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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsARENA GODS - A Vicious Local Multiplayer Arena Game
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Author Topic: ARENA GODS - A Vicious Local Multiplayer Arena Game  (Read 6014 times)
bestmarkever
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« on: July 16, 2015, 03:32:00 PM »

Hey folks! This is our game ARENA GODS!



Arena Gods is a vicious local multiplayer gladiatorial arena game
where weapons are scarce,
anything can be thrown,
and one hit kills.










We have a cool video here:




Stay tuned for regular updates, videos, and screenshots!

Learn more at http://indiedb.com/games/arenagods.
Follow us at https://twitter.com/supertypegames.
Stalk us at https://facebook.com/arenagodsgame.


Don't be shy. Questions, comments, and critiques are all welcome.
We're super friendly, most of the time Wink
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 04:43:20 PM by Mark Parrish » Logged

b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2015, 04:16:10 PM »

almost didn't watch the youtube video because of the lack of screenshots.

The game looks really really fun to play with a bunch of friends. It looks as fun as Nidhogg.  Hand Thumbs Up Right
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 06:27:27 PM »

We hosted a playtest with a bunch of our friends in Beijing the weekend before last. There was pizza, beer, and healthy trash talk. It was a lot of fun.

The plan was to record the complete matches, but unfortunately our recording rig died on us a few too many times Tongue

The good news is we did manage to extract a lot of great highlights.

is a mashup of some of the best moments. We'll be posting a new video every 2-3 days so stay tuned!

Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #1



A savage match in which our buddies Fernando, Dan, and Mike try to topple Jason as the reigning couch champion in The Pit.

In order from left to right:

Blue Gladiator: Mike
Red Gladiator: Fernando
Green Gladiator: Jason
Orange Gladiator: Dan
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 01:17:54 AM »

As promised, here is the second playtest highlights video!

We were sporting 5 different nationalities on the day of the playtest (expat life in Beijing), but this match is all Brazilian! If you don't speak Portuguese then you're missing out on some hilarious trash talk, but we think you'll get the gist of it. Stay tuned for more!

Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #2 - Confronto Brazuca!



Rodrigo tries to school our Brazilian buddies in Blazing Sun Dunes, but Francesco, Gutcha, and Fernando ain't havin' it! The closest match we've ever had!

In order from left to right:

Green Gladiator: Fernando
Orange Gladiator: Rodrigo
Red Gladiator: Gutcha
Blue Gladiator: Francesco
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jctwood
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 03:25:58 AM »

This looks so fun! Really nice to some playtesting going on. How long have you been developing and can you explain the catching mechanic? Makes me think Apotheon x Towerfall.
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davidp
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 04:16:22 AM »

this is ridiculous; that one hit kill, sound effects, animations, colors, 4 players taunting each others... this seems legit fun :D amazing already Hand Joystick

keep up the good work Beer!

those spears over the map at own back...  Cheesy
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 06:07:14 AM »

This looks so fun! Really nice to some playtesting going on. How long have you been developing and can you explain the catching mechanic? Makes me think Apotheon x Towerfall.

Thanks man! I built the GameMaker prototype in March and we started official development in Unity in April. To catch a projectile you simple punch at it and if your fist collides, it's caught. In fact, here is a breakdown of our controls.

Movement - Left Joystick
Attack/Deflect - X (armed)
Catch - X (unarmed)
Pick Up Weapon - Y (unarmed)
Aim Weapon - Hold Y + Left Joystick (armed)
Throw Weapon - Release Y (aiming/armed)
Dodge Roll - A
Execute - B

Spears are always lethal. Swords, on the other hand, may kill or knockdown depending upon the side that hits. Naturally, the blade kills and the hilt stuns.

