
  • MYSTERIOUS CHARACTER design for Saloon arena.
  • Big batwing door design for Saloon arena.

Audio
  • Implemented "recharged" sfx.
  • Some music sketches. Not for any event inparticular.

Press / Promo
  • Poster for Bristol Video Games Social event (above)
  • We went to Radius Festival. Pictures and livestream link above.
  • Mentioned by Keith Stuart in Not A Game podcast.
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed bug where the game would still play the shoot sfx if the sfx were switched off.
  • Moved decorations in Timmy's room to a separate spritesheet which has the correct scaling/interpolation. They will no longer look really pixelated when scaled.
  • Rugs no longer overlap in Wonky Wagon Saloon.

Misc
  • Toast Time iOS/Android update sent out to testers. (Hurray!) A whole bunch of bugs fixed, and then finally submitted to the App Store!

Let us know what you think! Here on TIGS, Twitter, Facebook or wherever. Take care now! Smiley

- Ashley
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 07:02:14 AM »

Add width=700 to image tags, e.g. [img width=700]
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Gwinnell
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 08:39:13 AM »

I missed posting here last week due to being at Games Britannia up in Sheffield (UK)!

Most of the things that have changed since last week have been more "under the hood". For example, the game now utilises a Z axis even though it's completely 2D. This is used for proper depth sorting, and for collision detection. We wanted to put objects on top of and under other objects, and allow them to bounce off the floor, and so on. It wasn't impossible with just x and y, but it would have meant defining specific rules for specific objects, and then modifying the screen y. It's easier this way, and better this way.

An example of this new depth sorting happening when shooting objects off of tables! (Vine)
https://vine.co/v/MUxQgHl20PE

A bug where touching wagon wheels would spawn gibs indefinitely. (Vine)
https://vine.co/v/MFVmxjwz0ea

Is there a way to embed Vines on here? *Shrug*

Catch ya next time! \o
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Gwinnell
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 03:56:17 AM »

A sketch of Chud (one of the characters) in a totally different style to the game. Because why not? Smiley
- by sophumph

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Gwinnell
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 10:59:35 AM »

I know nobody here asked for wallpapers, but here are some anyways. 1080p! Smiley

Chud



The Canardinal



Old Man Ricketts



Shakey Jake

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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 01:14:13 PM »

Really nice.  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 05:44:25 PM »

This looks really great. Seems like victory might be a little to determined by initial placement though?
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Gwinnell
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 01:29:26 AM »

This looks really great. Seems like victory might be a little to determined by initial placement though?

Sort of. We're finding that a lot of the time, social dynamics come into play and people go for the person who's currently winning.

It is something that we need to tweak a bit more though. We've got a game mode / toggle for "standoff" which places characters right next to each other, and in "trick shot" mode players need to be positioned so that they don't have a direct line-of-sight. 
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Gwinnell
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 03:01:55 AM »

Saddle up, varmint! Friendship Club's first major feature update is here! Get bar brawlin’ in a totally destructible new arena “The Wonky Wagon”, rootin’-tootin’ in an updated “Quick Draw” Standoff mode, or, well, simply bear witness to all of the commotion from afar.

Rather than waffle on about how freakin' great it is, we've created a trailer, some GIFs, and revamped our Greenlight page. For the next two weeks we'll be doing a big marketing push, but until then... enjoy!  

Toast Right

New Trailer:



New Screenshots / GIFs:

Destructible terrain in The Wonky Wagon.



Procedural level generation for The Wonky Wagon.



Still screenshot of Bullet Hell. Perfect for a bar brawl!



Still screenshot of new QUICK DRAW standoff mode. Some idiot (Nick) misfires their gun!



For completeness, here's a GIF of procedural generation in Timmy's Bedroom.



You can be playing this already if you have $8 USD / ~£5 GBP to spare...



Yes please, go and vote?





The full release notes / changes for this build are as follows:

14th July - 25th July

-- THE WONKY WAGON --

ART
  • Base tileset.
  • Destructible walls (23 sprites in total, which break into 13 gib pieces!)
  • Wall objects (5 objects, which break into 20 gib pieces!)
  • Other objects. Tables, chairs, bottles. (9 objects, which break into 34 gib pieces!)
  • Piano!
  • Batwing doors.
  • Brown bullet shell casings.
  • Bearskin rugs and "pop" created in Spine so they're SUPER SMOOTH!

