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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsFeatherpunk Prime: Cyber-Flamingo powered twin-stick shooter-platformer!
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Author Topic: Featherpunk Prime: Cyber-Flamingo powered twin-stick shooter-platformer!  (Read 2107 times)
SuperHatchGames
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« on: January 17, 2016, 08:46:02 AM »


Featherpunk Prime is an action-platformer with a big weapons arsenal, tricky procedural levels and colossal boss fights.
It features a Robo-Flamingo as the main character, and it's armoured sidekick - which fight against a horde of avian warbots.


Here's a link to our Steam page:








For more info, check out our website: http://www.superhatchgames.com/

We've been in development around 6 months and we're going to be bringing it to Windows to start with.

Gameplay

It's using 'twin-stick' style controls; so you can shoot in 360 degrees using a controller or mouse and keyboard.

Progress is centred around a tower, you take a lift to every floor. It changes as you progress, but you also change it.
Bosses guard different sections of the tower.

You collect credits which allow you to unlock new abilities and upgrade them.

Example abilities are 'dash and dodge' and an explosive 'screen clearer'; we will be adding to these during development.

Inspirations are many, but some notable ones are Spelunky, Rogue Legacy and Super Metroid.
We are aiming to make combat somewhat strategical and deliberate.

The star of the show is the Robo-Flamingo, who you play as:



> Download link <
(Use at the top of the page )

Playtesting thread


Links:

@superhatchgames
@yourfurryfiend
@stevopayno

IndieDB

I will be updating occasionally with our progress, some more details and with some more gifs.
Just shout if you have any questions or any feedback. I hope you'll find it interesting!

-Dan (aka YourFurryFiend)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 06:42:19 AM by SuperHatchGames » Logged

SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 01:28:10 AM »

Well, we've just finished integrating the final (ish) assets for one of the bosses. Phew, that took longer than I thought! I think it's working really well though, we'll show you a sneak peak of it shortly!

Next step is looking at the combat design as top priority. We've got a few issues that basically come down to the player not being able to find any refuge from bullets flying towards them, due to the random nature of the level layout.

With the level generation, we use the Spelunky style approach of first creating a path to the exit, then randomly choosing designed rooms to fit along it, then randomising elements within the room. We have lots of enemy spawn points designed up front, and we set the preferences and exclusions for each of those points, i.e. what enemies can spawn there.

We also have the concept of 'Enemy Scenarios', which are just a set-up of a bunch of enemies that work well together, ordered by difficulty.

What we've got at the moment is quite a naive approach, where we just try to fit a scenario (of the required difficulty) to the spawn points in a given room. As long as they fit, that's it.

This ultimately leads to problems with the location of each of the enemies in relation to each other, and what we call 'a wall of bullets' problem.

I've been doing some simple things, like making sure the on-screen checks work for some of the enemies, i.e., so they don't shoot when you can't see them. -But I'm not sure disabling off-screen, and especially once enemies have been activated is the correct approach.
I've also been tuning some of the bullet firing patterns, so there a larger and more frequent gaps. I still want them to fire soon and at a good speed to catch the player off-guard if they aren't paying attention Smiley

I think the next step is being more specific about which type of enemies go in which spawn point, according to which enemies are nearby. This might take multiple passes in the selection logic for the Scenarios.
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 01:33:47 AM »

After that wall of text, here's a gif of your companion:


You can upgrade your their stats and skills. He flies close to you, providing added firepower.
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 09:40:31 AM »

Lol nice, looks pretty cool already, and I like the choice of character. Heads up - tried to follow you on Twitter but all the links you posted are broken Smiley
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 10:13:03 AM »

Ace thanks, and thanks!! I've fixed it now! Beer!
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SkylarCahn
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 01:07:05 PM »

I think the level design looks awesome but is potentially at the risk of looking very similar after a few hours of play.  I say that with no experience other than watching the trailer though.  Otherwise it looks pretty sweet!
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 01:45:04 PM »

Hey! Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! Yea, agreed; it's certainly a tricky issue, the repetition factor. So what we are currently working on is new environment art. Within this we'll make as many variants to each piece as we have time for. So hopefully this should limit the repetition. Also, the trailer shows one level, but there will actually be 6 areas in the game, all with their own artwork.

