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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRogue Cores - 2D roguelike action-platformer (GIF heavy)
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Author Topic: Rogue Cores - 2D roguelike action-platformer (GIF heavy)  (Read 6822 times)
Svanberg
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« on: January 13, 2019, 03:50:16 PM »



[First post updated: July 01, 2019]

Game:
Rogue Cores is a procedurally-generated 2D action-platformer with permanent death, heavily inspired by The Binding of Isaac and Metroid.

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Features:
- Procedurally-assembled levels
- A powerup systems with 160+ items, many capable of interacting with each other to create new effects.
- Simple pixel art
- Minimalistic story
- 20+ Bosses
- An achievement system for unlocking items, bosses and characters.


-Levels
The game will feature three different areas, each run consists of six levels randomly generated from a list of pre-created rooms. Each area will have different enemies, bosses and environmental features.


-Items
Currently there are 162 items in the game. The item power-up system is one of the core features of the game. It is here that I've drawn he most inspiration from The Binding of Isaac. My goal is to create a power-up system where as many items as possible interact with other items to create new and interesting effects. Effects that sometimes are so powerful that they trivialize the game.




-Bosses
The other main feature are the bosses, at the end of every level you will face a boss from that areas pool of available bosses. Every area will have 6-7 bosses, putting the total at just over 20. I'n addition to this most bosses will have multiple variants, with slightly different looks and behavior. These additional boss variants will be unlocked as you progress through the game.



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Me:
Rogue Cores is the first computer game I've ever tried to make, I'm the only person working on it, doing design, programming, art and sound. Prior to starting the project my programming skills where very rusty and I had never tried to create pixel graphics or sounds. Initially I thought the game could be completed in about 4-6 months, but the project quickly grew in size and complexity.

I have now been working on the game in my spare time for the last four years, but I've had to take extended breaks from it for various reasons. I've spent the last month refocusing and reorganizing, I've also made a project plan that I can follow.

It seems like making your first game too big and ambitious is a pretty standard mistake, I thought the actual programming would be the most difficult part when I started... Staying on target and not getting bogged down with minor details and decisions has been the real challenge for me.




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Devlog:
My goal with this devlog has been to help me be more consistent, my initial goal was to update it once a week on sundays, this is still the target but it has proven to be difficult at times. Recording game-play and structuring my thoughts for them often takes several hours, I don't want it to take away too much time from development. I'm going to attempt a more casual approach to some of the updates from now on.

The other goal with the devlog is off-course feedback, prior to staring it my game had not really been exposed to any sort of audience. The criticism and suggestions I have gotten so far in this thread has been very valuable, a sincere thank you to everyone who has taken time out of their day to leave comments and suggestions.




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Status:
Pretty much all major systems are in place, the game is "playable" from start to finish, but its lacking a lot of content in the last two thirds of the game. I will probably need to contract someone to do the music, unless I suddenly discover some latent musical talents..
I'm reluctant to make any sort of predictions for when the project will be finished, but it should be over half way complete..







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Twitter:
https://twitter.com/svanbrg

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I appreciate any feedback anyone might have.

Thank you for reading!




« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 08:49:58 AM by Svanberg » Logged

Svanberg
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 03:52:49 PM »

reserved.
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Svanberg
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 06:56:57 AM »

Week 2: Falling into Lava

I've had a rather busy week with long days at my regular job, but I've managed to get one important thing done that I would like to show.

The second area of the game, an area I call "Orange" in the code but thematically think of as "The Forge", has open pits of "lava", a problem I've had since implementing them is that not all objects interact correctly with them. I've been reluctant to fix this since it requires going back and updating all objects that should, mostly enemies and debris from exploding enemies.

There is currently about 150 pieces of different debris objects in the game, the falling into lava code had to be implemented on the debris-class and then configured and tested on all individual pieces – something that should take less then a minute on each piece but I've been apprehensive about it non the less...

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Here is an example of how it used to look when debris fell into lava, and how it looks now:



Looking at this now, I think I need to give it one more pass and fix the code so that objects with more mass melt slower.


Below is how it might look when playing the game:



(Recorded this in the wrong resolution and got some compression artifacts...)


That this now works should let me really get started with enemy creation for this area, it's somewhat curious how minor things can hold you back and become a crutch to not do things.
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Svanberg
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 05:20:36 AM »

Week 3: Use of Weapons

Hello again, time for the third update.

For me and probably for many people who have played The Binding of Isaac one of its best features is the item interaction / synergy system, the possibility as a new player to luck into a completely busted combination of items kept me playing early, and the expectation of finding other powerful synergies brought me back for more. This is a system I wanted to have in Rogue Cores from the beginning, this feeling of expectation and discovery, it might even be why I decided to make this game.

This week I'm going to show and explain how I've tried to implement a similar system in Rogue Cores, I started working on this years ago, and I didn't finish it this week, I see it as one of the core features and it wont be finished until the game is. I've spent most of the week cleaning up and fixing it's old code.

