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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDevader - swarms of enemies - made in HTML5
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Author Topic: Devader - swarms of enemies - made in HTML5  (Read 25370 times)
marcgfx
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« on: December 22, 2014, 05:32:20 AM »

It all started out with me testing HTML5 capabilities. My goal was to make an AI battle game (Cyberlympics), where players could write custom AI using Javascript. This evolved into a top down micro-machines style racing game, with up to 4 local players and eventually ended up as a twin-stick shooter named Devader. Your typical origin story so to speak.

After over 4 years of work I released Devader on Steam in September 2019, the game never managed to gain any traction. Inspite of a lot of people telling me to stop working on Devader, I have not managed to do so and continue to improve the game. I am currently working on a rather large change, addressing some minor points in a major way.

So far Devader has 18 valid reviews + a lot of reviews from people who received Devader for free. So far all are positive, but all in all there are just not enough reviews for Steams algorithm to get excited. Due to the low review count, the maximum rating I can get is Positive, this probably does not help sales as most people are looking for the overwhelmingly positive games.

The newest demo version of Devader can be played here: Online Demo (best in Chrome)

Steam Page:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/706850/Devader/

Biggest review on Youtube (+30k views, Splattercat)




Cyberlympics Racing
offered top-down action, with some mario-kart like extras, currently not playable
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 01:51:15 AM by marcgfx » Logged

DocLogic
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 05:39:23 AM »

Nice, just played it! Getting some RC pro-AM vibes from it, great work! Didnt get any weapons, but my only suggestion would be to use spacebar to fire, with maybe 1,2,3 cycling between the weapons. GUI could use a bit of work, but you already mentioned that. Maybe just clicking on "championship" starts the game, instead of having a seperate "start" button..."start championship."

Great loading screen to, though might be better to keep the full screen black while its still loading, instead of seeing the background? Played using firefox, ran great.
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marcgfx
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 07:30:24 AM »

thanks doc. glad to hear it ran well. I have never played rc pro-am, but just had a quick look at it on youtube Smiley. quite a lot of things can be configured on the start page. keys, better shader (default is worst), more extras/speedups, other random tracks/championships. my focus with the keys, was to get 4 players on to one keyboard. in single player mode, its actually possible to use all the keys configured for any of the 4 players (not obvious). i really have to get that gui stuff done, but its something im really struggling with (although it should be easy).
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marcgfx
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 04:51:10 AM »


working on a little more dynamic backgrounds. the blinking red lights are done with a shader. the animated "ship-port" is pre-rendered, which unfortunately means a lot of textures, so I have to keep this pretty limited. i wont be using these graphics together Smiley
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marcgfx
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 07:33:08 AM »

I've been working on some new objects to add variety to my tracks. I decided i needed some simple "technical" stuff. the random placement didnt really look to good, so i added a grid-based approach. this gives it a more struktured feel. this still works in conjunction with the fairly random placement of other objects. I'm quite happy with it, but now i have to make more objects Smiley
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 12:12:33 AM by marcgfx » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 07:36:43 AM »

i really have to get that gui stuff done, but its something im really struggling with (although it should be easy).

Tell me about it, GUI can be such a nightmare! Great work, loving the new backgrounds.
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 08:12:19 AM »

These graphics are slick. The style actually reminds of RCT graphics for some reason. I like the slight crunchiness there is in the animations too. Great work!
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marcgfx
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2014, 11:32:51 PM »

thanks for the nice comments. roller coaster tycoon? well i guess thats not that far off, pretty much the same viewing angle Smiley
maybe i can get some gui stuff done today?
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marcgfx
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 10:42:28 AM »

I have been thinking about adding billboards/advertising to the racing tracks for a while now. today i managed to get something done about it. my current implementation uses 2 posts and tries to simulate a kind of projection between them. I had to go with the projection, because i could not think of a sensible way to cast the 2d-billboard shadow Smiley . cars can drive underneath, but this caused some problems with the z-index. to solve this I had to be built up the posts out of two different parts. the lower part interacts with the car, the upper parts is given a higher index and therefore always remains above.


some kind of artifact appears on the left post, but this seems to be related to the gif.
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 10:50:00 AM »

Nice touch!

Sounds like it was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Funny how you think something simple ends up being more complicated than it should have been.
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marcgfx
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2015, 04:06:35 AM »

have not made much progress lately, but i am working a bit on the gui. currently the loading screen is bugging me a bit. I've made a tiling gif animation that i want to play in the background. my main issue here: the image file is quite large ~400kb.

I've made a sample page, just to demonstrate the loading screen: http://data.cyberlympics.com/html/test.html
what do you guys think?

