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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBREAK N' TAKE - Flipped Breakout with Alien Superweapons.
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Author Topic: BREAK N' TAKE - Flipped Breakout with Alien Superweapons.  (Read 2552 times)
AlexVsCoding
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« on: April 09, 2016, 05:07:22 AM »



















« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 03:24:44 AM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 10:49:47 AM »











« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 03:24:36 PM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

TheArtistJiii
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 12:19:12 PM »

Sorry, but i find this hard to understand. Care to explain the rules?
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 01:08:38 PM »

I think you have a great concept here. And I love games with simple controls that translate to big fun. Keep it up! Smiley
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 02:43:48 PM »

For anyone particluarly interested, here's how it controls on phone!



Sorry, but i find this hard to understand. Care to explain the rules?

Break N' Take is a blending of Breakout and Space Invaders - Use an alien ship to obliterate cities and harvest humans with  superweapons, a highly unstable ball of plasma and your tractor beam.

During the game, your ship gradually descends towards the ground.

To avoid hitting the buildings, use the plasma ball to smash them apart.

As you carve a path through the skyline, this will force civilians out onto the streets.

Stall your descent by abducting humans. The more humans you successfully abduct, the quicker you'll hit your quota.

Once you've got your quota of humans, warp out before you hit the ground/the ball slips past.

Out in orbit, use your stock of humans to buy new weapons and upgrades for your vehicle.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 04:11:40 PM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 07:36:07 AM »

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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 04:20:35 PM »

Hey Folks!

So this post hasn't been updated in a long time! Here's the current situation of the project:

Narcissus, my previous project has just been shipped on the App Store and thankfully had a well received, so I've got two projects lined up to complete next: This one and Corporate Salmon.

I've already started making changes to Break N' Take, having gutted the shop and rebuilt it, constructed an upgrade system within the project and refined the functionality of the weapons. I'll be taking a week or so to get the Android version of Narcissus out then more or less starting full time aiming at getting this game done in the next two months.


Undoubtedly it's going to undergo some more refinements in time, but to give you a rough idea of what's happening here:
1. Humans are abducted from the main level.
2. UFO successfully completes the level and goes to orbit.
3. UFO uses similar controls to the regular gameplay to deposit the humans in various vats that will upgrade their weapons and level.
4. Return to earth and repeat!

Here's the new shop:

In a previous iteration of the shop, all upgrades were available, but I've decided to shift that approach to only have two upgrades and your level bar for a couple of reasons:
- Having all of the upgrades on screen at once was too fiddly to differentiate between.
- Having only two upgrades displayed at once mixes up the variety of what you're seeing from the shop. Like games such as Downwell, a small handful of upgrades can appear like a much larger amount when restricted to a couple visible at a time.
- The fact that the player might not be able to access the upgrade they want will present them with a choice - Do they risk holding onto them for another round for the potential reward they get the weapon they want, or do they spend them on the upgrades they're presented with to avoid losing their stock of humans in a flaming blast of death?

At the moment, the new shop is only in the concept phase, so I'll have to see tomorrow whether it works in practice.

Stay tuned for a more in depth update soon!
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subliminalman
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 04:25:53 PM »

Looks like a fun mobile game! The first images it was a little hard to read though but I assume that's from later in the game. The ball trail may also be what tripped me up at first.

Still excited to see what comes of the game! I always like alien abductions :D
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 05:21:23 AM »

Looks like a fun mobile game! The first images it was a little hard to read though but I assume that's from later in the game. The ball trail may also be what tripped me up at first.

Still excited to see what comes of the game! I always like alien abductions :D

Thanks! I'm going to be going back through the original post and gut it again, since it's all content from a good while back, so I'll hopefully make it a little clearer.  The intention with the project is to start off with a very basic tutorial with only the simplest of elements, then start phasing the rest in.

Quick update before the later one - I've managed to get the updated shop set up! Will be testing on a device in the next few hours.

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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 10:30:40 AM »


Hey Folks!

So some more updates!

