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Read November 03, 2008, 10:37:56 AM #0
Sar

Sar's Entry - Finished

OK! I've finished:



The basic scheme is the same as my previous session entry - z to fire, x to air/ground, arrow keys to move. Same caveats apply - you'll need the .NET2 runtime installed to play; keys are configurable in config.xml if you can find the numbers SDL uses for the keys you want to use.

The concept is that instead of limiting lives, you get a score bonus based on how quickly you defeat the boss; you can re-spawn an infinite number of times, but each one costs you five seconds of boss-killing time.

I originally wanted to do something far more ambitious but along similar lines, but various things got in the way, so I figured it would be better to explore some Käfer boss designs than to just let the session slip by entirely, especially after the extension. I hope there's some things there that interest people... ;-)

Game is attached to this post, or obtainable from here.




ORIGINAL OPENING POST FOLLOWS:

I have an idea for this one, although I'm wondering right now just how well it would work...

My first instinctive response was to do a series of Touhou-style bosses, since I really love plotting out bullet hell-style boss patterns. But it seems that wouldn't really be too imaginative, and I kind of think of these sessions as encouraging new ideas, after all.

(I mean, to be honest, the other more-imaginative thing I'm thinking of isn't that new either, but still...)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 07:20:49 AM by Sar »
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Read November 03, 2008, 01:40:01 PM #1
the2bears

Re: Sar's Entry

... But it seems that wouldn't really be too imaginative, and I kind of think of these sessions as encouraging new ideas, after all...

I struggled with that a bit, but I'm taking the route that a) I'll try to come up with fun bosses, and b) try out a new library.  That's prototype enough for me, especially since I haven't put a boss in one of these games yet Wink

Bill
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 03:37:07 PM by the2bears »

the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read November 04, 2008, 08:31:06 AM #2
mpersano

Re: Sar's Entry

About adding bosses to your previous game... I think you should go for it. A couple more sessions and your game will kick ass! :-)
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Read November 16, 2008, 11:59:17 PM #3
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry

About adding bosses to your previous game... I think you should go for it. A couple more sessions and your game will kick ass! :-)

So after Other Events conspired to steal a lot of time from me over the last couple of weeks, I've been going for this approach instead of my original idea. However, I've still only got this far:



Notice, say, the complete lack of bullets on-screen... :/

So far I've managed to do all the tricky framework stuff necessary to implement huge bosses, but the only actual implementing I've managed to get done is in the picture above.

I'll have tomorrow lunchtime and all evening to work on it, so I should be able to get something done, but it won't be very spectacular or probably even very interesting. I have a lot of ideas for cool bosses for Käfer, but probably not the time to implement them well enough to be worthwhile...
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Read November 18, 2008, 11:54:20 PM #4
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry

Notice, say, the complete lack of bullets on-screen... :/

I replaced the complete lack of bullets with (amongst other things) some cool streamers:



;-)
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Read November 19, 2008, 01:18:58 AM #5
kdmiller3

Re: Sar's Entry

Woohoo!  Streameriffic!  Grin
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Read November 19, 2008, 04:50:58 AM #6
hima

Re: Sar's Entry

Very cool indeed. I hope those are not homing because it'll be difficult to dodge! Though, from the picture, I'm pretty sure it does homes in XD
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Read November 19, 2008, 07:34:44 AM #7
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry

I hope those are not homing because it'll be difficult to dodge!

Each streamer travels out straight for half a second, homes for half a second then continues on in its new direction straight. As it happens, half of them leave the screen and get removed before they get a chance to home, and are just there for aesthetic effect ;-)

It's hard to dodge on 'hard', but on 'easy' and 'normal' it's quite managable. One of the other things I wanted to get done before the deadline which wouldn't have stood a chance for last Monday, though, was a different scoring system - where the player gets more points for how quickly he destroys the boss, and possibly even has infinite lives... on the grounds that you'll 'lose' enough points due to the respawning time that it's already a penalty.