CODE
  • Procedural generation ruleset.
  • Tweaks to procedural generation ruleset.
  • MORE tweaks to procedural generation ruleset. (It's still not perfect, but we'll adjust it over time.)
  • Saloon doors required overhaul to shonky wall / edge rendering.
  • Destructible walls implemented.
  • All of the art objects implemented with the SO MANY gib pieces.
  • QUICK DRAW standoff mode.

AUDIO
  • New Music for The Wonky Wagon.
  • All of the art objects needed SFX for when they are SMASHED!
  • Menu SFX
  • Quick Draw standoff mode timer countdown, and gun jamming.

BUG FIXES / OTHER BITS
  • Instructions screen now includes mention of charging the gun on rugs.
  • Updated menu screen with game mode descriptions.
  • Windows build will now run on PCs with OpenGL 3.1 (previously required 3.2).

MISC
  • We went to MULTICLASH!
  • We went to Wales Games Development Show! (and had to type up the mailing list).
  • We made a poster for BVGS #3.
  • The FREAKIN' AWESOME trailer!
  • Other bits noted are specific tweaks to the procedural level generated, which needn't really be listed here.

...WHEW!
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Gwinnell
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 02:21:46 AM »



Two weeks ago when we released The Wonky Wagon we said the next release would be lighter on content. This was because we blocked out two weeks to do some marketing, emailing, press and things. Perhaps by pure chance, or perhaps by virtue of writing almost 40 personalised emails...

Timmy Bibble's Friendship Club has been Greenlit for Steam distribution!

Hurray! Thank you to everybody who voted - this is super awesome and means the world to us. The main two things added to this build are loading tips and new Quick Draw countdown timer graphics. That's all for now, below is the full changelog.

- Ashley, Nick, Tom & Sophie


28th July - 8th August

DESIGN
  • Overarching game interface / cognitive space / animation / world concepting. (What?)
  • Character & team select concepting (as below).







ART
  • New Standoff quick draw / countdown timer.
  • "Hurray, we're greenlit!" graphic.
  • Hats? (Either as above, or as below).



CODE
  • Pro tips show on the loading screen.
  • Fixed bug where bully mode countdown timer was sometimes purple in The Wonky Wagon arena.
  • Started implementing "dream objects" in the arena backgrounds (for lack of a better term).
  • Started implementing "falling painting" in Timmy's Bedroom arena.

MISC
  • Tidied up pre-production folder structure.
  • New badge design concepts.
  • Ordered new badges for future events as we ran out (of 400!).
  • Sent a crap ton of personalised emails.
  • Co-optimus, Death By Beta, Destructoid, Dual Shockers, Game Rant, Game Front, Game Informer, Game Reactor, GameKult, Gert Lush Gaming, God is a Geek, Greenlit Gaming, IGN (x3), Chris Priestman, indiegames.com, Joystiq (x2), Kotaku (x3), Multiplayer.it, New Gamer Nation, No Review Left Behind, PC Gamer (Freelancer), Pixels For Breakfast, Polygon (x2), Quarter to three, Rock Paper Shotgun, Shoost, True PC Gaming, Twinfinite, VG247 (x2), Gamespress.
  • Oh you want to know out of those who replied? Go on then.
  • Death By Beta, Multiplayer.it, PC Gamer (Freelancer).

KNOWN BUGS
  • Bully Mode timer says "1... 1... 1... 1... 1..." instead of "5... 4... 3... 2... 1..."!
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Gwinnell
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 02:51:41 AM »

An odd one this week! The team has been split up all over the world (and we're only now just getting back into the swing of things), so this is a post about i52 and PAX.

i52

To kick it off, i52, or Insomnia52 to give it it's full title. It took place at the Ricoh arena in Coventry almost 4 weeks ago. We were there for 3 days in total, showing of Friendship Club.



We added big TV and a cool new sign to our stand this time round. The sign looked great, but had the structural integrity of a wafer. So much superglue was used, like, loads. We even had to repair it while we were at i52 as it  had snapped in two and was dangling around when we returned on the second morning!

Here are some er, in-progress shots of it.



