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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsOUTSTATION - Tactical top down shooter, roguelite, pixel art, etc
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strobosaur
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« on: August 30, 2018, 03:23:02 AM »

Hey TIG Source!

I never thought i'd be posting in this category, but here we go. When i started this project, i just wanted to play around with some ideas and make cool effects, but i think i've reached a point where it actually starts feeling and looking like a game. Even though it has come together in a fairly random way up until recently, i have had lots and lots of gameplay ideas kicking around since i first got a SNES as a kid. By now i feel this is a project i would like to finish, and if i post here, i hope i will feel less tempted to try starting something else before this is done, as i always have in the past :D

I'm working in Game Maker Studio, i am the only person working on the game, and it has been in development since ca February. The working title is:



OUTSTATION

The easiest way to describe the direction this project has been moving in, is to say that when i first heard about Dungeons of the endless, i slapped my knees and thought "That was what I WAS GONNA DO ffs!!" (later i played it and thoroughly LOVED it Smiley. I hope i will be able to bring some new stuff to the table anyway though!

The largest part of inspiration has probably come from playing a lot of custom maps for Starcraft and Warcraft III, maps i thought were brilliant but never seemed to get any players because they were too complex and had a bit of a learning curve... Some of them were Tower Defence, many were not. Another important piece of inspiration would be ADOM, Dwarf Fortress and roguelikes in general (not as underground a source as i felt it was back then, but they have become popular for a very good reason Smiley ). I want to make a game that is deep, random, hard, fast, fair, tactical, violent, and FUN!

  • roguelike elements
  • tactical elements
  • resource management
  • fast paced action
  • random generation
  • character development
  • pixel art graphics

Right now, i would say it is a tactical top down shooter with elements of roguelikes and real time strategy. Here are some gifs and a utube video:



      















   Let me know what you think, and also what you would like to see in this game :D


« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 09:16:35 AM by strobosaur » Logged

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grayhaze
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 03:57:56 AM »

Looks interesting, and I certainly wouldn't complain about another option in the same vein as Dungeon of the Endless.

If I had one suggestion it would be to tone down the chromatic aberration a little. It makes it very difficult to focus on the action, and I suspect it would be migraine-inducing long term.
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strobosaur
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 05:19:29 AM »

Not even if i put a photosensitive epilepsy warning at the beginning?

Seriously though, that's eerily close to what my gf said! And i think both of you are right about the chromatic aberration. And she actually suffers from epilepsy, so yeah, i might consider it Tongue But since neither her nor the general public are exposed to the game atm, i think i will leave it for now and focus on game mechanic and the most vital stuff. When/if i feel that it's reached a high enough level, i will start polishing...

Thanks for the feedback, i very much appreciate it!
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AgentAvis
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 08:48:44 PM »

Absolutely love the look and feel of what you have going on here. Love the art, gameplay looks fun. Gunna try to keep a close eye on this one.  Grin Hand Thumbs Up Right
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strobosaur
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2018, 11:20:44 AM »

Thanks a lot man, that makes me very happy to hear :D

Today was spent overhauling parts of the armor system to make it a bit more flexible and interesting. I also started making the outlines of what i hope will be an interesting progression/character development system. I realize that this will be one of the hardest and most important things to do in the whole game, and i'm thinking that it's one of the things that are a bit unrealistic in scope for a first time project... But i guess i will just have to start making it and find out later Smiley There are so many things i've run into into while making this game that i had no clue how to do when i first started thinking about them, and that i now looking back after some time has passed, can say that they were terribly designed.. Which is actually a good feeling, cause i know i have learned so, so much already. Regardless of what becomes of this project, this is of course something that will not have been lost.

I also ran into some weird problem with the debugger in game maker and have spent the afternoon trying to fix it, hopefully there will be some more interesting stuff happening shortly.
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Nikolas
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2018, 11:50:43 AM »

Not a big fan of the chromatic aberration either, but I like the pixel art and animation Hand Thumbs Up Left
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strobosaur
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 11:22:25 AM »

The thing about the chromatic aberration was that i wanted to learn to make simple shaders, and when i had made some, i wanted to use them  Grin I don't know if they will remain at all, but they definitely made the game more fun to look at when there wasn't half of the current pixel work done. I actually tried toning them down some today, but the controls are messy, i'm not sure if i actually did Smiley

Anyway, many thanks for the input, all feedback is much appreciated. The graphics have had second priority to game mechanic and i have tried to spend as little time as possible doing sprites and tiles, so i'm very happy to hear you like what little there is Wink

Today i've worked on the level up system, and now it's possible to do a little bit of character development. I also did some work on the menus to display more of the current units stats. Menu work is always incredibly slow and boring i've noticed, but i guess it's necessary. I sort of wish that i'd just designed the game so well that i didn't need them at all though Smiley I also added a second "health dot" to represent armor, so now armored units get two. I've wanted to keep the hud to a bare minimum, but i'm not sure if these dots will be enough when there's a lot of stuff happening at once... I really want to avoid the usual health bars though. What do you think?