We're very happy with the projectile combat which is exactly what we set out to achieve, but we feel melee is a bit lacking which is why we're tinkering with it at the moment. We're trying something quite ambitious at the moment. I'm praying it works.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 11:17:45 AM by Mark Parrish » Logged

bestmarkever
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 06:08:33 AM »

this is ridiculous; that one hit kill, sound effects, animations, colors, 4 players taunting each others... this seems legit fun :D amazing already Hand Joystick

keep up the good work Beer!

those spears over the map at own back...  Cheesy

Thanks! Praise like this makes our long hours all worth it Smiley
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BenWiser
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 11:02:47 AM »

Really cool! Not surprised to see someone mention Nidhogg earlier but I would rather just say it looks inspired by. At first glance I thought you said you had made it in game maker and nearly had a heart attack.
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 11:13:46 AM »

looks fun, and i dig the aesthetic. there's definitely something visually exciting about simple colours paired with a strict orthogonal perspective for 3D games. maybe it's because, at first glance, you don't expect the game to be 3D.
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2015, 11:45:17 AM »

Really cool! Not surprised to see someone mention Nidhogg earlier but I would rather just say it looks inspired by. At first glance I thought you said you had made it in game maker and nearly had a heart attack.

We almost stuck with GameMaker. Originally, the game was pixel art (a lot of it stolen). When Rodrigo, my partner, and I started discussing art direction we knew we wanted really fluid animations. He was rendering all our sprites with a pixel art shader. Rendering took ages and we also challenged the critical and commercial value of pixel art nowadays. We abandoned pixel art for HD, but the rendering times grew even longer. Finally, we got fed up and I started the Unity port.

Art wasn't the only reason we abandoned GameMaker though. We weren't very happy with how she detects collisions and how arcane the editor is. Importing the sprites almost took as long as rendering them. Unity also opened up new gameplay possibilities. Still, I've made many projects in GameMaker and I kinda miss the old gal. She wasn't my first, but she let me do some pretty crazy stuff inside of her Tongue

You've inspired me to do a post showcasing our early GameMaker builds and evolution of art. I'll see if I can get something up this week.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 11:50:43 AM by Mark Parrish » Logged

bestmarkever
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2015, 11:51:45 AM »

looks fun, and i dig the aesthetic. there's definitely something visually exciting about simple colours paired with a strict orthogonal perspective for 3D games. maybe it's because, at first glance, you don't expect the game to be 3D.

That's exactly what we thought!
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Keith
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2015, 12:10:15 PM »

I don't like it.

The game looks too nice, it looks like too much fun and it looks like people would have a good time with their friends.

I don't like it......


At first I was a little worried reading local multiplayer arena game since I'm sort of making one but they are quite different so phew, that's good. :D

I'm excited to see updates. Congrats on everything so far. Smiley
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 12:27:13 PM by Keith » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 12:25:03 PM »

Oh, this looks like it would be exactly something for me and my couch multiplayer friends. That trailer at the top really sold me on the game. Looking forward to seeing more!
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Tondo
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 01:04:48 PM »

This game looks awesome! Definitely something I could imagine having a blast playing with friends. Beer!

This game already looks pretty solid from a game mechanics standpoint. Are you guys planning to add anything new mechanics wise or are you guys just improving on already existing mechanics?
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 12:40:19 AM »

Oh, this looks like it would be exactly something for me and my couch multiplayer friends. That trailer at the top really sold me on the game. Looking forward to seeing more!

Thanks man!
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 12:54:07 AM »

This game looks awesome! Definitely something I could imagine having a blast playing with friends. Beer!

This game already looks pretty solid from a game mechanics standpoint. Are you guys planning to add anything new mechanics wise or are you guys just improving on already existing mechanics?

Both. We're very happy with projectile combat. There are a couple of areas left to polish which we'll get to soon. UI will need a makeover. My main priority right now is 'advanced melee combat'. It's very ambitious and I'm not sure if it'll work, but we're taking it one iteration at a time. Hopefully it works! Rodrigo's main priority right now is finalizing the look. We're feeling very confident it's going to work.

Down the road we have a big list of items (not just weapons), environmental mechanics (not just hazards), and polish features (instant replay, kill freeze frame, severed limbs, etc) we absolutely want in.

We're only pre-alpha at the moment so expect to see change and growth! Hopefully for the better Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 07:21:37 PM »

woah so cool. is that 3D character ? or 2D character but rendered from 3D ?
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 11:21:02 PM »

woah so cool. is that 3D character ? or 2D character but rendered from 3D ?

