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July 04, 2020, 04:10:51 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Mission - spider bot side-scroller
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Shephf
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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2019, 12:54:22 PM »

I'm here with another small update. So I decided to make something interesting out of boss phase 2, so I though that it would be cool to have extendable limbs. Here's what I did, first, I've modified boss's legs in Spine, added some paths/constraints and stuff. It took a bit to figure out how to scale those, it's not obvious at all and requires some tricks, but finally, I managed to do this:



Then, I did some bone follower modifications so that it could scale physics fixtures and recreate joints when needed (since Box2D's joint anchors cannot be moved), here's an in-game slowmo demo of this:



And finally, I mixed all this with body segment follower that uses motor joints to get body movement + leg extend effect:



This is just a demo though, next step is to make some gameplay with it. I'll also need to implement one more component that'll detect leg-ground hit and stop IK target bone from moving further, that way I'll get the desired effect of the boss stomping the ground + the power of Spine animation I might be able to implement some nice phase 2 battle Smiley But I guess I'll leave this for tomorrow.




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Shephf
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« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2019, 12:08:51 PM »

Another update is here...





It turned out that last time I didn't implement those extending limbs properly, it worked fine while in the air, but physics was very jittery when the limb was standing still on the ground. So I managed to fix that and I hope that my next update is finally going to be about an actual gameplay. Stay tuned!
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Schrompf
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« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2019, 10:44:01 PM »

Very cool! I wouldn't dare jumping up that limbs and especially closer to those rotor things, but I imagine this is just your physics test. Please tell me again what physics library you're using.
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Shephf
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« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2019, 01:11:15 PM »

Thanks Smiley Ye, the stuff looks dangerous, so I bet the player would never do any of this, but it's just a test anyway. I'm planning to make the player attach to boss's legs some other way, like making a hint or something, m.b making standing on the floor really dangerous, so that the player will be forced to grab onto something...
I'm using Box2D, but IMO the true power comes from combination of Box2D + R.U.B.E Box2D editor (which is super cool) + Spine Pro (which is also extremely useful). I bet physics engine is not even that important here, it could've been Chipmunk physics, I'm pretty sure it would work out fine too
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Shephf
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« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2019, 08:28:26 AM »

Another update is here.

So I've made some gameplay with boss's extended limbs:





The cool thing about this is that it's done entirely in Spine. After all the work I did on integrating Spine with game physics I can finally do such stuff easily. This is just the beginning though, but I think I'll make a little break here, I've got tired of working on this particular scene, I just want to move on. So I think I'll leave it as it is for now, make the rest of the planned stuff and come back to it later.

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wafflefiore1
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« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2019, 09:11:44 AM »

Just found this devlog, really loving what you have so far, the speed and movement of the game just looks fantastic. The designs of these creatures and the player character is really something. I need to go back and read the rest of the devlog, to see what else you've done with this project, but I'm definitely excited to see where this goes.

One thing I will mention and this is probably a personal preference rather than a truly qualitative one, but I was wondering if there was something else you could do for the reaction of the enemy when you hit them. I feel like you have this great overlay for the player character and then when you hit the enemy they just turn white. Obviously a very small thing, but I just thought I would leave it there.

Thanks again for sharing!
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Shephf
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« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2019, 09:26:53 AM »

Thanks Smiley

but I was wondering if there was something else you could do for the reaction of the enemy when you hit them. I feel like you have this great overlay for the player character and then when you hit the enemy they just turn white. Obviously a very small thing, but I just thought I would leave it there.
Yes, 100% agree that hitting needs more feedback, there's lots of stuff to be done actually and it all takes time. Right now I'm focused on game mechanics and overall visual style. Once I'm done with all that I'll start polishing stuff, it needs a lot of polishing: more particle effects, damage feedback, fine details in animations and character presentation, etc.
There's much work to do, but I'm always open to suggestions and criticism, like someone said "No two words are more harmful than 'Good Job'"

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Prinsessa
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« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2019, 05:35:53 AM »

Continually impressive-looking! Gomez
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Shephf
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« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2019, 07:15:31 AM »

Continually impressive-looking! Gomez
Thanks Smiley
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« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2019, 08:45:54 PM »

Sinister and unique just how i like em
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Shephf
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« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2019, 10:29:32 AM »

Sinister and unique just how i like em
Wink
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Shephf
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« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2019, 04:26:35 AM »

Small update here:





I made this fireball attack today. The import thing here is that it's the last thing I wanted to make for this boss, sure there's much tweaking to do, adding more attack patterns, etc, but in general I've done what was planned for this boss, finally!

