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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsShadow Fencer Theatre [email protected] 2018
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« on: January 12, 2017, 01:26:23 PM »


Try the New WIP Demo Here:
www.shadowfencertheatre.com
Overview
Ahem... Alright, settle down Ladies and Gentlepuppets! Welcome to Shadow Fencer Theatre. That's right, feast your eyes on a tale that will be woven right before you, from the cozy confines of my shadow puppet theatre. It's a battle for the ages!... BUT WAIT!... It appears we are down a performer and I require your assistance. The show must go on! ...Don't take a moment to think about it...*grabs hand*...Follow me!  You'll be fine. It's just a stick and paper my littlest nephew cut out. He just acquired the skill of using safety scissors and already I think he's quite good.... anyway...

Shadow Fencer Theatre is fast-paced 2 player fencing combat set in the world of shadow puppets.  Armed with a sword and stuck to a stick, players battle it out to become the champion of the tale. Shadow Fencer Theatre is being developed by ShuddaHaddaLottaFun.


Genre
2D Fighting Game
 
Features
1-2 Players
Many Characters
Multiple Arenas
Mouth Noises

History
Shadow Fencer Theatre began development as a jam game for Ludum Dare 37 in December 2016.  As ShuddaHaddaLottaFun, we have done several jam games and prototypes, but Shadow Fencer Theatre will be our first game we plan to flesh out into a real boy.  This is also our first devlog, so we are going to do our best to update and keep you informed with what’s up with the game.


 
Current State (February 2017)

An Updated WIP Demo is available to play at www.shadowfencertheatre.com
 
Our latest demo version includes many improvements from the original jam entry, including:
New Movement Controls: include jumping and ducking, and uses the analog controls of the joystick
New Fencing Controls: Include 8-way directional movement for the sword
New Characters: 4 new characters added to the game, randomly selected each match
New Sets: New sets for players to battle on, randomly selected each match
Improved Look: some polishing to look a little nicer
Pause Button: Game can be paused during match, and then players can go back to the menu
Other Stuff: There were a lot of changes, we don't remember them all.

At this point we are gathering together all the delicious feedback we can get, hoarding it into a pile, and then nibble on it all while we bunker down for the game development Winter... or I guess Spring, since that's coming up. The point of releasing this demo was to showcase that the game is actively being worked on, show off the direction we are taking the game, and hopefully get some comments back on how we can improve it even more.

Devlog Post Links
Devlog #1 - The Game Jam Post-Mortem
Devlog #2 - New Controls for Old Jams
Devlog #3 - Capt. Beard Joins the Fight
Devlog #4 - Much Needed Improvements

Devlog #5 - Introducing Koral
Devlog #6 - Prepping for New Sets
Devlog #6.5 - No Fancy Pictures, So It Doesn't Count
Devlog #7 - Way Hay and Up She Rises!

Devlog #8 - Spacin' with Commander Jeff
Devlog #8.5 - We Know Nothing of the Crunch
Devlog #9 - InnovateDBQ demo
Devog #9.5 - Bug Fixing
Devlog #10 - Quiver before Bloorgan!

Devlog #11 - New Demo! Check it Out!
Devlog #12 - Still Here
Devlog #13 - Still Bad at Devlogs
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 09:54:05 AM by ShuddaHaddaLottaFun » Logged

ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 07:05:31 AM »

** Originally posted on LudumDare.com  -- Posting here to show how we started, and float along in the tasty memories.**

Ah, where to begin?... Perhaps, the beginning!
I was born in a poor, small fishing village off the coast of… what?  Not that beginning? Oh, I see...

The date was December 9th, 2016.  It was the start of Ludum Dare 37 – One Room. Our initial concept was to create a goofy fighting game with paper figures attached to popsicle sticks. You know, the ones that have push pins in the joints so they flop about. It was a concept that I had rattling in my head for a bit, and chance would have it, the theme actually fit the idea! It’s a game about a kid in their room acting out battles! This was a first since there was not a lot of time spent ideating, and I could just start prototyping. The art man was unavailable until Sunday, so I pushed forward to make my wobbly fighting game using old concept art as my basis.


And then there was art...

When the art man came on board I regaled him with what’s what, and sent him on his way to figure out the art and characters and such. Luckily for me, he came up with the idea to make it look like a shadow puppet theatre!  So good!


This concept & art style solved our two biggest issues with Game Jam development.
Issue #1 – Scope
We make things too big, and then they don’t work, and are incomplete, or we cut so much stuff back that we sort of just have a thing. This game had a simple mechanic that I could just make, you know, work.
Issue #2 – Not enough Art because of Issue #1
With too big of a scope, there’s not enough time to make all the art. We have stuff missing, or even worse, I help out and then the art style is all over the place.  This game had a vision! We could make stuff that all fit!

