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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSHMUP Creator: build & blast!
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suny
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2014, 06:27:49 AM »

A new post on our devlog :
The 2nd monthly update :
Original post:
SHMUP Creator monthly update 2


We haven’t worked a lot since the middle of July. Zut Sad

Project status
. 90% Game engine: Collisions, weapons, events, AI, special effects, particles…
. 85% UI: this is the art, layout and coding of the editor itself.
. 32% Assets: those are the 3D models, sprites, sound effects and music provided with the SHUMP Creator

What we achieved last month
. shadows/no shadow in the levels
. Bullet Physic Engine integration for all the collisions with the background
. redesigning the weapon system and building a new weapon manager
. new trigger text
. new alert windows
. we can build a stand alone game for distribution
. we can import animated sprites
… And a lot of bugs were fixed!

Alpha phase at the end of August!?
No. Alas… No alpha for he end of August.
We have had a contract job since the 25th of August and the client haven’t stopped asking for modifications and new features! Damned!

So our next goal is always to reach alpha at the end of… Well I feel embarrassed… As soon as possible!?
It’s always difficult to find a balance between earning money for developing the SHUMP Creator and developing the SHUMP CREATOR and earning money for living.

So now, to reach the alpha
We’ll need to finish the last features we have been working on
. improve the asset import
. editor’s gizmos (constraints) to manipulate objects with the mouse
. debugging the triggers
. finish to implement the game play features like scoring rules
. build a level for testing!

We are really looking forward to reworking on the SHUMP Creator!!!
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suny
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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2014, 09:12:37 AM »

I took the time, between two contracts, to add animated previews for the weapons library :



I'm looking forward to going back full time on the SHMUP Creator, but I'm affraid it will wait until December... Sad
S.
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suny
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2014, 11:38:44 AM »

Our contracting work is over.
At last!
It was long and hard, and it was impossible for us to work on our project. Not on evenings, not even on week-ends...

Now I need to sleep for some days, and after that, I'll resume, at last, the work on the SHMUP Creator.
It's quite frustrating to stop working on our project like that for two months, but for now, it's the only way for us to gain some freedom financially.

So, I'm tired, but happy to go back to work (in a few days) on our pet project!
Stay tuned, I'll post updates as soon as possible Smiley

S.
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suny
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« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2015, 03:34:53 AM »

=.... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!....=



We have finished our contract jobs for a few weeks and have been working back on the SHMUP Creator:
. gizmos and manipulators are finished (not a very exciting task, but very useful)
. OpenAL has been replaced by FMOD
. A lot of debugging

And we are working on:
. gameplay (scoring systems, medals)
. debug (again...)

More about that very soon!
S.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 11:34:21 AM by suny » Logged

ZanN
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2015, 03:04:49 AM »

=.... GIZMOS for shoot'em up editing....=

These past weeks were really busy: the end of our contract work, then christmas, then the end of the year, too much food and alcohool...

Anyway, I found some time during the evenings and week-ends to work on the gizmos constraints for the editor manipulators (translations, rotations, scale etc.). Again, an uncool task: if done well, everybody will take it for granted, if not done well, everybody will be angry at me! Smiley

It was not working so well for the axis contraints when the camera angle is too close to the angle of the selected axis, so I had to rewrite some code to choose the best raycasting plane when someone clicks with the mouse and move an object on the screen.
Another thing was that the mouse gizmos were only working for the player and the enemies, but not for the sub-objects: the weapons, particles emitters or the collisions boxes. You had to use the GUI to select and move them using numerical values, and it was not very intuitive and sometimes, really awkward.
Now, you can click on a weapon and move or rotate it with the mouse like everything else, and it's more easy to manipulate, more fun, and more user friendly.

Last week I also worked on some more debugging (some tasks seems stay forever on top on my to-do list, I don't know why...) and I must say I corrected some big bugs in my code.

This week I'll go back to the weapons and the different scoring systems.
Gameplay, at last!


« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 06:50:30 AM by ZanN » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2015, 05:43:44 PM »

Been working on my Shmup on and off for ages now, This looks amazing, would make life soo much easier. Looks great so far.
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suny
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« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2015, 01:42:26 PM »

Quote
Been working on my Shmup on and off for ages now, This looks amazing, would make life soo much easier. Looks great so far.

