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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsNeuroVoider - Twin-stick shooter RL - Trailer & Alpha out!
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Author Topic: NeuroVoider - Twin-stick shooter RL - Trailer & Alpha out!  (Read 6110 times)
MrHelmut
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« on: February 03, 2015, 09:41:25 am »

Hi there!

It's my first time doing a devlog, so I hope to publish interesting posts and get some nice feedback from you. Feel free to tell me if I am doing something wrong or well, or to ask any questions, I'll try to be as relevant as possible.

This thread will be about one of our two ongoing projects, NeuroVoider. We are two people working on it and we're already 6 months into the development. I'm Thomas, the designer/coder on the project and I hope to introduce to you the graphics mastermind, Florian (who's not very keen to post stuff in english on the interweb -- we're French -- but I'll try to convince him to drop by, because he's really full of ideas).

I will try to regularly post specific articles about our dev process, there's a list at the end of this post showing what I'd like to talk about, but feel free to suggest other topics.

I will also be doing live streaming of the game progress starting this friday (hopefully), so I can show you some living things! (I will also post gif's soon enough)

Oh, and if you are curious about what we've already done, check out my signature. Smiley



NeurVoider



Futuristic twin-stick shooter RPG with tons of loot and procedural content. Made by Flying Oak Games.

Platforms: Windows / Mac OS (some other platforms pending)

Release date: 2016

Links: tumblr - twitter - facebook - twitch

Description:

NeuroVoider* is a twin-stick shooter RPG set in a cyber futuristic world about brains shooting around evil robots with nuclear rocket launchers. Battle through the horde of vigilant robots, boost your character with the smoking remains of your victims, and defeat the master NeuroVoider to end this eternal war. Play it coop with up to 4 friends, or go alone in an adventure of hack'n'slash rampage, with a pinch of rogue-lite, and some permadeath.

Dedicated website: http://neurovoider.com/

* may contain explosions.

Highlights:
* Action packed top-down shooting. May include explosions. *
* Local multiplayer up to 4 players. Total coop rampage. *
* Procedurally generated content and hazards. Hope you don't mind a few game overs. *
* 8736 unique enemies to blow up. Yes, we counted. *
* Tons of loot to customize your character with. Explode your foes with that "double twin-plasma shotgun of father doom" you've just dropped. *
* Gigantic bosses to challenge your bullet dodging skills. Chances are that they don't fit on your 4K monitor. *
* Powerful dark synth music by Dan Terminus. May your ears survive the beat. *



Cropped action gifs







Fullscreen ingame stills


















Past devlogs:

Posts to come:
  • Procedural generation 1. Game world
  • Procedural generation 2. Enemies and players
  • Procedural generation 3. Weapon system
  • Procedural generation 4. Bosses
  • Special skills / crowd control
  • Loots and robot customization
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 10:41:23 am by MrHelmut » Logged

Low_Chance
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 10:06:39 am »

Concept looks cool! I love a good local co-op game, and procedural generation is even better. Are you planning to keep the Permadeath elements of roguelikes? I assume with up to 4 players, there will be some way for "dead" players to stay in the action or return to life?

As someone raised on the SNES, the graphics are really appealing to me. The player customization looks really cool from your screenshots (different chassis, propulsion, weapons, etc. ). Let's see some .gifs ASAP Smiley

P.S: Sweet beard
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 11:13:44 am »

Concept looks cool! I love a good local co-op game, and procedural generation is even better. Are you planning to keep the Permadeath elements of roguelikes? I assume with up to 4 players, there will be some way for "dead" players to stay in the action or return to life?

As someone raised on the SNES, the graphics are really appealing to me. The player customization looks really cool from your screenshots (different chassis, propulsion, weapons, etc. ). Let's see some .gifs ASAP Smiley

P.S: Sweet beard

There will sure be permadeath. Evil Currently there's one or two skills to repair dead players during a level, otherwise they are repaired at the end of a level. We still have to playtest this to know if dead players are not bored for too long (a level should not be longer than 7min).

