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Read June 06, 2007, 06:41:25 PM #0
omicron1

UR: completed (Hopefully final update)

UPDATE NEWS: Re-added particles; added indicator of current options; spiced up level 1.

UR is finished. From now on, the only things I'll be adding to this project are bugfixes.

I harbor no hopes of winning this contest - there's too many good games out there - but I hope you like what I've done anyway.


The final product is somewhat of a "serious sam" treatment of the shmup genre; that is, it's a game about the weapons, and about killing masses of enemies. I really didn't know what a shooter was supposed to be like when I started this contest (My shooter experience is limited to getting 103,000 points on Geometry Wars) - and I still don't, really. But I hope my approximation thereof is close enough to the mark to work.

The game is four stages long, with each stage being about ten minutes in length. But, lest you think that this is an hour-long game - it's also quite difficult. It includes eleven normal enemies and four unique boss enemies; twelve option types; and plenty of purchasable items.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 07:11:01 PM by omicron1 »
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Read June 06, 2007, 07:12:59 PM #1
cactus

Re: UR

Lookin really nice for such an early screenshot! Are you using GM's d3d commands, or did you tinker up some 3D of your own? I'm really looking forward to playing this. Good luck in the competition  grin2
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Read June 06, 2007, 09:11:55 PM #2
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: UR

Awesome background, nice effects, although the 2d ships look kind of out of place in that image embarrassed2 but thats just my opinion, continue on, hope to play this Smiley
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Read June 06, 2007, 10:53:29 PM #3
omicron1

Re: UR

->Cactus: I'm using GM's d3d.
->FDD: The ship graphics are HIGHLY temporary. So are all the other graphical effects, as a matter of fact.
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Read June 06, 2007, 11:33:42 PM #4
monoRAIL

Re: UR

Nice looking bullets!
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Read June 07, 2007, 05:26:21 PM #5
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR

Welcome to the compo, omicron1.  You are definitely accepted, and I want you to do your awesome best on your contest project here.  Wish you the very best of sheer success here!!!  Grin !
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Read June 08, 2007, 01:56:47 AM #6
omicron1

Re: UR

A set of new "effect" shots...

(Note that, especially in the case of the latter image, these images show far more effects than wil be visible at any one time ingame. (It runs too slowly)

This is one of my favorite weapons. It basically creates a "black hole" bullet which sucks up enemies and bullets - the enemies are destroyed, but the bullets are released - when it reaches capacity - in a shower of destruction.



This is another interesting weapon. It "zaps" any enemies near your cursor for massive damage - good versus individuals, but not so much versus large groups.



Planned design details:

Stage length: (Straight through, no resets) 18 minutes
# of stages: 10 (plus a "random" stage
3 difficulty levels will add extra replay value, and a custom stage creator could be included. (Due to the format of my levels, stages can be created as simple 31x512 bitmap images)
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Read June 08, 2007, 03:20:09 AM #7
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR

In terms of the look of this game so far (telling from the two new screenshots), I’d say that is an excellent start, omicron1!!  Just make sure you have some awesome gameplay and play control and we’d be all set, you know now?  Grin=b
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Read June 08, 2007, 03:46:36 AM #8
pixelizr

Re: UR

Quote
It "zaps" any enemies near your cursor for massive damage...

Please excuse me from making this comment I cannot resist making... but does your roster of enemies include giant enemy crabs? grin2
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Read June 08, 2007, 07:04:09 AM #9
cactus

Re: UR

It "zaps" any enemies near your cursor
I assume that this means you're likely making an arena shooter? Or at least a mouse controlled game?

Quote from: Adigun A. Polack
Just make sure you have some awesome gameplay and play control and we’d be all set, you know now?
I'm not sure that I'm interpreting this correctly, but it sounds like Adigun is giving you a hint that mouse controls might not be the best idea. If you look at the previous contests, you can see that no mouse controlled game has won so far. I think a lot of Shoot 'Em Up fans have a strong preference for keyboard controls only, to boot.

I'm not confident enough to tell you that you should switch subgenre, but generally speaking, vertical or horizontal scrolling shooters with keyboard controls seem to be the safest bet if you want to win.

The new screens look really good, though. You seem like you're able to do quite a bit with GM grin2
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Read June 08, 2007, 07:36:34 AM #10
motorherp

Re: UR

Quote
It "zaps" any enemies near your cursor for massive damage...

Please excuse me from making this comment I cannot resist making... but does your roster of enemies include giant enemy crabs? grin2

Hahaha genious.  I thought people would have forgotten about that one by now  Grin


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Read June 08, 2007, 02:27:44 PM #11
omicron1

Re: UR

Hmm...