The trailer also only shows a handful of the rooms layouts we've made for the level generation system. There will be a load of these for release, so the random factor should be high!  Smiley
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SkylarCahn
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 05:15:13 PM »

Also, the trailer shows one level, but there will actually be 6 areas in the game, all with their own artwork.

I'm sure it's not really a big issue then.  My concern would be a bit more valid if the artwork showed in the trailer was the only level style, but if that's not the case then I'm sure you guys have done a sufficient job of varying things.

I'm a huge fan of cyberpunk stuff and feel it's an underutilized genre.  I'm really excited to see where this game goes.  Any idea what the full playthrough time is expected to be? Or at least what you're aiming for?
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 08:40:01 PM »

Wow that is a beautiful cyberpunk flamingo! One of my favorite animals. I'm with skylar, cyberpunk or even just the aesthetic has a lot of potential for games but there are surpisingly few of them!
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 02:17:51 AM »

@SkylarCahn - Thanks for highlighting this issue though, we'll make sure we communicate the variation in our levels in future! At the time that we recorded the trailer footage we only had one level ready to show, but we couldn't wait any longer to announce!

@swordofkings128 - Thanks! Hehe, we've been surprised by how many flamingo fans there are out there! We look forward to showing more Featherpunk soon Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 04:50:54 PM »

So here's a look at some new level art. We had a lot of feedback that the environment was too busy before, with all the animation on the fans, pumps and cylinders etc. So we've addressed this with less distracting visuals, but also darker; Featherpunk Prime is a challenging game and the new style we feel should re-enforce this!  Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 10:07:05 AM »

Looks really cool! It's hard to tell whether the new version is too busy or not without an actual live demo, but I think it looks fantastic.

Questions: I imagine this would be answered somewhere in the game but I didn't see one mentioned above - what are the glowing roots for?  Are they simply a cool looking art asset or do they pertain to the story/setting in some way?
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 11:49:11 AM »

This looks super unique! That main character is RAD!!
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2016, 11:12:46 AM »

Cheers guys!

@SkylarCahn Thanks Smiley The new version has less animation going on, but more detail. It seems to be a better way of balancing it. We hope to put a demo up at some point soon on one of the other threads. Would be great if you could give it a try for yourself sometime! To answer your questions about the 'organics' (as we are calling them)... it's a mixture of a few things really. They look nice when they grow - which is triggered when you enter that objects radius. They also break up the kind of rigid structure of the procedural (and thus somewhat blocky) levels. They also help you keep track of where you've been on the floor (not that the floor structures are particularly maze like - the layouts are simple in design). AND... yea they are linked to the story, if only fairly loosely. Great question - was wondering what people thought of those root looking things, ha!

@ blindskystudios Great to hear that, thanks! People seem to like the look of the robo-flamingo, which we're very pleased about!

Here's some new level art - experimenting with colours and some new background elements...

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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2016, 08:50:21 AM »

Remember us?! Smiley

Greenlight
Hello everyone! We are happy to announce that we've just entered Steam Greenlight! I've updated the video in the first post.

We’ve been busy adding loads of cool new stuff to the game (as well as one of us moving cities!) as well as giving the game some TLC in the visuals department, some of which you'll see in the video.

Combat wall of bullets problem
We think we’ve pretty much solved this now and I think the combat is feeling good and different also. It’s more about finding gaps between the projectiles and leveraging your position in the level. You have to employ a little strategy to how you approach each group of enemies, but you should be able to find a way through.

We made the flamingo even more agile and tweaked a few other things like the wall cling and it’s all helped to make the game much more satisfying.

Navigation
Suprise! I also developed a fairly simple navigation system for some of the enemies. This was essential, as the movement of some of the enemies used to seem quite dumb, get stuck behind objects in between them and the player.

