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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingSuper Punchy Face - Simple Top Down Combat
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Author Topic: Super Punchy Face - Simple Top Down Combat  (Read 1551 times)
8Points
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« on: July 23, 2014, 04:39:19 PM »

Hey guys! I'm in the midst of developing a top down action game called Super Punchy Face and I'm looking for some notes on how it feels.

UPDATE 8/27/14: New art/animation for player and enemies, still not final but it's better than before. I'm working on making punching feel just right, and have revamped that mechanic entirely.

UPDATE 9/4/14: More tweaking in an effort to make it feel right.

UPDATE 9/9/14: More tweaking. New level that's more straight forward.

Here's a quick video of me playing the newest update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xurLmtmRHSM&feature=youtu.be

If you're interested, here's the link to my dropbox:
As a .exe - https://www.dropbox.com/s/8pv96644npz3b49/SPF%209-9-14.exe?dl=0
As a .rar - https://www.dropbox.com/s/xzt6hcjzy50aki6/SPF%209-9-14.rar?dl=0

Here's how to play:

Your goal is to open all the chests and destroy all the enemies. If you get hit 4 times you are dead.

Controls: WASD keys to move, spacebar to dodge, mouse to look, left- and right-click to throw punches.


Enemies have recharging health, so be sure to finish them off or they'll come back to haunt you.




If you play it, I want to know if it feels good.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 12:32:26 PM by 8Points » Logged
teedoubleu
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 05:26:27 PM »

My Chrome says your files are evil... I suggest you do something about this:D
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 05:49:40 PM »

Hmmmm, well they were just .exe files. I put them in a .rar, don't know if that'll help: https://www.dropbox.com/s/l35ar4nltfez1qy/SPF.rar
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teedoubleu
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 06:37:22 PM »

Thats better.

Shooty feels slow, clunky and underpowered.

Punchy on the other hand feels great! Kiting enemies while punching them could easily become the core mechanic of the whole game.

Its my personal preference, but I hate top down games with WSAD controls - it just feels redundant and unnecessary. All of your avatar movement is controlled through keyboard so you are constantly mashing keys. My suggestion would be to figure out a control scheme that does't require from player pressing keyboard buttons so often - maybe make the avatar follow mouse cursor and the speed of movement would be dependant on distance from avatar to said cursor. Then your character would have to face nearest enemy automatically.

You are probably doing this in drag'n'drop, right? If you want to scale this game in any way you really should transfer to using code instead as making anything in drag'n'drop that is more complex than what you did is HELL on earth.

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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 07:32:42 PM »

 Embarrassed tfw I am using code... Haha I can't imagine doing everything I've done in drag n drop. No, I've been in proper code for like a year.

I never even thought about alternate control schemes. I have no clue what that would even be like to just use your mouse in a game like this... I honestly don't even know where I'd start reworking this thing to make it play like that.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 09:14:32 AM by 8Points » Logged
Wlad
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 12:00:03 AM »

I quite like it. Firstly I thought that mouse moves screen too much, but then I got used to it and it was fine. I don't agree with @teedoubleu that keyboard controlls are too mashy, majority of top-down action games which are not bullet hells use keyboard this way(or controller, which support would be good), for example Hotline Miami.
Suggestion: I think that charge up meter of shooty's primary attack should be places somewhere near character, not at mouse pointer, it was hard for me to watch how much arrow is charged and simultaneosly avoid enemies.
Difficulty: I didn't beat level with punchy, I tried maybe 10 times, however I beaten level with shooty on my 3rd try. I think playing with shooty is easier, especially after I figured out how to properly use push. Shooty's difficulty was for me more enjoyable. Maybe I just haven't figured out how to properly play with punchy... Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 09:49:54 AM »

Thanks, Wlad! Glad you like it!

Hotline Miami is one of my favorite games ever! That surely explains where the control scheme comes from. As for controller support, I think I will add it in eventually. The only problem with that for me is I personally don't typically like twin stick shooters. I'm totally unable to play Hotline, for example, with a controller, let alone at the level I play it using a mouse and keyboard. I realize there are people who feel the opposite way, so I'll still add that support in there even if I think they're nuts Grin

Thanks for trying Punchy so many times!!! Most people do find Shooty to be the easier of the two, and I'm wondering whether I should nerf her or make Punchy easier...

As for the placement of Shooty's primary charge meter... I've been wrestling with how to handle the different UI elements. I had a feeling what you described might happen, but I'm worried about having too many concentric circles around the character for fear of clutter. I see what you're saying though, so I'll have to keep searching for a better solution. (one I was thinking of involved a Mass Effect 2 style meter - the ability meter in ME2 has 2 semi-circles moving from the edge of the screen to the very center of the screen to show cooldowns. It's subtle and unobtrusive, but if there were more than one on the screen at the same time, like in my game, it may get too cluttered...)

Again, thanks for taking the time to play! Really appreciate the feedback.
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 10:14:46 AM »

Sorry If I came out patronising or anything - I just figured that if you have to make two separate versions of a game just to give the player an ability to choose which character they want to play then you are really struggling with the engine and using really basic functionality. Sorry.