Our First Multiplayer
Another thing to note was this was our first multiplayer game. We knew it would be more fun with two people playing, and playing on controllers as well. We developed for controllers, which ended out making the keyboard controls a little awkward… sorry. Also developing on a Mac to make joysticks to work on a PC with HTML5 is, well, silly.

So that’s it, we had a thing were all the pieces finally fell together… still with a few bugs of course, plus the sound effects and music, but that is another tale for another time.



Ok ok… enough with the flashback.  Next update is going to be new things.  Maybe even shiny things.
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Vanethos
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 07:14:18 AM »

From the moment I have read "Mouth Noises" I knew I had to test this game!

And from what I testes I was quite impressed. The gameplay seems "clunky" at first, but that for me just adds to the charm of the whole experience, kind of like QWOP, but in a non-infuriating way.

The art fits the theme quite well, though I would think it would be interested to explore some concepts within the same room, such as:
  • What would happen if one player stabbed the hand that's holding the other puppet?

The only thing that I didn't like in the demo, was the fact that if you chose the number of players, there was no button to return to the main menu  Tongue

Overall, I am quite interested in seeing how the project will evolve!
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 01:12:36 PM »

Thanks for checking it out Vanethos!  The current build is the early jam game, so we are obviously changing a lot, but we are glad you like what you see so far!

Also, the stabbing the hand thing is brilliant!  Like, put it on the agenda brilliant.
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 01:14:37 PM »

Now that Ludum Dare 37 is over and down with, we continue on in this Post-Jam world to try and improve Shadow Fencer Theatre as much as possible.  The first thing: Controls.  The original versions controls were pretty limited, which only movement back and forth, and it wasn’t smooth at all. 

We re-did the controls, and added jumping and ducking to the movement.  We are a bit limited in what we can accomplish with movement while still making it look like a hand controlling a shadow puppet figure on a stick, but I think we have something pretty good looking.

The GIF is a bit choppy, but the new controls allows you to use the analog joystick to smoothly move up and down and left and right…. And all the angles in between.

Until next time! - Beer!


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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 12:57:24 PM »

Ok… we might change the name at some point, but for now… we’ve added a new character!  Captain Beard is a pirate.  I know, it’s crazy.



One of the things we want to introduce with each character is a slightly different feel for combat and movement.  Dr. Mix-a-Bot, our robot character, is currently our well-rounded baseline character.  Jack Rabbid, the evil looking bunny, is designed to be quicker, but has a shorter sword (carrot).  Rabbid’s play-style is about closing the gap between your opponent quickly.

Capt. Beard on the other hand is a slower character with a bigger, and heavier sword.  We are constantly tweaking this, but it definitely makes play more interesting with the variation.  We just got to make sure no character is TOO good… or bad really!

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jctwood
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 01:09:00 PM »

I saw this somewhere recently and thought it looked really amazing! Look forward to more.
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Tuba
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 06:46:20 PM »

That's a very unique art-style you have there.

I'm curious to see how this will turn out Smiley
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 09:03:59 AM »

Thank you!  We are curious as to how this will turn out as well!  Grin

Quick little post here to say we have had our first bit of publicity already.  A little blurb about our game was written up in the article showcasing #ScreenshotSaturday games.

http://www.hardcoregamer.com/2017/01/15/screenshot-saturday-featuring-skycurser-cool-swords-in-caves-many-more/243251/

Now that we are properly famous, we will only continue to work if our trailer is stocked with blue M&Ms... ONLY BLUE!
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 10:34:46 AM »

Let us start this by trying to explain why we did things the way we did.  During the jam as we were designing the game, a decision was made about the sword interaction.  The idea was that it’s a fencing game, so you should try and stab your opponent with the tip of your sword.  So, an invisible collider was created called the “Sword Point”.  If this point hit the other sword, it would push the sword away.  If the point hit the opponent’s body, it would kill the opponent.  Simple enough.

What does this mean?  Well, it meant that players could miss their opponent by swinging the sword over or under them. So the sword would be overlapping but not killing.  It made sense at the time, as we just saw it as the sword being in front of the opponent, not in them, just with shadow puppets it looked like it was inside the opponent…. Well…



Playtest Says Otherwise.

The feedback we got was “hey, swords broken, doesn’t kill sometimes”.  Well, we listened, and made sure that the sword contact was a kill as well.  What does this change? Gameplay is quicker, since it’s easier to make contact.  The sword point is still there, and still pushes away the other sword, so stabbing is still very important.   You need to try and stab at the opponent’s sword without touching tips* so you can push their sword away and get the kill. 


And it’s how the game should have been…. Hey, we all make mistakes.  Especially Jacob, that guy makes like ALL of the mistakes….






