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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsOverclocked (Demo Available!)
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Magnesium Ninja
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« on: June 01, 2015, 05:10:22 pm »


Play the demo here!


Super Meat Boy meets Mega Man in Overclocked, a free-flowing action-platformer that mixes combat and fluid movement. Overclocked follows Amber, a glass-cannon vigilante who is fighting to protect her home from an enigmatic computer virus that is causing people to lose control of their bodies and minds. As tension mounts and new villains capitalize on the chaos, Amber must rely on the strength of her friends to protect her home.

In Overclocked, one hit means death. Gameplay is divided into short levels that constantly throw new obstacles at the player. In order to survive, you must learn to constantly adapt to these challenges. To thrive, you must master the controls and your ability to fight.

-----

Our goal with Overclocked is to create a powerful blend of story and gameplay that will leave a lasting impression with all of our players. We're aiming to do better than some throwaway experience; and that will hopefully come through more and more in each new update we post.




Media














The core gameplay of Overclocked consists of fighting your way through a variety of levels, forming strategies on the fly as you defeat enemies without being hit.

Each level has a unique secondary objective. Accomplish enough of these objectives and something cool might happen!





Overclocked is a side-project-turned-real-project, and we're really excited to talk about the game as we work. We've got a long way to go, but it's going to be a fun road and we hope you accompany us for most of it.

I'll do my best to post frequent updates on the state of the game, as well as features that we've already planned/implemented. Let me know if you're interested in hearing about anything in particular!




Thanks for checking out our game!

Chris
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:38:28 pm by Magnesium Ninja » Logged

Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2015, 01:32:04 pm »

Player Death



Started work on player death last night/today. In Overclocked, one hit means death, and we wanted the player's death to have a strong impact. There's still work to be done, like actual death art, effects, and sounds. Once that's all in, I think it's going to feel pretty good (to die?).

The idea behind the freeze frame is to show the player exactly why they were killed. This helps them learn for the future, and prevents some "That didn't touch me!" sentiments when things get heated.
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 03:05:26 pm »

Started work on audio implementation today. I wanted to make sure that we started audio closer to the beginning of the project this time around; in the past we'd neglected it for too long and as a result the final product didn't sound as nice as it should have.

It'll also really help us get an early idea of how the game feels to play. The game feel is going to be a huge factor in what makes Overclocked fun, so getting ourselves off in the right direction is key.

We also settled on some details regarding plans for the story mode. I'll talk about that more as we get closer to implementing it, but it's going to feel like a mix of 10 Second Ninja, Super Meat Boy, and something like Fenix Rage.
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 07:49:13 pm »

Today I implemented some miscellaneous functionalities that were needing to be put in. The player can now be frozen at will, enemy spawners no longer telefrag you when spawning a new wave, stuff like that.

I also spent an hour or two fighting with GameMaker's default audio groups before discovering that they've been broken since they were implemented. I promptly wrote my own so that I could implement separate volume controls for music and sfx.

Approaching audio so early on in a project is definitely a first for us, but I have a feeling that it's going to pay off big time.

Next up for me is working on proper movement, hurt, and damage hitboxes for the player so that the game's combat is a bit more representative of the actual challenge that we'll be expecting. Right now, if you miss-time a jab even slightly, you die. Once that's in, things should be a little more balanced.
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 07:54:32 pm »

This looks like fun, interested to see how it progresses!
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mzn528
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 09:45:06 pm »

I really like your character design and the concept, good job Ninja!

The death animation seems a little bit too long and unnatural, but this is still very early, so I am sure it will be changed later.

Anyways, keep up the good work man!
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 02:30:08 pm »

This looks like fun, interested to see how it progresses!

Thanks! It'll be interesting for us too  Wink

I really like your character design and the concept, good job Ninja!

The death animation seems a little bit too long and unnatural, but this is still very early, so I am sure it will be changed later.

Anyways, keep up the good work man!

Thanks a lot! Death animations is definitely still in-development. It'll feel closer to Spelunky's death sequence once it's done, but obviously you'll be able to skip it at any time and view your results/restart.


Combat++

Since the last update we've spent time working on improved hitboxes for combat and taking damage, as well as some new art for death and attacks.

Hitboxes in Overclocked function similar to how they might work in a bullet hell game. Amber's movement hitbox covers about the size of her idle sprite, but the area of her body vulnerable to being hit is much smaller.


A system like this allows us a much greater deal of control over the player's experience, right down to the difficulty level if we choose to implement it. Easier difficulties might mean even smaller hitboxes. With a bullet hell-style hitbox, we can ensure that the player has some leeway in making mistakes while in combat, which is a big thing when a single hit means death.

We also implemented some new art for the downward smash attack. You can see it below in its full glory:



Next up is some work on additional enemy types, as well as round ending for endless mode to collect statistics.
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 03:31:39 pm »

Over the past few days, we've been working on a new enemy type, discussing Overclocked's story mode (at length), and working on some UI improvements as well as death.