Thanks for your nice comment!
We have been working on this for a long time, too. It's like writing several shmup engines at once, with a nice level editor on top... To be honest, I under-estimated the scope of the project.
But we are almost there... The past two weeks have been good Smiley
S.
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suny
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2015, 01:06:48 PM »

I decided to stop using the openAL sound library, and to implement FMOD instead.
My concern with openAL was that users have to install the driver to be able to use it. I’d like people to be able to play a game created with the SHMUP Creator without any installation (if directX is allready installed, of course).
The other thing on my mind is that the Ogre3D wrapper that I was using was a little bit buggy and didn’t support any format at the exception of Ogg. Which is fine by me. But I wanted to offer more choices for the users, like mp3 or wav.
The switch was a breeze: in 2 days I had re-wrote most of the sound related code, and I must say I’m really happy with FMOD.

Other benefits:
It’s really easy to play repeatedly the same sound and it’s not cut by itself : FMOD takes care itself of the channel pooling, so it will find a free channel to play a new sound. You can also play a stereo sound in 3D, which was impossible with openAl and ogreOGG. There are a lot of things I’m not using yet, like doppler effects, reverbs, sound occlusion or Dsp. It’s really feature rich.
Basicaly, I’m really pleased by the way FMOD handles everything.
The other big thing for me choosing FMOD over Irrklang for example, was that FMOD is now free for indies. Cool stuff!



It’s a good opportunity to talk a little bit about what users can do with sound with the SHMUP Creator :
You can of course choose sound effects for explosions, bullets shots etc.
You can stream a different song for the start menu, the game over and every level.
There is also a Sound "gameplay object": you can place them anywhere in the world and they will play a sound, located in 3D or not.
It can also change the level music when it’s awake: for example, you can change the music when the camera is approaching a boss. Or you can play a sound when the player goes inside an area, or when a message appears on screen, like playing a siren sound when the message “WARNING! A huge battleship BULOSTUDIO is approaching fast” is zooming on screen...
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suny
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2015, 01:36:01 AM »

=.... DEMO LEVEL....=

We are working on a demo level made with the SHMUP Creator. It will look and feel a little like the great game "under defeat", this is to say, a vertical shoot em up with helicopters and evil planes.
It's a really good opportunity for us to test and complete the last features of our tool with a real life project. It feels good (except when the tool crash, sometimes...), and the result looks like a professional arcade game.

You can see on the pictures that I also wrote an ocean shader, which moves the vertices using a sinus, offset two normal maps, and lerp a foam texture using the height of the vertices.


So, our aim right now is to complete the work on the demo, in order to complete the features and to have something to show soon. This is why we are focusing more on the game aspect this week rather than on the tool : we want to offer a polished experience for people to see (game over, highscores, level complete, start menu etc.).
S.


« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 11:34:51 AM by suny » Logged

suny
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2015, 11:33:37 AM »

=.... My first computer....=

I posted on our blog a post about my first computer, when I was a kid, a long time ago. It was a VG 5000, an unknown french computer, and it was crap. But, it was my first contact with video-games and programming, and it started it all!

http://bulostudio.com/2015/03/09/my-first-computer/


S.
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suny
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2015, 07:26:53 AM »

=.... MEETING WITH RADIGO....=

(Original post there : Meeting with Radigo)

There are so many things you can do in a shmup! Scoring techniques, power ups, scratching, bullet cancelling… The truth is, we can’t support everything, because in this case the interface would be cluttered and too hard to use for beginners and such.
And, to be honest, we don’t know everything!

This is why we are very happy that Radigo, a shmup expert who is contributing to the great french website shmup.com and was directing the Superplay TV show on the gaming TV channel Nolife, agreed to meet me and talk about the SHMUP Creator, what features should, in his opinion, be part of the tool, what is irrelevant, and about shoot’em up design in general.


(Radigo, on the right, explaining hitboxes using Japanese edamame at a shmup conference 3 weeks ago)


We meet at the Kawaii café in Paris and talked for 4 hours!
It was really interesting and I took a lot of notes Smiley
Radigo plays lots of shoot’em ups, is really knowledgeable and articulate, and, better than that, is a game coder himself. The conversation was precise and organized, and I’m really looking forward to starting implement the new gameplay features in the SHMUP Creator.

Actually, I already did: A thing Radigo likes a lot in shmups is secrets: doing things which sometimes spawn something, an item or a secret boss. So I added a “random trigger” to the game. An item can be spawned only sometimes, or some enemies can appears or not depending of the randomization of the conditions.

