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Read June 04, 2007, 01:41:55 AM #0
monoRAIL

DroneSwarm (Completed)

DroneSwarm - shmup-dev entry version.

I couldn't get the forum attachment to work so I've provided a direct link.
Download it here: http://droneswarm.com/files/DroneSwarm_shmup-dev-entry.zip [18Mb]

Features:

  • 1280 x 720 High Definition widescreen graphics
  • Support for 4:3 monitors
  • Portrait (tate) mode - rotate your screen and enable vertical mode controls to play as a vertical shooter
  • Supports analog gamepad (works great with the xbox 360 controller)
  • Menus in English and Chinese

The game only features one level at the moment, but more will be added later.

Previous post below...
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 10:43:57 AM by monoRAIL »

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Read June 04, 2007, 01:47:25 AM #1
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm

Title: DroneSwarm
Platform: Torque Game Builder on Windows
Team: Mostly me, but with a bit of help for the music and sound effects.

This is my first SHMUP-DEV contest, and actually, my first solo-game. I've worked as an artist on many games before but I've decided to try my hand at programming and thought TGB would be the way to go.

Some concept art:



Here's a video of my progress so far:
http://www.droneswarm.com/files/droneswarm_progress01.wmv

This shows the basics of the gameplay.
You score points by killing enemies, and get a big points bonus for killing an entire wave.
You gain experience for every shot that hits an enemy, but lose experience for shots that miss. When your experience reaches 100%, you level up and get a drone.

There's 3 buttons: Shoot, dispatch drones and freeze drones. Dispatch sends your drones away from your ship, and freeze sticks them in place.
If you hold down dispatch you can detonate 1 drone, and if you hold down freeze you can detonate your entire droneswarm (for massive damage!).

That's basically it so far. Torque rocks. The sounds are from http://www.soundportfolio.com/

[UPDATE July 1st] - Demo available

Download the demo here: http://droneswarm.com/files/DroneSwarm_Demo.zip

Controls:

Control pad

Joystick - steer ship
Button 1 - shoot
Button 2 - dispatch drones
Button 3 - freeze drones

Keyboard

Arrows - steer ship
Left CTRL - shoot
Left ALT - dispatch drones
Left Shift - freeze drones

ALT-Enter - fullscreen (not recommended for non-widescreen monitors!)
ALT-F4 - quit

Hold dispatch drones to detonate one drone.
Hold freeze drones to detonate your entire drone swarm.
If you're using an Xbox 360 controller you can also use Right Bumper for dispatch drones, and Left Bumper for freeze drones.

There are probably a TON of bugs, so please post them here if you find any. If you have any problem running the game do let me know.
There's no audio in this version. Sounds are in currently in development by of Alex from SoundPortfolio.com

I should mention that this is not supposed to be balanced gameplay. I'm just throwing everything on screen at once to test all the enemy types I've made so far. The actual game will have carefully timed enemies and paced progression. That said - you should be able to survive this 'demo' if you detonate your drones to take out the stealth bombers early ;-)

[Update July 13th]
A new version of Torque Game Builder (1.5) has just been released and I'm going to try to port DroneSwarm over to the new version. This might take a while so I probably won't have any updates for a few days. In the meantime here's some artwork. These are the ingame sprites at actual size. The stealth fighter isn't in the demo, I'm still working on the code for it.



[Update July 29th]
I've finally started on the background art. Here's some early designs for level 1. The plan is to start high up like this then dive down through the clouds half way through the level and continue lower down. I still have to work out how I'm going to do the clouds.







[Update August 19th]
Not much new stuff to show, I've had the flu and progress has been slow. Might have a new demo out in the next week or so.
Here's the logo for now:



[Update September 10th]
Thanks X-Out for testing the demo.

Click here to download the latest DroneSwarm demo.

