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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Cycle - arcade neopoly kinetic realturn violence
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Author Topic: The Cycle - arcade neopoly kinetic realturn violence  (Read 50886 times)
weckr
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« on: December 05, 2015, 06:34:02 am »



So I have been working on this for a while, a It's getting into that hard finishy phase, and I think it will be good to get it out more.

https://twitter.com/tweeckr
http://weckr.net/the-cycle/




The Cycle is 3D (hopefully) pretty isometric 3D arcade combat platformer about fighting your way up the tower over on fly generated destructible platforms. Also you gain some stuff along the way but It's not really enough to call it roguelike. Altough the game is realtime, there are almost no timers on stuff, most things and enemy behaviours are driven by player movement and actions, in almost turn based way. Also there are some hints of the story but that's just icing. I would love some feedback/https://twitter.com/tweeckrfollowers(jk jk)



Gameplay video ( excuse placeholdery music )






It's made with unity and blender. Altough I've written all movement and collisions and stuff myself, using unity mostly just to display and animate stuff. Was pretty stupid probably because It took me a year to get to this stage. So much stuff learned tho. Still pretty buggy too-_-


« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 03:46:09 pm by weckr » Logged

ColonelMustache
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 11:39:04 am »

Looks cool, kind of transformery. I really like how weighty the main character seems to be and how the ground tiles move around. Having the enemy exhaust the same color as the enemy looks like it might make it hard to distinguish where the actual enemy is but it might not be that big a deal in practice. Will you also have enemies similar to the main character?
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weckr
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 12:39:44 pm »

Thank you.
I'm happy that you mention the weightiness of the character because that is something that I absolutely aimed for.

Same color of enemies and their jets is great point, even if it wouldn't be a problem of distinction, the game will look better if I separate these. I am definitely going to do this.

There was kinda plan to make differently textured player character model into an enemy type, I want to avoid making any more humanoid models due to time required to rig and animate the thing, but to make it cool It would have to have some sweet AI because some inteligence is expected from another humanoid, and even stupid AI isn't that easy in this dynamic generated environment ( also I don't have much experience ) but yeah, hopefully I'll get to that later, it's an enemy concept that actually ties nicely into the story.

I appreciate the feedback a lot!
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weckr
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2015, 05:12:10 am »

A funniest thing happened to me. Enjoy these gifs and unrelated blabberings of incompetence.



Handling monodevelop's replace in files without the terrifying fear it deserves, I replaced every character '2' in my year and a half old codebase with an empty space. This ensured wonderful three hours, maybe more of handfixing about 500 compiler issues, because my last backup was month old. I knew that postponing to learn any versioning will come back at me, and it did indeed. Bugs from missing 2's are still popping sometimes.



In more competent news, I started to tweet gif a day, and promised to myself to make a little devblog here every week. Let's see how long that holds up.



As for a game, I nearly finished third and probably last player weapon. It is a medium range telekinetic "powerglove". Gotta test it with other people tho, to see how incredibly unintuitive it is. Along with the second weapon, The Gun( what innovation ! ). No gifs of these yet, just a sword and fists.



I'm also getting through making the endgame battle work, it's just going to be a slight change over normal gameplay but still it's a lot of work and I think endings are incredibly important in any medium, and in games are often overlooked.



If you by some mistake read this, I hope I at least amused you a little. Thank you.

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weckr
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 09:03:17 am »

Oh boy, what a week, or month.

Tweeting gif a day got old as fast as expected. Probably will do these marketing-intensive weeks just when there's a lot of stuff to show.


nonono, don't phunk wiYAAAY

Stuff! Sixth and for some time probably last enemy type. Teleporting ****. Very annoying to deal with. Might require tuning down later.


enemies are now turqois insted of yellow, much better! based on feedback! very professional!