Armor dot:



A bit of the menus:

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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2018, 08:25:32 AM »

Solid graphics, and the gameplay looks good as well. The menu system looks pretty nice as well, very Vlambeer-y.
I do think the effects need to be dialed down like 50% though; right now it's a little harder to follow than is really needed.
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strobosaur
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2018, 09:19:39 AM »

Appreciate your input Smiley Just have to ask: Do you also mean the whole screen-shaders, or do you mean the actual hit-effects and such? Cause it is quite heavy on both, and i think it's hard to find a balance between playability and "eye candy", so that is very useful feedback.
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 06:16:26 AM »

I'm almost entirely looking at shaders, although the flashing diagonal lines(?) left after the explosions are a bit distracting as well and seem to linger a long while. To completely pull something out of my ass, I think that effects should be 2/4 of the following:
  • Subtle
  • Like, REALLY subtle
  • Small relative to screen size
  • Short duration/length
Originally I didn't have the second bullet there, but I realized that would make ongoing surfaces stuff impossible.
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strobosaur
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 03:07:58 AM »

I'm almost entirely looking at shaders, although the flashing diagonal lines(?) left after the explosions are a bit distracting as well and seem to linger a long while. To completely pull something out of my ass, I think that effects should be 2/4 of the following:
  • Subtle
  • Like, REALLY subtle
  • Small relative to screen size
  • Short duration/length
Originally I didn't have the second bullet there, but I realized that would make ongoing surfaces stuff impossible.

Allthough this reply is very late, i still would like to say i read your post and appreciate this kind of constructive criticism Smiley I'm thinking we might have kind of different philosphies when it comes to effects though, but it is still always good to get other opinions to take into consideration. One thing that i was a bit bewildered by though, was the diagonal lines that you mention... I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this, and i don't see any diagonal lines Smiley Even with the rest of the post below, this is something that i would appreciate if you could describe a bit better if you would like. I remember seeing some strange glitches in the preview of the gifs before exporting that did not show up (for me) in the exported files, so do these lines also appear in the youtube video?

But anyway, on to the main reason for this update: Not very long after my last post i got some bad news. It didn't come as a complete surprise, but it was still worse news than expected... I'll have to spend some time in prison starting in a couple of weeks, and when i realized there was no way i would be able to finish this project in time, it became increasingly hard to find motivation to continue with this very time consuming and solitary work. I have done some work on a new and softer system for unit to unit collisions, and some graphical tweaking, but i've tried to spend as much time as possible with friends, family, girlfriend etc...

I knew i would get this sentence, and that it would most likely mean some type of confinement, even before the work on this project really started. But i was led to hope and believe it would be confinement that would allow me to use a computer, so that i would be able to continue my work. But since that will now not be the case, the status on this development process is uncertain to say the very least. At the moment i'm very much thinking i will want to continue doing games when i'm out again, but i know from past experiences that resurrecting an old project after long periods of time is very hard for both practical and emotional reasons.

So this update is mostly for the sake of myself keeping some kind of log, and for the unlikely (i guess) scenario where i would restart work on this project when i get out. Even in it's current unfinished state, this has been the largest and most serious game that i have worked on by far, and i have learned tons of stuff that i think will be very useful in the future. It's also been a more fun and enjoyable undertaking than any of the much smaller things i've worked on in the past, and i hope i will remember that it's more rewarding to stick to perfecting one bigger project, even though it means that during some days or weeks the work might feel brutal and daunting. I also hope i will remember to make the switch up to GMS 2 before i start any serious work again  Grin

Should i start work on a new project when i'm out, i think i will spend some serious time and consideration in planning the scope of the project before starting the work, and trying to contain the games mechanics within more reasonable limits, because i could definitely see that the amount of work that would have needed to go into this game would have increased exponentiionally as i went on, and that just balancing all the features i had in mind could have easily turned into a nightmare where progress would have slowed to a halt. It's something that i remember hearing a lot from successful indie developers in interviews and talks, and now i think i much better understand the value of really trying to do a game that is simple enough that you will be able to finish it in a reasonable timeframe Smiley

That's it for now, i would not be surprised if there are now new updates here but who knows  Wink
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