I've also been moving furniture, transiting, visiting family, and other things.

It's been busy, but productive! The enemy that we've implemented is called the Drifter; it's a simple enemy that floats through the air, bouncing off of walls and generally getting in your air space. While basic in AI, it's designed to challenge the way that you move throughout a level.

It's kind of cool seeing how even the simplest of obstacles force you to re-approach the way you're planning to move around the level. It'll be interesting to design for story mode.

Speaking of story mode, that's coming up next. With our discussions, we've re-designed some contentious areas, and are going to jump head-on into some of the meta-game mechanics, as well as other story-related functionalities.
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 08:09:02 pm »

Menus and Stages


Recently we've been working on starting up the menu and story mode.

The menu is going to be fully playable, with the setting being the task force's home base. I'll probably talk a little more about some story points soon, but for now I'll keep quiet (in case things change as we work details out!).

Our goals with the playable menu are to help the player enhance their skills in a safe environment, instead of dropping them into combat-heavy levels immediately. It also gives us a really nice opportunity to add some secrets and life to a setting that will be home to multiple important characters and game pieces.

I spent time today implementing a core "interactable" object that can be inherited from. I designed it in such a way that any inheriting child only needs to implement one function for the entire suite to work. This means that we can really quickly create new interactive objects with very little effort, allowing us to focus more on content creation.

We're also beginning work on our stage selection interface. This interface operates via a series of linear stages. These stages can have a variety of level types, like winning a race, surviving a number of waves, or getting to the end of a particularly challenging map. Each stage has a "perfect" condition that will earn you a badge. After enough badges, something absolutely lovely might happen!


I'm really looking forward to working more on the stage select interface. I think it's going to be very nice once it's complete, and I can't wait to show it off.

I'll try to talk a bit more about our design changes and why we've made them soon. Some things have definitely been shuffled around, but we think that it's for the best and will lead to an ultimately superior product.

Next up, more stage select work and hopefully the beginnings of a conversation system!
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2015, 07:53:54 pm »

Choose Your Level



Today came some heavy improvements to the stage selection interface, taking it from a glorified whiteboard to an intricate, stylized whiteboard. Obviously, art assets haven't even been started, but a lot of the functionality already exists and is fully implemented.


To describe the elements at play here:

The top bar contains the episode number, title and description. Each episode is a set of inter-connected levels driven by a story or sub-story.

The bottom bar contains (on the right side) the stage name and description. The left side is the bonus challenge for achieving "perfect" on that stage.

Inside the whiteboard is a map containing all unlocked levels. These are colour-coded to correspond to their episode, and have icons inside them based on the type of level they are (eg: race, survival, get to the end).

Next up, conversation system to allow for some juicy character development.
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2015, 08:33:19 pm »

Let's Have a Talk



The past couple of days have been an intense slog through complex file parsing and textbox logic. The result is something that I won't be able to show until at least tomorrow, but it's something I'm really proud of and am excited to use in the game proper.


Quality Dialogue.

I created a file format to help us easily create dialogue for the game. This file format works via defined "conversations", each of which can be named anything. Specific conversations can be named under the convention "eX_sY_Z" to be automatically picked up by the game's story controller and slotted into the correct position in the story.

My goal with this system was to allow not only for easy manipulation of story text, but also to allow for eventual localization to other languages if we want to. With this system, localization is as simple as changing the language in the game settings. The engine will take care of the rest.


Images ripped straight from The Vigilante.


The end result, again, is something that I can't currently show in motion. I will be able to soon though, and I'm excited to do so. This is a polished and versatile conversation system that allows for any number of concurrent characters with multiple portraits in a logical way. It's something we started in The Vigilante, a jam game we made a year ago, and I think that by the end of this project it will be perfected.

Next up I'll be adding text effects to be parsed out of the dialogue in an HTML-like fashion. This will allow for text colours, sizes, and screen effects, depending on what we feel the game needs to properly convey the story.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 02:45:08 pm by Magnesium Ninja » Logged

Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2015, 03:06:44 pm »

Blah Blah Blah



Today we see the conclusion of the conversation engine (for now). This is a system that I'm really proud of, and one that I hope will contribute to some really lively dialogue to carry the story, even without voice acting. The system allows for text of any colour, timed effects (like the shake and long pauses), and any number of characters in the conversation at a given time.


Localization would be a lovely thing to do for the game, but it'll depend on some factors later on in development. It's nice to know that we have the option, at least.

Other than the conversation system, we added some effects to show the player when their dash recharges, and when they get their double jump back. We also show the player the exact spot that they were hit when they die, so you can learn from your mistakes and improve the next time.

Lastly, we added a clean room transition effect that helps to pace the start and end of each stage. We may have a number of these based on the situation, but for now it's nice to be able to see at least one in action.


