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|-+ maw's entry "AGGREGAT" (finished)

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Read August 15, 2008, 03:06:08 PM #0
maw

maw's entry "AGGREGAT" (finished)

HELLO PEOPLE! WE HAVE SUMMER!!

...and you sit in front of your screens, programming...


-just kidding-

I think I have some spare time next week. I just had an idea for some kind of shmup/puzzle-game wich could work out quite well...

so long,
maw
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 02:02:16 AM by maw »
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Read August 15, 2008, 03:17:49 PM #1
the2bears

Re: maw's entry

Excellent!

And yes, I have a tan, on just one of my arms.  Just up to the shirt.  Because that one arm sits by the window where the sun shines in  Wink

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read August 15, 2008, 03:23:12 PM #2
maw

Re: maw's entry

btw are there any prizes?

maw
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Read August 15, 2008, 06:44:12 PM #3
the2bears

Re: maw's entry

No, these are just for fun and to try out new ideas.  Participating is prize enough  Wink

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read August 19, 2008, 03:02:46 PM #4
maw

Concept

Finally, I found some free time so today I started actually working out some of the ideas that spinned in my head over the last few days. I came out with a (in my opinion) minimalistic yet promising concept.


BUT...

- I doubt, no I'm sure this game does not qualify as a SHMUP
- chain reactions are important to score high, but are not crucial to the game's concept


Alright, let me explain:

GAME MECHANICS:
The screen is crowded with obstacles, some are moving, some rotating, and some do both. Every obstacle is pointing in some direction. The "player"-object is an energy-ball/orb/whatsoever that is docked to one obstacle (wichh is referred to as the "base"). The only thing the player can do, is pressing a button to get the ball shot over the screen, in the direction that his base is pointing at. His base thhen explodes. Since the player cannot control the tracectory of his object, he must aim at other obstacles on wich it can dock to (I hope this is understandable, it's not so easy to describe since I am german). The player object must not fly out of the screen.
For the matter of chain reaction: some objects can not be triggered to shoot the player object away, they do it instantly as the object gets docked to them.

SCORE SYSTEM (yes I has it!):
From the moment when the player object is docking to an obstacle, a score multiplier is decreasing from x to 1. The player gets points for every exploding obstacle*combo multiplier. So, if you shoot yourself quickly from base to base, you can score very high. The length of your flight also affectes the score so good aiming on higher distances is rewarded. Also the not-controllable bases give you a much higher score. There also will be clusters of obstacles where the player can shot his object very quickly from one to another.


So, that's the idea. As you can see, the core concept is really simple. I started to code this afternoon in BlitzMax and it turned out that the fundamental mechanics is only few lines of code. The challenge will be to implement an proper level design, I think.

Please let me know if the concept still fits into this contest...


MAW
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Read August 19, 2008, 05:07:36 PM #5
the2bears

Re: maw's entry

I say go for it.  It seems to make use of the theme, which is what I'd be looking for.  Truthfully, I'd rather encourage you to create this than throw away potential ideas and participants. 

Ultimately, everyone votes on the entries, and part of the voting criteria is implicit: how well does the game use the theme.  So the community will decide Smiley 

Anyway, I like the ideas you have here, and hope we'll see something in action.

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read August 20, 2008, 02:52:43 PM #6
maw

Re: maw's entry

Since everyone is presenting some evidence he is actually working, I do the same... But dont expect too much.

The white thing is the player object wich just got shot from a base. The other, beautifully coder-colored things are the obstacles, each displaying an arrow wich is pointing in their current direction. While the round objects are waiting to be triggered once they become a base, the jagged circles instantly shoot you away.
As you can see, I already worked out some linear patterns, but this should only be a start.
My main concern right now is the playability: the player object is quite hard to control in the game's current state. Funny thing: because of this problem the game is not getting harder but a lot easier! Sometimes it's pretty much like Every Extend Extra Extreme - you sit there and watch the things explode (well OK, I don't have any explosions yet Wink ) while you don't feel responsible for the stuff that is happening on the screen.

Anyways, this is what I have. As I said, the main work will be the level-design/logic for good random-patterns.


MAW
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Read August 20, 2008, 03:49:29 PM #7
kdmiller3

Re: maw's entry

That's promising.  I like the "contrail" on the player object.  Smiley

Lack of control is one of the things I wasn't fond of in E4, plus the fact that after a while it becomes a game of simple endurance.  The big problem is that randomness can easily lead to no-win situations.

With a clearly-defined play mechanic like what you've shown here, it'd be better to have hand-crafted levels with a designed-in "perfect path" to reward player skill and learning.  That's easy to say and not so easy to do, but I think it'd work better that way.  You could still have a random level generator as an option.  (Being able to pick the random "seed" would be a nice bonus.)
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Read August 20, 2008, 04:13:50 PM #8
maw

Re: maw's entry

Thanks!
Yeah, hand-crafted levels... anyone got a time machine I can use?

