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August 17, 2019, 03:50:48 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Mission - spider bot side-scroller
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Shephf
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« on: May 10, 2019, 03:48:51 PM »

In The Mission (working title) you play as a spider bot that landed on a strange hostile planet. Your mission is to explore this unknown world.



The game has this black-and-white style (with a few other colors in some places), everything is hand drawn.
Here's a gameplay video with the "wasp" enemy:




As you can see the player is equipped with spider web as well as a blaster. Spider web can be used to attach to ceiling/walls and grab enemies. The game uses physics heavily, everything is physically driven, there're almost no animations. Here's another gameplay example, this time it's so called "porcupine" enemy:




Right now I'm working alone, I'm trying to make at least one playable level, polish things as much as I can,
release a playable build and gather feedback. Test build is planned by the end of this summer.
I'll be posting about game progress in this topic, if anyone's interested, here're some links:

Twitter
Facebook
VKontakte

And some screenshots:









« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 10:20:25 AM by Shephf » Logged

Shephf
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 04:41:21 PM »

So the boss of level 1 will be a giant centipede, I'm currently working on it.
It'll have 3 phases as well as special appearance and death scene. Everything is pretty much a draft, I didn't even bother to texture ground and background. Here're some attacks from phase 1:




And I started working on phase 2, here's the transition sequence from phase 1 to phase 2:




More to come, stay tuned Smiley
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Shephf
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 09:20:15 PM »

Experimenting with breakable platforms:

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mmoscat
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 09:46:36 PM »

Looks pretty awesome so far! Really like the black and white as the predominant colors and how it's all hand drawn  Noir
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dreamstrata
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 10:38:00 PM »

The wasps are great. I wonder what kind of options you'll have to fight them because their spinners give spider bot a hard time.
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Shephf
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 01:18:52 AM »

Thanks, guys)

Regarding wasps and other enemies, right now I'm planning to make a gameplay so that all enemies have weak spots and are generally hard to kill by simply shooting them, you first have to get into a better position.

So for the wasps, they can only be damaged in the head and since they fly and have these protective wings, there're basically 2 options to hit them:
* get closer beneath them and shoot upwards (with a high probability being hit by a sting)
* use the spider web and get above them where the head is reachable
* use the spider web and get them down where it's easier to deal with them

Also, swarms of wasps are more dangerous to attack from ground, since they protect each other by wings, so that all
make the player use the web more often.

The similar story is with "porcupine", it can only be damaged in the body, i.e. shooting spikes is useless.
It's fast and shoots a lot of spikes, but because of gravity they don't fly very high and very far, so
when porcupine is on the ground you should either:
* be far away and shoot them, waiting for the moment they release the spikes and become vulnerable
* use the web and be above, you can be much closer, just make sure spikes won't hit you
* when a "porcupine" is on the ceiling, use spider web to pull it from the ceiling to the ground where it's
  easier to deal with

That's kind of a plan for now) These videos are just demos of the enemies and stuff, I've already built a couple of real locations with those enemies, want to work on a boss for a bit to get the bigger picture of a level, polish stuff and make a demo build. Can't wait to test this out on real players, how will it all work out...
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Shephf
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 12:44:45 PM »

So I've been working on another boss phase transition sequence:





here the boss sort of blows up the platform with his rockets and then the cog, so you finally fall
down to the original place where you've first met him. There will be final phase here, that flying thing
will re-join with its body and perform final attack. Have no idea what will it be though Smiley
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Shephf
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 11:05:47 PM »

Not much done this week, just a few tweaks here and there. Among other things there's boss death effect:



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Kris with a K
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 11:56:17 AM »

Wow, your simulation looks really awesome! Love the detail in the boss death and the breakable platforms.

Animations and textures look really good too.

Only constructive flag I would raise is that your blaster looks very low-impact and it doesn't seem to mesh with the spider/web concept. Would love to see some more umph to the player weapon.

How much exploration/secret discovery are you planning to include?
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Shephf
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 10:36:41 AM »

Thanks)

Yes, I do agree that blaster needs work, I'm planning to work on it later, I even considered removing it entirely, i.e. leaving the spider web only.

Regarding exploration, I'm sticking to linear/scripted gameplay with checkpoints (similar to games like limbo), i.e. it'll only make sense to playthrough once, but I'll definitely include secrets!
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Shephf
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2019, 08:41:04 AM »

So, another progress update here, I'm currently making a new section of the level:





It's sort of a "use your web, don't fall down, shoot enemies, get to the other side" thing.
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Shephf
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 08:24:06 AM »

I spent quite some time trying to make a transition between cave area and outside area, but something wasn't right about it. Then I realized I need to implement smooth parallax transition, so here it is:




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Shephf
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2019, 02:12:29 PM »

I did Spine integration this weekend. What was done:
* Ability to export game's physics models into Spine with possibility of later update, without breaking changes that
were made in Spine itself. In Spine itself it's possible to add new bones, meshes, paths, IK, i.e. all kinds of stuff.
* Did a spider export, added some IKs to its legs
* Implemented import from Spine into the game engine, did a Spine skeleton renderer and an ability to easily manipulare bones, animation state, etc.