(Actually, thinking about it, that's not entirely true - it's hard to dodge into a position you can keep shooting the core from on hard, but not that hard to dodge outright. It's only the first boss, after all. ;-)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 07:38:04 AM by Sar »
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Read November 19, 2008, 07:14:45 PM #8
VectorVanDoom

Re: Sar's Entry

i find the beams that go straight to the border are useless, unless the ship moves in a way that one could get behind it.
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Read November 19, 2008, 07:18:29 PM #9
kdmiller3

Re: Sar's Entry

Looking cool covers a multitude of sins, though.  Grin
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Read November 19, 2008, 07:53:08 PM #10
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry

Looking cool covers a multitude of sins, though.  Grin

This is pretty much it; if I just have them fire in the directions which can feasibly harm the player, then it doesn't look so good. And it's not like I'm pushing the boundaries of what one can expect from a modern PC ;-)
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Read November 19, 2008, 07:57:21 PM #11
kdmiller3

Re: Sar's Entry

What's a few particles between friends?
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Read November 24, 2008, 12:17:34 AM #12
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry

Man... I've had trouble getting back to it over the last week or so, one way or another. And when I have, this one boss has been giving me far more trouble than it should:



I'm hoping to spend tomorrow lunchtime and evening on a third boss, but that's going to be my limit, I think. :/
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Read November 25, 2008, 12:31:25 AM #13
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

Finished! Opening post amended.

I'd write something a bit more involved, but it's half two in the morning...
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Read November 25, 2008, 01:08:47 AM #14
kdmiller3

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

Unfortunately, I get a crash in SdlDotNet.dll immediately after startup.  I attached to the process using Visual C++ 2008, and here's what I get as a call stack:

Code:
>SdlDotNet.dll!SdlDotNet.Graphics.Video.SetVideoMode + 0xfa bytes
SdlDotNet.dll!SdlDotNet.Graphics.Video.SetVideoMode + 0x24 bytes
Yuyuko.dll!Yuyuko.Game.GLSetup + 0x2e bytes
Yuyuko.dll!Yuyuko.Game.Run + 0x27 bytes
Kaefer.exe!Kaefer.LandAirGame.Main + 0x20 bytes

This is running on my laptop with ATI Mobility X1300.  The Session 5 version of Käfer worked fine, so this seems to be something new.  Do I need to install anything else besides the .NET Framework 2.0 (which I have)?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 01:11:34 AM by kdmiller3 »
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Read November 25, 2008, 03:47:19 AM #15
hima

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

I'm wondering what is that Yuyuko.dll suppose to be....lol XD
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Read November 25, 2008, 07:22:15 AM #16
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

This is running on my laptop with ATI Mobility X1300.  The Session 5 version of Käfer worked fine, so this seems to be something new.  Do I need to install anything else besides the .NET Framework 2.0 (which I have)?

The code isn't different at all up to the point wehre it calls SetVideoMode, and of course that's SDL.NET code...

However, it did just occur to me that I'd forgotten to include all the SDL DLLs in the archive, so maybe it's just complaining that it can't call out to sdl.dll or something, if you don't have the SDL DLLs installed anywhere global. I've replaced the archive in the first post and on my site - the new one also has PDBs for my assemblies.

If that doesn't work, the other thing you might try is switching to/from fullscreen mode in the config.xml.
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Read November 25, 2008, 01:12:05 PM #17
kdmiller3

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

That fixed it.  I suspected the missing SDL DLLs were the problem, but wasn't sure which ones I needed.  I did find out that SDL.dll by itself wasn't enough.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 01:16:38 PM by kdmiller3 »
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Read November 25, 2008, 01:38:20 PM #18
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

I suspected the missing SDL DLLs were the problem

Yeah, I continually forget that SDL.NET is a wrapper around regular SDL and not a re-implementation, so I'm always forgetting to put the SDL DLLs in the distribution. It doesn't help that I've put them in the path on all my machines for convenience while developing, so I never notice... ;-)

I'm wondering what is that Yuyuko.dll suppose to be....lol XD

I needed a name for the engine I was working on about a year ago, since I needed to start naming classes and namespaces and an assembly and so on... some guys on IRC were pestering me to draw Touhou characters for them, and one kept asking if I was "working on Yuyuko yet". So it stuck. :3

As it happens, I've been meaning to re-work some parts of it in some drastic ways to make it more usable (I made it far too flexible the first time) and I'll probably rename it at the same time...
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 01:52:58 PM by Sar »
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Read November 26, 2008, 12:32:17 AM #19
hima

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

How many bosses are there?  Are there three bosses?