Redesigned the gameplay loop to selfbalance game difficulty better and made player more in control of risk/reward ratio of the game, basically the way game gives you platforms to fight on and their difficulty.


skulls are metal

The final fight is basically done, but without the actual ending. The mechanics are there tho.


also they make platforms more interesting playspaces being indestructible obstacles but who cares actually

Also made few visual tweaks and added skulls. Because metal. I wish that you survive the holiday insanity successfully and we meet huddled over our displays once again. Probably drunk. Thanks for reading.
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weckr
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 10:50:21 am »

Hey random invisible internet eyes!

Crazy things are happening. I've done a whole lot of undocumented and already forgotten stuff. So just a few gifs.

I celebrated the christmas by polishing the explosions a little. I mean you need to make your explosions as good as the can be.



Then I wanted to make platforms a little bit more interesting. They seemed a little dead, so first thing that I thought of was some vegetation. And it could serve gameplay by hiding stuff inside it! So I've done that. And they I wanted it to be more alive so I am animating it procedurally through mesh deformation in code. Despite some optimization efforts, the performance still takes a little hit, but thing is cool!



And finally, I added ability to holster one weapon to your back. And then I needed weapon switching, so I borrowed a little from assault android cactus. My version of their animation is less flashy, without a twirl, but pretty functional for now.



Thanks for reading! I will be back with more updates, in like, whenever.
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 06:31:51 am »

I like it, smooth! love the style!
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io3 creations
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 12:25:39 pm »

I agree with ColonelMustache that way the tiles "wave" as the character moves gives the character weight - and extra points to the style and feel for the game.

I like the music in gameplay video.  It does fit the theme well. By "placeholdery", I guess you probably mean that it's just a short loop so that could work if extended into a longer music piece.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2016, 02:47:21 pm »

ad music:
Well yeah the style kind of matches the game, but it gets annoying really fast. But there is new music in the game already! Will record new video eventually. Game is so much further than last video.

Well, a new week! This week was mostly about improving platforms, since the game, you know, is mostly about platforms. But enough talk, let's gif.



I've added water tiles. And with them, I added a tiletype system so tiles now have gameplay effects. You are slower in vegetation, and have no friction on water, but it cools faster. Gonna have a few more of these eventually.



And since water tile edges looked bad I made water tiles have borders. And then it seemed natural to make borders on other tiles. I will figure out gameplay function for these, and also make atleast a few variations. Also this model is weird. But it works, rotating them correctly was a little bit of pain because the tiles themselves are rotated randomly and are parents of their edges so local global rotation confusion ensued.

Thanks for reading, and would love a tip or two for gameplay use of the tile edges.
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2016, 04:46:43 pm »

Amazing screenshots here! Love the bouncy tiles - kinda reminds of me Bastion.  Are you using any Unity plugins for tile placement/control?
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weckr
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2016, 02:04:14 am »

Thanks, nah I have written the system myself. It's just manipulating an 2D array of tile gameobjects. Another array holds tile displacement, another for type of tile and so on. As simple as it can be.
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2016, 11:09:30 am »

Interestingly, I prefer these tiles

to these


Probably because the ones in the first image has a "cleaner" overall feel.

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weckr
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2016, 03:19:52 am »

ad io3:
Yeah, those looked bad. Currently they look something like this.



They are not everywhere and have variation, probably will have to still add few some more of those. Also they now have a gameplay thing. When you are hit, and sliding from platform, you can grab these and stop yourself from falling away from the platform. It used to work everywhere, but that would probably be too easy and now it brings more strategy to your positioning on platform in combat.

Anyway, welcome to today's log of developments. This week not too much exciting stuff. I've done my first bit of optimization, done on the foliage. The problem wasn't the mesh operation itself, but the garbage collecting from it. Fixed that.

Also I have once restarted work on minibosses. Those will be 4 tiles big enemies. I have tried to make these for about two times now, and failed miserably everytime. I think I finally know how to implement them technicaly and make them fit into the game design. NO PICTURES BOOO.

To chill, came up with a new enemy type. One that jumps over you and then hits you from the back. Here is the first implementation with model reused from other enemy.



Well he gets the jumping part right. In the end I made it work tho and I dare to say these are pretty fun little dudes.