Next up is proper stage starting and ending, HUD changes, and hopefully the beginning of some real content!
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Patomkin
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2015, 11:06:31 pm »

Quote
The core gameplay of Overclocked consists of arcade-style arena combat.
I don't get it. So you mean you have different levels, each of them looks like a small arena where you fight enemies to unlock next level-arena? Or is it big levels where you need to get from A to B? Shrug

But overall - looks good!
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2015, 10:39:38 am »

Quote
The core gameplay of Overclocked consists of arcade-style arena combat.
I don't get it. So you mean you have different levels, each of them looks like a small arena where you fight enemies to unlock next level-arena? Or is it big levels where you need to get from A to B? Shrug

But overall - looks good!

The story mode consists of a variety of different levels types (eg: survive a number of waves, get to the end of an area, etc). I've only been showing off square-ish levels because we haven't done any real level design yet. Once we start prototyping actual stages of the story mode, I think it'll be a bit more clear. More on that soon though!  Smiley
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2015, 04:57:24 pm »

Drowning in UI



Over the past couple of days I've been hard at work on a ton of miscellaneous user interface and general game connectivity features. None of them are overly exciting, especially not in their current, hideous state, but they mean a lot for actually getting to the point where we can content create.

For a quick list of what was done:

- Pause menu
- Proper returning to menu (with contextual location based on where you’re coming back from)
- Level start procedure (Opening dialogue, stage start indicator)
- Level end procedure (Badges, restarting, etc)
- Proper player death
- Room transitions


We also fixed a bunch of bugs, which is a nice feeling!

Next up is a couple smaller game mechanics and actual content creation. I'm excited for that, especially after spending time in UI hell.
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Collarblind
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2015, 02:30:10 pm »

Hey! Amazing character design and animations! I love the dialog and screen transitions; really smooth and dynamic!

Also maybe I'm a little picky but I think you could improve a little on the movement as it feels a little too floaty imo. I mean, the concept seems to be all about momentum, but right now the moves aren't really that fast. As a result the character seems to be sliding on ice or something, and not really recovering from high speed moves. I think you could experiment with less acceleration and/or increasing the overall game speed maybe, and see how that goes. I know of course this is early dev but anyway there's my two cents!

Keep up the good work!

And I'm following.  Beer!
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2015, 08:47:16 pm »

Hey! Amazing character design and animations! I love the dialog and screen transitions; really smooth and dynamic!

Also maybe I'm a little picky but I think you could improve a little on the movement as it feels a little too floaty imo. I mean, the concept seems to be all about momentum, but right now the moves aren't really that fast. As a result the character seems to be sliding on ice or something, and not really recovering from high speed moves. I think you could experiment with less acceleration and/or increasing the overall game speed maybe, and see how that goes. I know of course this is early dev but anyway there's my two cents!

Keep up the good work!

And I'm following.  Beer!

Thanks a ton for the feedback and support! The movement is something that we're in the process of constantly tweaking to get just right. It feels different now than it comes across in the first few gifs I posted, but I think that it will only really be clear when we post a video / demo of the game in action (which is hopefully coming soon!).

Thanks again Smiley
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Magnesium Ninja
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2015, 04:10:26 pm »

What a Tease



We've been working on a ton over the past few days, so we thought that we might try a different method of delivery in order to best show off our progress, and how the game feels when it's played.






We've been doing a ton of level design, script writing, polishing, bug fixing and content creation. We're finally getting into the story mode proper, and it feels fantastic.

Up next is more story content, and actual proper art for levels.
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2015, 07:35:59 pm »

We've been working hard on a variety of functions recently. All of this is an effort to get to the point where 90% of our work is pure content creation.

To get there, we've been working on some key features:

- A proper save system
    - Our save system supports multiple save files
    - It also supports multiple versions, in case an old format becomes incompatible
- A debug console
    - This allows us to perform more complex debugging with ease
- The charge burst
    - This advanced action allows for an explosion that covers most of the screen
- A variety of UI and UX improvements and additions

We've also been bug fixing, polishing, and tweaking to get the game feel and user interface working properly before we completely jump into things. It's important for us to get the game into a very playable state early on, because it will help a lot with testing down the road.

Beyond that, we have been doing content creation. Three out of four tutorial stages are complete, and the fourth one is in the works. We've shown off a bit of the tutorial so far, but we think that by the time that it's complete it will be very comprehensive and valuable to new players.

Moving forward, my short-term goal is to finish the tutorial stages and jump into the first official episode. There's a lot to do, but we're definitely getting closer to smoother seas!
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2015, 07:30:02 am »

I recommend adding or changing to your game's name for two reasons.

1. "Overclocked" is not really searchable. The game would be overshadowed by a bunch of threads related to the act of overclocking a computer.

2. http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=47211.0

One idea would be a subtitle. Dust: An Elysian Tail did this.
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