I think the bosses are really well designed. And the mechanic of switching between ground and air mode is really working here.

However, I think the switching process takes a little bit too long for me and I don't know how long is the invincibility during switching. I died a lot from trying to escape the bullet by going into another mode (Or maybe I'm not supposed to do that :/ )

The other thing is I can't really tell if I'm doing any damages at all to the boss. Maybe the destroyable part should flashes or have its own life bar so that we know it's destroyable.

All in all this makes me wanna see this game as a full game. The bosses prove that this can be a decent shooting game Smiley
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Read November 26, 2008, 09:34:05 AM #20
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

How many bosses are there?  Are there three bosses?

Yep, three - after the third one's summary screen, you should get a completion screen comparing your final score to the current high score.

However, I think the switching process takes a little bit too long for me and I don't know how long is the invincibility during switching.

Part of the idea behind the switching is that you can use it like you would a bomb in other, similar games - if there's a wall of bullets you can't get past or you're about to get hit and get a reaction tap off, you can escape to the other plane. I thought about shortening the transition time in this one, since it was something people complained about from the previous session, but decided in the end that - since I was going for time-based scoring - it was better to leave that lost second or two as a tradeoff for having had to bomb, rather than having a limited number of consumables. You lose five seconds when you die, and the air-ground transition takes one second, so you're still better off switching away and back again if the alternative is dying.

(I was thinking before of rewarding grazing with actual bombs, but really... I think without a 'move slower' button it's not so reasonable to ask people to graze)

But currently, you're not invulnerable at all - it's just that as soon as you start to switch, you're only vulnerable to the attacks in the plane you're switching to. But it's a good point, it's probably a better idea to give the player at least half of the switch time as invulnerability time as well...

The other thing is I can't really tell if I'm doing any damages at all to the boss. Maybe the destroyable part should flashes or have its own life bar so that we know it's destroyable.

Yeah, that's a good point. I thought about it, but just didn't really have time - getting the summary screens and ending sorted took priority. The short version is that if your bullets can hit something and that something isn't one of the rocks that the second boss throws up, then you can destroy it. Most things you need to destroy to progress the boss, although once the core's visible everything else is optional.

All in all this makes me wanna see this game as a full game. The bosses prove that this can be a decent shooting game Smiley

Thanks! I'm still pretty tempted to just keep working on it. If nothing else, I didn't have time in this session to implement the final back-of-an-aircraft-carrier boss. ;-)
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Read November 26, 2008, 03:05:30 PM #21
hima

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

I see. I really like the time penalty of mode switching! That's probably one of the reason why you don't need bombs. And to be honest, I didn't feel like 'Where's the bomb!?' when I was playing the game. Good job on that Cheesy

Now that you've mentioned the respawning time, that's one thing I forgot to talk about though. I was gonna say it took too long and I didn't feel like waiting because I want to get into actions as soon as possible XD  Maybe instead of having the player wait for actual 5 seconds, just add 5 seconds x number of misses into the clear time would be better.

Also, when you died, you're forced to respawn in the air position. So maybe it hurt the player more if they died while they have to fight the ground boss. (This probably won't matter much in the actual game when it isn't just boss rush though Smiley )
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Read November 26, 2008, 03:46:12 PM #22
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

Now Maybe instead of having the player wait for actual 5 seconds, just add 5 seconds x number of misses into the clear time would be better.

Yeah, it's probably a good idea... again, I ran out of time on a couple of things; I'd have liked to have a few gauges on the left side of the screen for time-remaining (the time-based bonus is actually three time-based bonuses, based on 1x, 2x and 10x the target time). If I'd had the gauges, I'd have felt more comfortable about just removing time from the player, because there would have been a visual effect to show that something had happened. I guess the easier option would have been to just remember how many times the player died in a particular run (which they may want to know anyway!) and add a 5-second penalty to their time on the boss-defeated screen... but I didn't think of that. ;-)

Now
Also, when you died, you're forced to respawn in the air position. So maybe it hurt the player more if they died while they have to fight the ground boss.