Since last posting on here:
- Refined the upgrade system: Rather than having all level of upgrades unlocked, to add some extra incentive to levelling up you unlock more slots. What this means is to get a level 2 shield, you would first need to reach zone 2. This helps space the gameplay and prevents players from overspecialising and becoming ridiculously powerful (Whilst allowing still for some specialisms.  
- Altered the ball/trail aesthetics: There's been quite a few people getting confused with the ball trail, since it looks like there's about 5 or 6 balls following behind it, so when it goes back on itself it's hard to determine which way the ball is going. To fix this, I smoothed out the particle trail and added a fancy invert effect when you gave the ball a good whack!
- Added some extra sound effects: The enemies at this point felt quite passive, so I added a shooting sound for them and in turn an impact noise when the bullets hit the ship. I also added some audio in for the shop to make those purchases feel extra nice and tasty.
- Added some particle effects and light screen shake to the impact when hit with bullets.


What I'll be doing this evening:
- Building the latest version the game to iOS
- Adding in Replay Kit to allow me to rapidly gather footage for the game.
- Testing out the tools I've built today to see how the feel
- Possibly submit a build to iTunes Connect so I can start testing the early build with folks.

Also, here's a silly gif of there being a ridiculous number of powerups in one go.


Tomorrow, I'm going to try adding some more unique blocks and refine the controls so the player's thumb isn't covering too much of the screen (In particular important stuff!)

Stay tuned for more soon!

P.S. If the colours are kind of revolting looking in the last few gifs, it's because the video I captured was done using a .exe version of the game that doesn't support certain filters that are available in flash and iOS. Whilst I am currently mulling over the colour palette and how it'll change throughout levels, just thought I'd reassure you folks that I know this kind of looks like butt. Thanks!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 04:11:40 PM »

Hey Folks,

Quick post before I go to bed: Got Break N' Take working on both my iPad and my tablet, runs like a treat. I've created a short video showing what I've got in place.




One thing that I added to the game that you'll likely notice from the video is I took the bunker artwork and integrated it into the game. I'll most likely add some subtle animation for the final game, but this is a tasty mockup for now!

I've managed to implement Replay Kit, which means I can rapidly churn out video content for the project, only issue being that other than uploading a tonne of individual videos to Youtube, there isn't an easy method of showing them on TIGSource. I might plonk together a playlist to store the videos in, but at the moment I've just been documenting them on Twitter.

Let me know what you think of what I've cooked up so far and if you have any suggestions for the project!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2017, 02:30:49 AM »

Good morning!

Here's the list of stuff I'm going to try and tackle today:

- Multi hit blocks
- Building a more conventional menu structure for the game (Splash, Menu, Gameplay, Pause Screen)
- Experiment with the colour palettes for the levels
- Get a Testflight build up to share with testers
- Improve the transitional splash
- Balance the weapon economy (As some weapons are more powerful than others)
- Balance the number of pickups dropped (As it gets ridiculously high in later levels)

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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 10:42:27 AM »

Hey folks,

Here's an update on what I've been up to!


- Built a pause menu, needing to add the individual buttons but it's getting there! (Top section of menu expands and contracts for the extra buttons for the settings menu)
- Gutted the beginning of game level flow: Originally, you just started on the main level and the player was controlled by an AI (Of which you could take control over instantly). In this new version, I've connected the intro transition to this AI trashing a city before flying off! On this start splash, you can then transition to the main level where you begin play. In the final game, you'll have a menu in between the splash and gameplay, but I'll get to that at a later point.
- Originally, you had the title Break N' Take flash up on the main level, I've not torn all of that out.

I've also been doing a lot of posting of the project around the interwebs with it being #screenshotsaturday, so work on the game functionality only really kicked it up a notch around 12!

Stay tuned for more updates soon!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2017, 05:26:02 PM »

Hey Folks!

