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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsFinal Crash (previously PLAN Brawl) Demo available now!
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Author Topic: Final Crash (previously PLAN Brawl) Demo available now!  (Read 6525 times)
darrenagar
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« on: December 05, 2016, 05:32:35 PM »

Hi All

This is essentially my first serious game project, years in the making, but FAR from complete, currently solo developer  Screamy

Demo on Steam - https://store.steampowered.com/app/1105570/Final_Crash_Demo/
Demo on Itch.io - https://darrenagar.itch.io/final-crash-demo





I've tried to cast light onto some gameplay mechanics info and such throughout the thread. But - an introduction to the cast -

On The Hero side

 Fiery old-school brawler:                                                  Metal weapon from above:



And the Villainous

 Masked tactical brute:



Lets see where this takes us Coffee.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 02:09:08 AM by darrenagar » Logged

wizered67
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 08:55:19 PM »

The graphics look very slick! I'm liking it! Smiley
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Kienay
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 09:11:14 PM »

That Streets of Rage likeness! That elbow drop!!! Hahaha. Brilliant! Looking forward to more.
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grapplebug
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 09:25:37 PM »

The hero looks a little KOF inspired?
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darrenagar
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 04:21:43 AM »

The hero looks a little KOF inspired?
Good eye! Shinkiro is one of my favourite artists, and the KOF/SNK titles are definitely a design influence.

That Streets of Rage likeness! That elbow drop!!! Hahaha. Brilliant! Looking forward to more.

I'll be talking more about this later. but the game was (and currently still is) built on and extended from the streets of rage mechanics. It was among my favourite series growing up, and in my opinion still stands as the strongest example of the genre.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 05:31:32 AM by darrenagar » Logged

sbeast
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2016, 06:58:41 AM »

Looks cool so far! Will you be needing any music for it? If so, you can check out my portfolio here: www.sbeastmusic.com/portfolio
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darrenagar
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 12:17:10 PM »

Hi peeps.

Logo design: making a statement about your game through typography.

I've spent the last week thinking about this. a Title that is associated with the 80s/90s era of gaming. But that's not entirely true. My game aims to bring this genre of games into the modern era.

then I found this:http://www.digitiser2000.com/main-page/modern-game-logos-are-rubbish

Then I knew what I had to do!



And (for now) I like it. lol

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DrDog
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 07:02:44 PM »

Really like the look of this. Very cool.
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darrenagar
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 06:23:28 PM »

Really like the look of this. Very cool.
Thank you! Grin

This game has had nearly 3 years of development so far, from frantic periods of productivity, to burnout/wanting to quit, to obsessional need to reach that next milestone. rinse, repeat.

So I wanted to document the inception of the project. the exciting prototype phase- where dreams will appear feasible or be crushed under the weight of overambition. I'll say it straight out- I wanted to make Streets of Rage. and only for me, because it's the one game I had been waiting years for and I kept waiting. . . I thought it would take about 6 months to have a playable level. So wrong.

Prototype 1



Using a model I had already rigged for animation (faye from cowboy bebop) I set out to create a PvP prototype with no focus on finesse, that had all the main elements that were key to making the game. took about a month.

Prototype 2



The next stage was getting a build completely re-scripted to allow player vs multiple players. which was MUCH harder to do than before. the intended hitbox behaviour for multiple opponents was a nightmare. Essentially came up with a shite load of hacky solutions from experiment upon experiment. These types of games just don't seem to get made anymore. You can find a thousand unity platform/FPS etc game tutorials and help out there, zero guidance for a scrolling brawler it seemed, certainly not for the behaviors I was attempting. Took about 3 months, and the first version of Axel as a player character.

I'll stop there for now I guess. Not sure if y'all would be interested in the details of this stuff. Thanks for looking! Coffee 
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Kienay
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 01:37:44 AM »

You had me at Streets of Rage. Coffee
Actually, I am building a Beat 'em up myself, albeit a 2D one in a different engine. I'd like to tell you I feel your pain when it comes to a lack of tutorials, but luckily, a complete one popped up just a month before I started mine. (I started about two months ago.) Before that one, there literally was none either.  Tears of Joy
If you are creating a brawler, taking Streets of Rage as a reference is about the best one can do. It's gameplay is one of the best. You can only do it different but not better.

I think your mechanics look really solid already. Your prototypes show that you know what you are doing. What I am trying to say with this is, you are not somebody who simply wants to create a game that happens to be a brawler but someone who actually plays and loves them. I'm quite certain and also hope for my own enjoyment when playing the final game, that you will deliver an awesome and fun to play classic brawler. The world needs more games like this. Keep it up!  Hand Thumbs Up Right


And, yeah, I'm interested in the details. Please tell me more. Grin
What you achieved already is impressive. Since it got all the right feels to it.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 05:06:04 AM »

Wow, your main character looks like David Tennant with a wig! Smiley Anyway the game looks great, good luck with it!
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 11:13:41 AM »

That motion blur effect on the gif looks really unique :D Is it an actual effect in the animation, or just in the video?

