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|-+ UR: completed (Hopefully final update)

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Read June 15, 2007, 05:01:41 PM #40
motorherp

Re: UR

I know what you're saying though Shoot-em-upper, weapon shops can be a double edged sword.  On the plus side it creates variety which increases the games replay value.  Also if your weapons are sufficiently unique to make you tackle the game in different ways depending on how you're equiped it also adds an element of exploration and stragety trying to find the best weapons for each level.  On the downside though it can make game balancing difficult.  Consider that the aim is to create an engaging challenge for the player no matter their skill level.  This is were ranking usualy comes into play.  The better you are the harder the game gets but when you start loosing lives etc the game difficulty drops to compensate.  Weapon shops can suffer here because good players will likely be able to afford the best weapons making the game easier thus removing the challenge, and not so good players wont be able to afford to weapons they need to keep up with the increasing difficulty of the later stages making the challenge too much.  I'm not too sure how I'd try and tackle the downside to weapon shops.  Perhaps rank should be effected by which weapons you have so that if you go for the more powerful weapons the game gets harder thus maintaining challenge for better players and keeping the rank low for not so good players.  The trade off would be that bigger weapons give you more scoring potential thus rewarding the best players and discouraging them from sticking to weaker weapons to make things easier.

Edit: Aha I've just re-read your post.  You plan to make players buy weapons with points.  This actualy could make for an interesting solution since if you want to go for score you've got to stick with the smaller weapons thus making the game more difficult.  Of course if a by product of using smaller weapons means your scoring potential is reduced this could counter act this mechanic.  It also reduces the desire for big weapons which could detract from their very purpous which is to give the player variety.  It'll be a difficult one to balance but could make for some really interesting decisions if you get it right.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 05:18:58 PM by motorherp »

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Read June 15, 2007, 05:57:27 PM #41
omicron1

Re: UR

The way I have it right now is, you start out with a weapon lineup quite similar to that in the previous demo. If you spend points (decrease your score), you can upgrade weapon speed and number - but you'll have to choose between increased firepower and a lower score.

Your Options can also be upgraded, both in number (from 2 up to 5) and with temporary (you start the level with them, giving you an early boost) weapon addons.

Finally, you can purchase health point and speed bonuses.

My hope is that the shop will add some strategic value to play; but we'll have to see what happens in this regard.


As for difficulty, it's really as hard as you make it. The harder it is to play, the more score you wind up with. Sure, you can buy the best stuff to give you an edge in play; but with upgrade costs ranging into the hundreds of thousands of points (Very difficult to obtain, by the way), you'll have to forgo the upgrades, which will result in a more challenging game.

My goal with difficulty is to make it pleasantly challenging for the player who upgrades everything normally; while making it increasingly difficult for those who don't.
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Read June 15, 2007, 06:18:07 PM #42
the2bears

Re: UR

My hope is that the shop will add some strategic value to play; but we'll have to see what happens in this regard.

While I agree with Shoot-em-upper and motoherp regarding shops I do encourage you to give it a try as well.  You never know how it'll be until you try it out.  Good luck! Smiley

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read June 15, 2007, 06:49:58 PM #43
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR

Wow, that is not an easy balance to follow where the whole weapons/score thing is concerned (not to mention a rather tough task to pull off successfully!), but omicron1, I wish you a lot of sheer excellence with that if that is what you are after.  Make it work properly now!!!  Wink !
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Read June 16, 2007, 09:33:42 AM #44
ReleX

Re: UR

Hmmm... that was a bit, odd... It is a bit chaotic... but not in a good way. I didnt realy see what the enemy was... what bullets I had to dodge and what upgrades I could pick up. Besides that the controls where weard and the shooting was like some sort of random :S ow and everything including the enemy moved with the ship in some way. Now for the good things! Tongue your BG is very cool, and the effects are neat! I guess its still very early in development stage.. but this needs allot of work (I dont mean to nag, I still liked it). Alright thats all... TTYL

ReleX


crowd: "WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!!!"
man: "No I'm not!"
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Read June 16, 2007, 03:01:41 PM #45
omicron1

Re: UR

Ok, difficulty test demo complete.