Thanks! The game is 3D with an orthographic camera perspective.
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bestmarkever
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2015, 12:09:50 PM »

Arena Gods DevLog #1 - A Prototype Called 'Uproar'

Prototype

Called 'Uproar', the original prototype was developed in GameMaker: Studio. It was a trial to see how the feel of Hotline Miami's combat adapted to a local multiplayer arena.

It didn't turn out to be much fun. I felt the problem was the shooting. While there was no reloading, even the smallest gun could still fire 7 shots before running out. With one hit kills, the result was players strafing around and firing frantically at each other, unleashing waves of bullets. When you did manage to hit someone it wasn't very satisfying. It didn't really convey a sense of achievement, skill, or power.

"It's dangerous to go alone! Take this."

Rodrigo and I had been working together for half a year. We had both quit our jobs the year before to pursue independence, but after several months and a handful of prototypes our pockets were light and our hands were empty. Morale was pretty low. Playing Uproar made it worse for me. I was unsatisfied and disappointed with it. I wanted to shelve it, but Rodrigo liked it. He got excited at the idea of a local multiplayer game. I think he may have been more in love with the idea than the game, but his excitement got to me. So I decided to give it another shot.

The 'Bullseye' Effect (also known as "BOOM! Headshot!")

I kept thinking about Quake III Arena. The machine gun was always the least satisfying weapon to use, but the rocket launcher was extremely satisfying, especially when you landed direct hits. I loved intercepting people who strafe-jumped around the giant statues in Q3DM1 with rockets to the face. The combination of reflexes, timing, limited opportunity, and prediction required to pull off such a shot, coupled with the crystal clear feedback of success from your target exploding into a shower of giblets, like some horrific piñata, wasn't just satisfying, it was memorable.

Iteration

I'm a devout believer in the MDA framework. Every design choice I make is intended to achieve or enhance a feeling. I knew I had to limit the rate at which players could fire bullets, but it had to make good sense. Why does it work this way? Is it exciting? Is it meaningful?

TowerFall became a pivotal influence. I admired how:

  • You're limited to 3 arrows, but you can pick up used arrows off the ground.
  • The controls emulate the tension and release of firing an arrow in real life, but still allow you to shoot intuitively as a gamer. On button press, X allows you to aim your arrow and on button release it fires. You can tap X to quick fire or hold X to aim and fire when ready.
  • Arrows have slight homing which allows players to think more rather than struggle with the controls.

Archery is cool. It could definitely work, but (A) it probably works better from a side perspective with gravity and (B) TowerFall already did it. I kept thinking about javelins. I've always been a huge fan of gladiators and I've always wanted to make a video game about gladiators. I've even built a couple of prototypes in the past. The dynamic of having to retrieve or acquire a new javelin every time you threw it was exciting. The theme was also very well suited for the excessive blood that I'd hope to have. So I stripped the game of all guns, added the javelin, added the sword, added the ability to catch and deflect projectiles, and added slight projectile homing.

Playtest

I walked over to Rodrigo's place, we booted up the game, and played. There we were, round after round, gleefully harpooning each other like sadistic idiots. We looked ridiculous, but we were having fun. We wanted to win. We wanted to show off. It was the kind of experience that left you wanting more.

But I had to be sure it wasn't just us who felt this way.

We held a playtest at my favorite coffee house, invited a bunch of friends, and bought everyone a cup. Most of the playtesters were gamers, but we also got a couple of non-gamers for good measure. In total we had a dozen people play the game.

The non-gamers struggled. The game speed was too fast for them. They had to constantly ask about the controls.

The gamers, on the other hand, hollered, trash-talked, laughed, and mashed buttons like their lives depended on it. Rematches were demanded and arms were raised. The sword was overpowered, room looping was buggy so sometimes players never came back (my bad), and executing was too fast (it was instantaneous on button press because I never made an animation).

I knew. Rodrigo knew. This was it. This game needed to be made and we were going to make it.

The sword was pretty overpowered in the prototype.



The ability to catch projectiles has been in from the start.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 09:22:16 PM by Mark Parrish » Logged

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