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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsRe: Tower57 - Dieselpunk Pixel-Shooter (dinosaurs included)
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Author Topic: Re: Tower57 - Dieselpunk Pixel-Shooter (dinosaurs included)  (Read 31802 times)
tower57
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« on: December 19, 2014, 12:40:10 pm »

[https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45185.msg1204005#msg1204005]Take me to the latest update![/url]






A dystopian future in which humanity has found refuge in self-sufficient mega towers... A retro-futuristic setting... A government conspiring to keep its citizens subjugated...

TIGsource, we are proud to present to you Tower57!

Tower57 is the love child of Alien Breed and The Chaos Engine, a fast paced action / arcade game with lots of insane weapons and challenging enemies. The game is currently being developed by myself (benitosub) and artist Cyangmou.



The core features we are focusing on right now are:

  • 16-bit style pixel art
  • interactive / destructible environments
  • an online coop mode designed as a core feature rather than an afterthought
  • engine designed to promote emergent gameplay
  • cross platform Mac / Windows / Linux



I'm a bit wary of making this first post too long / boring, so I'll just leave you with a few screenshots, but if anybody is interested in discussing any aspect of the game (be it about the tools used to create the art, the engine itself, gameplay features, or even just our sources of inspiration) please don't hesitate to post here!



Also, Cyangmou regularly streams the creation of the art assets, so if you're a pixel art lover you should probably check out his twitter feed where he announces the streams (@cyangmou)

Cheers!









« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 04:33:48 pm by tower57 » Logged

DMoon
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 01:01:36 pm »

Wow, the art and animations are pretty good!   Gentleman
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Benitosub
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 01:09:35 pm »

Thanks! We're both huge fans of pixel art, hopefully it shows. Should look even better once the lighting is in though...
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Green Gospod
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 02:11:06 pm »

Now that's some top notch pixel art!  Hand Thumbs Up Right

I also played the hell out of Alien Breed and Chaos Engine with my friend, so I hope this will also have local coop, surely?

Btw that logo is nice, but the TOWER and especially 57 should stand out more. It's not really clear right now.
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Benitosub
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2014, 02:33:09 pm »

Thanks! The game can be played either with keyboard / mouse or a dual stick gamepad (the moving and shooting directions are independent unlike Chaos Engine - think Smash TV here), so it's indeed perfectly suited for local coop as well as online coop.
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UmutD
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2014, 03:16:31 pm »

woah, those graphics! Definitely following.
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Benitosub
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2014, 03:32:03 pm »

Please do ^^ I will be updating weekly, either with new art or coding talk if anybody shows interest. Also if you like the graphics check out Cyangmou's twitter for streams (he's doing one right now, building a test room for the game! https://picarto.tv/live/channel.php?watch=Cyangmou )
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FK in the Coffee
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2014, 10:56:15 pm »

Your art is absolutely stunning.  100% gonna be watching this.
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yaomon17
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2014, 12:35:07 am »

Quote
Tower57 is the love child of Alien Breed and The Chaos Engine, a fast paced action / arcade game with lots of insane weapons and challenging enemies. The game is currently being developed by myself (benitosub) and artist Cyangmou.
   Hand Money LeftWaaagh! Hand Money Right Going to be following the progress of this for sure! Already following Cyangmou's stream but he always streams when it is like 4 am for me  Cry
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Benitosub
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2014, 03:36:04 am »

Thanks!

Team17 and the Bitmap Brothers were huge influences on my early gaming. For the weapons we're striving to give each of them specific mechanics - rather than having X variations of the same rifle - and the engine is designed in a way that allows for a lot of cool interactions to take place (that's part of the "emergent gameplay" core feature).

And yeah, I agree the time difference can sometimes be a pain, but I'll try to convince him to archive the streams so they can be made available for later viewing ^^
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UmutD
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2014, 05:11:07 am »

I will definitely watch your artists stream if their time is convenient for my timezone. I love alien breed, chaos engine and similar games from that amiga era, and love this particular style. You don't se this level of quality in pixel art everyday.

Since it seems you're welcome to questions about your internal process, here they come:

How do you plan to handle destructible environments? Will it be like, "here is an undamaged wall and here is the damaged texture" or something more procedural or inbetween of these two? I wonder because the art style is neat and if any procedural solution will blend good enough to this particular style.

Also, wouldn't it be real time-sink to draw player character and guns for at least 5 angles (completed to 8 with mirrored angles)? I guess working low-res will be an advantage this point and your artist seems super experienced but still it can be a lot of work. Additionaly, if we will see projectiles, will you simply rotate them or draw everything for that angle? First one is much more logical timewise but pixels will rotate too. How you want to handle independent shooting/moving directions is another question mark for me, since opposite directions can get awkward when upper body and lower body animations come together.

I also suspect that only 45 degree increments might not be enough. For a previous game of mine, I remember trying it and deciding drawing angles incrementing by 22.5, because the difference between actual shooting angle and sprite angle was too obvious before. Though you can bypass this problem by fixing shooting angle to the sprite's angle probably, but then mouse aiming might feel clunky, I don't know, never tried that...

Anyway, I don't want to seem like I'm only pointing problems, they are not unsolvable stuff. I'm just curious so I'm wondering how you will approach this. Good luck!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 05:18:10 am by umutD » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2014, 05:27:16 am »

Ah, I just realized that I missed your mention of smash tv, I guess that answers most of my questions about angle stuff. Sorry :D
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s-spooky g-g-ghosts
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2014, 05:36:32 am »

That's some fine art. I feel like I can definitely learn something from it.
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Savick
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2014, 06:07:19 am »

I don't think I would need over the top action/explosions. Give me a life sim where I can live in one of the towers and like, start a business, meet interesting people and stuff. With art like that, I would just want to be there and explore. Your idea is fine too, of course.
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Benitosub
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2014, 06:28:06 am »

Hi umutD,

yes all questions are welcome!