Full changelist:
* Removed "extreme parallax" effect
* Added several new enemy types
* Increased general difficulty
* Added a second level
* Added a (basic) "factory" background
* Removed inertia effect
* Added a control customization screen.
* Added all 11 Option weapons
* Added between-level shop (temporary option addons don't work yet)

Download from this location.

->ReleX: I hope the changes so far will help with some of the issues you noted.
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Read June 17, 2007, 03:25:57 AM #46
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: UR

Ok:
- No matter what I mapped my keys to 'S' was ALWAYS moving down the screen
- New new background is nice, the fog you added makes it look much more industrial (And I assume to mask the fact that there is no true factory Wink)
- I still find the controls hard to use even if they were mapped to my specs I'd find it hard... It might be easier if you had an 'auto aim' extra in there?
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Read June 17, 2007, 07:40:31 PM #47
omicron1

Re: UR

1. Yes - there's a bug here, although it's NOT with my programming. Either my computer or my development system has ...issues... with that key. At any rate, I thought I'd fixed it, and I now have fixed it permanently. Thanks for the note.

2. Thank you. That's just about the last of the "city" backgrounds - next: jungle or summat.

3. By extra I assume you mean an option addon for autoaim for main guns... I'll look into that for the twelfth.

But as for the control scheme, I don't know why you think it's hard. You can use it similarly to any other shooter if you want - just don't touch the left and right shooting buttons. It'll be a lot harder, but...

What's hard about the current scheme, in your opinion?
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Read June 17, 2007, 08:56:12 PM #48
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: UR

Well, it's probably just me, but I don't like having to use what is essentially 2 d-pads, with game pads that is fine but on a keyboard it a lot harder for me, I dunno, maybe I just don't play enough games this way Tongue
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Read June 17, 2007, 09:20:20 PM #49
omicron1

Re: UR

Do you think it would be better with gamepad support, then?
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Read June 30, 2007, 01:48:59 PM #50
omicron1

Re: UR

It looks like my work has fallen into obscurity again. 'S too bad. But, I haven't given up on it yet - although I have been working on other games meanwhile.

Anyway, progress report.

* Finished stage 2 (no boss yet) and begun work on stage 3. My plan with the various stages is to make them a sort of "variety show" - that is, each stage will feature a different kind of boss. The first stage has a "bullet hell" boss type, while the second stage will feature a "target point" boss (you hit certain areas of it to take out vital functions), and the third stage... I don't know. Maybe a "melee boss."
* There are now seven enemies in the game; some harder than others. All in all, I think the difficulty is a good tradeoff for the chance to improve your ship.
* Reworked the interface to make it a bit like certain other vertical scrolling shooters - that is, there's a blank space on either side of the action. This, I've found, makes it a little bit easier to play all around; the whole-screen version was getting confusing.
* Worked on the Attractor weapon for speed.
* Actually beat the first stage. Woohoo!


The new interface looks like this:
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Read June 30, 2007, 05:02:45 PM #51
Shoot-em-upper

Re: UR

For the third boss, how about having paddles that pop out of the sides to swing down and crush you?  You'd have to dodge them and then shoot them as they retracted into the main body.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read July 01, 2007, 06:15:55 PM #52
omicron1

Re: UR

I hope that's not a serious suggestion...

Anyway, as Kairos threw down the gauntlet for graphical effects recently, I feel compelled to attempt to one-up him.




* "storyline" finalized
* Enemy list finalized
* Level concepts finished
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Read July 03, 2007, 12:08:09 AM #53
Shoot-em-upper

Re: UR

I hope that's not a serious suggestion...

Of course not.  Nice flashes.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read July 21, 2007, 02:01:56 AM #54
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: UR

Awesome flashies
Gamepad support would rock Smiley
Remember;
- movement on left thumbstick
- shooting on the right
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Read July 28, 2007, 02:50:07 AM #55
omicron1

Re: UR

Just a little update.
I've decided to change the graphical style of my enemies to prerendered models, while keeping many stylistic elements.
Test renders (May or may not be final):

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Read July 28, 2007, 12:56:00 PM #56
Shoot-em-upper

Re: UR

No offense, but I think that the old graphics looked better.


