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June 06, 2020, 04:56:31 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTiny Thor
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2020, 05:44:18 AM »

Thanks.

@JobLeonard

Yeah, we did lots of iteration on controls and stuff. Basically you know always have the possibility for a "quick shot" by just hitting a button (and perfectly angled), or you can aim with the right analog stick for aimed throws (which is also much faster than the previous: hold button pressed - then press up/down for change rotation angle).

Also the hammer has no more energy limit, so it can throw for unlimited time. And you can callback at any time. Those changes along with designing concrete level situation made the gameflow much better in our opinion.
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brainwipe
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« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2020, 06:38:30 AM »

I love the hammer mechanic - I've never seen anything like it in a platformer. I bet it will lead to some interesting boss fights, once the player is used to it! Great work.  Hand Metal Right
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2020, 07:14:39 AM »

There's a place where challenging the player with limitations is more fun, and a place where empowering them is more fun - sounds like you're hitting the right sweet spot!
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2020, 12:14:35 AM »

Yeah, we were very afraid of give the player too much power with this mechanic. And so we had that core gameplay loop which sounded great on paper:

Basically we had a weak close combat attack (fist hit), so if the player has no more hammer-flight-energy (mana) left he had to go in close combat and got back mana to reload his mana to use the hammer mechanic again. So in theory it's this fun loop where player continuously between "hammer throw-attacks" and traditional attacks.

Now the problem was, that if the player made a missed throw, he was basically instantly in a situation, where he had no mana left. And in gameplay test we had the problem that we never got the player to the point so he plays a level situation like we wanted them to do it - because most players got so used to it, that they only used the hammer mechanic when the situation doesn't had any another solution which made it feel like just another platformer in the end to them.

We then removed the "fist-hit" completely, but added the quickshot, threw out the whole energy system and it magically started to work. It was like, when we watched players on playtest everything worked the way we wanted it to.

Another important change which we never thought had that much of an impact is, that at first we had a very zoomed-in camera. Like in old 16-Bit Games, and as we zoomed out the camera a bit it was such a big improvement gameplay wise. Because there is now much more space for the hammer it solved the problem, that the player can just throw the hammer without thinking into any random direction and the player waiting on a safe spot wihle the hammer defeats all enemies on screen.  Now because of the added space if the player trys to play this way it's so much much more unlikely that it will solve situations randomly - which is a really natural limitation. It's was a very, very hard decision because as we're using pixelart this led to some rework on all of our existing assets. But in the end it payed off I think.

And we came up with some very interesting puzzle mechanics that evolved naturally by us just playing around with the mechanics and combining them with traditional platformer elements.  I mean not, braid like puzzles, but still very interesting  ones.
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Dr. Büni
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« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2020, 03:19:51 AM »

My only complain about your game is that the art style isn't super original, but it does look very good, so it is not that big of a problem. The gameplay looks fantastic, which for a platformer, is what matters the most.

As someone who always chooses hammer-wielding characters in games (Poppy and Reinhardt are two of my my favorite characters to play in any online game ever), mechanics centered around hammer wielding very much please me.
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2020, 10:04:05 PM »

Here is a first preview on our new overhauled tileset for the ice world. We're looking forward to populate it with new enemies and fun mechanics!    Well, hello there!

The video also contains a first preview of one of the ingame tracks done by Chris Hülsbeck & Fabian Del Priore. (No SFX yet though).



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JobLeonard
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« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2020, 11:23:47 PM »

Looking great! World feels a bit empty for now of course Wink
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elastico90
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« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2020, 03:24:17 PM »

I really like the new character sprite - looks so bold and weighty. I can really feel the fun of jumping around with those mechanics! May I ask what engine / frameworks you are using?
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2020, 11:41:39 PM »

I really like the new character sprite - looks so bold and weighty. I can really feel the fun of jumping around with those mechanics! May I ask what engine / frameworks you are using?

Thanks. I use a custom engine on top of Monkey-X (https://github.com/blitz-research/monkey). As Monkey-X isn't continued, I've forked it (private respository) and also did lots of customization (like I did port the core to Nintendo Switch, optimized compile times, did some extended tools...).
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elastico90
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« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2020, 05:10:02 AM »

Oh, that's actually pretty interesting! I've been using Blitz products since I was a teenager when I'd gotten into game programming. First tool I'd use was BlitzBasic (Blitz2d), then BlitzMax eventually.
I made a small test project using Monkey-X, but as you said it has been abandoned. Have you tried BlitzMax NG? It's a community driven new approach to BlitzMax with a lot of new features. While it's great to see BMax alive, I somehow could not get used to it - too many mixed programming principles (they added OOP features into this whole world of non-OOP structures).