Super quick update (Very late over here!):


- Test build has been submitted to the app store for Beta review (So TestFlights can be sent out!), hopefully should have cleared by the morning!
- UI is pretty much there for the menu, pause and shop.
- Made is so in the shop if you drop people onto an upgrade that is maxed out, it refills back into your total. Makes a pretty nice visual as well:


Might also look at adding this for the bottom of the screen in case any unfortunate souls fall off the bottom of the level.
- Difficulty has been tweaked so that tanks don't show up till stage 3 (2 upgrade levels in).
- Majority of buttons hold their functionality now, I'll be getting the rest done tomorrow.

I'm super happy with how the project is coming along, more stuff posted tomorrow!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2017, 10:27:57 AM »

Hey Folks,

Thanks for your patience on replies for the project! Spent a good chunk of this week getting myself back up to good health post-launch of Narcissus, as well as lining up a bunch of new projects for me to do contract work on/looking for a new apartment!


Here's an update on where I'm at:
- I released the Testflight build and got a bunch of useful feedback, in particular about the control mechanism. Since the beam is active for less time than it isn't, I made the choice to make the thumb resting position below where the button is (Meaning the player has to move their thumb up to activate the beam rather than down).
- Another symptom of the previous layout as well was the players' thumb blocked the screen. I've created some extra space at the bottom of the screen to deal with this.
- Spliced out the explosive block code and replaced it with the setup of having it's own unique block type (Rather than the game randomly exploding any block on impact, it creates a visibly recognisable explosive block alongside all of the others.
- Multi-hit blocks have also been added to give the player some more challenge whilst destroying the city. The aesthetics for them is pretty poor, but currently I'm more focused about the mechanics. I've written down a long list of various block types that will be introduced over the course of the game which I'll hopefully get to in the coming weeks.
- To fill the dead space at the bottom of the screen, I've been dabbling with various layouts for stuff to be there. At the moment, this includes two markers - One for the position of the player and the other for the position of the ball. The ball also has a nice little addition that as it gains height it grows and shrinks in size.

Things I need to do:
- Update the Testflight build with the latest version
- Variable rate of descent: In the current version of the game, the main balance that players must strike is in having the beam on/off. If the beam is on for too long, the ships sinks rapidly from the sky and loses power (Which can be rectified by abducting people). Several testers have mentioned the ship sinks waaay too fast, so I'll be adding a function that increases the descent speed over time rather than at the start.
- Make it so humans that fall off the bottom of the screen on the shop are re-added to your inventory similar to maxed out upgrade slots.
- Look into the beginnings a of a tutorial, as it's a lot to take in on the first playthrough!
- Improve the bottom of screen UI
- Refine the explosion aesthetic as it looks a little weird.

Here's a very quick shot of the ship hitting an explosive block (Marked in white) before exploding itself in glorious fashion!


I'll try and keep the updates as often as possible, but once again, having to pace myself to avoid post project burnout!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2017, 05:35:01 PM »

Hey Folks!

HERE'S AN UPDATE ON WHERE I'M AT:

- Variable descent speed implemented - First stage starts you with a tiny amount of drop speed and with each stage unlocked you need to deal with more each time.
- Random sky colour with complimentary gradient. I may refine this into groups as time goes on, but at the moment I can't decide on a particular one so this works!
- Noticed that some old code was using a process heavy function to invert the colour of the building blocks (rather than just flitting between an animation/frame) which was causing some heavy frame rate drops. All that code ripped out and replaced. I'll be taking a deep look through my code again to make sure ther there's not any more game-breaking code in there.
- Spawn logic refined to better balance gameplay: In the previous build, humans would spawn once blocks were destroyed, then all the powerups would spawn once there weren't any more humans to spawn.
- Human death/collection counters: Made sure to factor in the new exploding blocks into the spawn logic (They don't create humans or powerups so need to say if this type of block is being created, don't include it in the list of buildings that have humans in).
- Fixed the explosion aesthetic to look more appealing but also work better.
- Added the catch function on the bottom of the shop to avoid humans falling off the map.
- Created a collection of stats that I can toggle mid game to see what's happening beneath the hood.
- Fixed issues with multi-hit blocks not altering their opacity according to their health.
- Bunch of other little nit picky things. Today I've juggled making my sister a birthday game with working on the project, so haven't got as much done today as I would've hoped (Totally worth it for the other game though!)

