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June 22, 2018, 04:46:00 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCOCAPULT - Pelt coconuts at sea-life from a bendy palm tree.
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Author Topic: COCAPULT - Pelt coconuts at sea-life from a bendy palm tree.  (Read 465 times)
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« on: March 03, 2018, 10:15:59 AM »

Sailing across the glittering expanse, your ship is dragged to the depths by a writhing mass of tentacles.

You paddle to shore and surrounded by the local inhabitants, a single palm tree heavy with coconuts sways in the wind.

COCAPULT is an arcade platformer in which you pelt a relentless tide of jellyfish and other wildlife with coconuts.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea: A variety of different enemy types from air and sea to tackle!

Gifts from the deep: Drag floating crates back to shore and unleash coconut powerups!

Every Coconut Counts: Bouncing coconuts off multiple enemies will make your ammo go further and bag you more points!

I've currently been working on this project for just over a week and have been making some solid progress so far! My aim is to get it submitted to Apple by the end of April and make this a significantly quicker turnaround in comparison to my previous project, Corporate Salmon.

Here's what I've achieved so far:
- Basic gameplay implemented (Seamless movement methods + Catapult function)
- Difficulty curve constructed
- Tutorial/Story Intro implemented
- Mobile user interface implemented
- 3 powerups + crate dragging
- Enemy hit multiplier
- Game over/high score screen

Here's what I intend to implement over the next 2 months:
- Wave system
- Upgrade window
- Boss battle
- At least 2 other enemy types
- 2 other power-ups
- Trajectory line projection
- Challenge bonuses
- Notifications system
- Control refinement
- Music/audio implementation
- Device scaling/optimisation
- iMessenger Sticker packs (optional)

A lot of the above systems were created in my last project, Corporate Salmon so should make dealing with them in this project a lot easier!

Keep an eye on this thread for more updates coming soon!

« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 09:06:57 AM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 08:48:15 AM »

Hey Folks!

So one of the side things I'm wanting to do with this project is to design it so it can be played at conferences in an installation format. One of the parts of this was designing a custom controller, which I've begun the process of with a neat little cardboard gamepad! I can assure you the wires on the back are looking a lot less messy (replaced with regular colour coded wiring and heat shrunk into an individual sleeve). I'll likely be documenting the development of this component in this thread as well. My endgame would be a coin-operated cabinet I can host in local pubs and take to various festivals and events.

Stay tuned for more soon!

P.s. For those of you who have already looked at this forum post, you'll also notice I've updated the initial post with extra information, feel free to give that a read!

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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 01:45:34 AM »

Hey Folks!

I had the opportunity to show the game for the first time at the CambridgeGameDev earlier in the week. I took along a copy of the game on tablet and one with a custom controller and here's what I found out from the attendees (Here's a Tweet from the event!):
- There needs to be more incentive to fetch crates/powerups from the ocean (Potentially a clearer trajectory line/bonus points for collecting?)
- I need to increase the sizes of buttons on mobile (Folks were struggling on TABLET to push the buttons, would be even worse on phones)
- Buttons that link to storefronts/rating the game have the wrong input function (If touch is held down rather than when pressed) so when touched it opens 10+ tabs in the browser and crashes the game! Is a quick fix but worth mentioning.
- Suggestion for a day/night cycle? This one I might consider but might be quite difficult abiding by the colour palette I've chosen (A LOT of vibrant colours).
- Increasing the collision boxes of the jellyfish (Some shots that looked like they should've hit didn't)
- Close range shots are hard to pull off (May have to look at slowing down the player movement further in the centre?)
- Not clear to some players what the crate powerup in the ocean did (Many not risking to venture out/trying to hit it with the coconuts)
- The initial concept for an enemy type rejected from gauging the audience, suggestions to avoid muddying the mechanics.
- Mixed response on the question of a trajectory angle, one person suggested having a curved line based on the angle, but have it fade out before it reaches the water (No idea how on earth I'll figure that one out but I'll give it a go!)

The reception of the game was positive and as well the early tutorial seems to have done the trick, I didn't have to explain the controls to anyone and most people picked it up. Is worth noting this was with games developers so may not be representative of more casual audiences.

I'll be working through these and adding them to my list of to do's over the next week, my intention is to get a build ready for GDC to randomly show at events. Since I'm only expecting a very short turnaround on this project, it's not worth approaching publishers about the project but any press I can get is always good! 

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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 02:20:00 PM »

Hey Folks, time for another update on the project! Here's what I've managed to implement over the last few days:

- Wave system: The game is now arranged into waves of enemies, with an enemy spawn pool that depletes over time.

- Upgrade system: I now have 9 different upgrades you can choose to improve at the end of each wave based around power-ups, the palm tree and the player. Here's that full list:
   - Increased swim speed: Does what it says on the tin.
   - Turtle summoning: Use a conch shell to summon a turtle to get rid of any jellyfish on the screen!
   - Palm tree size: Gives the player a longer range to their shot
   - Accuracy: Adds a trail to the last launched shot and a pole in the ground, giving you a point of reference to plan future shots with.
   - Reduced drop rate: Decreases the slow down/drop effect of bouncing off jellyfish.
   - Ammo refill speed: Increases the rate at which coconuts respawn.
   - Multi-Shot: Adds 1 extra projectile to a multi-shot powerup.
   - Giant Coconut: Increases size of giant coconut by 30%.
   - Skim Shot Mininum Speed: Reduces the necessary speed for a skipping coconut to stay above the water.
Upon death, the powerups are lost but I am considering implementing a method of saving one category of your powerups by watching a reward ad.

- Trajectory line mapping: This was on my original to do list and struggled figuring out how to implement this (As something who is pretty meh at maths!) Upon drawing one of the thumbnails for challenges, I added a line to a coconut to give the indication of direction in the image only to realise this was a perfect way of displaying a trajectory line (Leaving the ghost of last shot rather than predicting the current one!)
- Refined the speed of the character: After seeing my dad playing the game (And struggling heavily with the controls), the one thing that particularly stood out was the amount of falling off the island and the twitchyness of the controls. For this, I've slowed the player down further and will be making further changes to accomodate for casual players being unfamiliar with a d-pad setup.
- Lots of tweaks and refinements: Making sure that all jellyfish are effected by each of the powerups in the correct manners, adding a celebration text at the end of each round, improving the spawn code, stopping game-breaking bugs, reducing wave effect by 50% and a variety of other small gameplay refinements.
- Ending slo-mo shot: When you hit the last enemy in a wave, the game slows down.

What next?

- Objectives/Challenges: Currently the upgrade system rewards a point after completing a wave, but I'll also be including an unlock point for completing certain challenges every 3 rounds. These could include swimming a certain distance, certain number of combos or getting a certain percentage of accuracy in a round.
- Accessiblity improvements: As mentioned above, unlike Corporate Salmon it was worrying seeing how poorly my dad managed to pick up the controls. I'll be looking at different methods of making the control methods simpler, such as slowly increasing the player speed over time, restricting the player to the island for the first few rounds to get used to movement.
- In game UI overhaul: I'm going to experiment with several different methods of displaying the interface, making more use of the game screen but also factoring in how to display it around gameplay elements.

Stay tuned for more soon!

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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 06:14:29 PM »

What about making the jellyfish tentacles a more stark white to increase threat visibility? As it is the jellyfish look more like bobbing bottle caps to me. Or you could make the water clearer/more transparent?
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 05:01:46 AM »

Experimenting with boss functionality!

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