New screenshots:









Videos:

YouTube Video

640x360 WMV video - 20Mb

[Update - September 23rd]

A preview of the end of level boss for stage 1:
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 10:22:31 AM by monoRAIL »

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Read June 04, 2007, 01:49:56 AM #2
Shoot-em-upper

Re: DroneSwarm

So, the options will be UAVs?  I always thought that those things looked like models or something equally fragile.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read June 04, 2007, 03:54:39 AM #3
Adigun A. Polack

Re: DroneSwarm

Welcome, and I am delighted to see you entering this competition, monoRAIL!!  cool1

And with your new contest project of DroneSwarm, I hope you do such an amazing job on it indeed!!!  Grin=b
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Read June 04, 2007, 04:44:46 AM #4
failrate

Re: DroneSwarm

Your title made me imagine a game where the player would be playing the option of an AI-controlled space-ship.
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Read June 04, 2007, 05:54:06 AM #5
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm

Adigun - thanks, I hope you enjoy the game.
Failrate - That is a cool idea actually - controlling the options instead of the main ship! I hope someone else runs with that one, I'm going to try something more traditional for this game.
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Read June 04, 2007, 04:03:30 PM #6
Shoot-em-upper

Re: DroneSwarm

Failrate, that's awesome!  I'm surprised that it isn't on 300 Mechanics.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read June 06, 2007, 06:29:28 AM #7
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - concept art)

Some concept art added in the first post.
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Read June 06, 2007, 06:46:43 AM #8
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - concept art)

Sweet art! Very nice concepts there. The enemy looks awesome, in-game you should try adding alpha motion blur to the chopper blade, that would look completely awesome wink2
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Read June 10, 2007, 10:11:44 PM #9
Shoot-em-upper

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - concept art)

That concept art looks awesome.  It's a nice break from the generic spaceship vehicle.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read June 13, 2007, 09:13:49 AM #10
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

UPDATE - video!

See first post
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Read June 13, 2007, 10:50:13 AM #11
pixelizr

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Very impressive progress. The contest only started less than two weeks ago, and here we already have a full running system. I personally like the use of options that you are showing us so far, specifically the player's ability to deploy them in many ways. Smiley
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Read June 13, 2007, 11:08:16 AM #12
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Whoa! I could definitely see this as an awesome finished game! I love the explosion GFX and the 'burst-fire' sound effects. I cannot wait for this to be completed, I wanna play it, haha!
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Read June 13, 2007, 12:51:22 PM #13
Nobody

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Yeah that is quite sexy indeed. What did you use to record it btw? D:
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Read June 13, 2007, 01:30:55 PM #14
cactus

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Oh man, that is some slick stuff you have there. I love the stylized cellshaded look. This competition seems like it'll be even tougher than the last one shocked2
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Read June 13, 2007, 11:48:07 PM #15
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Pixelizr - thanks, but I didn't write the engine, it's Torque Game Builder. Using the options as bombs should present some interesting situations in boss fights :-)
Five DD - I'm looking forward to playing it too!
Nobody - The video is recorded with FRAPS.
Cactus - I think I'll do an anime style for the whole game. Backgrounds will be tough though!
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Read June 14, 2007, 12:03:05 AM #16
pixelizr

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Quote
Using the options as bombs should present some interesting situations in boss fights

Border Down presented a similar concept: Use the superweapon and your shot power goes down. It turned out to be quite a challenge to balance the break laser spamming and keeping your firepower at a decent level. It should be interesting if something similar (like the scheme you just mentioned) is implemented in your game as well. Smiley
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Read June 14, 2007, 01:18:09 AM #17
the2bears

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Pixelizr - thanks, but I didn't write the engine, it's Torque Game Builder. Using the options as bombs should present some interesting situations in boss fights :-)

Doing something like this myself, but not exactly...  Cool

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 14, 2007, 10:29:42 AM #18
ReleX

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

holy shit dude! Looks awsome! like the effects 'n stuff. Is the plane actual 3D or perspective sprites or something?


crowd: "WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!!!"
man: "No I'm not!"
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Read June 14, 2007, 01:13:56 PM #19
stwelin

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

I like it a loooottt. Very cool. Why do you tease us so early? We all know that we are going to be bugging you in a month or 2 to release a beta. Tongue

The only thing that slights me is the sound of the bullets. If you plan on making it a shoot-at-every-waking-moment-so-you-won't-die!!! type shmup, i think a more subtle noise for bullets might suit it. They click-clackiness sort of detracts.