I really think the result of this discussion will permit people to create more complex and deep gameplay. And as always, the idea is to add some lego bricks of gameplay and to let people use them, and, maybe, be surprised because they will do things I even didn’t thought possible!

Meanwhile, we are hardworking on our demo level, and I’ll keep you posted very soon!
S.

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suny
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« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2015, 12:42:31 AM »

=.... PICKING AND COLLISIONS ....=

I was using a small collision library to test at polygon level what is under the mouse in the editor in order for the user to pick objects. It was working well, but not perfectly. It's sometimes OK to have something working well but not perfectly, but not for collisions. Picking object in the level editor should be pixel perfect to avoid users cursing me and my family. And sometimes, with some objects, it didn't work well, and was either not colliding with every polygons, or giving me false positives.

I couldn't find out why, so, today, I finally got rid of the routine and implemented Bullet Physics instead: everything is working well now.
Good bye bugs !

I'm really happy because it was something which has been bothering me for a long time, and I'm relieved Smiley



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suny
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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2015, 12:16:37 AM »

=.... EXPLOSIONS!!! ....=

Explosions!!!
Shmups are about risks/rewards, about scoring systems, about bullets canceling and other subtleties...
No way! Shoot em ups are all about explosions!

I wasn't happy with the temp explosions I had, so I implemented a new particle engine in the SHMUP Creator which allow me to spawn several different particles emitters at once: particle universe
It's working well. It's a shame the particle editor is a little bit on the buggy side, but as it's now open source, I hope it will be more stable over time.

So, for the current demo level, I created several explosions :
Small ones:


Mediun ones:


And huge ones, for the bosses :


We are going to show for the first time the SHMUP Creator to a game festival in France, and so we need to polish our demo as fast as we can.
Stay tuned!
S.
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suny
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« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2015, 10:08:55 AM »

=.... FIX YOUR TIMESTEP! ....=

The framerate on my GTX 770 is more or less 400 fps, so I thought I was doing okay. But, when going fullscreen and using VSYNC, the framerate of the game was suddenly going choppy, and it made me crazy...
I tried a lot of things, optimizing the gameplay code, the graphics... Nothing.
Sometimes, the result was perfect, and I was happy. The next morning, I booted the game, and there: choppy framerate all over again....

So, one day, I read the post Fix your timestep! by Gaffer.
I bookmarked it ages ago, and I knew it was important, but in my head, measuring how long the previous frame took and using a variable delta time was enough. How wrong I was!
The thing is, too many frames per second and this method can produce errors, because of floating point rounding, and a non fixed-time step can (will) screw the physic.
So, I simply tried to use 1/60th for the deltatime with VSYNC on, and "voila", no more stuttering!

It's enough for my demo for now, as I know I'm not GPU bound with my machine. I'll implement a more sophisticated time step method in a few weeks, to allow slow machines to use the SHMUP Creator without problem.
So, fix your time step, it's worth it!
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suny
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« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2015, 12:01:12 AM »

=.... SEE YOU AT THE STUNFEST! ....=



We are delighted to have been selected to participate at the STUNFEST!
The Stunfest is a great videogames festival, in Rennes, France. It will take place this week-end. … Conferences, indie games, superplay, concerts, E-sport, a lot of arcade games…

We are going to show the SHMUP Creator to everyone at the indie games floor. We worked on a nice demo to show what people can do with the tool, and I hope you'll enjoy it!

See you there, if you can!

Some screenshot of the demo level in the editor:

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suny
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« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2015, 09:50:00 AM »

=.... BACK FROM THE STUNFEST! ....=




The stunfest is a unique event.
It's an entirely independent festival, organized by incredible volunteers, but with the size of a big event. 11,000 people during 3 days, a 150 meters queue outside, and all of this without any big names, without any PS4 or xbox One. Only passionate peoples.

In a nutshell : videogames purity.




It was also our first public showing of our tool, and our first event as an exhibitor, so we were a little bit nervous!
We were under contract with a big client at the time (Apple), so the pressure was high. We had to debug the tool and prepare a demo level to show what people can achieve with the SHMUP Creator.
We also made business cards, nice promotional buttons for happy visitors, and a 1m60 kakemono with the SHMUP Creator logo.
We put the 23kg PC inside our wheel suitcase, and the suitcase in the train, and of we go!