And the I tried the following: replaced spider's physical bone simulation with Spine's IK, the results are below (left - before, right - after):





Well, it got worse Smiley The movement now is less realistic, pure physical simulation looks better, that's probably
because IK is way too deterministic. My original plan was to replace bone physics simulation with IK and then
just animate all other stuff, i.e. do idle animation, leg retraction animation, etc. But it turns out it's not gonna be that easy.

I'll probably need to use pure physics most of the time and blend into Spine on idle animation, retraction animation, etc. I'll continue experimenting with that.

So in general, time wasn't totally wasted, Spine's a cool thing, I bet there're a lot of places in the game where I
can use it.
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Schrompf
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« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2019, 10:41:26 PM »

Cool stuff! Why did this little gem escape me up to now? Earlier pictures were a bit too dim for my taste, but the latest addition with the red background really makes it work. Occasional colours here and there might suit it well.

After reading ~700 pages of "Rain World" devlog I, too, suggest you stick to physics simulation. It doesn't have to be real "legs push spidy around" physics, more in the style of Rain World: move the character reliably, calculate the legs purely decorational. I intend to do the same in my next game, but it's way too early for anything productive, so I shall inhale your experiences instead

[edit] And I appreciate it very much that you're aiming for person-made levels instead of procgen. Replayability never really convinced me, most procgen games lack any sense of playing it even once. A nice person-made story and setup suits my taste better, especially since I have a fulltime job, a wife and a child. I prefer to enjoy it once and then be done with it and move on. But that's just my personal grief with current time's indie devs.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 10:49:36 PM by Schrompf » Logged

Let's Splatter it and then see if it still moves.
Schrompf
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 10:51:03 PM »

Oh, and you might want to come up with a different name. "The Mission" sounds like an 80's Rambo movie.
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Let's Splatter it and then see if it still moves.
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2019, 08:49:42 AM »

Nice and proper environmental design for a nocturnal creature. Congrats! I wonder how they sense the world, and I hate spiders.
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Shephf
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2019, 10:47:58 AM »

After reading ~700 pages of "Rain World" devlog I, too, suggest you stick to physics simulation. It doesn't have to be real "legs push spidy around" physics, more in the style of Rain World: move the character reliably, calculate the legs purely decorational. I intend to do the same in my next game, but it's way too early for anything productive, so I shall inhale your experiences instead
Glad you like it Smiley Yeah, originally I also wanted to have physics simulation only game, however, there're some cases where physics alone is not enough. One good example is that I have this boss - giant centipede, though it moves pretty well right now I'm having hard times making it attack the player in some interesting ways, even its first attack where it sort of rises out of its hole, twists and starts to spit
those (placeholders for now) bullets is done by manually placing dummy objects in the level and making motor joints at runtime which dynamically change forces and torques. Such a pain in the ass really... What I really want is just drag the boss around manually, sort of record it all and then playback in the game, but without breaking physics.
Right now I really hope that Spine will be my silver bullet, i.e. I'll run physics simulation most of the time, but when something smartass is needed Spine will sort of kick in, take control of some bodies, do its stuff and release it all back to physics. That's all in my head for now, but I'll keep experimenting, I also have some good results which I didn't publish, because it's in my other prototype that I abandoned, so it seems like it should be possible...

[edit] And I appreciate it very much that you're aiming for person-made levels instead of procgen. Replayability never really convinced me, most procgen games lack any sense of playing it even once. A nice person-made story and setup suits my taste better, especially since I have a fulltime job, a wife and a child. I prefer to enjoy it once and then be done with it and move on. But that's just my personal grief with current time's indie devs.
Almost same here, I'm quite busy too with stuff, so when I play games I prefer them to be like < 4 hours long and "play and forget" type. To me a game is like a movie or book, I don't read books or watch the same movie twice even if it's good, like what's the point, I already know the story and the ending.
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Shephf
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2019, 10:52:29 AM »

Oh, and you might want to come up with a different name. "The Mission" sounds like an 80's Rambo movie.
Yeah, I'm very bad at naming things actually. Originally I named it "the mission" after this game ("the last mission"):





This old DOS game was the first source of inspiration, I wanted to make a remake where I have a spider bot
instead of this flying thing and more different vehicles and stuff, but it gradually transformed into this game Smiley
btw I still plan vehicles and stuff later on )
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Shephf
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2019, 10:57:41 AM »

Nice and proper environmental design for a nocturnal creature. Congrats! I wonder how they sense the world, and I hate spiders.
Thanks) Right now there's no navmesh in the game (though I've experimented with it), so all creatures use physics to find and attack the player. Stuff like raycasts, seeing if the player is on the same surface, left/right to the attacker, etc. It works well enough for now, IMO the only case where navmesh is much better is with aerial enemies (and underwater, which are planned), so I'll probably include it at some point.
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Shephf
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2019, 11:50:36 AM »

So I finally managed to make Spine play nice with physics Smiley Here I did 3 animations: idle and legs retract/extend:





Generally it works like this: most of the time it's just physics as before, but when the player stops we gradually blend physics to Spine idle animation + IK. When player starts to move idle animation and IK gradually blends back to physics. I'm pretty satisfied with the result for now. Of course I shouldn't have gone through all that Spine integration burden just to make these simple player animations, my next step is to use this on boss.
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