Here's some screenshots of the current aesthetics:


TO DO:

- Alter the underlying functions for spawning enemies to prevent tanks spawning on a too early level (Thought I'd fixed it but found another block doing a similar thing).
- Tweak the rate of fire and animation of the soldier - They're currently overkill!
- Refine the speed of the ball/flow according to score.
- Look into building in a save function for the game (So upgrades are saved).
- Dabble with the measuring scale (Background slowly changes colour as you gather more humans), need to make it more neutral to avoid weird colour clashes (Lower opacity and monochrome).
- Possibly look at adding some polish to the store (Level up symbols when you upgrade a section)
- Take another look at the block addition/subtraction method for the levels (To avoid the game overfilling with blocks and set a maximum/minimum number for each stage you unlock).
- Do some concept doodles for backgrounds, block types and enemy units.

I'll be uploading a video of a full playthrough tomorrow with the latest build before updating the Testflight version (No point now as all my testers will likely be asleep!) I'll also try and choose some tasty gifs/videos to link to you lot.

Thanks again for checking out the project and stay tuned for more soon!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 05:46:10 PM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2017, 04:20:06 PM »




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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2017, 12:03:48 AM »

I love me some breakout. Hand Shake Left Smiley Hand Shake Right This looks great. I dig the colours and creative gameplay. Menu is cool too.
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2017, 06:09:14 AM »

I love me some breakout. Hand Shake Left Smiley Hand Shake Right This looks great. I dig the colours and creative gameplay. Menu is cool too.

Thanks! I've been particularly fascinated recently with designing UI/menus. Used to think it was such a boring aspect of the game, but especially with it being your audiences' first interaction with the game it needs to be good. 

Today I've been experimenting with a new route for how the levels are created. Whilst for the later levels, generating the blocks in completely random orders works fine (Since a blocky structure compliments a city skyline), for the earlier rural levels of the game, the buildings generated will need to be more low lying and have specific structures to them (Rooftops, support beams, windows and doors).

When generated purely using the same code, you end up with something that looks like this:


Obviously some look better than others here, but most have illogical structures to them.

To make this work well, what I've been looking into this morning is having a variety of designed modular buildings that can be placed in the level surrounded by random elements. This for the earlier levels would give the appearance of a randomly generated environment but would actually give some structure. The main thing I've got to figure out at this point is whether I stick to the current function (Using a single object with multiple animation states) or multiple objects with single animation states to construct these buildings in the level.

For now at the least, I've taken the limited collection of blocks I've created and built a variety of different structures:


The general chronology of the first section of the game I think is going to be:

Level 1 - Fields with cows in: No blocks or ball, simply get used to abducting the cows or flinging them into orbit.

Level 2 - Campsite in a cornfield: Ball introduced, knock down the tents (Ball passes through the tents without deflecting and destroys them) and abduct the humans spilling out of them.

Level 3 - Barn with smoochers: Destroy the barn by smashing it to pieces. You ball can now collide with the parts of the barn and will in turn deflect off in various directions. Destroying it will release two humans (Who you can come to your conclusions to why they were in that barn).

Level 4 - Farmhouse with armed farmer: Big farmhouse to destroy with angry farmer with a shotgun. Essentially a miniboss and a house filled with people (And maybe a cow).

At this point, the tutorial is essentially over, you'll have a couple of extra levels destroying the rest of the farm and abducting it's occupants. There's a good chance that the levels listed above will be spaced out with some more levels mixed in. Once that's done, you'll move onto the local town and start ramping up the damage and abducting more people. Connecting each of the zones (Farmland and small town), I'm currently looking into the logistics of a scrolling scene level, so you'd have things like police checkpoints and fleeing camper vans to smash and abduct.

I'll start digging into the possibilities tomorrow for how I'm going to structure the various buildings, for now I've got a couple of other client projects to address!

Thanks and stay tuned for more!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2017, 03:24:45 PM »

CLEAN UP!

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