Problem is, having keyboard-only controls makes weapons like lasers and lightning, and even just plain-fire satellites, a lot less interesting. I mean, what's the point of having two weapons with infinite range and high damage if they aren't somehow different?

The current control scheme I have set up is WASD for movement, constant primary fire (fast, but limited to straight up), and mouse left-click to direct your satellites' fire towards the cursor.

"If you look at the previous contests, you can see that no mouse controlled game has won so far." - Maybe it's time for a change, then.

"Hahaha genious.  I thought people would have forgotten about that one by now" - I don't get it.
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Read June 08, 2007, 02:35:10 PM #12
pixelizr

Re: UR

"Hahaha genious.  I thought people would have forgotten about that one by now" - I don't get it.

Hmmm. Before I answer that, will your planned game have real-time weapons change? grin2

-----

Well, ok let me explain before things get out of hand. Those are from Sony's PS3 talks at E3. A lot of people weren't impressed, so snippets of the speeches ended up as "all your base" internet memes. smiley2
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Read June 08, 2007, 02:49:06 PM #13
motorherp

Re: UR

If you think mouse fire control is the way to go for you to realise your game then go for it, it's your judgement call at the end of the day.  If you're interested though here's my opinion on it.  When I play shooters I tend to stay focused on the area not too far ahead of the player ship, the hot area.  I'm trying to analyse the bullet patterns as they approach to find the safe spots which I then move into using my knowledge of where my ship is and my peripheral vision without having take my attention of the hot area.  The same applies for tagetting enemy ships, I use my peripheral vision and knowledge of their positions from previous play throughs to line up or rotate my guns to hit them.  The problem with mouse control is that it takes a focused effort to move the reticule around and aim it which takes your site and attention away from the hot area and can confuse your almost sub-concious knowledge of your ship position.  In my opinion this detracts from the playability.  If games like this usualy get marked low it's not because we have a grudge against mouse control but just because mouse control makes for less enjoyable games.  Perhaps though you'll find the right balance and make it all work flawlessly.

Oh and -> Giant Enemy Crab! Massive Damage mix

PS:  Another thought on mouse control.  In my opinion its important to make the control mechanism as transparent as possible to the player to absorb them in the game.  I think this control style with mouse and keyboard however suffers somewhat from 'rub your tummy and pat your head simultaneously' syndrome just because they are too different and comlex to combine (at least for this style of game).  Forcing the player to think about the control scheme pulls them away from the game experience. 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 03:06:01 PM by motorherp »

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Read June 08, 2007, 02:57:51 PM #14
the2bears

Re: UR

...The problem with mouse control is that it takes a focused effort to move the reticule around and aim it which takes your site and attention away from the hot area and can confuse your almost sub-concious knowledge of your ship position.  In my opinion this detracts from the playability.  If games like this usualy get marked low it's not because we have a grudge against mouse control but just because mouse control makes for less enjoyable games.  Perhaps though you'll find the right balance and make it all work flawlessly...

Getting mouse control right in a shooter is extremely difficult.  There have been only a couple in the last few years that I've seen that even came close.  Just a warning  Grin

edit: Unless you lean towards an arena shooter style...

Bill
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 02:59:34 PM by the2bears »

the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 08, 2007, 03:10:19 PM #15
relsoft

Re: UR

"All your BASIC(freebasic) are belong to us!"

I guess I'm doing my entry in C++.


Hello
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Read June 08, 2007, 03:13:26 PM #16
Olick

Re: UR

I think mouse control for some aiming is a good idea myself. The only challenge is to make sure that the button config isn't such that it asks for a 3 hand layout, one hand on arrows, one hand on attack keys, and one hand on the mouse.

Personally I think FPS's do it pretty well with the aswd keys, using the numpad for weapon changing, keys near aswd for control, and the shitft and space keys for movement abilities, since your pinky and thumb kinda hovers over those spots anyways.

Also: I am jealous of your special effects.
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Read June 08, 2007, 03:23:01 PM #17
omicron1

Re: UR

You change weapons either when your satellites (options) run out of charges, (at which time they revert to their base form) or when you collect "powerups" which enemies drop, which give your options different weapons. Your main gun can be upgraded between stages, for a price.


Just some clarification on the control scheme:
* WASD are your primary control. They control the ship motion.
* Your main gun fires automatically (I mean, if it's one-directional, what advantage could there possibly be in NOT firing?)
* Your options fire towards the mouse cursor when you left- (or right-?) click. Since many of the option weapons are quite powerful, this means that, for the most part, you don't have to worry too much about your ship's safety while you have them.


...And now I've probably said too much.


I think it might be a good idea to do a minor release to let you experienced people experiment with what I have set up. Then, I can make sure that the control scheme in the final game is popular.
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Read June 08, 2007, 03:29:38 PM #18
motorherp

Re: UR

* Your main gun fires automatically (I mean, if it's one-directional, what advantage could there possibly be in NOT firing?)