We stayed 3 days at our stand, presenting the SHMUP Creator, demoing the tool, answering lots of questions.
I've been interviewd by Game One (a french game TV channel), I talked with journalists, meet a lot of shmup lovers, and talked about the SHMUP Creator on the WTF scene. You can watch the video there, but only in french I'm afraid :





Our demo level used a quite basic scoring system, but it was quite interesting to see that if an occasional player could complete the level with 90.000 points, a superplayer could score 540.000.
The only wrong thing was that our demo looked so much like a real game level that people were a little bit confused, thinking that we were presenting "Blade of death" instead of SHMUP Creator :/

It was also a good time to meet some other indie developers and to share insights and experience. It's a shame I didn't have more time to try the other games and meet everyone, but we had to stay most of the time at our stand...

All in all it was really tough but also really good for us: it was the first time we were showing our work to people, and we received a lot of nice comments, excitement and a lot of interesting remarks.

And now, our motivation is on top !
Back to work!
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suny
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« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2015, 08:58:56 AM »

=.... HOW CAN YOU FINANCE YOUR GAME? ....=


You can stop eating, or live in your parent’s attic, or use unemployment insurance, or have big savings of money from your family. You can do a Kickstarter, but nowadays, it’s harder and harder to generate some interest if you are not Yu Suzuki, IGA or Peter Molyneux, and the platform is more and more abused by big devs who want people and fans to pay for the market research they should do themselves.
You can also work every week-end on a very small game, and successfully release it one day. Unfortunately, the SHMUP Creator is a complex tool, and requires a lot more work than I thought.

We chose to do contracting works instead, in a controlled way.
We are only doing 1 to 2 months contracts, in order to spend the majority of our time on the SHMUP Creator development and other personal stuffs. We are not so picky, but we try do work on interesting projects: money is necessary, but learning new things is a must.
It’s another drawback of working solo or with a tiny team: you are less learning from others, ideas are less likely to cross-pollinate because less people are involved. And, I must confess, to be surprised by someone else work is something I like very much!
Until now, we were lucky enough to work on very interesting projects and to learn from them.

So, there it is: we are still working as hard as we can on the SHMUP Creator, but sometimes we must stop completely for a few weeks.
It’s quite frustrating, to be honest, but it’s the price to pay to be able to release soon a product we are proud of, and not a rushed one!

Stay tuned.
S.
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suny
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« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2015, 08:10:29 AM »


=.... NOVEMBER UPDATE ....=


November?
The last post was in August, and we are in November? Already???
Ok, here’s what happended: we had several contracts with a very big company. Very interesting work. The downside, of course, is that we had not a lot of time left to work on the SHMUP Creator.
The good side is, well, we have some money in the bank, which is always good news, and we resumed our work on the SHMUP Creator 3 weeks ago.
Yeah!

Right now, I’m mostly working on correcting bugs, cleaning the code, correcting bugs… This is a good time to consolidate the code in order to have a robust tool before attacking the polishing phase.

On top of that, there are a lot of new features and corrections, like:
. if the user modify a texture, a sprite or anything while using the SHMUP Creator, the game updates itself automatically
. we can customize a lot of new things, like the textures for the scores, the multipliers, the game overs etc.
. we can use a trigger “random”, to launch event randomly
. we can use a trigger “item”, to spawn items (for example, if the player kills certains enemies)
. the rotations, scale and translations of any entity can be modified numerically
. the background can now use lightmaps to light it, on top of the realtime lights
. there are a lot of code optimizations, especially for the bullets
. tons of small improvements for the GUI and the tool itself




What next?
We can’t predict how long this phase of development will carry on. After that, we will go back to the user interface and update it with the new features (mostly gameplay related) and the new tools.
We would like to add some kind of tutorials inside the SHMUP Creator too to help people start using it.
And the last big thing: we wil create an horizontal 2D level, using sprites. It will ship with the SHMUP Creator, and will help us polish the tool and correct the last bugs.

So, stay tuned!
S.
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« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2015, 08:50:36 AM »

This is interesting work. I didn't realize this could be such big business, such as showcasing it within a conference booth, etc.
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« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2015, 12:16:45 AM »

Quote
This is interesting work. I didn't realize this could be such big business, such as showcasing it within a conference booth, etc.
No, I'm sure this is not a big business at all: shoot em ups are a small niche, smaller every year. And,as everybody knows, the indie scene itself merged with the amateur scene, and so, is very crowded these days.
The Stunfest, with the conference booth, was a very cheap festival, so it was inexpensive marketing.

But anyway, I intend to work as seriously as possible on my project. I worked 20 years in the game industry, and I'll try do release a professionally made product, or nothing Smiley

S.
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