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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDash & ATLAS [Pixel Platformer]
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Author Topic: Dash & ATLAS [Pixel Platformer]  (Read 7147 times)
Grog
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« on: October 09, 2014, 04:26:17 pm »

Hello everyone! Dash & ATLAS is a game I've been working on (developing and spriting) that can best be described as Blaster Master meets Super Metroid.





I'd be happy to hear from any one of you with any comments, criticisms, thoughts, and feelings. Smiley

« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 04:49:43 pm by Grog » Logged

Grog
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 04:26:37 pm »

Original First Post:

Hello everyone! Dash & ATLAS is a game I've been working on (developing and spriting) that can best be described as Blaster Master meets Super Metroid.

I'll be updating this post with information as I'm ready to present it, but for now I just want to get this topic out in the open before I put it off any longer.







Evolution of ATLAS:


I'd be happy to hear from any one of you with any comments, criticisms, thoughts, and feelings. Smiley

Next Up: Who are Dash & ATLAS?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 04:46:36 pm by Grog » Logged

Grog
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 08:01:49 pm »

It's been about a month since I posted, going to try to get in the habbit of regular posting.

Dash's focus is high maneuverability and diversity. Throughout the game he will obtain different weapons and upgrade his mobility options. This gif showcases two of them. His stungun will allow him to stun enemies. Some enemies will be usable as a platform or a trampoline while stunned (see slimes). He can also provide power to some objects such as doors with the stun gun. The other being the bomb, which can be placed as a time bomb, or thrown as an active bomb. Able to destroy small destructible objects, charged up for a further through, and features an arching trajectory to deal with pesky aerial enemies.



However when more firepower or a strong defense is needed, it may be wise to hope into ATLAS. Atlas stands for All Terrain Life Assist System. ATLAS will also be upgraded throughout the game in multiple different ways as well.



Each armed with their pros and cons, the player will be encouraged and required to switch between them to correctly approach the task at hand.

Dash may be more maneuverable, but ATLAS is faster.
ATLAS may be stronger, but Dash is more precise.
Dash may not be able to take as many hits, but ATLAS is a much bigger target.

Here is some testing after completing the remotely powered doors. Please note the floating rock objects are not the final graphics. In fact, a lot of what is seen is not final!


And I'll finish off this post with a WIP enemy that I can't wait to see in game.

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alvarop
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 09:51:42 am »

The environmental tiles look really good, but the characters look stretched. Is there a reason for this?
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Grog
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 12:02:50 pm »

The environmental tiles look really good, but the characters look stretched. Is there a reason for this?


No reason. I believe in my first post I hadn't fixed the way it was displaying and some things were stretched, but it should be mostly fix. However the tank looks odd to me sometimes. I'm going to investigate!
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 03:36:26 pm »

Reminded me of Blaster master games.
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Grog
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 08:40:47 am »

Reminded me of Blaster master games.

I'm glad, very much what this game is inspired after. Interestingly enough I played Blaster Master for the first time this year and fell in love. But there was a lot wrong with the game, that I wan't to make better and modernize it a bit.
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 11:34:23 am »

This looks awesome Smiley
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Grog
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 08:24:05 pm »

The environmental tiles look really good, but the characters look stretched. Is there a reason for this?


Fixed, finally. I had noticed it for a while but essentially got used to it. The screenshot below shows proper scaling, as well as me putting in the updated character sprite (had completed for a while but had not gotten around to adding it.

Here is a "monster lock" room. Enter in, become trapped until monsters are dealt with. Maybe get a fancy chest (wip that I started today) or a bunch of blocks to blow up



Was doodling around and ended up accidentally creating a tileset that I had not intended to. Very much a WIP but will be worked on.



In more boring news I'm going through my code and cleaning house, updating my players control system to a finite state machine. Hopefully goes well this weekend.
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alvarop
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2014, 08:42:22 pm »

Looks much, much nicer! Now, the only thing I'm not completely sure of is the colours used for the main character, specially in the environments (and colours you're using in them) I'm seeing. It's almost like he's from another game or something. What do you think?
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2014, 08:46:01 pm »

Looks much, much nicer! Now, the only thing I'm not completely sure of is the colours used for the main character, specially in the environments (and colours you're using in them) I'm seeing. It's almost like he's from another game or something. What do you think?

I'd be inclined to agree with you, but not exactly sure what direction to take it. I tried to mute the colours as a few people I've discussed weren't a fan of the bright purple. Overall the game has a cartoony feel though. Do you have any suggestions for me? I would be happy to try.
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 01:00:20 am »

It looks interesting!

I am curious: Isnt it too much of a penalty that the ATLAS con only fire at a certain height?
I also wonder how you get it. Are you able to call it or is it somewhere in the level?

Cheers!
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Grog
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 10:08:42 am »

It looks interesting!

I am curious: Isnt it too much of a penalty that the ATLAS con only fire at a certain height?
I also wonder how you get it. Are you able to call it or is it somewhere in the level?

Cheers!

Work is still being done on both playstyles. Currently much more is put into Dash, who is almost "complete". Once his style is cemented I can design around him. You will be encouraged to switch between the two. If you're experiencing a tough to hit enemy, you may be expected to get out of the tank and deal with it. Some areas may be too tough (immune to stun gun, higher hit points, high damage, etc) will play to ATLAS's strength.