In some games the aim isn't always to destroy everything as fast as you can.  It really depends on your scoring mechanism.

Quote
I think it might be a good idea to do a minor release to let you experienced people experiment with what I have set up. Then, I can make sure that the control scheme in the final game is popular.

Excellent plan.  Releasing alphas and betas is an excellent way to get feedback on your games for tweaking and you'll also get some bug testing thrown in as a bonus.


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Read June 08, 2007, 03:54:56 PM #19
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR

I agree with motorherp here, omicron1.  I think an early release is not a bad idea to do at this point, because it gives us a surefire chance to sample the play control of your entry.  That way, we won’t get mired deep in the quicksands of awkward game mechanics... especially once the controls have been improved and all polished up, you know what I mean?  So I’d say just keep the controls as simple and easy-to-grasp as you can for the player... remember, it is the PLAYER we are thinking about!!  Grin

And motorherp said to make the control mechanism as transparent as possible to help immerse the player into an enjoyable game experience... and you know what?  That’s right.  Wink=b !
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 03:57:10 PM by Adigun A. Polack »
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Read June 08, 2007, 07:42:32 PM #20
omicron1

Re: UR

Ok; added a bit o' polish and modified the control scheme again.

Here's the "pre-alpha" demo - only two enemy types, 5 weapons, no upgrades, one 1/4-length stage, and one "easy" boss.
It also includes some music from Newgrounds that I thought went well with the game.

download it here

Note that nothing in this demo is final. There's no optimization; the demo is far easier than the game will be; upgrades and powerup-spawn rate are set too high; etc., etc. Just test it and tell me how you like the control scheme and concept.
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Read June 08, 2007, 08:09:13 PM #21
the2bears

Re: UR

As an aside, why not upload the file here?  It's a lot more user friendly than filefactory and their ilk.  I had to squint and hunt for the free link on their site  Smiley

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 08, 2007, 08:10:23 PM #22
motorherp

Re: UR

Cool.  Them weapons and effects are very nice, although I'm finding the extreme parallax of the background pretty off putting.  With regards to the mouse control, I'm finding it really difficult to target what I want whilst concentrating on the action.  I think the problem comes down to the fact that the amount of angle change you get in your weapon tragectory for each unit of mouse movement is a function of the distance from the mouse cursor to the ship with this style of control method.  Since your moving the ship and mouse around all the time its really hard to gauge your mouse movement.  Of course, instead of trying to gauge angle change you can instead try hover the curser directly over the thing your aiming at but trying to do this alone is hard enough with moving targets, no matter when your trying to dodge bullets at the same time.  If I was to implement mouse control I'd get rid of the cursor all together.   Instead I'd have it so that moving the mouse left and right rotates your turrets directly instead of rotating the turrets to point at the cursor.


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Read June 08, 2007, 08:15:22 PM #23
the2bears

Re: UR

I like the visuals alot!  Of course, I like these too Smiley  Yours looks much better!

Anway, I don't like the controls.  Sorry.  2 things, not sure if they're contributing to each other or separate, but there's far too much inertia for my liking on your ship.  And motoherp describes nicely the trouble I had with mouse aiming. 

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 08, 2007, 09:21:44 PM #24
cactus

Re: UR

I can't say a lot about it, since it ran at about 10 fps on my can. But the2bears' and motoherpes' (sorry, couldn't help it) comments sounds about right from what I could tell. The graphics do look pretty spiffy, although I think the 3D could look better with some of GM's lighting effects Tongue
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Read June 08, 2007, 09:36:00 PM #25
omicron1

Re: UR

How do you upload through this site?


Anyways, second trial. I remapped the firing controls to use the arrow keys, and managed to make all the weapons functional using the new setup. See if you like these better?

(As an aside, it's definitely harder (for me) than with the old setup. I don't know if this is a result of my lack of experience with sh'mups or simply that I have been using the old system for a while.

Please test the new controls
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Read June 08, 2007, 10:10:58 PM #26
the2bears

Re: UR

How do you upload through this site?

Reply->Additional Options...->Attach

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 08, 2007, 10:15:37 PM #27
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR

Ahh, I can see that you have improved the controls, omicron1.  Good start!!  However, I should just remove the “floaty” movement mechanics of your ship altogether, because it just makes your game more of a chore to play rather than fun, taking away the experience from the player rather than immersing one in it.  sad1 !

What I would do is to replace the “floaty” movement mechanics of your ship with the simple and time-honored mechanic with which you move a certain direction upon hitting a key, but then when you let that key go, you come to a *complete* stop unless you hit another directional movement key to move in another direction.  It has been done in such COUNTLESS other games as Darius Gaiden, Warning Forever, and Blue Wish Resurrection to name a few.  Wink !