And finally, I thought that having a flamethrower on the miniboss would be kinda great. And then thought that having some kind of dynamic fire in the game would be pretty cool for many other reasons and uses. So.



In a way it's pretty generically just spawning fire objects, BUT those collide (and will react in some way, of which precise manner will be figured out) with stuff, and find themselves best alternative way (or two) forward. But imho it looks pretty ok for a first pass and was probably most fun thing to do this week.

Also I haven't really mentioned my "dynamic lighting system", which consists of having some tiles "lit" by making them colored yellowish. It's dumb, but probably works. Especially with the fire.

Also some progress with sound and music but those will take a while. (they are worked on by friends)

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend! I don't know how is at your location, but here the sun is back. I can't see my screen properly.
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2016, 06:05:45 pm »

They are not everywhere and have variation, probably will have to still add few some more of those. Also they now have a gameplay thing. When you are hit, and sliding from platform, you can grab these and stop yourself from falling away from the platform. It used to work everywhere, but that would probably be too easy and now it brings more strategy to your positioning on platform in combat.
Not having played the game was one of the issues because it's somewhat hard to know how things work exactly.  For example, where you are able to go, how your character can move, etc.  With your explanation it makes more sense to have them.


I've done my first bit of optimization, done on the foliage. The problem wasn't the mesh operation itself, but the garbage collecting from it. Fixed that.
I know this kind of situation when you try something new and it impacts the performance way more than it should ... and it turns out something else.  WTF

Since, you are using Unity, did you have to so something unusual to resolve the issue or perhaps forgot something?

To chill, came up with a new enemy type. One that jumps over you and then hits you from the back. Here is the first implementation with model reused from other enemy.
That's a good idea.  Will certainly spice up the gameplay and strategy. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 06:08:18 pm »

This looks super slick, I love the colour scheme and the quirky animation Smiley
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weckr
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2016, 03:13:38 am »

Geoff: Thanks a lot man, yeah I try to make animation fun, I'm still learning. Sometimes I sometimes wonder if it's not too silly because the game actually isn't supposed to be comedic, but there are things that are just too fun to not to do(?) ( weapon switch etc. ).

Is it possible that it has been a week already?! This one flew by. Productivity tip: binging on American Horror Story (2nd series is kind of amazing) and 3D modelling stupid low poly things go pretty well together in the evening when the coding is over.

So, this week was mainly about minibosses. I needed some mid tier enemy to spice things up between the superboss and the commons. My game was never written with larger than one square things in mind tho, so this always led to issues. I had to somehow solve this (read hack dirtily) for the super boss, so I thought with this base to stand on I'll give minibosses a third try.



It went kind of alright. Well it works now. They move in kind of not absolutely stupid way on the generated platforms, and destroy/bounce out everything in their path. It was only possible solution, given high density of stuff on platforms. Colliding with it all was one of the main problems of the concept. And even if they watched out to move perfectly without colliding with everything, then they just won't have anywhere to move. And I don't want to make special flat boss platforms, that seems dumb and detracting from the core of the game, separating major content like that. This way boss eventually flattens the platform if he lives long enough, and it's dynamic and cool.

Also I needed something to use that fire from the last week! This works nicely. When in fire you get max heat so you can't use jetpack so you are kind of immobile. So he fries you, and then he jumps on you when you move slowly. That collision gives massive knockback. Works pretty well even on generated platforms. Captured it on test platform because recording it well on platforms where other stuff is going on is kind of pain. In tiny window I usually do these. Eventually I will record normal video again and make some gifs from that for a while. Also the AI and general miniboss functionality still needs a lot of work.



Also there were some core gameplay refinements. I changed how the jump works completely. It is now more simple. More execution than planning based now, but much more fun to use. Also you now bounce of enemies and stuff if you land on them, and give them hefty impact in process. It is most cliché videogame thing ever but boy is it still fun. And to make it even more fun, you get a bonus heat off for each bounce. So you can chain those nicely. Will demonstrate next week gifs probably. Again these precision things are pain to record quickly currently.

