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Author Topic: Liferaft  (Read 30411 times)
aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« on: May 01, 2009, 01:14:57 PM »

Mike and I are working on a flash game called Liferaft.

It's a grappley platformer action game where you play as a girl in a world where 95% of the world is ocean. Relatively recently some deep sea squid-like creatures surfaced from the ocean floor, which has given people the ability to float around using their buoyant carcasses.

We're in the prototype alpha phase right now and still working towards better combat and getting that pinned down as to what would celebrate the grappling while still being tactical enough to tease out a variety of interesting combat situations.

Anyway, the latest builds will be going up from time to time.

We're interested in any and all feedback.



Play it here!
[make sure to clear you cache so you get the latest version]

last update: 9/18/2009

CHANGELOG
9/18/2009
  • Added new parallax BG and tiled parallax system
  • New strut/pipe things for background

9/4/2009
  • firefly particle animation 2nd draft (they're on fire!)
  • firefly shoot animation
  • new enemy explosion animation
  • fixed elevator glitch (couldn't rise due to bad physics sim)
  • half-ass miniboss roughed in
  • performance fix now standard, increased initialization time so please be patient

8/24/2009
  • death!
  • yellow lanterns act as checkpoints when you grapple them
  • added new enemy "bull"
  • fleshed out more of the level
  • added a good many more instances of the enemies, seems more challenging/fun now
  • created a temporary performance edition (to be implemented soon) with bitmapdata solution

8/20/2009
  • fireflies reflect off walls now
  • enemy culling issue resolved
  • added new enemy "wallCrawlers"
  • added a couple lanterns
  • basic (and shitty) soundFX and particleFX

8/15/2009
  • level 1 overhaul, now a sketch of Act 1
  • level culling
  • physics simulation optimizations
  • beefier tileset, new lights, tweaked player sprite
  • jumping enemies that get hit by fireflies

7/23/2009
  • level 1 designed with mini-tutorial in mind (still too hard probably)
  • fireflies you can shoot and they come back to you!

6/30/2009
  • optimized particle boss in level 1
  • title screen WIP
  • lots of behind-the-scenes Mike stuff that he's been playing with (levels/encounters and things)

6/16/2009
  • new particley bosses replaced the old custom pixeled ones[/i]
  • new starting area bg art)
  • no more hittable boss areas for this build, still working on integrating the new boss system

6/12/2009
  • couple bosses (same, but repeated) in level 1[/i]
  • balloons compound your upward force (as balloons do)
  • "DOWN" to release balloons one at a time
  • "P" to pause

6/10/2009
  • new controls for grappling enemies - hold D to charge grappled enemy
  • changed lantern lighting
  • level 1 - new terrain to show off tileset

6/8/2009
  • level 1 completely replaced with new art
  • added functionality for fullscreen [no usable option as of yet]
  • continued controls/feel tweaks
  • removed debug graphics from new assets/player sprite

6/4/2009
  • 3 new "levels"
  • added support for multiple levels [hacked menu]
  • animated platforms in some levels and a bunch of other cool animated stuff
  • removed old implementation of enemies

5/26/2009
  • removed zoom, now permanent 2X look
  • updated color profile on all graphics

5/14/2009
  • dual grapple mechanic (hold "D" when near enemies)
  • placeholder pixel dudes
  • sized down platforms
  • new hitch style non-collideable points (acts as a bit of a bridge)
  • a bit better parallax layers, more atmospheric perspective

5/1/2009
  • camera zoom while standing on platforms
  • added paralax scrolling
  • different background for higher contrast
  • melee combat instead of guns, removed cannons
  • enemies (green circles) to hit off the platforms
  • ground pound (press down while in air)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 03:24:46 PM by aeiowu » Logged

EFX
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 01:42:26 PM »

Was definitely fun. Though, I was just swinging around as fast I could, doin' the Tarzan thing.
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Lynx
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 02:05:41 PM »

You might want to look into getting a writer.  The game lore seems a little 'prolix', and should be broken up into paragraphs, rather than 'Wall of text crits you for 1000'.

One approach might be to describe this from the little girl's point of view, rather than omniscient narrator.  The little girl might describe her first encounter with Ekiuna, and how she knew this creature was somehow different from the stories she'd heard of the beasts other villages had caught and killed to make their homes.  Some village elders might suggest that they should follow the other villages' paths and kill Ekiuna so they can enlarge the village, others might disagree and say that their beliefs (which they are 'faithful' to, according to your narrative) forbid such a thing.
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Lynx
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 02:11:07 PM »

I should add, the graphics are lovely. Smiley  The game controls didn't make sense to me when I tried the demo, the mouse doesn't control where you're aiming or facing.

If you want a little copy editing, I'd be happy to help.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 02:30:17 PM »

An editor at least, yes.