I came, I saw, I posted.
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Read July 28, 2007, 07:20:12 PM #57
Korenn

Re: UR

I like them both.
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Read July 28, 2007, 08:09:59 PM #58
cactus

Re: UR

The new ones look better than the ones in the demo I played. You could consider making them a bit bigger, maybe?  smiley2

Keep it up
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Read July 28, 2007, 08:44:09 PM #59
omicron1

Re: UR

I can't really make them any bigger, aside from the bosses. They're already quite a bit too large.

Anyway, it looks like mixed opinions on the graphics. I'll post a few screenshots later to show you all how they integrate into the current game.
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Read September 20, 2007, 11:04:53 PM #60
omicron1

Re: UR: completed

Ok, then. After months of tinkering, this blind, lame, crazy backwoods kid of a project is out the door.

As I said in the first post, I don't harbor any aspirations to victory in this contest. If I place at all, that will be more than I expect. But I think I've made a good, complete little game here - and I hope you all enjoy it.

Game download link is in the first post. Please tell me about any bug reports so I can fix them - and have fun.
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Read September 22, 2007, 01:36:58 AM #61
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR: completed

Could you *please* make the frame-rate a whole lot faster for your entry, omicron1?  I found out that it is running at a snailís pace (like around 10-12fps) on my computer, making the controls so sluggish and unresponsive ó even with 2.0ghz and an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 3800+ that I have there, which is very sad so far, really.  huh2 !

Apparently, you got the screen refresh frames of your game to crossfade between each and every one during gameplay, so to possibly speed up the game to a more decent speed, could you please remove all of the crossfading frames there?  That is a start, and I really do want you to speed up the game indeed for a reason so that we all can really play it!!  Wink

Thanks so much, and I just had to report a major bug to you.  Cool
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Read September 22, 2007, 01:43:36 AM #62
Five Damned Dollarz

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency...)

I'm in the same boat as AAP with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 3800+, it's very slow on these CPUs despite them being dual core...
I'm also running an old NVIDIA GeForce 6200 as my dedicated Graphics Card [it has 256MB RAM but since I have 1GB of RAM on my Motherboard it actually has 512MB]

So, if you could possibly add an option to turn crossfading off, all those special effects, etc. off so we with older machines could play this at a decent FPS, thanks Smiley
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Read September 22, 2007, 07:06:09 AM #63
Matt McFarland

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency...)

This game doesnt work  Sad.  Running Intel Duo Core 1.8 with 2gigs of ram with nvidia 8800 on Windows Vista

The game intro works.  When the text comes up I had no idea that I was supposed to hit ESC.  I didnt know that I was changing key configuration either (things just arent set clear)

The game itself, doesnt work.  There's a bunch of weird slash marks at the top, and it says "Combo 1,2,3,4" and I'm making all this progress but I can only see water and weird slash marks. 



<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
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Read September 22, 2007, 07:30:01 AM #64
battlegorge

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency...)

Your game runs with ~30 fps at my comp.
The effects are very nice but the rest of the graphics is too grey.
The stage 2 background is much better!
I think the enemies are too boring.
And they appear in waves randomly. Sometimes theres a 5 or 10 sec break.
You can make the gameplay much better, if you let enemies attack in cool formations
and dont use any random for level design!
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Read September 22, 2007, 01:46:44 PM #65
Kairos

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency...)

Same here, slow, I'm guessing about 15 FPS.

Specs:
2.1 ghz processor
ATI Radeon 9550 256 MB
512 RAM

Not sure why it is so slow. How did you draw your graphics and effects?
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Read September 22, 2007, 06:58:01 PM #66
omicron1

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

->AAP: That computer should by all rights run this just fine. I think it's a compatibility issue - perhaps with surfaces.

-> Matt: That really sounds like a surface compatibility issue. I added an option to remove surfaces in the patch; please try it?