Just my advice, as I am not trying to be mean or anything like that.  I just want your game to be better and better... that is all.  cool2

« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 10:24:23 PM by Adigun A. Polack »
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Read June 08, 2007, 10:18:20 PM #28
omicron1

Re: UR

There is no mouse in the second demo.
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Read June 08, 2007, 10:30:43 PM #29
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR

There is no mouse in the second demo.

That is what I just now found out, omicron1 ( Wink )... which is why I have just updated my previous post in this thread here.  Still, I’d take away the “floaty” ship mechanics (because the inertia of your ship forces the player to be slammed right dab into enemies and their shots).  If you can do that, then you have the potential of putting your game into top shape!!  Go for it!!!  Grin
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Read June 08, 2007, 10:33:36 PM #30
omicron1

Re: UR

Hnh..

I removed the inertia right after you posted, then ran through the game; slammed myself into half a dozen bullets during the boss fight. Again, maybe I'm just used to the previous mechanics; but maybe not. I don't know.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who helped test the controls.
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Read June 08, 2007, 11:05:22 PM #31
the2bears

Re: UR

Tested it again, second control scheme (still with plenty of inertia) and I think you've improved it alot.  It's key, but the secondary shots are directional now, rather than positional (the mouse cursor) and it makes a big difference for me.

Anyway, still have to say I like the graphical style you've got.

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 09, 2007, 01:55:10 AM #32
pixelizr

Re: UR

The demo ran very slowly on my Thinkpad X31, so I wasn't able to test the controls fully. I have a thing to say about inertia, though: All of the serious, hardcore shooting games I have played have zero inertia (when you release the controls, the ship stops moving). If you want to promote movement accuracy and precise dodging in your game, I think this is the way to go.
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Read June 09, 2007, 05:46:33 AM #33
relsoft

Re: UR

The demo ran very slowly on my Thinkpad X31, so I wasn't able to test the controls fully. I have a thing to say about inertia, though: All of the serious, hardcore shooting games I have played have zero inertia (when you release the controls, the ship stops moving). If you want to promote movement accuracy and precise dodging in your game, I think this is the way to go.
I second this. Physics is nice but not on Shmups.


Hello
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Read June 09, 2007, 06:08:34 AM #34
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: UR

The new control scheme makes it extremely hard for left handers (like myself) to play the game as I use my right hand for movement, which results in my hands criss-crossing over each other which is hard to keep track of, it lags slightly on my nVidia 6200, so it's not gonna take to well on the nVidia 6150 of one of the judges Tongue
The options are nice, I like the ideas you have so far Smiley
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Read June 09, 2007, 08:51:26 AM #35
motorherp

Re: UR

Yeh, if you can find the time in the finished game a key remapping option is always a good idea.  Not only does it make it easier on people of opposite handedness from the creator but not all keyboards have the same key layout.  In the mean time Five Damned Dollarz, if you want to play you could use a joypad and run joy2key to map the keys to whatever buttons and d-pad directions you find comfortable.


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Read June 09, 2007, 01:35:43 PM #36
omicron1

Re: UR

What you're seeing in the "control test" demo is:
1. full of little "special effects" such as the traffic lights in the background and the cel-shaded 3d buildings; which will be able to be toggled down to save on speed.
2. Completely unoptimized.
So the speed is a lot slower than it will be.

->A whole bunch of people: Ok, ok, I got the idea. Inertia is gone from the final game. (Don't worry about the state of the control test demo; when something with content comes out, things will be fine)

->FDD, MH: I'll be sure to include that, then. Thanks for the suggestion.


By the way, I'm also right-handed, so...
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Read June 15, 2007, 02:06:07 PM #37
omicron1

Re: UR

Just a small update on progress.

I've completed all the Option weapons (balancing's still up in the air, though). I've added a between-level shop, which allows you to upgrade your ship in exchange for large amounts of points - a difficult decision to make for those trying for highscores. In addition, I've created several more enemy ships, started work on a second level, added a control configuration screen and begun work on a second "background theme": Factory District (replacing the background for Industrial, which is moving to Residential)

Coming up soon: A 2-level "difficulty-gauge" demo - for you to tell me if the game is too easy or too hard.
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Read June 15, 2007, 03:06:00 PM #38
Shoot-em-upper

Re: UR

Those are good ideas, but the weapon shop is really hard to get right.  Just look at Jets 'n Guns.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read June 15, 2007, 03:25:17 PM #39
the2bears

Re: UR

Those are good ideas, but the weapon shop is really hard to get right.  Just look at Jets 'n Guns.

Well, to be fair Jets 'n Guns failed long before you ever hit the weapons shop.  Tongue

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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