I feel the major problem right now is that the sprite is incredibly tiny. I hope the main character is larger than that in the later versions. I've noticed that tiny sprites are the bane of all indie games, too many indie games have incredibly tiny sprites.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 06:17:53 PM »

To be honest, I hate Greg's writing Wink.  The final "story" will probably be super minimalist, we'll try to tell it through events and stuff in-game instead of a narration.
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 06:47:36 PM »

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I took out the paragraph of my shitty writing, but thanks for the tips. We'd rather have feedback on the game itself at this point. Looking at it now, it's actually outdated now as there's no real friendly squid character at this point.

As for the tiny sprite, I know what you mean Paul, but there are sound reasons behind small sprites, especially when movement is this fast paced. But this version does include the zoom we've added, which will work better for melee/combat situations i think.

I just uploaded a new version with a lot of new things. Fighting is now all melee and enemies are simply physical objects. You can ground pound (a bit ineffectual at this point) and there's some paralax scrolling, a different background and new level to try out. Let us know what you think.

EDIT: Thought i'd log screenshots of builds and other stuff on a per-post basis to retain the history:

« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 07:06:32 PM by aeiowu » Logged

aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009, 12:00:12 AM »

just some concept stuff, working on enemies... The only colors I like are the ones I just tweaked, of the girl's hair. I think i'll try to push a more saturated, vibrant palette for interactive objects like enemies, grapple points and so on.

Anyway, after much deliberation and trying out different modes of combat we're going to try a dual-grapple system. Hopefully that'll be more in line with the spirit of the grapple-centric gameplay. Hope to have that prototyped up soon.

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Lynx
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 08:19:01 AM »

Poor girl, stuck in with all those slug-like creatures.  WTF
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009, 04:25:02 PM »

Updated a few things. We've been chipping away at this trying to figure out a fun combat system that doesn't take away from the fun we already had with the grappling. At first we tried guns, then melee but none of it felt right. So now we've got this new fangled double grapple system that seems to flow pretty well.

There are a few bugs with it and certainly many more others but we're happy to have finally came to a conclusion. As always, let us know what you think.

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Andrew Wolff
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2009, 04:51:58 PM »

This is looking really promising
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Nate Kling
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2009, 05:37:36 PM »

The game is interesting but it looks much better in your screen shots where you are zoomed in.  Being zoomed out that far is really annoying to me since I cant see anything.  You could implement a camera system that begins to zoom out when you are swinging so that you can see more in front of you but if you are required to fight those little badguys in the game at that small its going to be annoying.  I really like the graphics on the platforms I like the industrial/ steam punk style of it.  Can't wait to see this shape up some more.
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Bones
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2009, 05:58:27 PM »

This is awesome.
I like the whole fencing idea and how you can't push too many people off the edge unless you try hard.
It's quite cool I like it.

Also flying+grappling hook is instant win, so fun to maneuver around.

I like the graphics style though, I didn't quite get the point of zooming in.
But now that I've played it I actually know what the screen shots are.
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 05:11:05 PM »

thanks everyone! Smiley

----------------

I messed around a lot with the colors, there were some color profile issues in previous builds which were making everything look a little off. Also this "level" is a bit mixed up now with no zooming and 2x all the way through. I went 4x with the big "ships" (black bg on some of the longer platforms, to attempt to make them feel more massive. Let me know what you guys think of the scale now, I think it _looks_ better but I'm not completely convinced it _feels_ better...



Also, we took the last week or so to take a look at Unity. We were considering moving liferaft over to unity, but for a bunch of different reasons were not going to go that route with this game. Though we'll probably be moving over to unity for some future games...
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 03:55:47 AM »

Looks delicious.
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2009, 12:46:50 PM »

made a new enemy. Most of the enemies in the game will be big and more "minibossish" like this one.
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Xion
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2009, 01:15:00 PM »

this just keeps looking better and better.
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Ted Martens
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2009, 12:48:37 PM »

Sweet!  I like the dark feel of the world a lot.  Yeah, it would be too difficult to navigate with a larger character sprite or a zoomed in camera.  Maybe if there was a nice large pixel art image of the character on the title screen or some story moments between levels with sexy pixelation scenes that might satisfy the player.  Flying (aka cheating) is a blast, too.  A very limited version of it combined with the grappling could make for some pretty strategic gameplay.

It reminds me a little bit of Joust in a very good way  Hand Thumbs Up Left Angry Hand Thumbs Up Right


P.S. I'm in Ames right now.  You guys wanna hang for a bit?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 12:58:54 PM by savethedinosaurs » Logged

Zest
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2009, 01:00:51 PM »

Woah, that's an enemy? Sweet! The demo had a lot of fun in just learning to swing around- good luck on your game.
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2009, 01:00:43 PM »

Been working on the logo/title screen stuff. Here's a couple failures that i quit mid-way through:



Thinking about going with something a lot simpler/straightforward.
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