@doclogic: I totally agree. the simple stuff can be a lot more time-wasting than the complex. i actually had to rewrite a part of my engine, as up until then i could only render perfect rectangles (nothing at an angle).
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2015, 05:31:19 AM »

Looks cool. I feel your pain on the 4-player thing. I tried to do that on one keyboard a few years ago, too. Lousy keyboards. Going back decades, I'm pretty sure I could read my whole Amiga keyboard as a big array. Still haven't reached those glory days again.
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marcgfx
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2015, 05:42:47 AM »

the keyboard issue is a pain, but it works fine if you get a good one... you need a n-key-rollover keyboard (http://www.gigahype.com/nkey-rollover-test-page/). i do believe game-pad support is looking pretty good, so I have my hopes up.
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marcgfx
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2015, 03:59:53 PM »

didnt get round to do anything this week, stupid work. maybe I should try a kickstarter campaign, but to be honest... I have no idea, if a webgame could even qualify for a sensible kickstarter. however I did get round to do a tiny bit of coding. I came accross this spider-robo thing I had integrated a while ago (for no special reason). the animation was no longer working as I had broken some code. I fixed it and made a gif, yay!
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2015, 05:28:21 AM »

Looks really good, a lot of movement in that spider. Will this be like a course obstacle? I love the ground texture/vegetation. Ya kickstarter sounds like a ton of work, from making the page to supporting, to promoting it. I once read its about a month of time (that you could be working on the game.) I always thought coming up with all the rewards tiers would be difficult.
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marcgfx
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2015, 06:11:22 AM »

not sure what i will do with it. at first I was planning to make it a usable vehicle. the thing is, it has to be rather slow. if i make it faster the legs start moving in a freaky way. I was thinking about adding humans as watchers neer the track. but I fear adding too much animated detail, that would also require collision-detection and a bit of AI would kill performance.
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marcgfx
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2015, 12:01:05 AM »

I'm trying to add the countdown before the start as a game-element. main reason is that the overlay im using to show the countdown seems to hog a lot of performance. does this look ok, or cheep?
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marcgfx
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2015, 06:50:53 AM »

I received some mixed feedback on the original design, so I tried a more standard approach
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marcgfx
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2015, 06:09:42 PM »

I've been pretty busy the last two days, finally had some time to work on my project Wink. a friend of mine thought it would be cool, if you could draw your own track. as I'm currently just using randomly placed dots, I decided this could work pretty well. first results were horrible, as every pixel from the line translated to a new checkpoint. total chaos Smiley. I needed to find an algorithm to reduce the amount of dots, while keeping the desired outline intact. I tried a few things, but did not come to any good conclusions. googling got me further, I found Visvalingam’s algorithm and an implementation: http://bost.ocks.org/mike/simplify/
I'm sure if I had had the patience, I could have used the existing code. But as I did not, I wrote my own version of the algorithm and so far it seems to do the job quite ok. drawing tracks turned out to be a lot of fun and for some reason I really wanted to draw a cats face. this is what I got, more like a weird teddy-bear:

So I had to spend some time, reworking my track-algorithm, so that I could get sharper corners. It's not perfect, but I am happy with the result:


Of course I did not stop with the cat. I tried out really windy horribly long tracks too. Of course this did not go so well. I noticed quite a few tracks had errors/artifacts that I could not explain. It took me a few hours (I had to recreate a testing environment for tracks) until I finally found the origin of my problem (ok there were more, but this was the worst one). My vector-angle function (written by me) was returning NaN in some cases. acos requires [-1,1] but due to rounding errors I was sometimes passing 1.00000002, or the negative version. easy to fix, hard to find...
I also fixed a long standing issue with my tracks. Sometimes the outline would be too flat, especially on sharp corners. I figured this might be due to my bezier-function. Looking at the code, I have no idea what I was thinking or doing. I believe I just tried something that looks ok, but it was not a good solution. A bit of googling helped me out again: http://www.benknowscode.com/2012/09/path-interpolation-using-cubic-bezier_9742.html


I had a pretty bad performance issue with the new large track as well. every checkpoint checks if its been crossed by any object in every frame. now so far I mostly had 20-30 checkpoints. now I had 150. this meant a lot of track-space, what also meant more extras and speed-ups. these were counted as objects and there were a few hundred. now as every checkpoint checked every object, I suddenly had about 70000 checks instead of a few hundred. fixed Wink

another issue, that had been bugging me for a while, were the extras. the collected extra is displayed at the top-left of the screen. when your driving it's quite distracting to have to look up, so now I've added the extra above the car. There is also a simple fade-in-out animation, that also has an additional benefit. So far it was possible to execute extras as soon as you had collected them, making automatic execution (without looking) a viable strategy. this way you could get 3+ extras in a very short time. I really disliked this mechanic. mario-kart solves it with the slot-machine extra-selection (I assume this is the reason).
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 06:24:02 PM by marcgfx » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2015, 12:41:18 PM »



I had noticed that shots sometimes did not hit the target if it was really close. the issue was, that shots were not registered for collisions until the end of their second frame. so only collisions on the third frame or later were actually detected. The above situation turned up while testing. you can see 4 groups of (originally) 50 mini-tanks, with everything that could get hit destroyed already. the blinking units are close to getting destroyed, but were shoved away by the impacts, so they are out of reach.

I've also been working on saving/loading videos of the game. This was something I originally had developed for the AI-battle-system and it was no longer working. I think there might still be some issues, but its a pretty difficult subject  Undecided
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