Damn, three years in development? Building good, solid gameplay sure does take time, so no use rushing that. The depth movement and moves look very impressive. I can only imagine that it must've taken a lot of effort to get those working.
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2016, 11:21:36 AM »

Woah it's like Double Dragon meets Mortal Kombat (on the Sega when it was the super realistic models). Crazy and interesting style! Not the kind of game I'd usually play, but I'm intrigued. :D
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darrenagar
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2016, 04:25:20 PM »

@Kienay: Thank you for the encouragement Smiley I'm really excited to be able to share the design process, it goes beyond the Streets of Rage mechanics, and there will be a lot of cool stuff for any beat 'em up game. I'd be really interested to see your own progress when you're ready to show also.

Wow, your main character looks like David Tennant with a wig! Smiley Anyway the game looks great, good luck with it!
Haha! that did make me laugh! my gf kept saying it looks like he has LEGO hair when I was modeling it.

That motion blur effect on the gif looks really unique :D Is it an actual effect in the animation, or just in the video?

Damn, three years in development? Building good, solid gameplay sure does take time, so no use rushing that. The depth movement and moves look very impressive. I can only imagine that it must've taken a lot of effort to get those working.

The first prototype was rendered with motion blur in the animation frames, but it looked off. the main character sprite now has 24fps animation rendered (game runs 60fps standard unity), nearly 1000 frames for a player character. The effect in the somersault kick GIF is photoshopped onto the in-game animation frames to accentuate speed and circular motion, and to imply that Fenix has power of flame.

Woah it's like Double Dragon meets Mortal Kombat (on the Sega when it was the super realistic models). Crazy and interesting style! Not the kind of game I'd usually play, but I'm intrigued. :D
Thanks! My favourite was Double Dragon II on the NES, responsible for many blistered thumbs!

Here are the 5 parts that make up a character, be it player controlled or opponent characters.



You may think when you're playing this game you are controlling the character. nope, you are controlling the shadow underneath the character. The Main Object collider handles all x and y ground movement and is the part that collides with background and recognizes pick-ups. it is parent to all, and the script attached to it controls almost everything. it is not affected by gravity And will act like a little platform that the main sprite is perpetually connected with.

The Main Object collider has 2 children; The grab collider, and the main sprite.

The main sprite will react to gravity when jumping etc, and is essentially the z axis, seeing as this is entirely fake 3D space. It also has the Hurtbox collider that will react to incoming Hitboxes, this information is passed to the main script to do the relevant behaviour.

The Grab collider will react to other opponents Grab colliders, and will disable/enable itself while jumping/ invincible/ doing certain moves etc. It will also deactivate when the character is in a grab or held state, to stop multiple characters grabbing the same dude etc.

Most characters will have 2 Hitboxes, front and rear. the reason for this, the front Hitbox will tell the opponent being hit, the direction the character is facing so it can react by being hit away from the player in the correct direction. the rear Hitbox will give the opposite information. This COULD be done with one Hitbox. . . but what about when the player is attacking the front and back simultaneously? needs 2. The hitboxes are children of the Sprite Object so will move with jump gravity. Will activate with different info, size and center for every attack move, and disable itself on a specific anim frame, or if the player is hit/grabbed. 

I hope that this can be useful for others, and if you want me to clarify anything further about this post or I missed something important, I'll do my best Shrug

Thanks again peeps.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 05:53:02 PM by darrenagar » Logged

Kienay
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2016, 05:33:23 PM »

Oh, so you are using rendered sprites instead of the actul 3D models in the game? It sure looks nice.

I know from several jump'n'run tutorials that it's a common thing to control something abstract like a box in place of the actual object to interact with the environment. But your approach is surely way more detailed. Definitely interesting.
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Tuba
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2016, 05:42:23 PM »

Not common to see people using rendered sprites nowadays. Sure looks good. Smiley
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darrenagar
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2016, 02:01:02 AM »

@Tuba & Kienay- Yeah I use rendered sprites for a bunch of reasons. Firstly, It allows me to edit frames if there is ugly stretching when a character is extremely posed. Also, the enemies do not collide with one another so it's common for them to pass through each other, the result is they will clip, ugly result:

 

and the main reason is: the game currently supports 4 player co-op, and sprites ensure I can have as many enemies on screen as I want, and I don't have to worry about keeping the poly-count low. still not sure if I want to allow 4 players in main game because it gets CRAZY hectic. otherwise there is an arena mode for multi player brawls.