Here's a little preview of our game editor / enemy generation (this is an actual in-editor capture, we have a gif generation tool to test if everything assemble well randomly Wizard ):



And a little baddy in action to keep you waiting:

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MAVW
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 11:37:27 am »

Quote
Currently there's one or two skills to repair dead players during a level, otherwise they are repaired at the end of a level. We still have to playtest this to know if dead players are not bored for too long (a level should not be longer than 7min).
Maybe something like Monaco did? Allowing players to go out of their way to resurrect players (while vulnerable in the process)
sweet artstyle, I like the colors. Looks like this will be total mayhem  Cool

P.S: Sweet beard
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 12:21:54 pm »

There will sure be permadeath. Evil Currently there's one or two skills to repair dead players during a level, otherwise they are repaired at the end of a level. We still have to playtest this to know if dead players are not bored for too long (a level should not be longer than 7min).

One way to handle this is to give dead players some ability to affect the game world in a minor way, to give them something to do. Spelunky does this, for example, with dead players remaining onscreen as ghosts who can float freely through the level but can only blow a gust of air at objects. This can help or harm the living players, and about once per level a dead player can be rescued from a "coffin" object.

Mario Kart 64, though a very different kind of game, had dead players resurrected as invincible "bomb carts" that could chase down living players to get a little bit of revenge from beyond the grave.

I think a big part of the value of a game mechanic like this is that it helps deal with big skill gaps between players, and in particular it helps the ultra-newbie players. A person who is very new to the game/very unskilled might easily die after just a minute or two in the level. If they have to wait to respawn, they will likely stop paying attention to the game and maybe even get bored and stop playing. By giving them something to do onscreen, however, trivial, you encourage them to stay involved and, more importantly, to watch the more skilled players play through the level, hopefully teaching them how to stay alive. At worst, a very bad player will now die almost immediately every level - but they may still have fun acting as "support" for the more skilled players - a way for people to enjoy the game no matter how bad they are at it (and dealing with big differences in player skill seems to be a big issue for local MP games).

Basically I am really in favor of giving the dead players some small role to continue playing in the level. Maybe they become a floating "shield bot" that can provide a brief shield for other players, or stun enemies, or collect items, or something along those lines. Just a thought!
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 01:25:23 am »

Thank you guys, we should definitely come up with a mechanism to allow dead players to interact. I also consider this to be very important in (local) multiplayer games involving lengthy sessions, having everybody to keep interacting no matter what the issue is helps keeping the pace constant. Spelunky seems to do it just right, it doesn't impact the core gameplay and even gives a fun way to interact with the living. I haven't played Monaco but it is on my to do list!

Quote
Basically Maybe they become a floating "shield bot" that can provide a brief shield for other players, or stun enemies, or collect items, or something along those lines. Just a thought!

These are very good ideas.
The game story implies that players start being just brains and build a cyborg around it with enemy remains. Maybe dying would just mean returning to the brain state and wandering around with such abilities. That would be fun!
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GrahamOfLegend
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 12:39:38 pm »

Hey @MrHelmut! This is looking pretty dope! props to both of you so far Smiley. I watched the video on your tumblr, and this may just be a personal preference, but I think if the game played back in a lower framerate it would match with the art style a bit more. Right now it feels very smooth, which is fine, but I think that it could be pushed even more if it felt more pixel-y. Otherwise. looks sweet!
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Seiseki
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 05:03:55 pm »

Some really sexy pixels here, keep it up!
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 11:22:20 pm »

@Seiseki: Thank you very much. Grin

@GrahamOfLegend: Thank you too. Ah yes, most of the engine internals are floats and there is also sprite rotations going on there (no scaling though), so NeuroVoider is far from being a "pixel perfect" game. Not sure if I can round everything and get rid of the rotations, but I'll give it a try to see how that feel. You are not the first one to point that.
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jctwood
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 01:05:48 am »

Goddamn these are some beautiful pixels. Look forward to more! Any notable palette inspirations?
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 01:41:30 am »