Yeah, that's true... hopefully it shouldn't make much difference in that regard, since most of the time when you die, the boss has burrowed again by the time you respawn. Personally I find the ground boss the easiest in some ways, but I guess that's probably at least partly because I got hung up on a couple of annoying bugs in the surfacing/burrowing code which meant I had to test it for three times as long as the other bosses... ;-)

Thanks for all the feedback!
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Read November 29, 2008, 09:33:53 AM #23
Galefury

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

This doesn't run at all for me. When I try to start I immediately get the generic "there was a problem" error message. I have .Net2 SP1 installed, with a German language pack. Switching to fullscreen didn't help.
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Read November 29, 2008, 10:02:01 AM #24
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

This doesn't run at all for me. When I try to start I immediately get the generic "there was a problem" error message. I have .Net2 SP1 installed, with a German language pack. Switching to fullscreen didn't help.

Does anything appear in the Event Log (Control Panel -> Administrator Tools -> Event Viewer - in the Application log) when you run it?

Also: do you have any problems running anything else which uses OpenGL? Do you have up-to-date videocard drivers?

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Read November 29, 2008, 10:51:13 AM #25
Galefury

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

EventType clr20r3, P1 kaefer.exe, P2 0.0.0.0, P3 492bc312, P4 yuyuko, P5 1.0.0.0, P6 492bc311, P7 384, P8 88, P9 system.typeinitialization, P10 NIL.

Video Drivers are about a month old IIRC, maybe two. I don't have problems with other games, but I don't know which of them use OpenGL, if any.

I forgot mentioning it, but I'm using Windows XP x64.
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Read November 29, 2008, 11:16:36 AM #26
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

Video Drivers are about a month old IIRC, maybe two. I don't have problems with other games, but I don't know which of them use OpenGL, if any.

Well, if you have month-old drivers it suggests you probably have a vaguely-recent graphics card, in which case you shouldn't have any trouble at all with the lightweight OpenGL I'm making use of here.

I forgot mentioning it, but I'm using Windows XP x64.

Hmm. I know I used to have a problem on 64-bit machines in the texture-loading code, but that's been re-written and it at least ran fine on the machine the problem was originally reported on... unfortunately I don't have a 64-bit machine myself I can try and reproduce on. :/

Reading around, it seems there may be a problem specifically with using SDL/TAO under Windows 64-bit; the previous fail/fix was under 64-bit Linux. I've followed an alleged workaround for it, and attached the compiled result - could you try copying this into your Käfer directory over the top of the existing EXE and try playing the game again?
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Read November 29, 2008, 01:13:10 PM #27
Galefury

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

It's working now. When I played the first time nothing happened after I defeated the first boss. On my second try there was no problem. Other than that everything seems fine.

Edit: sometimes nothing happens after defeating a boss. Just endless green grass, no new boss. This also happened once after the last boss, so no highscore screen in that case.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 01:22:15 PM by Galefury »
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Read November 29, 2008, 02:44:05 PM #28
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

It's working now.

That's good to know - I'll make a note to add that workaround to anything I make in the future, just in case...

Edit: sometimes nothing happens after defeating a boss. Just endless green grass, no new boss. This also happened once after the last boss, so no highscore screen in that case.

Man, that's got to be pretty annoying... unfortunately, I've never seen it happen, and I don't see how it really could - the bit of code which forwards you on to the summary screen happens directly after the bit of code which removes the boss, in the same method. I'll have a look about, see if I can spot any odd corner cases, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do much... :/
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Read November 29, 2008, 03:04:12 PM #29
Galefury

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

Oh, I get the summary screen. But after it nothing happens.

Edit: I tried reproducing the bug by starting/landing and also by dieing while the boss was detonating. Those were my two ideas for what might be causing it, but nothing happened.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 03:19:28 PM by Galefury »
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Read November 29, 2008, 03:54:48 PM #30
Sar

Re: Sar's Entry - Finished

Oh, I get the summary screen. But after it nothing happens.

Now that is weird. The summary screen basically just sits there until you hit fire, then keeps ending the current gamestate until it gets back to the menu, then nests a new state for the subsequent level... I have no idea what could prevent that from working, but I'll have another look. Thanks for taking the time to try and diagnose it!
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