Quote
How do you plan to handle destructible environments?

as you suspect it's rather tricky to combine procedural approaches with such a strong art style (not impossible though). Instead we're handling destruction with a combination of two techniques: static things (so basically walls) cannot be fully destructed, but each tileset has alternate versions with varying degrees of destruction, so walls will gradually crumble up if you throw grenades at it, explosions leave black scorches on the ground, blowing up a lamp will damage the nearby tiles, and so on...

Literally everything else - so crates, columns, windows, glass doors, wall-fans, lamps, computers, desks, chairs, cabinets, pipes, monitors, medical equipment, shelves, and so on - can be destroyed, set on fire, electrocuted, blown up, etc. Destroying a dynamic objects generates debris (glass shards, bits of wood, pieces of metal, etc.), which litters the floor permanently, so after firefights the rooms look pretty messy and torn up.

Quote
Also, wouldn't it be real time-sink to draw player character and guns for at least 5 angles (completed to 8 with mirrored angles)?

It's actually 8 angles, no mirroring, since the poses are asymmetrical, and you are correct, it is a lot of work! We speed it up a bit however by building the character out of several layers, so for example the "arms holding a rifle" pose is drawn once in all directions, and can then be used with different interchangeable weapons, rather than having to draw the full upper body in all directions for each weapon.

Same thing goes for the legs, since the upper body and lower body are independent, the legs only need to be drawn once in all directions, and can then be reused for different torso / arms combinations.

Quote
Additionaly, if we will see projectiles, will you simply rotate them or draw everything for that angle? First one is much more logical timewise but pixels will rotate too

Yes, projectiles are visible, and they get rotated, so the pixels rotate too. It wasn't uncommon though in the 16bit era to see rotated sprites (artifacts included) so we're ok with that ^^ Also not many projectiles are actual bullets, so it only applies to a few of the starter weapons.

Quote
How you want to handle independent shooting/moving directions is another question mark for me, since opposite directions can get awkward when upper body and lower body animations come together

As you answered in your next post, it's handled pretty much as in Smash TV. It doesn't get awkward because past a 90° difference between the torso and the legs, the legs will simply change direction. Imagine you are looking right, and walking downward. There is a 90° difference between the torso facing right, and the legs facing down. If you now start walking in the down-left direction, while still looking right, it would look awkward if the legs would face down-left and the torso would face right (135° difference, that looks painful!). Instead the legs will switch to face the up-right direction, so the angle difference is reduced to 45°, and will walk backward instead of forward : you are now moving down-left while looking right and the angle difference between the legs (up-right) and the torso (right) is a cool 45°!

Sorry if that doesn't make any sense, but I will post some animated gifs to illustrate this!

And finally...

Quote
I also suspect that only 45 degree increments might not be enough

This is a very valid point, and with the bullet-based weapons you are absolutely correct, it does look a bit weird, and this is something we haven't fully tackled yet so I can't give you a definitive answer, but we may either try to "auto-rotate" some angles to fill in the gap, though I suspect that will look ugly and out of place, or possibly add some extra angles for the torso and arms, since as I explained above it's essentially 2 poses that fit all situations. But as I said we haven't really tackled this one yet ^^

If you have more questions don't hesitate!

Cheers!
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Benitosub
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2014, 06:34:14 am »

Hi Savick!

Quote
I don't think I would need over the top action/explosions. Give me a life sim where I can live in one of the towers and like, start a business, meet interesting people and stuff.

Actually the first draft had a lot of rpg-ish elements in it (some basic stats like in Chaos Engine, a rudimentary inventory, NPCs with little side quests, basic crafting, etc.) but considering the team size and the scope of such a project we decided to re-focus on the fast paced action and the arcade elements.

However the game is centered around a hub-like area, with shops, some NPCs, interesting locations, and of course elevators to take you to the various floors (which are not all action-oriented, such as the red-light-floor ^^)

So not exactly a life sim, but I do want to try to introduce some "quieter" areas because I basically had the same reaction with a lot of games, "I wish I could talk to that guy, or enter that shop, or have a drink at that tavern, rather than just having to murder everybody"

Cheers!
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2014, 10:13:06 am »

Hey, just dropping to say this looks amazing (like always with Cyangmou's art honestly)! Now show us some gameplay please!
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Benitosub
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2014, 01:44:18 pm »

Thanks!

We're still fleshing out the first enemies and working on AI so currently the gameplay consists of running around a test room firing various weapons and breaking stuff ^^

Will post some gifs tomorrow though to start showing some of the weapons, then I plan to update every Sunday with some new content, so yes gameplay is on the way!

Cheers!
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tower57
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2014, 07:37:23 am »

First Sunday, first weekly update ^^

Introducing the first two weapons - nothing too crazy yet since we need some basic weapons to start with. Keep in mind the effects and art are not polished, at this point we are just testing functionality!

The "laser tommy-gun" is the standard weapon: average in every respect, but better than nothing:



The missiles pack a bigger punch, but due to their somewhat erratic trajectory they are better suited for open spaces:



And a couple of statues to illustrate a little better the style / vibe of the world:



Next Sunday, more weapons and possibly the first enemy...

Cheers everybody, have a great Sunday!
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UmutD
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2014, 07:58:53 am »

 WTF WTF WTF WTF  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

Simply amazing. Ah, and thanks for the detailed explanations!
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