->battlegorge: Level 1 is only 1/4 of the levels, you know. That's like saying a space level is too black.
Second, the waves are not random. They're preset - and they're built to give rests in between large groups. (And after particularly difficult sections)

->Kairos: Effects and graphics are drawn using textured polygons, drawn to a surface and blended.


In general: There's a "surface-free" patch available - it removes a lot of the nicer effects (such as glowing, blurring, and distortion) - but it might fix the compatibility issues. Please try it and see if it helps?
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Read September 22, 2007, 07:06:11 PM #67
the2bears

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

Works a lot better now, steady 30fps which I assume is what you're after.  Frankly, looks a lot better too Smiley

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read September 22, 2007, 08:16:30 PM #68
Kairos

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

Definitely works better, must have been a real nasty surface issue.
I can actually play now, and I survived more on 30FPS than the old 15 FPS with motion blur. I tried with surfaces again - I suspect something is wrong with the surfaces when I saw that your distortions weren't normal - they were rings of the background and a lot of white squares that shouldn't have been there. Not sure what was wrong, as I haven't experimented with surfaces much except for a distortion effect, but this patch definitely helps.
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Read September 22, 2007, 08:47:43 PM #69
Matt McFarland

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

It works!

with after effects disabled. But it's very repetitive, and I always shoot to the right (sorta) unless I hold down another arrow key.


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
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Read September 22, 2007, 08:58:16 PM #70
Adigun A. Polack

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

I too have just tried your new version, omicron1, and it looks MUCH better now on Stage-1, as I can finally sample the many weapons that are on offer for your entry... and they look REALLY great!!!  Cheesy !

Also, I have just made it successfully to the end of Stage-1 with the first boss beaten and onto the second stage, which then has some serious slow-down issues on my computer, even with the after-effects turned off ( Sad )... so if you would remove some skyscrapers off of the scrolling to speed the game up a little more, that would be jolly good for us, you know?  Wink

Other than that, though, GREAT START on overcoming the slow-down issue so far, and keep up the fine job you are doing here!!!  Grin=b
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Read September 22, 2007, 09:06:31 PM #71
cactus

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

Yeah, it ran a lot better on my computer now as well. Which made me notice something you might want to change. The shooting sounds. Whenever my ship fires, it sounds like someone has tossed a very small pebble into a bath tub. Doesn't make me feel very powerful embarrassed2
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Read September 22, 2007, 10:21:34 PM #72
omicron1

Re: UR: completed (Updated for efficiency, part 2...)

->Cactus: Ah, but the sound effects scale. That is, weapons like the Petalgun sound appropriately deadlier than the simple gun. (Which isn't very powerful, really)

->Matt: Check if you have a joystick installed. The game includes joypad support, and that might be causing it.

->Kairos: I don't know why that would have happened -but it's a local problem. My computer doesn't experience that effect at all.

Hmm... I should've just released UR as a beta...

...Anyway, I'll do something to speed up level 2 and get it out the door late today or early tomorrow.

Oh, and I finally beat my own Stage 2.
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Read September 25, 2007, 07:18:23 PM #73
omicron1

Re: UR: completed (Hopefully final update)

This should be the final update. I reworked Level 1 (added a miniboss and less downtime), added a display of all weapons (should make it easier for new players to get into the game), and re-implemented particles (useful for the level 2 laser miniboss).

There are also graphic modifications to levels 2 and 3, including making level 2 less graphically challenging and adding to the background of level 3. Enjoy!
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Read September 25, 2007, 07:48:12 PM #74
Deleter

Re: UR: completed (Hopefully final update)

Nice entry. Like the graphics though its kind of confusing when you have both power ups and weapons chasing you, what do I avoid and what do I hit lol. I'm not saying I don't know just that its hard to figure it out while you are playing. Otherwise nice smooth and polished entry.  Cool
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Read September 26, 2007, 07:41:25 PM #75
omicron1

Re: UR: completed (Hopefully final update)

It's not really a concern. Aside from the final boss, there won't be any actual weapons chasing you. Anything following you around is probably good.
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Read October 18, 2007, 10:16:04 PM #76
charlie

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

And there i was thinking it was just me who though Jets and Guns was a bit of a stinker.

Cheers
Charlie
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