So i52 was huge. Tons of AAA games, and a surprisingly large amount of indie stuff too. It was our first time to any Insomnia event, as exhibitors or otherwise, and all we can say is it was great -- really friendly people and great stuff on show. Pastries from the nearby M&S each morning was a plus. Apple turnover ftw.

Next up, PAX Prime!

Nick and Ashley flew out to Seattle for PAX Prime to exhibit Toast Time on the Intel booth (due to winning "Best Art Design" in the Level Up awards), to exhibit Neon Caves on the OUYA booth, and to release Toast Time onto frikkin' Steam! While they were there, Nick got to meet one of his heroes in the form of Tim Schafer, and they went to a party with indie royalty Jonathan Blow in attendance (at least they think)...



Seattle was nice.



But why haven't you been working on Friendship Club?!

Well we have, but progress has been slow due to: team proximity, jet lag, freelance work, contract work, parties with celebrities, launching another game, email backlog, PAX pox, accounts, end of year admin... writing lists.



Subscribe to this thread here on TIGS, and follow our various Twitters too for more frequent updates. Catch you next time!

- Tom
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 02:44:52 AM »

We're afraid there's not a new build this week, but that doesn't mean we've not been hard at work. Sadly most of what we've done will be invisible for now, so you'll have to hold on a bit before you see any of it coming to fruition. It'll be worth it though, promise...

Most of Ashley's time has been taken up refactoring a ton of code, fixing-up everything to accommodate our future plans. The biggest aspect of this has been in ripping apart game modes and moving it all into a modular system. I won't go into too much detail at this point, but if we get it working as we would like then expect to have a LOT of customisation at your fingertips. From our point of view it will also provide a framework for us to prototype new features and ideas very quickly.

Alongside that, Sophie and I have started work on redesigning the user-interface (with plenty of help and input from the others). We're having to try to establish a consistent and expandable system that absorbs new features and options as we add them to the game. We've got some big ideas here too, with our intention to do something a little more exciting and on-theme than the traditional menu systems you see in most games, whilst not sacrificing usability in the process. If you think this sounds like a tall order and the sort of thing that results in a lot of swearing and gnashing of teeth then you'd be entirely correct. At one point Sophie took a bit of a break and drew some interpretations of Young Man Ricketts. It looks a little like a certain Hollywood actor don't you think? Which is interesting because she had no idea who he was until I showed her some pictures!





There's not been much audio work from my point of view over the past few weeks due to a virus taking down my home computer (I know right...), where I'm working on most of the soundtrack stuff. Evenings were spent reinstalling music software and figuring out a better workflow for the large number of samples I'm putting together for the game. From now on I will be keeping a folder of install files for all of my software - having to dig out old emails for downloads and serial numbers is DULL.

Unfortunately Tom has had to do a bunch of 3rd party motion graphics work over the past couple of weeks, so hasn't had much to contribute. However, he did put together this rather awesome animation that ties in with the character and team select system we've been playing with.



Idle and run animations.

Right, that just about sums it up. Hopefully we'll have something to actually show for all of this soon!

Take care everyone!

- Nick

Join our Mailing List, follow us on Twitter and Facebook and obviously sub to this TIGS thread to keep up to date on things.
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2014, 03:04:55 PM »

Really am surprised to see how little attention this wonderful game has received on the site. Keep on going and I'm sure the attention you deserve will come your way!
The graphics are a deep breath of fresh air in an ocean of pixel art. Vector art woooo
(Saw the game originally on Gamejolt). Was wondering how much that cost for that Gamejolt banner? (Feel free to answer that in private!). I read that you were up in Sheffield for games Britainnia! You a local or just visiting?

Good luck folks!
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2014, 03:10:38 PM »

This game looks freakin' amazing. I love how the animations look.
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2014, 06:47:21 AM »

ahahhaha this looks great. And it's playable already? Hmmm, will check it out soon. Great job!
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2014, 07:15:05 AM »

Really nice art style, and plenty of meaty posts and updates with good information. Love the Cardinal, definitely my favourite character
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 02:39:42 AM »

Really am surprised to see how little attention this wonderful game has received on the site. Keep on going and I'm sure the attention you deserve will come your way!
The graphics are a deep breath of fresh air in an ocean of pixel art. Vector art woooo
(Saw the game originally on Gamejolt). Was wondering how much that cost for that Gamejolt banner? (Feel free to answer that in private!). I read that you were up in Sheffield for games Britainnia! You a local or just visiting?