The basic idea is that all "weapon items" can interact with each other, if you find the "shotgun" and later the "lightning gun" their interaction creates a "lightning shotgun" (shown below). There are currently 30 items that change what happens when you press the fire-button (not counting items that only change damage or fire-rate), the number of possible combinations of these 30 items are 1073741823.


Example item synergy (shotgun + lightning).


Example item synergy (wave + beam).


When I first started working on this system I didn't really know how to handle this gigantic number. The only solution I've found involves breaking the 30 items down into subcategories, hand crafting the interaction between items in the same subcategory and making sure that the subcategories work with each-other. The subcategories are: major, movement, count, color, impact and other.

Weapon Subcategories

Major
These are the items that has a big effect and a clear theme, there are currently 5 of them, a total of 31 possible combinations, these combinations need to be hand crafted, I want them to feel somewhat unique and distinct from each other, "shotgun" and "lightning" form a combination i refer to as the "arc gun" (shown above).


Beamshot is another item in the major subcategory.


Movement
These items change how the projectile moves, and how it interacts with enemies in some ways, there are currently 4 of these items. Their interaction with the major category is pretty strong so all possible combinations with them need to be tested.


Homing shot makes it easier to aim which helps you stay out of danger.


Count
These items change how many projectiles the player fires, there are currently two such items, the player will fire one, two, three or four projectiles depending on if they have none, one or both of these items.


The twinblaster is one of the most powerful items, since it doubles your damage.

Color
These items change the color of the projectile and have some sort damage over time effect on enemies, there are currently three items of this type, resulting in your projectile having one of 8 different colors (counting the default color) and 7 different effects on the enemies.


Spark blast damages the enemy over time and has a chance to spread to nearby enemies.


Impact
These items change what happens when a projectile hits a target and "explodes".


Split shot creates two sub-projectiles that deals half the damage of the initial shot.


Other
All other weapon items that don't directly fit into one of the categories above, they generally don't interact directly with other items to create new effects.


Charge shot changes how you shoot, but doesn't require rules for interacting with other items.


That's the general idea of how I am implementing this system. One of the most interesting things when working with this have been to discover emergent interactions, one of my favorite ones is "homing" and "bounce" (shown below), it's a pretty obvious interaction between two subcategories but I never tested it specifically, so when I discovered it I was amazed that the system actually worked as intended! Shocked


Example item synergy (bouncing + homing)


Very powerful effects emerges when multiple items interacts.
(Shotgun + bouncing + homing + spark)


I am sure to return to this subject in the coming weeks, the amount of work still needed here is massive..

Thank you very much for reading, id appreciate any comments or suggestions on my work. Happy sunday!  Beer!

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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 02:51:32 AM »

Looks really cool so far. I've sent you a PM  Gentleman
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 10:25:22 PM »

Looks really cool so far. I've sent you a PM  Gentleman

Thank you, glad you like it!
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 01:35:22 PM »

Week 4: Hunter

A shorter update this week, was pretty busy with the day job. Polished a couple of older sprites and made this new enemy from an old design.






This robot spider thingy is a "rare" enemy, rare enemies have an increased chance to drop items and a moveset that is a bit trickier then normal enemies. The normal version of this enemy is a two legged robot that chases the player in a very predictable manner. This spider has a few more moves, more health and is bigger, but is still pretty easy to dispatch.


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What the enemies are called in the code, might change, but probably not...  Undecided


Different rare enemies have different chance of spawning, the "Hunter" has a 15% chance of spawning instead of a "Chaser"... Some normal enemies have multiple corresponding rare enemies.

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When you destroy robot enemies in Rogue Cores they either explode outright or they enter a "overload" state, the overload effect differ from enemy to enemy but they will always stop attacking and explode on contact with other enemies or solid objects dealing massive damage. The player can destroy such enemies before they self-destruct by dealing more damage to them.



Two different overload states of the hunter, determined randomly.

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And some gameplay with the hunter.




Thank you for reading, i appreciate any comments or suggestions.
Hope everyone had a good week!
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 02:02:35 PM »

Week 5: Plans

Another short update, been working on the first area of the game. I want to get everything in the first levels working and polished. When that is done I'm thinking I'll record some unedited gameplay footage and create a demo. I'm in great need of some playtesting that is not done by me, I've just played the game too much to be able to notice things I'm not specifically looking for.

So the short term goal is gameplay footage next week and a demo of the first area the following week..

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Updated walk animations on these guys.

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Other then that I've worked on a lot of back-end unity stuff, sprite packer, import settings on sprites etc.. Things I didn't know about when is started the project, but are very time consuming to go back and fix..
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2019, 02:49:29 PM »

Week 6: Raw







My goal for this update was to post unedited gameplay footage, took longer then I expected to find the "right" recording and rendering settings. I had to settle for something that looks "ok", the colors are a bit off and there are some compression artifacts introduced. I have no experience with recording gameplay, video rendering or youtube uploading so the loss of quality is probably on me.