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Shephf
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« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2019, 08:41:33 AM »

This weekend was dedicated to bugfixing and improvements. Here's a short summary of what was done:
* Spider web can no longer be shot down, that prevents silly scenarios, because shooting it down is generally useless and looks strange
* Fixed a bug in spider web where it collapsed into a single segment
* Spider web can no loner be attached to steep slopes, that prevents "wall climb" cheating
* Player jump logic was changed, it changes slightly on steep slopes, it also prevents "wall climb" cheating
* Player is no longer considered "grounded" when standing on gibs and debris, prevents "infinite" jumping cheat
* Spider web is now automatically torn when player stabilization forces become too high, prevents bugs that allowed player to climb steep slopes
* Improved jump air control, jumping now feels better
* Spider web is now torned when under strong forces, prevents gears from jamming
* Player can now be killed by strong forces, e.g. gears, presses, etc.
* And the most important, I've finally fixed the nastiest bug, I even gave it a name - "cripple". It happened quite frequently when strong forces were applied to characters with physics, their joints were screwing up:





Left part is before, right is after. The fix is to detect the "cripple" and fix it very fast during few frames, it happens fast, so player doesn't notice it (the video is 10x slower than actual gameplay).

So, almost all bugs are now fixed, there're however some left, just look at this guy: Smiley





Fortunately, this is quite easy to fix, as well as the others.






« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 08:51:20 PM by Shephf » Logged

Shephf
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« Reply #53 on: September 30, 2019, 10:10:58 AM »

Also, I would like to announce that "The Mission" demo is coming soon Smiley
Most of the planned things are done, bugs are fixed. The game went a long way and it's
time to release a playable demo and find out if it was worth it...



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Shephf
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« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2019, 11:55:41 AM »

Started working on non-gameplay stuff like cutscenes, hints, etc. Here's intro cutscene:





Pretty simple, but I plan to make a cool transition between main menu and this. Main menu is to be done, in fact an entire UI is to be done...
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Shephf
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« Reply #55 on: October 14, 2019, 09:49:31 AM »

Working on more pre-release stuff like:
* Main menu, options, game pausing
* More cutscenes
* Hints
* etc.





I think it's time to introduce sounds and music into the game, and do more polishing of course
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #56 on: October 14, 2019, 11:13:11 AM »

Looks great! So hyped for sound! It's already so atmospheric, so can't wait to hear how much more that will add to it.
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Shephf
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« Reply #57 on: October 14, 2019, 11:16:38 AM »

Thanks Wink Me too, in fact I already did some tests, it really adds a lot, so sounds/music is extremely important, I'll have to make sure that it's done as good as possible...
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Shephf
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« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2019, 07:41:35 AM »

Today's post is gonna be a bit unusual and it'll be pretty long too, so here goes.

I've spent my entire weekend fixing a VERY nasty problem in my game. To put it shortly, there's a thing
called "The flickering wheel illusion" - https://www.jneurosci.org/content/33/33/13498

The idea is that brain can see various non-existing patterns in static/moving black-and-white images.
The Mission is black-and-white game with a lot of high frequency white details on black background, so one
can observe such effect in the game, especially on the floor/ceiling and walls where there're a lot of white
points/scratches and stones. When the camera is moving it feels like floor/ceiling and walls flicker, especially
small white points and stone borders:



When I first noticed it I though it's some kind of renderer bug and that I'll be able to fix it later, but then I
did a simple test: took a screenshot of the game, opened it in a window and started dragging the window around with
a mouse and the effect was exactly the same.

So after I realized that the problem is broader I started to think how to fix it - I tried nearly everything, all
kinds of post-processing effects such as gaussian blur, motion blur, grain, distortion, etc. All of them either
failed to fix it or fixed it, but the result was not acceptable for a hand-drawn game. I also noticed that changing
black background to dark grey solves the problem, i.e. making the distance between the colors smaller fixes the
problem, but unfortunately this screws up the looks too. But now, I think I found the solution, I used selective
motion blur with brightness threshold. The idea is that I apply special kind of motion blur to parts of the scene
that are affected by the "flickering problem" and I only use pixels that are above certain threshold in brightness,
thus, I somewhat "prolong" the life of the pixels that once were bright and now became black. After showing this to
a couple of people I found out that some of them don't even see the problem at all, some of them see the problem and
agree that my fix fixes it. Some of them see the problem before and AFTER the fix... This is driving my crazy,
really, now I'm not even sure if there's a problem and what I'm fixing exactly or should I work on it more... So I
decided to run a poll here, I made 2 videos: before and after the fix.

Before:





After:





Note that's extremely important to watch this in 720p60HD quality, because scaling and compression artifacts eliminate the flickering problem entirely.

So do you think the flickering problem is fixed ?

Options are:

1) I see the problem in "before" video and it's fixed in "after"
2) I see the problem in "before" video and also in "after", it's not fixed
3) I don't see the problem at all
4) I don't see the problem in "before" video, but I see it in "after"
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2019, 08:19:05 AM »

See it very clearly in the "before" video. I think it's gone in the "after" video but I do feel the motion blur, which is something I'm not sure I like in games in general, and which I know definitely makes some people nauseous, so it's probably an issue in and of itself, unfortunately… I don't notice much if I focus on the player, which I would if I were playing the game, but it might still be a problem for presenting the game in video form or watching someone else play, and might still be a problem even playing for someone more sensitive than me… Difficult issue. I hope you can figure it out!
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