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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGravestuck - 2d twin-stick sidescrolling bullet hell platformer
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Author Topic: Gravestuck - 2d twin-stick sidescrolling bullet hell platformer  (Read 3014 times)
DantronLesotho
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« on: October 12, 2016, 11:51:50 AM »

Hello!

This will be the devlog thread for my upcoming game Gravestuck!

Gameplay: The game plays best with an Xbox PC controller, using the analog sticks to fly around and shoot in 8 directions. Gameplay is mostly similar to the Treasure game Bangai-O, with a light narrative surrounding your exploration and encounters.

Plot: As a spiritual successor (har har) to your ancient order of warrior mystics, you are tasked with clearing out an evil influence from a formerly hallowed ground. You'll primarily fight through a land of the dead, through monsters and undead creatures. On your journey you will acquire new weapons, meet new allies, and uncover the dark secret origin of the monsters (hint: humans are the real monsters).

Influences: Classic arcade games from Konami, SNK, Treasure, and Capcom. Mainly Bangai-O, Ghouls'n'Ghosts'n'Goblins, Gradius, Castlevania

Platform(s): PC/Steam for now. If it is successful, maybe PS4 and Xbox One!

Location to download prototype: https://dantronlesotho.itch.io/gravestuck

Selected Media:

Title screen:



Some gameplay:



Older gifs without art:



« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 05:55:31 AM by DantronLesotho » Logged
DantronLesotho
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 11:55:21 AM »

First update: Programmer art reigns supreme, game is silent, most of the game mechanics are in place, and design for the rest of the main gameplay is designed.

Next steps:
  • Finish individual weapon development (design is finished)
  • Implement weapon progression system (design is finished)
  • Get some base art in there so people understand what's going on without having to explain it
  • Get some preliminary sounds and music
  • Build out basic frameworks for first ~15 levels
  • Find an artist!
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 08:19:43 PM »

New build is available! Check original post for download link.

Update: Added less-terrible programmer art with tiles so the level somewhat looks like it makes sense. People were initially having a problem with determining if it was sideview or overhead; hopefully this helps. Added shader flash on enemies and objects when you shoot them to indicate that they are being damaged. Added destructible tombstones and made the screen shake when they explode (YEAH!). Oh yeah, and changed the game to run at 60fps. I set it to run at 60fps as a lark, and loved it so much I decided to keep it that way. After going back and doing some research on my inspirations, I found that nearly all of them were 60fps already, so it makes sense.

Next steps:
  • Tweak the physics/speed fiercely for all objects, now that it's running at twice the speed
  • Continue to pursue an artist
  • Add rudimentary sounds
  • Build out basic frameworks for first ~15 levels. Sketch them out first for ease of transition into tiles
  • Implement weapon progression system (design is finished)
  • Finish individual weapon development (design is finished)
  • Fix power planet weapon so it is usable
  • Fix black holes to not suck as much (heh)
  • Implement (art + programming) minion weapon and implement some armies

New Screenshot:
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 08:25:13 PM by DantronLesotho » Logged
jctwood
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 09:35:47 PM »

Unfortunately running under WINE on macOS the game crashed with a shader compilation error. I will try running it on Windows later but I really like the style! The whole concept is very interesting and I look forward to seeing your future updates!
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 05:35:31 AM »

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback!

I think the issue is that I'm using the GLSL ES shader, and that's not supported in your Wine installation. I wonder if changing the "Use GLSL" registry key would fix it: https://wiki.winehq.org/Useful_Registry_Keys
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andyfromiowa
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2016, 10:37:14 AM »

I really like where you're going with the updated graphics.  The trajectory on the missiles is impressive, too.  Smiley Hand Thumbs Up Right
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2016, 02:19:45 PM »

Thanks! Ideally I want the game to resemble the style of Ghosts'n'Goblins mostly, but it won't look anywhere near that until I find the right artist Smiley
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io3 creations
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2016, 11:39:02 AM »

It's interesting that you mentioned Ghosts'n'Goblins because I was definitely getting a similar vibe from similar looking Commodore 64 games - of course with more colors added. Smiley

Seems like there's a lot to do with the game so I won't comment on those parts yet but wanted to mention that haven't seen major bugs or issues.
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2016, 11:41:08 AM »