Other than that... All i can say is ACE!
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Read June 14, 2007, 04:37:44 PM #20
Adigun A. Polack

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

If that video you showed us is a sign of things to come on your contest entry here, monoRAIL, then I WOULD BE SO AWESTRUCK, let me tell you!!!  d=grin2=b

Boy, with an amazing lot of entries being created, this competition has just turned up the heat and then some!!!  My!!!  Wink !!
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Read June 14, 2007, 05:11:20 PM #21
Alex

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Hey cool video Smiley I look forward to seeing this finished.  I have T2D as well, I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to build top notch 2d games.

monoRail already posted a link to my website, I'm always looking for new ideas for content for soundportfolio so if you want something in particular for your games let me know and I'll try and make it if I get the time.  Better bullet sounds, some music...

my email is alexp1@westnet.com.au which is probably the best way to get in contact.
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Read June 15, 2007, 03:13:42 PM #22
Shoot-em-upper

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

I don't think that the bullets sound bad at all, but when your options get hit it sounds a bit like a fart.  Please change that.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read June 15, 2007, 07:39:38 PM #23
extrabastardformula

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Pixelizr - thanks, but I didn't write the engine, it's Torque Game Builder. Using the options as bombs should present some interesting situations in boss fights :-)

Doing something like this myself, but not exactly...  Cool

Bill
Same here.
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Read June 16, 2007, 05:23:35 AM #24
Alex

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

I don't think that the bullets sound bad at all, but when your options get hit it sounds a bit like a fart.  Please change that.

Lol Smiley

I'd gladly provide whatever sounds you need, monoRail...

I think at this stage it's just prototyping though, so sounds probably aren't as important as how it works just yet.

What should it sound like when an option gets hit?
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Read June 16, 2007, 01:47:22 PM #25
pixelizr

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

"Ka-chink-psssssh"
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Read June 16, 2007, 05:07:25 PM #26
Shoot-em-upper

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

I think that it should sound like an electric arc.  You know, the sound effect that they use in movies when a bug hits a bug light.  Kind of burny-zappy.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read June 27, 2007, 06:54:48 PM #27
ReleX

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

How's It going on (one of) my favorite entry? I liked what you did so far... you got any progress done?
Well maybe you'll update soon. Ill see... Leder duwd!

-ReleX


crowd: "WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!!!"
man: "No I'm not!"
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Read June 28, 2007, 03:16:35 AM #28
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - video)

Lots of progress to show soon. I've got enemy drones, fighter planes and stealth bomber mini-bosses in now. I'm also working on a pickup item. I'll post some updates this weekend.
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Read July 01, 2007, 01:12:43 PM #29
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Demo now available in the first post! Enjoy!
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Read July 01, 2007, 02:02:08 PM #30
cactus

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

I liked the game a lot. The graphics were really smooth and well designed. And it all had a good flow. However, I think the waves were a bit poorly timed. When I got to big blacks, I had no time to clear the screen before the next two or three waves came, and I got totally swarmed. Maybe you should make it so that the big waves stop coming when there are bigger enemies on the scren (and instead there's a _few_ smaller enemies showing up every now and then untill the big ones are destroyed)? And I'd also like to see this in fullscreen with appropriate resolution change.

I was surprised that the game ran so well on my computer. The framerate only dropped when there were a lot of explosions on the screen. Anyway, this is looking real good. Keep it up!
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Read July 01, 2007, 02:08:06 PM #31
alillm

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Alright, here’s some feedback.

I thought overall the game demo was great Smiley, I really like the ship designs and the effects. I especially like the damage that can be seen on the big ships. Movement is nice too.