But I know exactly what you mean, and I totally agree. Seems I have to work on some kind of editor to avoid time consuming hardcoding. The thing with level-creation is not only that I havent done it before, but that especially in this case I find it quite hard since there are so many varying values wich have impact on the game (concerning the moving obstacles): speed, direction, rotation, delays in auto-fire etc. So making proper levels seems to be a game of try'n'error.
If anyone has some hints for level-creation, let me know! Right know I am thinking of a 2-dimensional array wich represents the playfield. ...hm, great, BlitzMax doesn't support those multidimensional arrays... I know there is a workaround, but I find this quite uncomfortable.

Oh, and the contrail: SHOPPED!! (not for the glitz but for better understanding) But most definitely there will be some sort of effect for the movement of the player object.

MAW
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Read August 20, 2008, 04:28:43 PM #9
kdmiller3

Re: maw's entry

You can pack a 2D array into a 1D array by multiplying the "outer" index by the maximum value of the "inner" index.  For a 16x16 grid, you would create a 256 entry array and index it with y*16+x.  That's what compilers do internally, anyway.
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Read August 20, 2008, 05:03:55 PM #10
maw

Re: maw's entry

thanks for the advise. I already knew this... it's just so inconvinient if you coded in other languages that do support multi-dimensional arrays. Maybe I'm just a bit lazy Wink

MAW
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Read August 20, 2008, 05:35:01 PM #11
motorherp

Re: maw's entry

thanks for the advise. I already knew this... it's just so inconvinient if you coded in other languages that do support multi-dimensional arrays. Maybe I'm just a bit lazy Wink

MAW

Does BlitzMax have any concept of pointers or something similar?  If so you could use something like this c++ equivalent to get a 2d array:

Code:
// creation of array2d
int data[256];
int* array2d[16];

array2d[0] = data;
for(int i = 1; i < 16; ++i)
{
   array2d[i] = array2d[i-1] + 16;
}

// use of array2d
int val = array2d[3][14];


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Read August 20, 2008, 06:23:14 PM #12
maw

Re: maw's entry

Yes, Blitzmax supports pointers, but I have never worked with them. I think for this project, I'll stick to the other workaround when I need multidimensional arrays--there's still a lot of other things to do to get some kind of game out of the idea.

But thanks for the help anyway!


--------------------------------------

OK, time for some concept improvement:

I will add a player-ship wich must avoid the enemies. It will be controlled by WASD. The player aims with the mouse and shoots with the left mouse button. Exploding enemies will forward the player's shot in the displayed direction (see the pic above to understand the idea). Player's ammo will be limited to only a few shots, but he gains ammo through high combos.
Since the whole concept is somewhat abstract/unrealistic I will go for an abstract look (could get quite designish... Wink )

So, this is becoming a SHMUP again!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 06:39:42 PM by maw »
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Read August 20, 2008, 07:13:44 PM #13
kdmiller3

Re: maw's entry

Yay!  Grin
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Read August 25, 2008, 07:37:55 AM #14
maw

Re: maw's entry

I am proud to present...




...another Question   Cheesy

Sorry, I don't know why I ask this at such a late time, but:
I synced my game to the song of a local band. But it came to my mind that, since this is a compo, maybe I am not allowed to use the work of others...? Of course the band is credited and knows about this use of their music, so there are no copyright issues. But nevertheless...
I still can release the game without music, but the experience is much better (imo!) with the soundtrack.

MAW
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Read August 25, 2008, 01:18:51 PM #15
the2bears

Re: maw's entry

I am proud to present...




...another Question   Cheesy

Sorry, I don't know why I ask this at such a late time, but:
I synced my game to the song of a local band. But it came to my mind that, since this is a compo, maybe I am not allowed to use the work of others...? Of course the band is credited and knows about this use of their music, so there are no copyright issues. But nevertheless...
I still can release the game without music, but the experience is much better (imo!) with the soundtrack.

MAW

Since you have permission to use the song this is perfectly fine.  Release with the soundtrack! Smiley

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read August 26, 2008, 02:00:48 AM #16
maw

FINISHED

Finally, I have something to show you. This worked out quite well, but different from what I thought. But see for yourself. It's a bit short since I wasted (?) some time on assets (I like to release things polished) and the hardcoded level design was really a game of trial and error. But it turned out to be quite satisfying in the end. I aimed for the possibility to clear the level with one chain wich would mean "one shot". It's possible, although it may seem a bit hard at first. See the readme.txt for details.

Uh, I don't want to type anymore. I don't want to look at a computer screen anymore for at least 24 hours.
So here it is, AGGREGAT.

MAW
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Read August 26, 2008, 02:39:20 AM #17
the2bears

Re: maw's entry "AGGREGAT" (finished)

Tried this out... I quite like it!  Nice, very interesting approach to the chaining.  Nice music, too Smiley

More thoughts later after I have a chance to play some more.

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read August 26, 2008, 03:05:47 AM #18
kdmiller3

Re: maw's entry "AGGREGAT" (finished)

Wow, that's slick.  Grin
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