As for the control scheme I think you really should try thinking outside the box. Look at this:



Thats what I call an original approach to controls. I would love to play more of Punchy (great title for a game), but if a simple game requires from me more busy finger work on the keyboard than twichy multiplayer game like Battlefield then I just think its not worth it. Again, this is my personal opinion and I like to relax while playing singleplayer games - for challenge I go online.
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 10:56:08 AM »

No worries - the reason I haven't put a character select in yet isn't because it's too complicated or I don't know how, I'm just lazy. The original game, Punchy Face, was one file and came with a character select screen. SPF is the result of me spending a month or so updating the game from GM 8.1 lite to Studio Pro and then attempting to make it 'juicier.'

Third Eye Crime looks interesting as hell. I can't tell by watching a trailer whether that control scheme really achieves something different than a traditional, manual direction input, scheme. I suppose setting routes affords you the time to keep track of enemies, but what else? I'm not against original control schemes, and I would totally play this one, but I wonder if there is a better way to give players that fine control than having dedicated buttons. I feel gauging movement speed from the cursor & avatar proximity wouldn't give players enough movement options. Maybe it would, I don't know.

I respect your opinion, and while I enjoy the competitive online scene, I also enjoy intense single player games. I suppose it really is just a matter of taste, but I wonder then, if this game was a multiplayer competitive game where either players are in the same level competing for a higher score or something, or a direct head-to-head like a fighting game, would that be more appealing? Would you still prefer having less button-heavy control scheme? Or is it just that this is a simple game and therefore should have a simple control scheme too?

Idk if this make a difference, but I plan on styling this like a Japanese game show.

Glad you like the title! ^.^
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teedoubleu
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 11:33:43 AM »

I would try doing something like this:

Draw path with RMB, shoot/punch with LMB. First you drag RMB to draw a path or just press RMB to set up a waypoint and while your character moves you attack with LMB. Characters move slowly so you have time to think what route to take but not too slow so its still an action game.

I find focusing on a single impression like a movie scene or a moment from another game is a good way of making games - I call it "having a creative vision":D A ninja with grappling hook bursting thru a office building window to kill some evil men in black is one example.

So imagine a John Woo film, our punchy/shooty hero amids hail of bullet and flying debris in slow motion dispatching half a dozen guys. The action is slow so player have time to plan his route, dodge bullets and marvel on all those pretty particles flying everywhere.
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 07:17:26 PM »

That's a good idea, but it's fundamentally different than the goals I have for SPF, which is to have a fast paced, twitchy action brawler. Not saying I'm there yet but...

I really like that idea though. I'm actually picturing something similar to your game, where instead of stopping time altogether and taking turns, it just goes into real time slow mo. It would have that point n click movement throughout I suppose, but more route heavy during slow mo.

Maybe that's just a better idea than the one I'm working on. Still, I think it would be fun to flesh SPF out completely.
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 01:02:37 PM »

New update!

- Made landing Punchy's leap more reliable, please tell me if it's too easy now
- Running into enemies now bounces them back too
- Crude character select screen!


Also considering dropping Shooty and making the bow a loot drop with limited ammo for Punchy to pick up from those chests. Thinking about making this a fraction more Nuclear Throne-esque with weapon random pick ups. I figure levels will be a bit more branching, so if you want to forgo a higher time-score you can search for loot to take into later levels.
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2014, 03:00:53 PM »

A huge update. Overhauled almost all the player systems and abilities, but only under the hood stuff so you won't really notice.

What you will notice is that there are no longer two characters - just one. Instead of choosing from characters with their own unique abilities, I'm giving you a generic character to start off with and you collect different items and abilities as you play.

Also bear traps.

It's all very early but I don't have a regular connection to the internet from my computer so I figured I should upload what I got - don't know when the next chance I'll get is :T

Just don't use two of the same item/ability at once!! This will surely crash the game.

Know that I'm working on:
Spinning blades and other indiana jones traps,
Grenades and other throwables,
A sick battle axe and other weapons,
Smarter enemies, different types of enemies,
And a lot mo.

Oh, and if you feel like helping a brotha out and doing some art and/or sound for this, hit me up.
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teedoubleu
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2014, 03:49:56 PM »

I played some more of this new build and as I said before - it has a nice feeling to it and its a really good start!

Things to consider:

1. Make the game window bigger (0.75 of display size would be perfect).

2. Again, I don't think that there are many gameplay reasons behind the mechanic that you have to aim melee attacks. Try making a build where the melee attack automatically targets nearest enemy.

3. You desperately need to step up the graphics - its really bad and its not even that informative. You need people to play your game and give you feedback. If your game looks like crap people won't play it.

Don't bother finding an artist - you need something you can rapidly prototype with so it must be at your disposal right away. Try finding a complete sprite pack like these:

http://oryxdesignlab.com/sprites/
http://kenney.itch.io/kenney-donation

...or learn how to make proper "programmers' art":D

4. I would suggest that you focus on the core mechanic instead of adding new stuff. Make the core mechanic so good it doesn't need anything else to be entertaining and THEN add new stuff that support that core mechanic.

Cheers:D
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2014, 12:27:56 PM »

Well I've taken Teedub's advice and am focusing entirely on making punching feel just right. I've taken a few steps that I feel are in the right direction.

I've changed the player and enemy art and animation (though it's not done and I have more plans for specific animations) and revamped how punching works. It already feels a lot better.

Anyway, this is another case of better-upload-what-I-got-while-I-can so it's not too drastic a change. Check it out!
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2014, 12:21:31 PM »

Another update! Mostly numbers tweaking, but I through in some new art too. Also, enemies are less like rabid dogs as they stand in place until you trigger them.

Threw out all the items and obstacles because I just want to get the punching perfect.
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