*No Comment
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RofB
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 01:28:11 PM »

One of the cases where an art style just fits so perfectly with gameplay. Looks excellent.
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 11:35:50 AM »

Thanks RofB! We are really happy people are liking the look of the game!
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 11:37:37 AM »

Our latest character is Koral the mermaid.  She is the co-star of the theatre’s sea shanty alongside Capt. Beard.  The world of Shadow Fencer Theatre is made up of a number of tales as told by our narrator, each with it’s own set and 2 “cast members”.


What makes Koral really unique (well, as of now when there is only 4 characters) is her trident.  By holding the trident near the center, her weapon is more balanced, allowing her to recover quickly.  Also, if her opponent hits her weapon away, the back of the trident can be there to protect her, or even get the kill.


Because we are relying on 2d Physics for a lot of the interaction, it’s super cool to see how a new character will play once we put the art in with colliders and rigidbodies.  Now to start working on our sea set.
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 12:23:50 AM »

As you know I utterly adored this game over at Ludum Dare. The style/artwork is just fantastic, I honestly look forward to seeing more and more future updates. The new characters look so charming, it fits really well!
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 03:31:29 AM »

This looks so weird, and intriguing, and fun. I'm curious to see how it'll develop :D
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2017, 11:51:50 AM »

In the jam version of our game, the playing field was just a horizontal bridge.  So that meant we could just have our idle Y-Position locked in, and the player moves left and right from that.  Well, as we start designing new set pieces for our characters to fight in, we wanted to make sure we can have some variety in the “floor” shape that the characters rest on.  So, added a gameobject collider to act as our weight, guiding the characters along the ground.

Here is a little sneak preview of our new set. 

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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 06:20:00 PM »

@sinclairstrange and @maruki.... I forgot to say thank you for your comments!  Imma jerk.

Anyway this is sort of a no-post.  Was planning to do a devlog with a fancy new gif, but was busy re-doing a music track.  Somehow the save button on this computer broke itself temporarily... technology, am I right?

Anywoo this weekend will be a bit of a crunch as we wrap up the state of the current build to show off at a local event (if anyone is around Eastern Iowa let me know.... no one?  ok).  But we will have time to show off new characters and stuff, so that will be good.


After we get a couple of new characters and arenas in, the next plan is to update the menu system.  Currently using Unity's built in event system, but it seems that it's not going to play well with wanting to have a character select menu that both players can control.  Waaagh!
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2017, 07:39:42 AM »

Raise the Anchor! Hoist the Barnacle! Harness the… Stick!  It’s time for an old fashion Sea Shanty!



The first pass on our pirate ship arena is in the game.  In this scene, players battle it out on the high seas as the ship rocks in the waves.

**ShuddaHaddaLottaFun is not liable for cases of seasickness due to hyper-realistic effects.**

And what’s a pirate’s life without an old fashioned sing-a-song? Well we’ve got that in the works too!

https://soundcloud.com/mrshoestore/shadow-fencer-theatre-sea-shanty



***If anyone knows how to embed soundcloud on these forums, let me know! I'd much prefer that.

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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2017, 11:04:23 AM »



He’s an astronaut.  And he has a space wrench… so…. Pretty much the perfect character.  Don’t even need to spend a lot of time naming the guy if he’s an astronaut with a space wrench.  Just call him “Commander” something, and you are good to go.  I mean, common, he’s an astronaut! Eats out of tubes! Pees in a vacuum!  What’s not to like?

Plus, we’ve got this GIF


Oh yea, he’s a slightly slower, floaty character.  He lives in space. 
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2017, 09:18:29 PM »

Update Time!  We are in a push to make an updated demo for a local event in 2 days, which became a much bigger issue then it should have been.  We just needed to add in one more character and arena (which we will post about when we get the time to make beautiful screenshots) but once we did and tested the game... a whole lot of broken showed up.

First off was 2 player mode was broken.  I had been testing all by my lonesome for so long that I didn't realize that the switch to check which game mode was set wasn't actually changing in/out the AI scripts with the player control scripts.  I'm still not sure why that stopped working, but a deadline is a deadline so I had to go through each individual character (6 of them now) and hardcode the change up.

Second was my computer was starting to run slow... I blamed the computer... because it's old.  But nope, it was (mostly) the fact that I was doing about thrice as many 2D physics as I needed.  As I scaled and made changes, I never corrected the things I didn't need.  So, deleted some colliders, changed some polygon colliders to boxes, and made a bunch of rigid bodies static and ta-da.... back to normal.

The original plan was to put this demo online, replacing our original jam version that's out there.  But things are not going to be quite where we want them for our event, so we may push back the online upload a bit to polish up.

Then we get back to it, more characters, more arenas, and hopefully with the feedback from the event plus when we  post online, we will fine tune this mother-fudger.   Gentleman

But enough time wasting! I want to get this puppy finished tonight, and I also want to sleep.... both of these things cannot happen at once unless clones.
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