Overall progress with the game is pretty slow currently, I've had limited time to work on it the last couple of weeks and the day job leaves me pretty drained at the moment. We have a lot of big "projects" coming to a head in the coming months, after that I should have more free time for development, so until then it's slow and steady.

My goal is still to have a playable alpha demo uploaded next week, it will be of the same area as the gameplay above and contain 4 different bosses, 10-20 different enemy types (depending on how you count) and ~150 upgrades.


Thank you for reading and maybe watching, happy sunday!
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 08:12:07 AM »

This is looking really solid! I love the animations and the design of the Hunter. Keep up the good work!
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Svanberg
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 04:10:27 PM »

This is looking really solid! I love the animations and the design of the Hunter. Keep up the good work!

Thank you Sleeping Daemon, really appreciate it!



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Worked some on the main character, I think the idea is to combine heads, armor and color to create a large variety of slightly different looking characters.. Not quite sure how that would work with the sprites and animations, I guess the head and body can be layered, but not really sure how the colors would work without just making full sprite sheets for each armor in each color..  Undecided
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 05:27:22 PM »

Great work so far! Especially for your first work, and doing it all yourself. I'm amazed you have such a functional product already!
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2019, 09:22:06 AM »

This is looking great and sounds like a lot of fun! I super love the Metroid-style level layout and mini-map. Also appreciate all the tiny details like debris melting at different speeds based on mass. Awesome Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2019, 04:09:03 PM »

Great work so far! Especially for your first work, and doing it all yourself. I'm amazed you have such a functional product already!

Thank you, very kind of you to say so!
Unity really is amazing for what it is, it's probably too easy to make games with it. You can get a lot of stuff done without really knowing what you are doing. Who, Me?


This is looking great and sounds like a lot of fun! I super love the Metroid-style level layout and mini-map. Also appreciate all the tiny details like debris melting at different speeds based on mass. Awesome Smiley

Thank you Chris! Very happy that you like the tiny details, that's something I'm hoping to spend more time focusing on before the game is finished.


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So I worked some more on the player sprite ideas I had, turns out it was pretty easy to get it working by splitting the sprites into multiple sprites and layering them.




And having different colors on the character was solved by making the armor sprites white and changing the sprite RGB values directly in the code.





A super obvious solution, but I hadn't really had any reason to think about how it would work until now, so it was pretty fun to figure out. I still need to make a bunch of different sprite-sheets for the armor and head variants, no way around that, but I wont have to do them in different colors.

And thanks again for the comments, really appreciate it. Coffee
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2019, 03:21:03 PM »

Week 7: Deadlines

Hello, so for this week I wanted to upload a playtest build of the first part of the game, but I've not managed to get that build done yet, there was a couple of issues that I wanted to resolve, some features that I want to include  and I underestimated the amount of work needed. The goal is to get that build done as soon as possible, but I don't want to rush it either, won't set artificial deadlines again.

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One of the features I really want to get finished is the character select system, every new run you start you get access to a random set of characters (always including the default one), the amount of characters and their "tier" depends on how far you progressed into the game in the previous run. Higher "tier" characters are not strictly better then the default character, numbers wise they are weaker, but they are more specialized.
Currently the default character and tier 0 characters have a stat and item value of 10, a tier 1 character has a stat and item value of 9, but their stats are more specialized, higher damage lower health etc.



Character select system.

To compliment this system I wanted to add a visual component, different characters or rather different bodies (you always play the same character) should look different. This system is not done yet, changing colors and armor design works currently, but I still need to do the sprite-sheets for different heads. Getting the different armor sprites to work and making sure that the muzzle flash highlight worked properly was way more time consuming then I thought it would be.
But I'm very happy with how it turned out, at the moment its possible to create 20 character variants, a few more colors, armor designs and the heads and it will be in the hundreds.








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Might miss next weeks Sunday update, going on a business trip to Finland, should be fun, but will limit development time the coming weeks.

Thank you for reading!
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2019, 09:53:59 AM »

Nice vibes, will there be upgrades or an evolution system?
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2019, 01:43:51 PM »

Nice vibes, will there be upgrades or an evolution system?

Hey Bestboy, thank you, I'm not familiar with the term evolution system, but there will be an item/upgrade system that will work similar to games like The binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon. There are currently 162 items in the game but I still need to do a lot of work on item interactions.


All items currently in the game, undiscovered items grayed out.



Example item synergy (lightning + unstable).

Check out the week 3 update for a more in-depth explanation on how I want the system for weapon upgrades to work.
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2019, 10:39:59 AM »

The objects falling into lava looks amazing!
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2019, 02:44:25 PM »

The objects falling into lava looks amazing!

Thanks, glad you like it!
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 03:30:22 PM »

Update 8

Back home again after spending almost two weeks in Finland, really happy to be back home and working on the game again. Been thinking about getting a laptop for these situations, but its just going to collect dust most of the time, so probably not worth the investment. On the positive side I did manage to get some reading done, read Armor by John Steakley and Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds, both where excellent!

Spent the last couple of days play-testing and trying to getting back on track with development.


Some gifs from the latest build:





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