 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 02:49:53 AM by darrenagar » Logged

Kienay
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2016, 09:23:06 AM »

Makes sense. =)

While I think the more the merrier applies to the player's view, the number of simultaneous players can prove to be quite the headache for the one designing the game. A higher player count makes it not only more chaotic, but also harder to balance. If it gets too easy, even the most badly drunk bunch might lose interest at some point. In case you share a siingle screen, the size of your sprites play a big role in all of it, too.
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darrenagar
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2016, 11:34:54 AM »

@ Kienay- Yup, keeping some semblance of strategy is key, if you can't see what's going on behind reams of bad guys then it's just not fun. There is a certain amount of camera zoom-out though when the left-most and the right-most players reach a certain distance from one another. zooms back in when the action centralizes.

Now, I want to go into the *dare I say* faults of Streets of Rage(and many other brawlers) and how I have addressed them Evil

This post assumes that the reader is somewhat familiar with these games, or fighting games in general. The game retains the 3 action buttons from the Streets of Rage games: special button, attack button and jump button. I've added a button called 'XLock', which will Lock the direction the player is facing when trigger is pressed. But more on that in a later post perhaps.

Main Gameplay Improvements

-   Input buffering
To eliminate ‘button mashing’ during play, the button input does not have to be performed directly after a current action. It can be input before the end of an action to facilitate precise and fluid play. Circumstances where multiple buttons are pressed, input priority goes to Special button, attack button, and finally, jump button.

-   Combo variation
To stop the player’s standing attack combination from becoming repetitive, the player can use directional inputs during the ‘combo’ to open up a wide variety of different actions, each action giving different gameplay opportunities.

-   Complete moveset
In previous Streets of Rage games, by pressing the attack button and jump button simultaneously you could perform a ‘back attack’, if holding a weapon the input will throw the equipped weapon, but these actions could not be performed while the player is jumping. Adding these actions to the jump state gives the player more options for dealing with opponents. The ‘special attack’ button also previously had no use while the player is jumping. The player now has the ability to do a jump specific special action.

-   Defensive options
The player previously had no options for defence, especially when your character was getting up after being knocked down. This problem was previously addressed by giving the player a small amount of invincibility immediately after recovery but was not visually represented, so you could not determine how long the invincibility lasted, this I feel, is one of the main reasons competitive game modes in the genre feel unfair and unsatisfying.

A ‘block button’ would not be a very good option in my opinion, because in many games of this genre it dramatically reduces the fluidity of the gameplay (although XLock opens up possibilities Who, Me?).

I have chosen to introduce a ‘Parry’ system, similar (but different) to the game ‘Street Fighter III - Third Strike’ whereby if the player inputs a direction towards an incoming attack, just before it hits, the attack will be parried. Where it differs from the aforementioned game, the parry can be followed up by 3 different actions corresponding to the 3 buttons: special button will perform an action that will strike at both sides of the player and have invincibility, attack button will have no invincibility and strike in the direction of the incoming attack and jump button will quickly escape with invincibility. If no button is pressed, the parry will simply transition to idle/neutral.

-   Improve Special Meter
When a special move is performed without a full meter, the player will receive damage, relative to how much the meter is full (like Streets of Rage 3). However that health will recharge to the previous amount, unless the player takes legitimate damage from an opponent.

-   Cancelling
Combo moves can be cancelled into each other. Many modern fighting games have this feature, so It's important this game has the added fluidity that cancelling brings.

There are many other improvements, but that about covers the Important stuff.

I wanted to show stuff of the game with it's own identity(font/car/tunnel tiles familiar?), but a wall of text ain't no fun, so here's a proper pic before those elements go the way of the dodo.



Later Smiley
   
 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 11:53:02 AM by darrenagar » Logged

Kienay
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2016, 03:27:29 PM »

I am one more for simple and classic gameplay, but I like how you put some thought into your additions. It's evident you try to give a meaning to everything. That's good and very important. I always get irritated when people add dozens of actions and features solely for the sake of having many, but fail to add anything to the formuar by doing so.

Combo variation sounds a lot like what The Punisher did. Well, The Punisher got only a single variation, though. I guess you plan more. All in all, I liked it.
I agree that the gameflow would suffer from adding blocks. Only few games did and it never felt good to begin with.

I remember Final Fight 3 to include XLock. It was either triggered by holding the shoulder button or after most actions(in that case only for a short time). You were even able to do a quick backstep during XLock. Personally, I didn't use it that often. No that this feature isn't useful in general, but Final Fight 3 specifically didn't really gain from this feature. If it weren't for the backstep, I could only think about the few times you wield a weapon to get any use out of it. Concerning your game, it depends on the overall experience. Along many of your listed features, this is something the player would need to try out when actually playing the game.


I like the license plates in your screenshot. You sure know your stuff. Tears of Joy
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