Would you consider Monkey-X usable for modern projects? Maybe I'll give it another try then.
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2020, 09:52:50 AM »

Oh, that's actually pretty interesting! I've been using Blitz products since I was a teenager when I'd gotten into game programming. First tool I'd use was BlitzBasic (Blitz2d), then BlitzMax eventually.
I made a small test project using Monkey-X, but as you said it has been abandoned. Have you tried BlitzMax NG? It's a community driven new approach to BlitzMax with a lot of new features. While it's great to see BMax alive, I somehow could not get used to it - too many mixed programming principles (they added OOP features into this whole world of non-OOP structures).

Would you consider Monkey-X usable for modern projects? Maybe I'll give it another try then.

Yeah, I also always liked the Blitz-Products. Started to use BlitzBasic back on the Amiga, and also used Blitz3D and BlitzMax for projects.

I think it's still possible to do projects with them but I won't consider them for my next project. The reason why TinyThor is done in Monkey is, that I've started to use Monkey back in 2011 or something like that - and it was the best solution to do cross platform development in my opinion, especially for mobile. You could code in a very easy way and translate it into native speed applications on each platform. Most solutions at that time that were cross platform included crappy (at that time) web technology .

I think for my next project I would love to try to do it in plain C99 (as I'm loving the Handmade Hero streams and learned so much there) or probably in the new language Jonathan Blow is doing (JAI)...
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MikeHart
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« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2020, 10:27:45 AM »

Great to see that you still work on it.

Btw. we took Monkey-X and developing it further under the name Cerberus X. https://www.cerberus-x.com

Cheers
Michael
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elastico90
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« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2020, 11:24:32 AM »

Great to see that you still work on it.

Btw. we took Monkey-X and developing it further under the name Cerberus X. https://www.cerberus-x.com

Cheers
Michael

Sorry for spamming this thread, but - is Cerberus X still alive? I had some trouble finding it a while ago.. Good to see it - are you involved in this project?
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MikeHart
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« Reply #73 on: April 12, 2020, 11:45:54 AM »

Great to see that you still work on it.

Btw. we took Monkey-X and developing it further under the name Cerberus X. https://www.cerberus-x.com

Cheers
Michael

Sorry for spamming this thread, but - is Cerberus X still alive? I had some trouble finding it a while ago.. Good to see it - are you involved in this project?

Yes, Martin Leidel (Xaron) and myself started CX. Martin went on to work on his games exclusively so myself and a few others work further on it. Yes, it is alive. Next update should come soon, I hope.
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Ishi
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« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2020, 07:23:00 PM »

The hammer mechanic changes sound great. When throwing the hammer to break the ice blocks, it reminds me of the egg throwing in Yoshi's Island! Looking forward to seeing more in the future  Coffee
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #75 on: April 17, 2020, 12:00:02 AM »

Yeah, I know of Ceberus-X and it's great to see that people try to keep Monkey-X alive. However I decided against using Ceberus-X (very early on) and do my own private fork.

One of the reasons was, that back when Monkey-X was still alive there were often small fixes (sometimes critical issues to mobile os updates) I made to the core and it really took a long time to get them merged into the main branch which was sometimes a little bit painful because I've always had to maintain my own version where I merge changes from the main updates back and forth.

I've also did a target for example for Nintendo Switch and you're not allowed to share this publicly because of NDAs so managing this would also be painful because you somehow need to manage different repositories so you're able to not share the stuff you aren't allowed to.

Also, one of the first changes the Ceberus-X community did was to change the name and update it throughout the whole code base in the repository which IMHO was totally unnecessary and what I would have preferred if they somehow could get the support of Mark Sibley to take over the existing community and name (but that was probably not possible - I don't know).

But what's of course a big disadvantage is that I don't have a community I can rely on. I really miss the old Blitz/Monkey-X days - there were such nice people around there. So that might be a big PRO for Ceberus-X.

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JoeManaco
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« Reply #76 on: April 17, 2020, 12:02:49 AM »

The hammer mechanic changes sound great. When throwing the hammer to break the ice blocks, it reminds me of the egg throwing in Yoshi's Island! Looking forward to seeing more in the future  Coffee

Yeah, we heard the comparison quite a few times now. Indeed when I heard the comparison the first time I really thought "yeah, that's true" and immediately played through the original Yoshi's Island again (which I haven't touched for years since I was a kid). The game's such a masterpiece.
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JoeManaco
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« Reply #77 on: April 17, 2020, 09:35:50 AM »

So here is a short new gameplay scene where you can see how the hammer can be used to fight statues and solve switch puzzles. :-)



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JobLeonard
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« Reply #78 on: April 17, 2020, 10:17:44 AM »

 Kiss
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fall_ark
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« Reply #79 on: April 20, 2020, 01:13:25 AM »

So here is a short new gameplay scene where you can see how the hammer can be used to fight statues and solve switch puzzles. :-)





The hammer gets blocked in the last stretch so you don't have to start all over again is great.
I do feel like the camera following is a bit on the extreme side though, best seen in this video's last section. The screen constantly scrolls between left and right for the few jumps through the choke point section. Maybe make the camera window bigger and/or make camera direction change a bit delayed?
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