I had 2 main problems…

The player ship seemed to have quite a large hit box, I often found that I was fenced in with bullets, and where as in most shooters I would be able to squeeze through a small gap between bullets, in this, the slightest movement meant I died. With so many bullets and enemies on the screen, you need to allow a bit of freedom when it comes to dodging things. I was often being killed by bullets I wasn’t even paying attention to because they were far away from me.

Also, like cactus, I thought there were too many enemies too soon, 10 helicopters and 2 big ships all firing at you at once seemed too much. In fact, if you eased things up a bit, you could probably get away with the big hit box a bit more.

If you fix those up this would be a very enjoyable well made game.

One other very minor issue I had (this is probably just nit picking now) was that when you collected the powerup things, they seemed to explode as if they were doing damage. The first time I picked one up I thought I had hit an enemy.

Anyway, as I say, overall its looking very nice Smiley keep it up.

Ali
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Read July 01, 2007, 02:12:56 PM #32
Alex

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Alllim hopefully with the right sounds, there will be no doubt that you've picked up a power up rather than been hit by a nasty thing.
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Read July 01, 2007, 02:24:27 PM #33
monoRAIL

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

I forgot to mention that this is not supposed to be balanced gameplay. I'm just throwing everything on screen at once to test all the enemy types I've made so far. The actual game will have carefully timed enemies and paced progression. That said - you should be able to survive this 'demo' if you detonate your drones to take out the stealth bombers early ;-)

Thanks for the feedback guys, greatly appreciated.
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Read July 01, 2007, 04:04:53 PM #34
cactus

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Forgot to mention one more thing. The explosions would look twice as hot if you added some pieces and junk flying about instead of "just" a fireball and smoke wink2
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Read July 01, 2007, 09:37:17 PM #35
ReleX

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Yeah I like it! the graphics are awsome... but like others said, the hitbox is to big... and you might want to add some level of damage to your ship, so it can take a few hits... also im not realy fond of the control sceme. But I gues your not gonna keep it that way. Dude your main ship sprite still owns like hell!! I love it!

-ReleX


crowd: "WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!!!"
man: "No I'm not!"
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Read July 05, 2007, 02:13:39 PM #36
AphexTwins

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

I really like it so far. Great graphics and everything looks smooth. And yes, you need a smaller hitbox. Besides that this game is kicking ass! Keep it up!  Smiley
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Read July 05, 2007, 08:52:34 PM #37
HunchedWarrior

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Nice looking game. Definately could be a fun one (not to mention a purdy one too Smiley.)

Just a minor nitpick: the main window is just slightly too wide to fit on my screen (1152x824), it'd be nice if the game adjusted the window size to fit the screen resolution.

I'm also a little leery of the player ship having inertia (not so great for precision dodging) but it didn't cause too much difficulty gameplay wise.


Are you ready set?
We started on a trip to hell
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Read July 05, 2007, 11:05:07 PM #38
pixelizr

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Yup, looks like the game runs in a graphics mode slightly above 1024x768. Of course, it's up to the developer if he wants high definition resolutions, but I think going too high-def would only limit the audience. A good number of laptops these days still ship with 1024x768 LCDs, after all.

Regarding inertia, I'm not totally against it, but I do believe that there are gameplay designs that go well with it, and there are some that don't (like Shanghai Alice bullet curtains). I think the developer should always take care in making sure that the inertia adds to the user experience and not work against the player's enjoyment.
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Read July 10, 2007, 09:37:22 PM #39
HunchedWarrior

Re: DroneSwarm (updated - demo)

Sort of thinking out loud here... inertia could possibly make dodging easier if the acceleration/decelleration was really rapid. I'm thinking of a situation like the Stage 2 boss of DoDonPachi (or more relavent since it's horizontal the Stage 2 boss of Progear) when it's close to death firing blue needle bullets really close together I often die there because the ship moves just a little too far when attempting a the very small dodges required in that section. A short (0.125s as a number I'll try playing with in my own entry) speed up time might make small fine mauvering a little easier.


Are you ready set?
We started on a trip to hell
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