Also I prototyped hammer yesterday. Oh boy does it excite me to show you those gifs sometime in the future. It goes KLANG very nicely. I just realised I haven't really shown much of my weapons. Probably should change that.

Thank you for somehow cliffhanger-y reading and sorry for a lack of gifs. But can't spoil everything so early can I. Have a glorious weekend. I am going to draft fightstick plans for laser cutter and do some laundry. Also a massive wallspanning piece of paper to plan out the game. What a time to be alive. Beer!
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weckr
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2016, 07:00:57 am »


What? Again?
These devlogs are main thing that reminds me how fast time goes by. I shall measure time in devlogs from now.

Hello! This week I made first iteration of minibosses a playable thing. Also they do no fall to their death. If you don't kill them and run from the platform, they are going to follow you onto next. Also integrated them into general AI navigation, so minibosses now avoid each other ( and nothing else really ), and everything else at least tries to avoid minibosses, for they wreck everything in their path. Also begun work on second miniboss, but I will probably put that on hold for a while, since there are more crucial things to do, and more minibosses is a very "contenty" thing, even tho I have to write some small new systems for them.

But, art on the second one is already pretty cool I think, but probably needs more detail to sell the scale and to make it consistent with the spider.



And here are gifs of the jump-bounce mentioned in the last devlog!



bonk bonk



bonk BOOM!

Also I have been annoyed by unity's line renderer since I started working with it. It was used as a sword slash effect. And when I added hammer, second swoosh-based(tm) weapon, I finally decided to write my own swoosh, even if it seemed difficult. But nothing is difficult when you are dumb and don't know how to do it properly! I'm just spawning sprites into an array here, stepping over increments of movement and rotation between this and last frame. It works pretty well!



Just should sometime find the time to figure out how to rotate the flat sprite in the direction of the movement. I have some idea about quaternions now, but most of my work with rotation is still a lot of try-random-plausible-things-until-it-works type of deal. If anyone have a tip feel free to share. I have the movement direction between frames and the sword-to-player rotation, but don't know how to correctly combine them.

Also you can see the jet hammer there. It has a pretty cool mechanic which I may show sometime in the future. And already a remade model, this one was inconsistent. Generally things needs at least two passes to feel nice.

Next week, tutorial, platform objectives, and AI pass of all common enemies. Well, more like next month.

Thank for absorbing this and have a super sweetsauce weekend!
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weckr
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2016, 04:48:04 am »

Hey there people, I'm Bobby Brown Gentleman, and I endorse Devil Daggers, it is a successful replacement for Nuclear Throne.

This week, not many flashy things were done, I will be needing atleast somewhat playable and functional build in about two weeks, so it's time to lock down and grind this incoherent mass of added features into something resembling a fun game. And to figure out where do I have that one infinite loop that sometimes freezes the game. Lips Sealed But!



I have added arena modes now. Platforms can now have different objectives. It will always be mostly combat, but hopefully it will change player's approach to it. Base mode is still the same, waves of enemies, dropping score on death. But, in the second one I implemented, you have to break these things, and they drop score and a wave of enemies. The enemies are just obstruction here, they don't drop anything. But If you focus just on the pickups and avoid them, soon you will find yourself totally surounded, so a balanced approach is needed. From the little testing I did, it definitely changes the way you play ( because the overall number of enemies on these CATCH platforms is much higher than on KILL platforms, but you don't need to kill them ). Wink



And just for fun, this is the actually fun part of using the hammer. If you hold the button you can spin with it, and it wrecks shit! Mock Anger

Also I refactored the AI code of all the enemies to actually reuse the basic state machine frame, into which I can easily plug various attack functions or move functions varying by enemy type using delegates. This should save me some suicidal thoughts when I inevitably will want to change some core aspect of how enemies work, by not having to change each of them individually from scratch. Also it just feels less stupid. Durr...?

Thank you for reading, and have a magnificient time. Coffee
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2016, 04:53:52 am »

This is awesome in every way imaginable :D
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2016, 05:25:18 am »

Thanks man, warms my cold, dead heart! Tears of Joy
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