Florian says he is using a custom Gradientifier with a modified Arne64 palette to generate his gradients. Regarding the color choices, the tileset in the video is inspired by Dungeon of the Endless (which uses brilliant unnatural color mixes).
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chrisDeneos
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2015, 02:21:47 am »

Hey ^^ Welcome here, and keep up the good work!
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 03:56:39 am »

Hey Chris, thx! Smells like tako here.  Gentleman
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jctwood
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 03:58:57 am »

Thanks for the information! Really nice to here about these kinds of things. Maybe I should play Dungeon of the Endless...
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2015, 04:01:43 am »

It's a really great rogue-like, worth trying.
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Eniimal
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2015, 04:40:02 am »

NeuroVoider looks awesome.

I'm already following you on Twitter but I didn't know you had a DevLog here, I will try to check it more regularly.

And I also liked Dead End, it was very cool for something made in only one month.
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2015, 05:23:28 am »

Hey Eniimal, thank you! Nice to have you here. When do we meet again in a game jam?

We may come up with another 1-month game in the coming weeks. Tongue


EDIT:

Just added some close range weapons to the game. They should add a lot to the gameplay and combo with the skills. Still need a lot of tweaking, but here's a rough preview.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 07:16:57 am by MrHelmut » Logged

MrHelmut
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2015, 07:54:50 am »

Update!

I have revamped the landing post of this thread with up-to-date content, action gifs and screenshots! No more concept arts, only ingame stuff!

Also, I have been revamping a lot of the procedural content lately, mainly the enemies. Here's a randomization right from the game editor:



A few dozens out of the 40,000 combinations existing in the current build (which represent ~40% of our goal). Sounds huge, but we took a lot of time to create tools to streamline most of the work required to add enemy sprites.

Each enemy is bound to a family (out of 16) which can be identified by it color pattern/design style and should help players to predict enemy behaviors and weapons.
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Eniimal
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2015, 09:52:20 am »

So many enemies !!!

I'm curious, how many different sprites of parts of robots did you needed to make to have 40,000.
Did you use code to change the color of those different robots or is everything made in the bitmap ?

The enemies looks awesome  Grin !
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MrHelmut
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2015, 12:54:18 am »

Thx!

I'm planning a devlog focused on the enemy editor and the proc-gen behind it to discuss this in detail, but meanwhile, here's a quick break down.

There are 16 enemy/color families, each one bound to a type of weapon. In each family, there are:
- 6 light head sprites
- 6 medium head sprites
- 6 heavy head sprites
- 2 light body sprites
- 2 medium body sprites
- 2 heavy body sprites
- 6 light weapon sprites
- 6 medium weapon sprites
- 6 heavy weapon sprites
- 6 super heavy weapon sprites
- 1 light legs sprite (each legs has a 8-frame animation)
- 2 medium legs sprites
- 2 heavy legs sprites

Total 848 sprites (without the animation frames) in a single 1024x2048 texture.

With all these sprites, we create enemies of the following class (this may change in the future):
- Garbage: 1 light head + 1 light legs (6x1=6 possibilities)
- Minions: 1 light head + 1 light body + 1 light legs + 2 light weapons (6x2x1x6x6=432)
- Champions: 1 medium head + 1 medium body + 1 medium legs + 2 medium weapons (6x2x2x6x6=864)
- Rare: 1 heavy head + 1 heavy body + 1 heavy legs + 2 heavy weapons (6x2x2x6x6=864)
- Mini-boss: 1 heavy head + 1 heavy body + 1 heavy legs + 2 super heavy weapons (6x2x2x6x6=864)

Total 3,030 different enemies in each family, 48,480 grand total (which is slightly different from the 40k for 7 families I mentioned above).

The above family limitation doesn't apply to players, which can equip any part of the same class (light/medium/heavy) with any other and weapons don't have any class limitations. Making 36,238,786,560 different possible combinations for player customization. My Word! (erm, I never counted, that's huge...)

The enemy editor allows us to define the different part compatibility and fine tune sprite alignment, but thankfully most of the process has been automated through a tight organization of the spritesheet.

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