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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGRABBUS - Item-Fusing, Open-World Building, Shmup-Crawler
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Author Topic: GRABBUS - Item-Fusing, Open-World Building, Shmup-Crawler  (Read 825 times)
Dawmino
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« on: August 25, 2020, 10:00:10 AM »



Official Website now available! Grabb.us





(Made in Game Maker Studio 2)
If you have questions about the game, I am available to answer them here! I'm not yet ready to add more people on to the project. But eventually... I will need the assistance of a music composer and/or sound effects artist.
The funding for which I have NOOOooooo clue how to attain. Oh well!

Status
I plan to have a demo available once I feel like the game becomes a good "vertical slice" of its potential self. But I can't guarantee when that'll be... since I am always busy!
Features that are now in: Basic autotiling, physics, stats and itemization, item-merging and shooting mechanics, enemy AI and merging system, simple dungeon generation, world terrain generation and building menu, proprietary cutscene player and editor, save files... and a bunch more. Grabbus is currently at a "let's put the meat on the bones" stage. A foundation for something bigger.

Dev Background
I'm Colin! I've been practicing programming, art, and animation in tandem since a very young age.
I've been working on Grabbus for over a year now, between art commissions.
There's a TON of projects under my belt, most of which didn't pan out, but that's how it can be! I'm not discouraged and look forward to improving! This time however, I am confident I'm on to something worth finishing and I'm in a place in my life now that is FAR more conducive to a big project, so I'm not letting go!
It is my hope that by sharing what I have so far, I can receive valuable feedback and promote things early enough to drum up interest in the upcoming demo. This is the sort of game that will need lots of testing!

Premise
You play as Morris, a rat that finds himself revived in a mysterious virtual world inhabited by other real user-rats and free-evolving A.I. constructs, both good and not-so-good. Morris is attached to an A.I. helper named Grabbus who guides and protects him in this strange datascape. Good thing he's there, for who knows what corrupted horrors lurk beneath the furthest reaches of the A.I. wilderness...

Design and Gameplay
The major tenets of Grabbus' design are...
  • -Roguelite Delving with a Shoot-em-up Flavor
    The player moves Morris around the stage while also controlling Grabbus. Grabbus allows the player to shoot equipped weapons, use and store items, and manipulate the environment. Some objects have different context-sensitive actions that can be triggered by holding both grab buttons with the object clutched.
    The entire game world is procedurally-generated, from the world map, to the delves themselves(ha), to the weapons and enemies you find. Exploring for random loot, and the mixing thereof, is an essential piece of the game.
    And by mixing, I mean mixing. Grabbus has a robust item-merging system that is the main mechanic. You may merge most items (within reason) and get various predictable results, even if you have started with random items. The strategy of what items to mix and when is essential to success. Enemies come with varying abilities, but also merge together like items! When this happens, their components are stacked and the enemy becomes larger and harder to destroy. But the rewards... worth it. Better yet, if you manage to survive without your HP reaching zero, you can keep merging-up more powerful items without limit! No number caps! Yep. No caps. Have fun breaking the game! You are encouraged to absolutely destroy and exploit anything you can.



  • -Characters and Story
    I've coded a somewhat unique cutscene engine and editor. I can quickly draw characters for this system and have them appear super emotive and talkative using tags in the script that activate effects and change sprites. The unique thing it does is how it analyzes the text and changes the timing of the word-scrolling and the lip-sync based on the letter combos to make it "feel" more like the text is being spoken by the on-screen character.



  • -Building, Expansion, and Upgrades
    The world map. It's big. As big as your computer has space for the numbers. And you can build on it.
    Build stuff to upgrade Grabbus and Morris' abilities. Build stuff to make delves easier. Build stuff to make them harder. Build stuff that builds other stuff. Build shops, then shop for more buildings to unlock. Then have that shop get destroyed by a creep while you were in a dungeon. Oh right, the world map is dynamic and keeps running with each floor you complete in a delve. Hope nothing bad happens while you're away!
  • -Always a New Challenge
    Grabbus scales in difficulty and complexity (Not just HP and damage boosts!) as you venture further out in the world map. Stranger, more dangerous challenges or characters may appear. But the rewards are too great to ignore... Some say you may even gain the power to change the world as you see fit... My goal is also to take advantage of procedural generation techniques I've developed over many years of experimentation to increase the variety of emergent gameplay possibilities and objectives. But I'll have more details on that as I come to it.
  • -Accessibility
    Grabbus is a game for everyone! So I'm open to feedback about new options and modes, and for avoiding insensitive content.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 01:23:38 PM by Dawmino » Logged
Dawmino
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2020, 12:23:32 PM »

Updated with a new video on the summary!!
Still hard at work!

There's lots of little things I have to add before I'm ready for the first downloadable demo.
My plan is to have a good number of buildings and building mechanics, smoother overworld movement, more enemy and item types, new weapon graphics, and a bunch more...
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2020, 02:24:24 PM »

Well this looks interesting, especially the two different isometric perspectives. Following!
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Dawmino
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 08:32:38 AM »

Well this looks interesting, especially the two different isometric perspectives. Following!

Thanks for the kind words!
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Dawmino
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2020, 09:36:59 PM »

Still working on it!
I just finished most of the randomly generated building stuff, so now you can upgrade Morris' abilities by finding random blueprints, fusing them to get bigger, more powerful ones, and placing them on the infinite world map.

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Dawmino
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2021, 01:22:47 PM »

There's now an official website!
I'll update it later with more material, but I'm pretty glad about the url. It's simple!
Grabb.us

Besides that, I've still been hard at work on the game all this time, though not with as much time as I'd like.
But I've made great strides in the  last few weeks and months! More of the game is coming together as a nice vertical slice for the demo. With a concentrated final push I could get this ready for showing off!! Realistically that's probably a few more months away. But I'm not deterred! I'm more motivated than ever! I really am making a video game!
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2021, 01:04:14 AM »

Getting mild Simcity 2000 vibes from the last screenshots, except a lot more vibrant and colorful :D
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Schrompf
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2021, 01:14:01 AM »

I don't see halve of the key points in the screenshots that you named in the title :-) But the art style sure is nice! What does the player do in this game?
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Snake World, multiplayer worm eats stuff and grows DevLog
Dawmino
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2021, 04:50:28 AM »

All of what's described there is already in the game in some form, but its either stuff that has an incomplete UI or still needs screenshots put up. I'll find the time when I can.

For instance there is a whole cutscene editor coded, but it needs more character art and functionality before it's usable for creating in-game scenes.
I still need to make new sprites for weapons, new buildings, items, enemies, etc.

So at the moment there's not a lot to look at or do, but as I finish up the systems underlying the game, more visual indications of it will appear as it becomes easier to add new content smoothly.
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