If you’re interested, this is how it works:

The navigation system uses a grid of navigable cells.
I process all of the separate rooms (that we stitch together each floor), for their navigable cells.
The room grids are then moved into a master navigation grid.
I then use A* to get a path from cell to cell.



I’m guessing that a polygonal representation of the navigable areas would be more efficient, if only memory wise, but this approach was effective for development, as I understood it more easily and could get to work on it immediately.



Some of the paths generated aren’t great, so I intend to work on that some more, also there could definitely be optimisations, as searching through a large grid is very wasteful when you only usually need to check a few rooms at a time.

Overall the enemies are way more interesting to fight, as they will come and hunt you down and create more interesting situations.

Bosses
We’ve just about finished integrating two bosses now, bar a few minor issues and bugs. We are pretty happy with how these turned out.



New Traps and Hazards
Vertical laser traps change the flow of the game. They also absorb bullets to mix things up. For example you an enemy will suddenly find their projectile blocked in the heat of battle, either saving you damage or being vulnerable for that little longer.



Arrow traps and horizontal laser traps



Popup spikes (that you can shoot)


Ball traps, look out for the pressure plates!
- these are really fun and unexpected



Sentry gun

We’ve also been sprucing up the Sentry Gun. This is carried as a weapon and can be deployed anywhere you see it giving you an advantage.



Sentinels

We’ve also been working on a new feature called Sentinels. These appear on some floors and stop you progressing unless you destroy them. They are kind of like mini-bosses. Each one has a different attack, they are quite difficult to eliminate but give a lot Tekcells (credits) when you do.
These change the pace of the game.
I spent a fair amount of time tailoring the level generation to select rooms containing the Sentinels and to distribute them evenly through the floor.




That's all folks, I hope you found interesting!
Thanks for voting for us on Greenlight!
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io3 creations
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2016, 12:39:10 PM »

Looks interesting! Smiley

I agree with @SkylarCahn, that it's hard to say whether the visuals are busy without actually playing the game.  We'll just have to play to find out. Wink

p.s. You can update the thread title with [on Greenlight] (or something similar) as other games have done so and perhaps adding a Greenlight link to your signature might help some.
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2016, 12:52:25 PM »

Finally a game with a Robo-Flamingo. Looks cool. Smiley
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2016, 12:55:21 PM »

Looks interesting! Smiley

I agree with @SkylarCahn, that it's hard to say whether the visuals are busy without actually playing the game.  We'll just have to play to find out. Wink

p.s. You can update the thread title with [on Greenlight] (or something similar) as other games have done so and perhaps adding a Greenlight link to your signature might help some.

Toast Left Thanks for the advice, I've done both things! Toast Right
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2016, 12:50:50 AM »

Hey! We created a build, if you would like to give it a spin:

> Download link <
(Use at the top of the page )

Here's a link to the Playtesting thread.
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SuperHatchGames
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2016, 01:07:00 AM »

We just thought you'd be interested to know we attended our first show!
We pulled out all the stops to get a good build.

Here's a photo of our set-up, Flamingo's and all!!


The feedback from Rezzed was great; overall people seemed to really enjoy it, some people even came back for all three days to play it! Smiley
We've been struggling to get the game in front of people and getting feedback, so this was really good for us.

Some things we learned:
- Some tips and tricks for shows
- Improving the tutorial sequence
- Ideas for different control schemes
- New ideas and tweaks for enemies and weapons

Some mistakes we made:
- We made it too hard! Hardly anyone saw the boss in the demo, and only ONE person defeated it!
- We missed a few bugs which got in way of people's experience, though thankfully they were quite rare/unlikely

Now we are going to focus on finishing the game, improving it in a few areas highlighted. It's mostly about content now for us, which is a great position to be in.

If you want to play what we sent to the show, plus a few tweaks and fixes, here it is:
http://superhatchgames.azurewebsites.net/Builds/FeatherpunkPrime-RezzedDemo.zip

I'll update soon with some more of the recent things we've added and changed.

Dan
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