Good luck folks!

Incidentally I know your game from Game Jolt! Smiley (PM coming your way!) I was just visiting for the event, the 4 of us are all based down in Bristol. It seems there are quite a few indies based up that way! Weren't you at Insomnia52 too? We've probably met. Tongue

This game looks freakin' amazing. I love how the animations look.

Yay, I've passed the words of encouragement onto the artist & animator. :D
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« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2014, 03:37:52 AM »

Man this is such a nice looking game, simple Idea well executed with style..

Looks like you've been doing well with the con's and showing off the game, if you're in Brighton in the near future I'll be sure to come and check it out.
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2014, 06:48:41 AM »

Man this is such a nice looking game, simple Idea well executed with style..

Looks like you've been doing well with the con's and showing off the game, if you're in Brighton in the near future I'll be sure to come and check it out.

Develop 2015 for sure! :D

--

The groundwork has been laid, the restructuring is almost there. At the beginning of this two-week sprint we wanted to add vertical destructible walls to The Wonky Wagon arena and improve it's procedural generation rules. Half way through implementing them, we realised we'd have to spend more time refactoring the game code to make them work as intended. So...

We switched it up, took out the new walls, and decided to shoot for something different, something more achievable. That something would be the first pass of the Character Select screen! Sophie already mocked it up (see previous posts), and we knew how it was going to work, so that's what we implemented for this release.

(It's only the first pass, keep in mind; we haven't implemented team select, AI players or more than 4 players, but all of that will come in time.)

What else is in this build? Well, at last minute, we implemented an "oscillating" game speed mode. This is a speed option that speeds up and slows down the game dynamically over time. As to be expected, we'll be expanding on this mechanic in the future!

That's actually it in terms of new features, however Tom & Sophie have been iterating on a lot of UI and concept work, which is awesome, so we're going to show you that too!

First pass of mode select UI.


First pass of game modifiers UI.


Second pass of game modifiers UI.


Another version of the second pass of the game modifiers UI.


Trying something a bit leftfield. Skeuomophic design for mode select.


Trying something a bit leftfield. Skeuomophic design for modifiers select.


What in the f is Bibco?


Character head pick up animations.








Behind the scenes voice recordings of a new character. Skip to 2:30 for some good stuff!


Sounds in the character animations.
  • Vine 1 - Chud & The Canardinal
  • Vine 2 - Old Man Ricketts & Shakey Jake

For the next release we're thinking of implementing the fmod sound engine. We'll have to look at licensing first, but we're super keen on making the audio as juicy as the art. Dynamic music system, sound effects, voices, all the cool things.

That's it! In the (unlikely) event that you've bought the game and have access to the alphas, please send us your feedback so we can take it on board. Hope you enjoy this release.

- Ashley

Full changelog:

22nd September - 17th October
Wow that's a long one!

New Features:

  • Character select!
  • Oscillating game speed setting.
  • Paintings fall off the walls in Timmy's Bedroom.

Art & Animations:
  • Headless character idle/run animations for character select.
  • Headless character "picking up head" animations for character select. One for each character!
  • Uniform avatar boxes for the corners. This is needed so players can be placed in any corner.

Audio:
  • Headless character gibberish screaming.
  • Headless character smooth jazz voices.
  • Character select audio. Drum loops, jazz bass samples.

Code Refactoring:
  • Refactored game modes into list of Modifiers.
  • Refactored in-game state into Arena, Arena Grid, Arena Line Manager.
  • Refactored Player into Agent, Player, Enemy ready for "Nana Ricketts" implementation.

Other things you won't see in the game yet but are still sort of cool to talk about:
  • Code: Made Nana Ricketts more "human" in her firing behaviour. She now targets the two closest players.
  • Code: Fixed bug where vases weren't on sidetables. (This was introduced by the refactoring...)
  • Code: Fixed bug where reticule would go through breakable walls. (This was introduced by the refactoring too...)
  • Art: Vertical breakable walls.
  • Animation: New design of Quickdraw countdown timer.
  • Audio: Saloon music slightly remixed.
  • Misc: No longer using Mural.ly because the free plans are gone and it costs way too much.
  • Misc: Printed a bunch of stuff for an actual physical mood board.
  • Misc: Moved project roadmap to Google Drive document.
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