Yeah it's wayyyyy early prototype so there are some collision and movement bugs that have to be ironed out.  Grin
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2016, 08:36:33 AM »

Update: Found a great artist to work with! I am going to refine the mechanics and bugs and put out another build with sound and a couple other programmer art assets, but after that I won't put out another build until I have full art for one level. Things are looking good though!
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 08:56:32 PM »

Update:

-Modified physics to work way better with 60FPS
-Added a dash function
-Slowed down normal movement to make it easier to thread through bullets
-Fixed charge up fireball thing
-Changed lasers to move faster and with random colors (why not?)
-Added weapon progression system; currently weapons power up at 2, 4, and 6 orbs. Not sure if I'll keep this though since I like the feeling of superpowered weapons from the get-go
-Adjusted enemy bullet speed to not be so tough

New screenshot! (edit: for some reason the gif is sped up; it's not quite THAT fast)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 09:09:31 PM by DantronLesotho » Logged
tylerfunk
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 09:08:00 PM »

Solid inspirations, and the gameplay looks great from what there is so far. There's just something satisfying about seeing dozens of missiles flying out of the player simultaneously.
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 09:11:54 PM »

Thanks! It's shaping up better than I expected at this juncture and yes, missile explosions never seem to get old!
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2016, 11:54:43 AM »

Update (new build uploaded):

- Fixed a clipping bug that let you get outside of the level. No more 200.6%!
- Enabled the controller for progressing (start button) so you don't have to hit the spacebar
- Built in the beginnings of a framework for a dialog system (not visible though)
- Fixed some more timings to work better with 60fps, in particular the laser timing
- Implemented final weapon (forgot to mention this before) but it still needs work (in particular the skeleton army minions)

Next steps:
- Polish up gates graphically so they make sense for those moving through them
- Implement hidden tunnels so secrets can hide in plain sight
- Fix possible dead zones in analog controls for shooting (seems good for now but I have noticed micro-dead zones that I would prefer not to have)
- Write first draft of the script!
- Build themes and sketch out individual levels from initial ideas (massive task)
- Build handy framework for animation
- Edit: I guess add some sounds!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 01:11:20 PM by DantronLesotho » Logged
DantronLesotho
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2016, 06:48:12 AM »

I took Gravestuck out to a demo night the other night and got a lot of good usability feedback. I updated the build with a couple nice features:
  • You can now start the game by pressing the Start button on the controller, rather than having to hit space
  • The player getting hit by bullets now shows a visible negative reaction
  • Dashing shows a graphical change to build familiarity
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2016, 03:44:21 PM »

Update:
  • My excellent artist has supplied art for the enemies, but I don't want to show it now until the environmental art is done
  • With that, I set up animation frameworks so that the enemies are animated the way I want
  • I added new enemies as well, based on the art supplied after my specifications. The demo will be updated eventually with them as well (at least as it fits with the demo)
  • I added a controller overlay which fills up buttons to show which ones need to be pressed, so people can get familiar with how to operate it. I will be curious to see if it works as well as I hope
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 03:54:35 PM by DantronLesotho » Logged
NuSan
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2016, 05:53:37 AM »

I like how bullets are fast and lasers form nice curves and rebounds against the walls. It's super pretty.
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2017, 06:17:59 PM »

Haven't posted any updates lately because the build I'm working on contains half of my artist's work and half of my crappy programmer art. The game is coming together nicely though, and I have gotten great feedback in going to demo nights for gamedevs in Boston.

Updates:
  • Finalized hero concept art and sent it off
  • Finalized environmental concept art and ideas and sent that off as well

It may seem like a small update, but getting that stuff nailed down was a huge relief and I ended up quite proud of the results. I'm excited to see what my artist comes up for it!
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DantronLesotho
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2017, 09:45:25 PM »

Update:
  • Changed around the flow of the demo so that you get to choose two weapons at first instead of having all 8. This is the proposed final model, so it was nice to get that taken care of.
  • Refined the minions weapon; the plague weapon infects other enemies around it, and the skeleton army's framework is laid out and mostly works. It's kind of a chaotic mess right now, but it's still fun, which is the main point. I'll refine that further before releasing this to the public with updated art.
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2017, 01:45:36 PM »

I played this at Boston Indies demo night, its cool, following the thread.
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