Much to decide how I want the tank based combat to work. One possibility is every "item" Dash gets (Stun Gun, Beam Sword, Bomb) may have a tank equivalent. Another is switchable tank parts (straightforward cannon, arced shots, rapid fire, etc). It would be easy as the tank is currently drawn modular anyways.

I also wonder how you get it. Are you able to call it or is it somewhere in the level?

Cheers!

ATLAS will be obtained very early in the game. And will remain where you left him. When you activate a checkpoint it saves your position and ATLAS's position. Therefor if you checkpoint with ATLAS, you will respawn in ATLAS. As the game is an open world Metroidvania there are a few game breaking scenarios I've been working on how to avoid.

Example: Jump in ATLAS to a high up place, get out of ATLAS and jump down. Your tank is now stuck. Even with good level design enabling Dash to get back to ATLAS through an alternative way could be frustrating, so for now my current idea is to make ATLAS able to return to any checkpoint he has been to.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 06:06:04 pm by Grog » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 11:22:38 am »

posting to keep track of updates.
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 03:30:35 pm »

Maybe you could make it possible to teleport back to Atlas instead?

If Atlas can be respawned at a checkpoint (or, indeed, where you are) it means you can get Atlas back but not necessarily get back up. Being able to teleport to Atlas would fix that, plus it would mean Speedrunning would be interesting because you could find places to leave behind Atlas to teleport back to and skip backtracking (if there is any).

Looks great so far, especially the dash move.
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alvarop
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2015, 02:17:57 pm »

Sup Grog. How is the project going? Did you change the character after all or not?
Keep us updated.
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2015, 11:01:14 am »

Maybe you could make it possible to teleport back to Atlas instead?

If Atlas can be respawned at a checkpoint (or, indeed, where you are) it means you can get Atlas back but not necessarily get back up. Being able to teleport to Atlas would fix that, plus it would mean Speedrunning would be interesting because you could find places to leave behind Atlas to teleport back to and skip backtracking (if there is any).

Looks great so far, especially the dash move.


Thanks a lot! That is definitely an option to consider. I'll have to see what the big struggles are once I hit the level design stage.

Sup Grog. How is the project going? Did you change the character after all or not?
Keep us updated.

Late November my workload really started to increase, game had to take a backseat. Work obligations started to clear up just in time for the holiday season. Now with all this out of the way I have a lot more time to focus on this. I've been spriting whenever I get a chance but the actual programming aspect has taken a bit of a backseat.

I'll be attempting to keep this updated again, even if it is just some sprites I'm working on or ideas I'm mulling over.

The character design will probably stay as it is for a while. Once I get further along we will see how he fits in with the rest. If he doesn't fit my skills should be much better at that point to work on a better character. Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2015, 01:12:48 pm »

THis project looks great so far. I'm actually a fan of the pixellated look. I always have been. It's one of the reasons I like games by Treasure so much. Astro Boy Omega Factor for life! This also reminds me of Blaster Master, which is a good thing because that was one of my favorite games growing up.

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Grog
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2015, 10:03:18 am »

THis project looks great so far. I'm actually a fan of the pixellated look. I always have been. It's one of the reasons I like games by Treasure so much. Astro Boy Omega Factor for life! This also reminds me of Blaster Master, which is a good thing because that was one of my favorite games growing up.

Thank you! I'm really happy with how the art is coming along, as it is already way better then I expected it to be going in. I've been improving a fair bit. Blaster Master is likely the biggest influence on this game, as I felt it played so well, but due to it being a NES style game (unforgiving, no saves, limited conintues, etc) I wanted to make a similar game with more modernized gameplay principles.

I was writing out some random boring stuff for the game (variables that need to be saved vs ones that don't) when I got a bit of inspiration for the tank, and it's gameplay. Currently ATLAS does not feel as good to play as Dash does, because Dash is far more fleshed out now.

Instead of powerful single shots I may go with a more rapid fire with slightyl varying y values. If the player press up I want them to be able to shoot diagonally forward, and if they press down I may either make them shoot diagonally downwards, or have ATLAS crouch to shoot a bit lower.

Also so far ATLAS's energy bar is only usable for a vertical jet move, but I may play around with making the bullets take from his energy meter as well. These meters recharge when not in use as well. I was thinking of an alternative to the dash mechanic for ATLAS as well, and I may try a turbo boost thing that would rapidly decrease your energy. When it comes to Water, I intend to make ATLAS float, with an unlockable that allows ATLAS to submerge. I am going to play with the idea of having the dash button become a toggle for sub mode (which would then slowly drain energy while submerged).

The issue with this is that shooting would still reduce energy, potentially creating an unfun underwater mechanic. If you can't sink because you need to shoot then that could be frustrating. I'll look into solutions and see if I can make it fun. If not the energy use underwater would be scrapped.
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2015, 10:09:34 am »



I've been playing around with some ideas for the UI. Thoughts would be appreciated on which style is preferred (a vs b) and whether progression is clear (left vs right).

In regards to progression, the blips represent health reserves, similar to Super Metroid, and you can get energy increases. Each dash costs 5 energy (indicated by the notches on the energy bar when you have more than 5).

I'll test it in game as soon as I get the chance to as well.
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